http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Images-ContentManagement/cover_9031.jpgThe use of Europass documents has far surpassed expectations, confirming the relevance of this initiative to learners and workers in Europe.  By October 2010 more than 10 million CVs had been created online. That is seven million more than the target of 3 million Europass documents by 2010 set by Commissioner Ján Figel’. In October 2010 alone, the Europass website received more than 1 million visits.
Cedefop continues to support citizens in making their knowledge, skills and competence – however gained – understandable in all education EU systems and across the single European labour market. Europass is part of a series of complementary European tools – such as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) – that have been developed in the framework of enhanced cooperation in VET between the European Commission, Member States and social partners.
Europass in brief
Europass, an initiative of the European Union, helps European citizens to:
- make their skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood on the labour market and in education and training;
- access employment and move to a new post, a new occupation or a new country anywhere in Europe.
Europass consists of five documents:
- the Curriculum Vitae (CV) gives an overview of personal skills, including those acquired on the job or during leisure time;
- the Language Passport offers a self-assessment of language skills using standardised levels;
- Europass Mobility records work and education experiences in other European countries;
- the Certificate Supplement describes the content of vocational qualifications (entry requirements, skills acquired, level, certification);
- the Diploma Supplement lists the achievements of holders of diplomas or degrees (level, topics, grades).
- The Europass CV and Language Passport are completed by the users themselves; the Europass Mobility, Certificate Supplement and Diploma Supplement are issued by the competent authorities.
A network of National Europass Centres promotes the implementation of Europass in participating countries.
The use of the Europass documents
Five years after its launch, the use of Europass documents can be summarised as follows:
- the Europass CV is, understandably, the most popular of the five documents: 10 million CV have been created online and 13 million CV templates have been downloaded so far;
- 201 000 Language passports completed online and 700 000 Language Passports templates downloaded;
- over 200000 Europass Mobility have been issued;
- a growing number of higher education institution issue the Diploma supplements, even if its use varies considerably between Member States;
- 20 national inventories of Certificate supplements have been set up; holders of vocational certificates can download the supplement corresponding to their qualification.
Europass and Cedefop
Cedefop has been closely involved in preparing and implementing the Europass Decision adopted in December 2004. This states that the ‘Commission shall secure the expertise of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in implementing this Decision’.
Accordingly, Cedefop:
- helped to draft the Europass documents and web pages, in close cooperation with the Commission;
- designed and continues to maintain a multilingual web resource, bringing to the project its expertise
on content, languages (translation of the Europass tools into 26 languages) and information technology;
- designed and continues to maintain a web-based tool for the management of Europass Mobility;
- supports the National Europass Centres in implementing of the initiative in the Member States.
Cedefop continually monitors and improves web resources in order to meet users’ requirements. This is reflected by users’ positive comments – about 3 000 messages have been received to date.
Europass website in figures
Since its launch in February 2005, the Europass website shows a continuous increase of activity (state of play on 31 October 2010):
- 30 million visits to the site (from about 150 000 visits / month in 2005 to 1 million);
- 1 million visits in October 2010 alone;
- 10 million CVs completed online using Cedefop's online tool: (from about 15 000 CV / month in 2005 to 300 000 in October 2010).
- Europass is mostly used by young people: over 70% of the Europass CV online users are under 30;
- about 65% of the Europass CV online users have less than 5 years work experience.
- 69% of the users of the CV online speak at least two foreign languages, which shows that the tool is mostly used by people with a good level of education.
The next steps
In 2011-2012, Cedefop will continue its support to the European Commission, National Europass Centres, social partners and other stakeholders. The aim is to achieve a seamless implementation of all European tools and principles for VET and lifelong learning: the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) – all in line with the learning outcomes approach.
New Europass portal
Taking on board users suggestions, in 2011-2012 Cedefop will make improvements to the Europass webportal. The revamped portal will feature:
an easier interface with quicker access to information;
an improved CV online tool with enhanced tutorials.
Coherent implementation of EU tools
In 2011, Cedefop will publish the results of a pilot study on how to adapt the Europass Mobility and Certificate supplement following the introduction of:
-the European qualifications framework (EQF), a tool for comparing qualifications throughout Europe;
-the European credit system for VET (ECVET), which enables learning outcomes to be transferred from one qualifications system to another, and between general and vocational education.
Links with related platforms
Cedefop will continue to work on ensuring cohesion between the Europass documents with related platforms (Eures and EPSO) and European, national or private job portals and employment services. In addition, the European Commission is in the process of setting up a European classification for occupations and skills (ESCO). Cedefop will help to ensure that this platform can work with the learning outcomes approach.
The European skills passport
Cedefop will support the European Commission in designing a European skills passport. This will enable people to record the knowledge and skills they acquire throughout their lives on a single document. Cedefop will integrate the European skills passport into the Europass framework.
More information on Europass: Europass decision, Europass website, Europass website statistical reports, Report from the Commission on the first evaluation of the Europass initiative. Contact: Cedefop: Philippe.Tissot@cedefop.europa.eu, European Commission: Carlo.Scatoli@ec.europa.eu. Download the Document.