The AE sector in the EU Member states is rather heterogeneous – in the Nordic, West and Central European countries there are professional structures – in the southern and eastern countries there are independent organisations or individuals that often lack support and lobby.
In many other European member states, adult education staff is very heterogeneous in regard to their professional and educational background. In Germany, there are approximately 530.000 people that engage as lecturers, course instructors, counsellors or trainers in all areas of activity of further and adult education (Martin et al., 2016, in preparation). There is no recognition and formal qualification needed to engage as an adult educator. Only a minority of adult educators hold an initial pedagogical qualification. Most adult educators rely on their personal teaching experience and their field knowledge when designing their learning arrangements, and often lack a sound pedagogically founded knowledge or instructional approaches and methods.
In higher organised AE countries (North, West and Central Europe) there is a need for professionalization (EULE project: https://die-bonn.de/eule/default.aspx?lang=en&)
A high need for professionalization and joint development in the AE sector is connected to the introduction of VINFL 2018. According to the latest EAEA studies and other inquiries, in 2017, one year before the introduction of VINFL in the member states it has to be concluded that validation has not yet reached the sector.
In parallel, there is no approach for a certification procedure for Adult Educators competences yet.