Background to the workshop

The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is aiming at enabling learning mobility for young and adult learners, as well as supporting lifelong learning and recognition of prior learning in Europe. It builds upon further European tools and principles such as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET), or the European principles for validation of learning outcomes. Core elements to those tools are the learning outcomes approach and a strong role given to qualifications as ultimate goal for individual learners.
In a large majority of countries, ECVET is meanwhile taken forward. Preparing for ECVET implementation encompasses activities ranging from legal and regulatory updates to broad range test initiatives. The implementation of ECVET is not occurring on its own but is strongly related to policies on enhancing international learning mobility, to VET reforms at national, regional or local levels towards more permeability within and between systems and to the development of qualifications frameworks. ECVET is expected to be gradually implemented by learning from projects, experimentations and tests. The transfer of good practices and knowledge of difficulties from tests and pilots to policy-making is part of the European framework for ECVET and stated as such in the European ECVET Recommendation.
The European database on the ECVET projects reveals that 23% of the 110 registered projects deal with integrating ECVET in education and training, and that 32% are coordinated by VET providers. ECVET is being developed for qualifications located at EQF levels 3 to 6 in different fields of activities covering for instance construction and building, health care or transport and logistics. Further characteristics of ECVET testing are the involvement of a large range of stakeholders and the regional dimension as support for mobility. This, of course, implies dedicated human and financial resources.
On that basis organising a Cedefop workshop to ECVET and practitioners might not be astonishing. The institutional environment in which ECVET operates is undergoing changes which lead to new definitions of responsibilities, of autonomy in decision making and practices, and decentralisation/regionalisation and mergers. In some countries, institutional autonomy also involves funding (Bulgaria, Germany, Austria) where VET providers can increasingly take independent budgetary decisions. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia have merged state-owned VET schools to optimise financial and human resources as well as increasing quality of, and accessibility to, VET (Cedefop 2010). The first ECVET surveys (ECVET Connexion, ECVET Reflector) underlined the importance of providers for ECVET implementation and their need for autonomy to experiment and develop ECVET. This autonomy while embedded into national laws and regulations and observing standards and quality assurance requirements would enable providers in taking responsibility for the training process (including design of learning process, assessment procedures, awarding qualifications, participating to the definition of standards) as well as for entering into partnerships for mobility.
Currently the tests and experimentations are focusing on the technical features of ECVET (writing the learning outcomes, defining the learning units, ascribing ECVET points, developing partnerships in using Memorandum of Understanding and Learning Agreements). First lessons from European ECVET pilot projects confirm the essential role of VET providers (as mentioned for instance in the preliminary final reports of the M.O.T.O or OPIR projects). More generally, (too) little attention has been paid until now to providers and their administrative or teaching/training staff at European policy level.
Download in the following language(s) EN Information note. See also: Labels "ECTS et Supplément au diplôme"
, Testing a joint ECVET-ECTS Implementation: Be-TWIN project, Workshop ECVET.