Annual ECVET forum: Trusting skills and qualification in the
Europe of tomorrow
Vienna – 30/31 October 2014
The ECVET forum was
organized by the European Commission with the support of the CEDEFOP and ECVET
team. The forum was open to any
interested member of the European ECVET network and interested parties. Over 250 participants and speakers
representing the European Commission, national and regional authorities, labour
representatives and VET providers took part.
Mr. Antonio Silva Mendes, Director Education and Vocational Training DGEAC
and Mr. Hanspeter Huber, General Director for International Affairs, Federal
Ministry of Education and Women Affairs – Austria welcome and open the
conference. The forum was very
interactive and aimed to be a place for the exchange of views on how ECVET, along
with other transparency instruments and principles (EQF, EQVET, ECTS, Europass
and Validation of non-formal and informal learning) can contribute to support citizens
develop vocational skills and have them recognized to study or work throughout
Europe. To facilitate active
participation and open discussions, the forum was divided into three thematic
sessions with round tables and workshops supported by facilitators. Each participant was invited to attend two
different workshops and the ECVET Market place.
Session 1: Taking stock to move
to the future
The session was opened
by an introductory roundtable followed by a set of workshops. During the roundtable, the European
Commission CEDEFOP and representatives of EU Members states and sectors set the
scene, 5 years after the adoption of the recommendation.
addressed the following questions:
What are the most tangible results and impact of
What are the main lessons learnt?
Based on this, what could be the development of
ECVET to engage in priority?
Session 2: Preparing the future
This session was open
by a keynote speech by Mr. Borhene Chakroun, Head of UNESCO VET. Mr. Chakroun presented the conclusions of a
forthcoming UNESCO global study, providing a comprehensive review of the most
current developments related to the use of levels and different ways in which
learning is recognized, as well as key insights into how learning may be recognised
in the future. The keynote speech was
followed by a roundtable of people involved in the ECVET machinery and national
representatives from the ECVET Users Group.
They shared point of views about what is necessary to prepare the future
from the current state of things. A Market Place with eight hubs gave the
possibility to each participant to choose according to their own needs. The eight hubs were:
45 minutes was an opportunity for «newcomers» to learn about the principles
of ECVET, to be introduced into the technical specifications and to present
their doubts and questions.
organised with the support of the Commission and EACEA, provided potential
project promoters and partners with information about the opportunities offered
by the ERASMUS+ programme.
Team of ECVET experts was a reserved session for coordinators of the
national teams of ECVET experts to allow them to network and share experiences.
– Sectors offered participants the opportunity to learn more about results
from successful projects related to sectors of economic activity. Disseminating useful tools and methodologies
coming from these projects were part of this hub programme.
the floor to members of networks, to present their activities and explain
benefits and challenges of being member of the network, giving participants the
opportunity to join the most suitable networks for their future activities.
geographical mobility gave potential project promoters key elements about
how ECVET can be used to improve the quality and effectiveness of geographical
from the sector projects, hub 4) was a showcase for the results and the
products, such as toolkit, portals, web platforms, methodologies from projects
(not focusing on specific sectors needs)
lifelong learning supported participants in appreciating how ECVET can be
applied, beyond geographical mobility, in the perspective of lifelong learning,
helping learners to take their skills along across different learning settings,
form non-formal experiences to institutional programmes.
Session 3: Engaging with the
These sessions, as with
the previous sessions, was open with a roundtable discussion. Representatives from CEDEFOP, ETF, ANFA
(Association Nationale pour la Formation Automobile) and Land of Hessen –
Germany highlighted some of the key trends in Europe which relate to ECVET and
The workshops were
divided into the two parts.
Part 1 – Short term perspectives
of ECVET. This part built on the results
of Session 1 (taking stock to move to the future) and seeks to identify:
What more can be done at a system level to
promote or encourage the use of ECVET;
What lessons have been learnt about how the use
of ECVET can support learners and other stakeholders;
So far ECVET has focused on mobility schemes;
it be more widely applied in VET, for instance with reference to validation;
Part 2 – Long term perspectives
for ECVET. It looked at the emerging
trends in VET and identify whether:
a greater focus on the ECVET principles would
it is timely to highlight the “bigger picture”
of credit and units, rather than the more detailed focus on the technical
aspects of implementation;
a stronger case should be made to support VET
leaders (particularly in the current economic and financial environment);
a new strategic approach to the ECVET
Recommendation would help and whether this would lead to a different set of
short term tactical activities.
Overall the Forum was
very interactive and participative. There were very few keynote speeches and
more opportunities to express views and raise question. It was made clear that:
ECVET should be linked to other tools and instruments,
NQF/ECTS and EQAVET
Greater National Political support is needed
ECVET is instrumental for the validation of
non-formal and informal learning
EU recommendation calls for the implementation
of ECVET up to level 7 of EQF.
Dr Stylianos Mavromoustakos