The legal definition of continuing education in Poland is presented in The Education System Act of 7th September 1991, (Dziennik Ustaw of 2004, No. 256, item. 2 572 with further amendments.) in article 3, section 17. It declares that continuing education is “education in schools for adults, as well as gaining and supplementing general knowledge, vocational skills and qualifications in the out-of-school forms by people past the period of compulsory education”. According to this definition, continuing education in Poland is not identical with the continuing education concept as defined in the European Union where it is treated as a “lifelong process” (lifelong learning).
Strategy for Continuing Education until 2010” which was accepted by the Council of Ministers on 8th July 2003. The “Development Strategy for Continuing Education until 2010” specifies the strategic objective of continuing education development and lifelong learning. It is “giving support and direction to personal development, stimulating human innovativeness and creativity”. Implementation of the objective will help “increase competitiveness, improve work organization and build foundations for the knowledge-based society”.
The system of training for the unemployed, job seekers and disadvantaged groups is regulated by the "Act on Promoting Employment and Labour Market Institutions". According to this Act, regional and district labour offices are a part of the public employment services which accomplish territorial self-government tasks in the field of labour market. Labour offices are territorial self-government units. The Minister competent in the labour market affairs co-ordinates activities of public employment services and the Voivode (Head of the Region) supervises and controls them.
Vocational qualification and general education upgrading can be undertaken on the basis of the employer's recommendation or without such a recommendation. The employee can be sent for training in any phase of learning, e.g. to a school of higher education - in any academic year or in any term of academic studies.
It is not possible to estimate the size of the CVET undertaken as individual initiative because the research carried out by the Central Statistical Office does not include category understood as "individual initiative". Indirectly, about those types of initiative we can deduct from the participation of adults in non-formal education. Such survey was carried out by the Central Statistical Office in the II quarter of 2003, including 18 900 households what gave a sample of 47 900 people at the age of 15 and more.
Strategia dla kontynuowania edukacji do roku 2010 ", który został przyjęty przez Radę Ministrów w dniu 8 lipca 2003. W "Strategii Rozwoju dla kontynuowania edukacji do roku 2010" określa strategiczne cele rozwoju kształcenia i uczenia się przez całe życie. To jest "udzielanie wsparcia i kierunku rozwoju osobistego, stymulowanie innowacyjności i kreatywności człowieka.