The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is the new European instrument to promote mutual trust and mobility in vocational education and training. Developed by Member States in cooperation with the European Commission, ECVET has been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2009. The adoption and implementation of ECVET in the participating countries is voluntary. Currently, the participating countries and the Commission support a Europe-wide testing of this instrument to which all stakeholders have been invited to participate.
ECVET: AN INSTRUMENT FOR MOBILITY AND RECOGNITION
ECVET’s purpose is to enable recognition of learners’ achievements during periods of mobility by creating a structure, bringing a common language, and stimulating exchanges and mutual trust among VET providers and competent institutions across Europe. In the context of international mobility but also mobility within countries, ECVET aims to support recognition of learning outcomes without extending learners’ education and training pathways.
ECVET for valorising mobility
ECVET contributes to making recognised mobility an integrated part of individuals’ learning pathways. It makes it easier for employers to understand qualifications achieved abroad. It also improves the credibility of international education and training experience by identifying and documenting what the learner has achieved.
ECVET for lifelong learning
ECVET supports flexibility of programmes and pathways to achieve qualifications, enhancing the opportunities for lifelong learning. It makes it easier to recognise the learning achievements that young people or adults have gained in other contexts - be it countries, institutions or systems (for example initial or continuous training) but also formal, non-formal, or informal ways of learning.
ECVET for attractiveness of VET
By giving learners the possibility to undertake parts of their training abroad, VET providers can enrich the training provision, raise the attractiveness of training programmes and enhance their pan-European reputation. The improved possibilities for lifelong learning created by ECVET facilitate cooperation between VET providers and companies. This means that ECVET can strengthen the link between education and training and the labour market.
ECVET IN BRIEF
ECVET is based on concepts and processes which are used in a systematic way to establish a common and user-friendly language for transparency, transfer and recognition of learning outcomes. Some of these concepts and processes are already embedded in many qualifications systems across Europe.
ECVET is based on:
- Learning outcomes, which are statements of knowledge, skills and competence that can be achieved in a variety of learning contexts.
- Units of learning outcomes that are components of qualifications. Units can be assessed, validated and recognised.
- ECVET points, which provide additional information about units and qualifications in a numerical form.
- Credit that is given for assessed and documented learning outcomes of a learner. Credit can be transferred to other contexts and accumulated to achieve a qualification on the basis of the qualifications standards and regulations existing in the participating countries.
- Mutual trust and partnership among participating organisations. These are expressed in Memoranda of Understanding and Learning Agreements.