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FAQs

FAQs

To learn more, please browse the frequently asked questions below

What is ECVET?

ECVET is the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training. It uses a common procedure to recognise learning outcomes achieved in formal, non-formal and informal settings. Learning outcomes are defined in terms of the knowledge, skills and competence required to achieve them. Students receive credits, which can be transferred from one place of learning to another, thus encouraging mobility throughout Europe. Students can accumulate credits towards the award of a qualification. One year of study is equivalent to 60 credits and credits can be weighted to reflect the complexity, scope and volume of study involved by the awarding of points. It is a voluntary system, which can be applied to qualifications by awarding bodies in a national context.

How does it work?

ECVET breaks qualifications down into units of learning outcomes. It allows students to participate in vocational education and training during periods of mobility and to have the results of their learning acknowledged with the award of one or more units. It enables learners to build on their achievements when moving between vocational training systems. For example, a hairdresser receiving credit for learning outcomes achieved during a period of mobility overseas could have them validated on return to the home country, to then count the credit towards a final qualification.

Why ECVET?

The value of ECVET lies in allowing employers and training providers to validate the achievements of individuals according to a recognised methodology. The procedure acknowledges national frameworks and standards and allows flexibility. Institutions are able to agree Memoranda of Understanding (see Glossary) and individuals can negotiate Individual Learning Agreements (see Glossary) with the institutions where they study. ECVET is flexible and permits a variety of different learning pathways.

Who can use ECVET?

Awarding bodies are able to use the ECVET methodology to assign ECVET credits to newly designed awards and adapt existing vocational qualifications.

Any learning provider can use ECVET as a tool for validating learning outcomes from non-formal or informal education and training, or when using nationally or internationally recognised vocational qualifications that incorporate ECVET.

Individuals can also benefit from ECVET. It will facilitate their mobility and by arranging a learning agreement with two or more institutions they can accumulate credits towards qualifications.

Where does ECVET work?

ECVET is a process developed within the EU and the EEA, so initially it is anticipated that institutions and individuals in these areas will be involved. This is the website of the England National Contact Point and we can help with enquiries about ECVET in these countries. For advice about ECVET in other countries, please contact the relevant CP.

When is ECVET being introduced?

ECVET is gradually being introduced to vocational education and training qualifications throughout Europe. Each country should have measures in place to facilitate this by 2012.

How can organisations apply ECVET?

As the National Contact Point for England, we are able to advise on the implementation of ECVET. If you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you should approach your local National Contact Points for information or advice. The methodology for applying ECVET is outlined in European Recommendations 2009/C 155/02. Further guidance on the methodology will be available via the User Guide.

How does ECVET link with other European ideas, like Europass?

ECVET is an initiative of the European Union which aims to enhance the mobility of individuals and their ability to accumulate credit for learning during periods of vocational education and training in their home, and other States. ECVET is designed to link closely with the Europass documents: particularly Mobility.

Q How can the National Contact Point for England help?

The National Contact Point for England can offer advice about such matters as assigning ECVET credit to existing qualifications; how to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (see Glossary) and how to validate VET credits. The National Contact Point is available by phone and email from 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday: please use the link below for contact details.

I am an Awarding Body representative – how does ECVET affect me?

ECVET is gradually being introduced throughout Europe to all vocational education and training awards and once your qualifications are awarded the ECVET logo you will begin to benefit from the integration of students from this country and abroad. There is also potential to forge lasting relationships with similar organisations through Memoranda of Understanding, leading to the exchange of knowledge and experience of ECVET.

I am an international student: how is ECVET going to help me?

Periods of work and study spent abroad can be assessed and validated as part of a larger award using ECVET. Individual learners will be able to benefit from the cultural exchange and rich experiences of working and studying away from home, while continuing to accumulate credit towards a VET qualification.

I am an employer: how is ECVET useful for me?

ECVET is intended to serve as a mark of quality in vocational education and training. Employees embarking on periods of work abroad will be able to continue to study for qualifications in VET via arrangements with VET providers abroad. There is great potential for cultural exchange and enrichment. New recruits from abroad will be able to build on learning outcomes achieved in their home country.

What is a Memorandum of Understanding?

A Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement reached between two providers of VET. It provides quality assurance for the assessment and validation of learning outcomes for students, who can then transfer the credit achieved between the two participating institutions, accumulating the credit in order to gain an award or qualification.

There is no template Memorandum of Understanding but examples will be published on this website in due course and advice can be obtained from the National Contact Point for England.

What is an Individual Learning Agreement?

An Individual Learning Agreement is reached between an individual student and a provider of VET, determining what each can expect from the other. A sample Learning Agreement can be seen here: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/4900-att1-1-ECVET_QA_Final.pdf (Page 58-59) and advice can be obtained from the National Contact Point for England.

Who should record the individual’s achievement?

A learner’s achievements will be recorded on a Personal Transcript in terms of assessed learning outcomes, units and ECVET credit achieved. This document resides with the learner. A sample Personal Transcript can be seen here: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/4900-att1-1-ECVET_QA_Final.pdf (Page 60) and advice can be obtained from the National Contact Point for England.

Is applying ECVET compulsory?

ECVET is gradually being employed by adapting existing VET qualifications and designing new ones. Pilot projects have been undertaken in many European countries and it is anticipated that all new qualifications will be able to use ECVET from 2012. The system is expected to improve the mobility of students and the attractiveness of qualifications which are endorsed with the ECVET logo. Although ECVET is voluntary, it is anticipated that there will be a demand for information about its implementation. To this end, a network of ECVET National Contact Points has been established, whose role it is to facilitate the introduction of ECVET in each Member States and to advise awarding bodies, VET providers and students.

More information

A more detailed FAQ, together with examples of the implementation of ECVET in various pilot projects can be found here: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/4900-att1-1-ECVET_QA_Final.pdf If you have further questions about ECVET please contact us.

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ECVET NCP

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