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Education and Culture DG This project (519132-LLP-1-2011-1-DE-KA3-KA3MP) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Team

Niamh O'Reilly
Eleonora Peruffo

Aontas, Dublin, Ireland

AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation. It is a non-governmental organisation that exists to ensure that every adult in Ireland has access to appropriate and affordable learning opportunities throughout their lives, thus enabling them to participate in the economic, social, civic and cultural development of Irish society. AONTAS is a membership organisation with over 550 members from voluntary and statutory organisational members together with individual members (including learners and tutors). It is predominantly involved in lobbying for, and raising the profile of, adult learning. The current strategic plan focuses on 3 key areas of work: value, voice and visibility of adult learning.

AONTAS understand adult learning to be all forms of learning undertaken by adults having left initial education and training. Adult learning plays a key role in the development of a person, the community, the economy and society as a whole. Not only does it equip us to participate fully and actively in the development of an inclusive society, is also gives us the tools to think critically and challenge injustice and inequality.

As such, in terms of the theme Value, AONTAS supports the development of accreditation and validation of adult learning activities. This project is key to ensuring that tools developed to validate the full spectrum of learning outcomes are reflective of the needs of the learner and the adult education sector.
AONTAS was established in 1969 and has a vast amount of experience regarding: policy issues affecting the adult education sector, professionalisation of adult education, non-formal adult education, validation and accreditation, research and advocacy work.

AONTAS has been involved in a number of European projects, most recently a Grundtvig partnership project ‘sowing the learning seeds’ exploring adult learners’ week.
With regard to this project AONTAS has extensive experience of capacity development, project management, research, validation and accreditation, dissemination of information and event organisation.

AONTAS has a membership of over 550, half of whom are organisations which reach a large number of educators and learners. AONTAS is a member of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and the International Council of Adult Education (ICAE) and thus has a broad national and international reach.