An education or training activity is a form of learning activity that is both institutionalised and organised.
The " Classification of learning activities " (CLA), elaborated by Eurostat, has been constructed to classify uniformly every offer of learning activity and of teaching/learning paths in all European Union countries.
In the CLA, learning activities are determined by an intention : the intention of learning of the learner.
Learning activities are divided in three categories : formal education or training, non formal education or training and informal learning. To be classified in education or training, formal or non formal, the learning activity needs to fulfil the following criteria :
- it must be planned / organised ;
- its framework must be institutionalised.
The CLA specifies the criteria to determine whether learning activities are institutionalised or not. They must be planned by an agency or body which is responsible for setting at least :
- the teaching/learning methods (predetermined) ;
- the learning schedule ;
- the admission requirements ;
- the location where the learning/teaching will take place. The education or training can take place in the presence of a responsible teacher as well as via distance teaching/learning.
It presupposes the existence, in an education or training activity, of a formalised relationship, as a student-teacher interaction.
Informal learning differs from education and learning in that the activity doesn’t require any institutionalised framework ; in particular, there is no structured relationship or interaction like a student-teacher one.