Hanna Autere

Hanna Autere has worked in the development of internationalization and vocational education and training at the Finnish National Board of Education since 1999. At the FNBE hers task have varied from coordination of Eurydice, cross-border cooperation programmes with the Baltic countries and Russia, Cedefop study visits and TTnet to leading of the national pilot project on ECVET.

Presently her specific responsibilities lie on European cooperation, application of ECVET in Finland and learning outcomes approach, Skills competitions, supporting internationalisation of Finnish VET and VET providers’ networks reaching also  beyond Europe e.g. with China, India, Japan, South Korea, Canada, African countries and  Russia.

Earlier she has worked at the European Training Foundation, the Finnish Ministry of Education and as a teacher at a vocational college.

Bjornavold Jens

Jens Bjornavold has been working with European education and training issues since 1996. Starting as a Norwegian seconded expert to the European Centre for Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in Thessaloniki, he has been permanently employed by the EU since 1999, holding posts both in Cedefop and the European Commission, DG Education and Culture. He is currently the Brussels representative of Cedefop, located to the European Commission.

Bjornavold has been involved in developing the EU lifelong learning strategy, the Copenhagen process in vocational education and training, the Europass and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). He is currently supporting the European Commission in the follow up to the Council Recommendation on validation of non-formal and informal learning as well as the development of the European standard classification of skills, competences, occupations and qualifications (ESCO). In recent years he has increasingly been working on the issue of learning outcomes, focusing on the conditions for implementation at national and European level.  

Bjornavold has also coordinated and carried out numerous research projects, notably on the shift to learning outcomes, the changing roles of qualifications and the recognition of non-formal and informal learning.

Wilfried Boomgaert

For more than 25 years Wilfried Boomgaert is working in the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training. Since 1998, he is following up the education and training policy of the European Union and since 2005 he is co-ordinating the education related chapters in the agreements between the Flemish Government and the professional sectors, the so-called sector covenants. He is involved in the Bruges-Copenhagen process since the start in 2001 and is member of the Advisory Committee for Vocational Education and Training (ACVT), the Advisory Group on EQF (EQF AG) and the ESCO Board. During the Belgian EU Presidency in 2010 he coordinated the redaction of the Bruges Communiquι concerning enhanced European cooperation in VET. He participated, as an international expert, in the referencing of the Irish, Dutch and Bulgarian National Qualifications Framework to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). In 2014-2015 he chaired the ad hoc sub-group of the EQF AG on International Sectoral Qualifications.

Brigitte Bouquet

Brigitte Bouquet was was in charge of the supervision of the French Labour Agency, and AFPA, the most important public association for vocational education in France up to 2005.

Within the ministry in charge of economy and employment, Brigitte was from 2006 to 2009 in charge of coordinating all the ministries in charge of VET , in order to develop one  of the French forms of  validation of prior learning (in French validation des acquis de l’expérience) . 

She was appointed as “Rapporteur Général” of the CNCP, the French national qualifications authority in charge of the National Qualification Framework, in 20009. She represents France in the meetings organized by the European commission for the implementation of the Recommendation on EQF. She participates to many working grou pof the EQF advisory group.  For the French QF, she participates to many groups with the ministries and the social partners in order to develop and improve the French qualification framework and its quality assurance. She was in charge group working on the creation of the Inventaire,(database gathering qualifications important for the labour market, but without a level).  She is graduated in law, (université de Paris 2) political sciences and was trained at the French “ecole nationale d’administration”

Krasimira Brozig

Mrs. Krasimira Brozig is an experienced expert with more than 20 years of professional experience in the area of vocational education and training (management, research and teaching). She is executive secretary at the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET), the state body in Bulgaria responsible for invovlvement of social partners in VET, licensing of the centres for vocational training for adults, development and upgrading the Catalogue of qualifications and State educational standards by vocations.

Her current activities focus on the following topics: development of а system for validation of prior learning in VET, EU transparency tools in VET policy - European and National Qualifications Framework, European Credit System in VET (ECVET) as well as related topics (learning outcomes, quality assurance, involvement of social partners in VET activities).

Mrs Brozig is a member of EQF-Validation advisory group.

Margaret Buhagiar

Born on the 13th of February 1960 55 years old President of the Malta Printing Industry Association an active member of Intergraf European Federation for Print and digital communication.

Gerneral Manager at Salesain Press Sliema Malta

Part Time Printing teacher at MCAST the Main Vet Provider in Malta.

Chartered Marketer with a Professional Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing.

Joachim James Calleja

Mr James Calleja has been involved in vocational training since 2001.

Before his appointment as Director of Cedefop in October 2013, he served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Employment (2011-2013) in his native Malta. In 2005 he was entrusted with the setting up of the Malta Qualifications Council where he served as Chief Executive up to December 2010.

Mr Calleja is a graduate of the Universities of Malta, Padua (Italy) and Bradford (UK). In the UK he obtained his PhD from the Department of Peace Studies on a thesis on education and international relations in the context of Kant’s political philosophy.

A prolific writer, Mr Calleja has published books and articles and has edited various publications. He is the co-author of the Malta Referencing Report of the Malta Qualifications Framework to the EQF and the QF-EHEA.

Borhene Chakroun

Borhene Chakroun is an engineer and has a PhD in Education Sciences from Bourgogne University in France. His academic work focuses on the recognition and validation of prior learning and qualifications. Borhene worked, during the 1990s, as trainer, chief trainer, TVET project manager. He has also worked as short-term consultant for the EU, World Bank and other international organisations before coming to the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2001. At the ETF, Borhene worked as Senior Human Capital Development specialist. He has also coordinated the ETF’s community of practice on National Qualifications Frameworks and Recognition of Qualifications. He is now Head of the section in charge of TVET at UNESCO and is leading the implementation of the UNESCO TVET strategy adopted in 2009. He coordinated the organisation of the Third International Congress on TVET in Shanghai in 2012. He has authored and co-authored various articles and books in the field of TVET and recognition of qualifications. Much of his most recent work focuses on global trends in reforming TVET and qualification systems.

Yee Wah Cheng

Yee Wah CHENG completed her undergraduate study in Hong Kong, and postgraduate studies in Canada.  Upon graduation, she worked in the universities in Canada and Hong Kong till 2005.  In 2006, she joined the Education and Manpower Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for the development of the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework.  She has then joined the Qualifications Framework Secretariat when the Government announced its set up and operation as an independent unit in the Vocational Training Council since 2009.

Gabriel Chifu


  • 2007- present- General Secretary – Federation of Trade Unions from Public Administration and Social Services PUBLISIND
  • 2014- present – President – Sectorial Committee for Administration and Public Services
  • 2014- present- VicePresident- Sectorial Committee for Social and Health Services
  • 2013- present- General Secretary – National Association of Sectorial Committees from Romania
  • 2010-2014- Vice President - Sectorial Committee for Administration and Public Services
  • 2010-2013- Project Coordinator of the Partner in “ Quality Occupations in Social Service”
  • 1994-2007-Director – Homeless Children Club
  • 1993-1994- Coordinator- Red-Barnet Cxhildren’s Danemark
  • 1984-1993- Officer- Ministry of Defence


  • Public Administration Degree
  • Trainer
  • Project Manager

Maria Luísa Coutinho Gomes de Almeida Quintino

Full Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal, since October 2015 Visiting Professor, Cranfield University, School of Industrial Science,United Kingdom, since 2004 Executive Director of the European Welding Federation, since 1992.

Consultant, Advisor to the Board Directors of ISQ - Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade, since 1984.

L. Coutinho has coordinated and participated in more than 100 national and international research, transfer of technology and training projects since 1986 and has published more than 200 books, papers in national and international journals and conference proceedings.

Her work has been recognized internationally in different forums through two honorary doctorships and ten international awards.

L. Coutinho has been involved, as an entrepreneureur in the start up companies Lasindustria, a laser job-shop, 1989, Intersis, development of industrial automation systems, 1990, SAF, multimedia training materials, 1992 ,QS&S, management and technical consultancy, 1995

Michael Crowley

International Management Consultant –
Business Management,
Quality Management,
Human Resource Management

Consultant in VET Sector,

Consultant with 30+ years of experience in the Social Services Sector in management, leadership, service delivery and quality systems

Member of Quality Expert Group that created EQUASS – European Quality Assurance Social Sector standard and certification system for Social Services in Europe

Michael Dawe

Managing Director, City & Guilds International

City & Guilds offers skills-development and skills credentialing services to employers, training providers, governments and individual learners through a number of offices in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.

Mike has worked for City & Guilds for 19 years.  He first joined the International team to manage City & Guilds' investment into a joint venture in India. The joint venture company, IndiaSkills, offers training and qualification to learners across India and Nepal. Prior to working with City & Guilds' International business, he headed City & Guilds’ Centre for Skills Development (CSD), a research and development team which seeks to support policy makers and practitioners.

Before working with CSD, Mike managed a team that introduced technological solutions into vocational education, including some relating to e-learning and e-assessment. He was responsible for the implementation of City & Guilds' on-screen assessment solution - the first of its kind in the UK's further education sector.

Prior to working at City & Guilds Mike researched regulation of, and the financial returns to, management of arid land areas for organisations in the wildlife industry in Southern Africa. His work helped support rural economic improvements and he developed a lasting interest in how commercial success can drive broader social development - a subject that continues to drive his views in his current role.

Ann-Sofie Galjaard

Ann-Sofie Galjaard works as Training Officer at the Centre for Training Quality and Expertise of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in Malta.

She is responsible for the certification and accreditation of the EASO Training Curriculum as well as EASO’s training on inclusion, end of protection and the development of an advanced training on inclusion.

Ann-Sofie holds a Master of Laws from the University of Stockholm. She has worked in the field of asylum since 1996. Before joining EASO, she worked as an Expert for the Swedish Migration Agency where she was involved in the Council Working Group on Asylum for the recast Asylum Procedures Directive and the recast Qualification Directive. She has also trained staff on the EU asylum acquis instruments. She has previously worked for a law firm in Sweden handling asylum cases and as a legal researcher for NGOs both in Sweden and the Netherlands. She enjoys gardening and recently bought a lemon tree and two olive trees.

Nikolaos Georgiadis

He’s been a VET expert and practitioner for more than 6 years and has also worked as an advisor and researcher for ministries and other institutions on VET issues. He is currently working as a scientific advisor at National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance. He’s also been Vice President of the Governing Board of the Organisation for the period 2010-2012 and has represented Greece at the ECVET User’s Group.

He is a fluent English speaker. One of his papers on Greek VET was published by Friedrich Ebert Institute.

Ben Gittus

Ben Gittus has many years of experience working to develop vocational education and training in the sport and active leisure sector at the international level.  Starting his career in the UK with the Sector Skills Council, SkillsActive, Ben worked with employers to develop national occupational standards and qualifications strategies for the UK sport sector.  Ben now works with the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE), a membership body which supports the link between education and employment in sport at the European level. Ben has worked on projects to implement the EQF in sport and developed vocational standards and training strategies in a range of sub-sectors including the European golf industry.  At the global level Ben has worked to support comparability of training standards and mobility of professionals in the fitness industry for a global fitness organisation.  Ben has also worked for the global federation for rugby union - World Rugby - to map all the major rugby coaching qualifications in the world.  Ben has a Master's degree in Sports Development and is a member of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

Patrice Guézou

After studying philosophy and political science, with a masters in consultancy and training within organisations, Patrice Guézou started his carrier as a consultant (Interface studies and Algoé consulting). His main responsibilities were skills management and training engineering. He joined Veolia Environment Campus in 2003, first as a Project Manager, then as Head of Corporate Continuous Training Department, then as the Campus Director in Germany and finally as International Project Director. During these nine years his projects included : creating a degree in partnership with French universities, continuous training in France and abroad, and developing new training offers and services, among others. He also provided teaching support at Jussieu and Paris Dauphine universities, notably for training and skills management.  

He then moved to the Ministry of Professional Training and Apprenticeship as Technical Advisor. His responsibilities included: Company Inter-relations, training institutions and training professionals as well as some more specific topics.

In 2013 he became the Director of Training and Skills for France Chamber of Commerce and Industry, working on topics such as apprenticeship, continuous training, higher education and research, career guidance and HR support and advice to companies.

Rónán Haughey

From the Border, Midlands and West Ireland NUTS II region, Rónán is a highly experienced development practitioner. Rónán is vocationally qualified in Media, Learning & Development, Innovation and Coaching & Mentoring. In 2014 Rónán established The Rónán Haughey Development to support Success Through Skills via a mix of consulting, solutions and trainings.

With 20+ years commercial experience behind him Rónán has extensive experience in delivering projects associated with Employability, Work & Labour Markets, VET, Globalisation & Skills, Business Development, Innovation and Skills & Sustainability.

During his 7 ½ years working with UK and Internationally recognised awarding organisation The City & Guilds of London Institute, Rónán as Development Manager Europe was most centrally involved in various VET, Innovation, Sustainability, Public/Private Sector Education/Industry Partnerships, Workforce Development and European Human Capital Development Projects. Rónán has designed and co-ordinated numerous industry lead VET projects including ones with 13 Fortune Global 500 companies as well as cooperated and consulted on VET matters across Europe, Africa, South East Asia, The Middle East and The Caribbean.

Rónán is a Founding Committee Member of the Ireland North West Skills Forum which is a Regional Skills Fora, led by the Department of Education & Skills (DES) which aims to foster better engagement between the public education and training system, employers and other regional stakeholders. Also Rónán is an active member of the UNESCO UNEVOC eForum (Global), Cedefop Skillsnet (EU), IVETA [The International Vocational Education & Training Association] (Global), ILM [The Institute of Leadership & Management] (UK) and The Institute of Employability Professionals (UK & Ireland).

Very happily married to Tracy, they have 4 children, Cáit (0), Nuadha (5) and Sadhbh & Fiachra (8). Rónán is passionate about sports, world affairs, travel, humour, painting (canvas not walls) and is a former sports player with his native county of Sligo in the national sport of Irelands National Hurling League.

Ion Hohan

Prof.dr. ION HOHAN has a 40 years experience in the field of CVET focused on: Industrial measurements / Reliability / TQM / QA in Adult education. As TQM Professor at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, he founded in 1991 the RELAR-Romanian Testing Accreditation Network which became later  RENAR-Romanian Accreditation Body focused on accreditation of the Romanian products conformity assessment bodies. In 1999 he was appointed Member of the National Adult Training Board transformed later into National Qualifications  Authority ,in  2005 Member of ENQAVET and in 2007 Member of the CEDEFOP Governing Board. For  a long period he was the  first vice-president of the Romanian Industrialists Confederation. Now he is EXPERT of the ISO PC 288`Quality Management Systems for Educational Organisations` and ASQ Senior Member .He wrote 20 books and more than 150 scientific papers focused on TQM and QA in Adult Education.

Jérôme Hügli

Jérôme Hügli is a project manager in the unit “International Education Projects” of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI. He is amongst others responsible for strate-gic processes in the field of international cooperation in vocational education and training. He also is the desk officer for bilateral contacts and relations in VET matters with northern and eastern European and Asian countries. He has expertise in matters of project promotion on national level, notably in the fields of apprenticeship promotion, apprenticeship networks and case management in VET.

He has studied political science and economics at the universities of Berne, Fribourg and Örebro. He is married and bilingual German-French.

Philippe Joureau

Philippe Joureau is an assistant at Cedefop.  He joined Cedefop in 2000 and worked on Budget and Finance: Account management. He has been involved intensively in the implementation of the ABB (Activity-Based Budget) as a management tool. His new re-assignment (2015) in the Department for VET Systems and Institutions has been decided in order to strengthen the Europass and ReferNet teams. He studied Economic Sciences and his professional experience for thirteen years in international transport sector before joining Cedefop gives him this particular “client oriented” approach.

Regina Kleingeld

Regina Kleingeld is since 2012 director of the National Coordination Point for the Netherlands Qualifications Framework (NLQF) and responsible for the implementation of the EQF/NLQF in the Netherlands. From 2014 she is also coordinator of the Dutch Partnership on Life Long Learning which aims at connecting EQF/NLQF, ECVET and validation of non formal and informal learning.

Before 2012 Regina worked for the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in various positions. From 2005 until 2011 Regina was Programme Manager of the Projectdirectorate Learning and Working, in which the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment was also involved.

George Kostakis

George Kostakis is an expert at Cedefop.  He joined Cedefop in 2001 and works on Quality assurance in vocational education and training (VET) and international qualifications. He is a member of the steering committee of the EQAVET network and supports the European Commission and the Member States in the implementation of the EQAVET Recommendation.  His recent activities focus on synergies between quality assurance and qualifications frameworks. He has recently concluded a study on the quality assurance arrangements that support the certification process in European countries in initial VET. He is now exploring the impact of globalisation and new technologies on VET content and qualifications.  He also coordinates Cedefop's performance measurement system which measures the impact, efficiency and relevance of Cedefop's work.

Before joining Cedefop he worked 5 years in the European Training Foundation in Turin. He has a Master's degree in Business Administration from Warwick University, UK and a Master's degree in Business Computing from City University, London. He studied Information technology in the University of Athens.

Kersti Kraas

Work experience

2013 .. Võrumaa Vocational Training Centre. Vocational teacher
2007 - 2013 Association of Estonian Small and Medium sized enterprises.  General Manager
1999 - 2007 Estonian Freight Forwarders Association.  Secretary General

Organisational skills and competencies

2011 external expert. Institutional accreditation and quality assessment of  vocational  education
2010 external expert. Institutional accreditation and quality assessment of  higher education

Thomas Mayr

Thomas Mayr is managing director of ibw Austria, a VET research and development institute affiliated to the Austrian Economic Chamber and the Federation of Austrian Industry.  ibw Austria supports VET policy making and implementation in Austria, notably in the field of apprenticeship training. Further thematic areas in which Thomas Mayr is involved include the development of qualification frameworks and EU education policy.  In Austria he is a member of the NQF steering group and of AQ Austria, the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation for higher education.  At European level he is a member of UEAPME’s training board, of the EQF advisory group and of the Advisory Council on Vocational Training (ACVT).  He holds degrees from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and from the College of Europe in Bruges.

Melissa McEwen

Melissa is Branch Manager, Governance and Engagement Branch within the Skills Market Group of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

The branch facilitates skills mobility nationally and internationally by working with other countries in qualifications benchmarking and occupational standards development to facilitate greater system comparability and to assist industry meet the demands of the global marketplace.   The Branch is also responsible for national occupational licensing policy, providing support for national governance bodies such as the Vocational Education and Training Advisory Board, and promoting skills including through the Australian Training Awards. Melissa has worked in vocational education policy for the past seven years in various capacities, including working on the establishment of the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Prior to moving into vocational education, Melissa had spent a number of years in the area of broadcasting policy and worked as a policy manager for the Screen Producers of Australia.

Melissa has a BA (Hons) in politics from the University of Adelaide, and an MA in Australian Studies and PhD in cultural history from the Australian National University.

Sally Messenger

Dr Sally Messenger has focussed her career in vocational education and training, working in further/higher education and national accreditation/awarding organisations with the UK.  During her career Sally has contributed to a number of research projects, conference papers and publications related to vocational education and training, with a particular focus on qualifications. For the past eighteen years she has held senior leadership and management roles and since 2012 has worked in the WorldSkills Community. During the past three years Sally  has directed a research and development project, funded by the UK government,  to establish global skill standards in collaboration with WorldSkills International and its experts. As an independent vocational education advisor  Sally continues to contribute to a range of projects for WorldSkills.

Birute Miskiniene

Birute Miskiniene is acting  Director at International Business School (IBS) of Vilnius University. Previous working experience was as deputy director of Higher Education and Innovation  in the ministry of education and science.  She holds Master degree of Astrophysics and Master of Management from ISM University of management and economics and BI Norwegian School of Management in Oslo. Now she is a PhD student.
Birute was working for number of years for one of European Commission programmes Leonardo da Vinci. She was Executive director for   Lithuanian Leonardo da Vinci programme from 1997 to 2006 and contact person for CEDEFOP Study visits programme.  During this period she was member of EU Leonardo da Vinci programme Steering committee in Brussels. Since 2006 she is board member of Lithuanian project management association also member of EU Task Force of International project management association (2010-2015). 2013-2014 she was  member of Advisory board of EQF in Brussels.   

Birute is responsible for the development of Executive Education  which is the second main income generator in the IBS, accounting degree and non degree programmes, consultancy and other projects. As deputy  director she is responsible for all daily operations and new “products’” as well.   
Birute’s key qualifications are in the areas of general management, project management, international qualifications.

Koen Nomden

(Mr) Koen Nomden is currently Team Leader for "Transparency and Recognition of Skills and Qualifications", within the Unit on Skills and Qualifications of the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion). Before that he was a policy officer in charge of the validation of non-formal and informal learning and career guidance within the same unit. Other positions he held within the European Commission were that of Erasmus Mundus Programme Manager and of policy officer in charge of setting up a European Executive Agency in charge of implementing programmes in education, training, culture and media. Before joining the Commission in 2003 Koen worked at the University of Antwerp (researcher) and at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht (the Netherlands). Koen studied public policy and public administration at the University of Twente (NL) and holds a Master in European Studies from the College of Europe.

Anemona Peres

Drs. Anemona Peres is project manager in Frontex Training Unit and coordinator of the Educational Standards Sector, dealing with development and implementation of common core curricula and courses addressed to the EU border police officers at all levels. Previously she has worked for over 14 years as a psychologist within the Romanian Border Police, in the field of organisational development, training and management of EU institutional building programmes, including PHARE, Schengen Facility, Transition Facility, External Border Fund, FP7 etc. Drs Peres has several master’s degrees in organisational and judicial psychology, a postgraduate degree in Education Management and Leadership from University of Nottingham and is currently doing a PhD in organisational learning within the border police structures across EU. Amongst her most recent achievements it worth mentioning the development of the European Sectoral Qualifications Framework for Border Guarding, validated by over 30 national and international organisations with responsibilities in the field of border management and migration, as well as the development and implementation of the European Joint Master’s in Strategic Border Management, an innovative joint degree presented as “best practice” by the European Consortium for Accreditation of higher education programmes (ECA).

Janja Petkovšek

Janja Petkovšek is the director of Metal Processing Industry Association within the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (MPISA-CCIS) and is currently leading the MPIA-CCIS for the third consecutive mandate.

Within the Association, she is responsible for providing daily assistance and consulting to member companies, participating in research projects, maintaining connections with Slovene authorities and acting as a liaison officer for several national professional associations and their European counterparts.

She is also a member of several boards and committees in the field of education (within the university and Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training, which is the central Slovenian institution dealing with development, research and counselling in the field of vocational and technical education).

After successfully completing the coordination of international, EU co-funded project KnowME, she is responsible for another project in the field of education within the Erasmus+ programme, the skillME project. The latter aims at unifying VET curricula at an international level and is expected to deliver four harmonized curricula in the metal/electro manufacturing field and implement them in pilot groups of VET providers.

Slava Pevec

Slava Pevec Grm works as a senior expert in the Qualifications and Learning Outcomes team at Cedefop. Her main focus of research work is monitoring the implementation of national qualifications frameworks in European countries and analysing their impact on education and training reforms and the EQF implementation. She has coordinated, supervised and co-drafted the study on Qualifications at EQF level 5 and is currently involved in the comparative study on the application of learning outcomes approaches across Europe.

As a member of various European working groups, including the European Qualifications Framework Advisory group she has contributed to European policy in vocational education and training.

Before joining Cedefop in May 2009, she had worked for ten years at the National Institute for Vocational Education and Training in Slovenia. As assistant to the director and head of development and research department she was involved in the overall development of the VET system as well as of qualifications and curriculum in Slovenia.

She has published in the fields of national qualifications frameworks and curriculum developments, textbooks, validation of non-formal learning and quality assurance.

She holds Post-graduate Research Master Degree from the University of Ljubljana.

Piotr Pluta

Piotr leads Cisco Corporate Affairs in EMEA with broad responsibility for Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility Programs. Cisco CSR framework includes Governance and Ethics, Supply Chain, Social and Environmental corporate impact. Education, Healthcare, Economy Development are key areas of Cisco CSR impact in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia.

Piotr has lead Cisco Public Sector teams and country operations in Baltics region which have delivered transformational projects in telecommunication, financial services, government operations, education. He was in management roles in four different industries – pharmaceuticals, FMCG, automotive and high-tech.

Piotr is Harvard alumni and has attended executive education courses at Stanford University.  He has graduated as Medical Doctor in Poland. This background enables him to be trusted advisor to governments and enterprises leaders which is his passion.

Baiba Ramina

Baiba Ramiņa is director of Academic Information Centre of Latvia already for 15 years and has more than 25 years professional experience in education system, especially in professional education.  Baiba Ramina is responsible for the management of activities in the field of recognition of qualifications for academic and professional purposes, quality assurance. European and national qualification framework, Cedefop ReferNet and Europass activities in Latvia.

Baiba Ramina has a good knowledge and experience of the European and world education systems, vocational education sector, experience working with higher education institutions and other stakeholders, qualifications frameworks, extensive experience in the field of academic and professional recognition of qualifications, quality assurance. Latvian representative in the European Commission EQF advisory group, Lisbon recognition convention committee and in the Bologna process network of national qualifications framework correspondents.

Agnes Roman

Adviser, ETUC / Coordinator, ETUCE

Agnes obtained her university diplomas on literature, history and Hungarian as second language in Budapest. After being  an adult learning and secondary school teacher in Hungary, she obtained another master degree on European studies and international relationship concluding it with a master thesis on adult learning policies and regional development.

After working for the Adult learning unit of the European Commission, she became a policy coordinator on education issues at the European Trade Union Committee of Education (ETUCE), which represents 135 teachers’ trade unions in Europe, in 2010.

She has been advising the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), which represents 60 million workers in the EU, on lifelong learning and VET policies since  2012. She is representing the European trade unions in several bodies and groups of the European Commission and agencies, eg. CEDEFOP Governing Board, ACVT, DGVT, EQF, EQAVET, ECVET.

Margarida Segard

ISQ - Head of Innovation Unit in Training and Human Capital- Research and Development on Training and Human Resources innovative products – coordination and developing work in more than 20 European Countries in innovation, capacity building and training, including CSR, for different sectors such as oil&gas, construction, mining, manufacturing, industry, aeronautics and Aerospatiale, energy and sustainability, etc

EVBB -Vice President and responsible for European Affairs – European Association for Vocational, Education and Training Institutes
Expert and advisor in European Platform for VET Vocational Education and Training
RSO PT – CSR Portuguese Network - Founder and National Coordinator of Portuguese Corporate Social Responsibility Network “RSO PT” and Coordinator of WG “CSR in Education and Training”
Member of APG - National Association of Human Resources
Member of IVETA –International Association for VET

Head of Project Line Unit for Development and Cooperation – Business Development Unit – developing work and projects in more than 15 Countries outside Europe (Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Cap Vert, United Arabic Emirates, Sri Lanka, Kazaquistan, Timor,etc) in Training, organizational change and capacity building for different sectors: oli&gas, construction, energy and water, environment and climate change, engineering manufacturing, health, etc
Responsible for Development Unit of the National System for Professional Certification (National Qualification Standards) – National Institute for Training and Employment– till year 2000

Roman Senderek

Roman Senderek studied Economics with a special focus in International Management at the Maastricht University (Netherlands) and the Universidad de Los Andes Bogotá (Colombia). After graduating in 2006 he worked for different German and Latin-American companies before he became in 2010 research associate and project manager at the FIR - Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen University. Since 2013 he coordinates the BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) funded project ELIAS.

Tormod Skjerve

Senior Policy Advisor, Virke - The Federation of Norwegian Enterprises

Skjerve is a senior policy advisor in Virke since 1999. He's been working in the field of skills policy for many years, in particular on skills match, lifelong learning strategies, the social partners’ role as stakeholders in education and training systems, and the cooperation between business and academia.

He is representing Virke in several national committees in the fields of skills policy and education and training policy.

He was a senior expert in Cedefop (The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) 2006-2009, working particularly on qualifications and the development and implementation strategies of European instruments for LLL, VET in Higher Education and e-Skills.

Skjerve is member of the ESCO Board, the European ECVET-Team, and Eurochambres' People & Skills Committee.

He is also involved as expert in a number of projects at European, Nordic and national level.

Mustafa Trond Smistad

During the last 15 years, Mustafa Trond has worked with educational policy, technical vocational teacher education and TVET issues in Norwegian and international contexts. His focus areas are computer supported collaborative learning, and technical vocational pedagogy. He has taken part in initiatives related to the formation of higher education technical vocational teacher education in the Sudan and South Sudan.

Mustafa Trond has experiences from product development and global distribution (electronic funds transfer systems) as well as proactive national capacity building within the Norwegian ICT industry.

His holistic worldview and focus on the characteristics of workplace-related knowledge issues have led to an awareness of the consequences of contextual workplace knowledge for education and training.

Mustafa Trond’s technical background is in microelectronics and computer science.

Mario Spatafora

Mario Spatafora graduated in Law at Rome University “La Sapienza”, presenting a dissertation on Labour Law. He subsequently became a lawyer.

  • Since 1994 General Secretary of  “Finance & Banking – Organizational and HR Development Association”, (EFFEBI Association) in Rome (Italy);
  • Responsible  of CRES-fb (Centre for Research and European Studies);
  • Director of the specialized training magazine in the financial sector “FB-Banca in Formazione” (quarterly.
  • Expert on European Projects Management.
  • Special Advisor of the President and Member of the Board of EBTN – European Banking & Financial Services Training Association A.i.s.b.l.
    Past President and Vice President of this Organisation.

  • Since 2003 Professor of Business Management and Lifelong Learning at Roma Tre University - Department of Education.

  • He worked for ABI – the Italian Banking Association – and was in charge of the General Secretariat and then of the Organizational Development and Human Resources Department.

Pauline Sutton

As part of the team at SCQF Partnership Pauline has a responsibility to promote the use and understanding of the national qualifications framework primarily with employers. The work is carried out via a series of workshops and specific projects with individual employers. Key initiatives are to support organisations through the credit rating process to allow their programmes to be placed onto the SCQF and engage with employers to demonstrate the benefits of the many tools and resources. Pauline supports any individual or organisation engaging with the qualification landscape in Scotland and beyond.

As a qualified teacher/trainer Pauline brings with her 15+ years’ experience developing and delivering accredited courses and managing quality assurance processes and continuous professional development programmes.

Peter Szovics

Peter Szovics is the Director of the Institute of Banking Education NBS, n.o. He is responsible for the management of multiple education and training projects covering strategic business and organizational objectives in the financial services sector. Since 2013 he has been an elected Member of the Board of Directors of the European Banking and Financial Services Training Association and the Vice-president of the Association of Adult Education Institutions in Slovakia. He was a Project Manager at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.  From 2007 to 2011 he was responsible for developing the sectoral approach and financing in vocational education and training, with tasks that included managing several peer-learning activities and reporting on policy. From 1998 to 2006, he taught at the Faculty of Economics and Management at the SUA in Nitra.

Mariola Szymańska-Koszczyc

Started her professional career at the Ministry of Finance, then worked in  Banking Supervision of the National Bank of Poland. Moved to the Polish Banks Association to start the Warsaw Institute of Banking, where she works now  as Vice President of the Management Board. Currently also Vice President of European Bank and Financial Services Training Organisation, EBTN. For the last 6 years President of EFPA Poland and Director on the Board of Directors of the European Financial Planning Association, EFPA.

Recently completed successfully two important sectoral projects as project coordinator: on the national level,  the development of a first sectoral qualifications framework in Poland for the banking sector; on European level, the development of a sectoral quality standard for qualifications in financial services based on EQF, ECVET and EQAVET, called the Triple E Standard.

Gerald Thiel

Gerald Thiel’s international experience is based on his work as a coordinator of projects in the area of VET: Since 1994, he designed and coordinated ten projects funded by programmes of the European Union, many of them dealing with the European Qualification Framework (EQF), and one US/German project. Currently Gerald Thiel works as a National Skills Qualification Framework consultant on behalf of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), assisting the Indian National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), a department of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, in operationalizing the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), helping NSDA with capacity building of employees and supporting the  implementation of NSQF relevant VET elements (as curricula, assessment procedures, collaboration with industry) by public and private stakeholders.

Maria Todorova

Maria Todorova is a policy officer at the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission in Brussels, unit E3 VET, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning. She is working in the field of VET international cooperation, Higher VET, professional development of VET teachers and trainers.

Maria Todorova started her career as a teacher and researcher. During the last 15 years she has been working in the field of Vocational Training and Adult Learning in Bulgaria and the countries of the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood regions, developing a broad expertise in governance, work-based learning and labour market policy in her capacity as an expert, advisor and head of an office of an international organisation.

Anja Trier Wang

Anja Trier Wang is senior advisor on Educational policy at Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), and represents BUSINESSEUROPE in the EQF Advisory Group. She is a boardmember of several Danish Vocational colleges and has wide experience in Danish and European Education policy, with a particular focus on Vocational Education and Training. Prior to her employment at DI, she has worked as head of section in the Danish Ministry of Education and as EU-advisor to the Danish Parliament. She holds a Law degree from Aarhus University and a postgraduate degree in International Relations from University of Amsterdam.

Luciano Tusè

Tusè Luciano   founded in 1983 ELSFORM, Vocational EDucation and Training Agency located in the heart of the city of Chieti  Italy , and for over 30 years has been operating in the fields of education and consultation.Since 1998 ,He has focused  the analysis of the real skill needs coming from the local companies and factories.For this purpose,he has started partnership with a whole range of little and medium companies,thus creating a direct communicative link between demand and offer on the labour market.In this way and from this point,the educational mission and the training services released by himself has been conceived as  a ‘conveyor   belt’ between the active population and the skill shortage claimed by the productive field.As  director of ELSFORM ,He arranged  the mission of the vocational agency  in four points :

  1. To implement and promote a “ business-oriented culture “ in specific competences related to production, commerce,tourism sectors.
  2. To design and carry out vocational training aimed at the development of business-oriented culture in each learner and at the valorization of one’ s own natural abilities.
  3. To valorize diploma –holders and graduates by training them towards a qualified professional performance in the fields of organization,administration and finance.
  4. To valorize professional figures by means of completion and up-to-dating of one’s own profile through a wide range of specialized  training,masters ,interships ,work  experiences.

Wouter Van den Berghe

Wouter Van den Berghe is currently research director of the Belgian Road Safety Institute. During most of his career he was an independent researcher and consultant, where he was much involved in the education and training sector, both nationally and internationally. Wouter is the author of tens of publicly available studies, reports, several of which have been translated into several languages.

Wouter Van den Berghe has undertaken numerous research and consulting assignments in the field of education and training, including several studies for Cedefop, the European Commission and the European Training Foundation. Other clients in this area have been foundations, higher education institutions, ministries of education, schools and training centres. He is the author of the book "Achieving Quality in Training".

Wouter also undertook research and consulting in other fields, mainly for non-profit organisations. He is an expert in relation to the design of performance and quality indicators and now focuses on road safety issues, including the education and training dimension.

Alberto Vega Pascual

Born in Madrid (Spain) in 1969. He earned his Agricultural Engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and his Master's Degree in Industrial Company Management from the Ramón Llull University of Barcelona.

He has developed his career at Nestlé, within the technical area, and has taken growing responsibilities in the Quality and Production fields in different factories of the group, in Spain and Portugal.

He has been in charge of the introduction of quality, food safety and work safety and health and environment management systems for all Iberian factories in Nestlé. He has managed the factories of the group in Miajadas (tomato sauces) and Araia (ice-creams). He has been Corporate Responsible for Work Safety and Health. Currently, he is the Institutional Affairs Director in Nestlé Spain, where he has been working for the last three years. In this field, he holds different positions in several trade associations of the Food and Drink Sector both in Spain and at European level.

Ernesto Villalba

Ernesto Villalba is an expert at the European Center for the Development of Vocational Education and Training (Cedefop) since 2011 working on European transparency tools and principles. He was in charge of the 2014 update of the European Inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning, a regularly updated overview of validation practices across Europe, and is currently working on the 2016 update. He also provides input on the issue of validation to the EQF Advisory Group of the European Commission and is working with the Commission in the follow up of the Recommendation of 2012 on validation, including an update of the European Guidelines on validation. During 2012 he worked in the development of the European Skills passport and in a prototype of a tool for recording non-formal and informal learning experiences within the Europass framework. Before joining Cedefop he worked as a scientific officer at the Center for Research on Lifelong Learning (CRELL) at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, Ispra, Italy. He has several publications relating to European policies and especially concerning the measurement of cross-curricula competences. He is in the editorial board of the Journal of business creativity and the creative economy and the International Journal of Creativity and Human Development, and has served in different committees and working groups. Currently he is involved in the European Commission TWG on transversal skills and in the European Qualification Framework Advisory Group. He holds a Ph.D. in International and Comparative Education from Stockholm University.

Jane von Dadelszen

Jane joined NZQA in July 2013 as Deputy Chief Executive, Quality Assurance.  The Quality Assurance Division is responsible for:

  • Making rules in regard to qualifications, programmes and training schemes that apply across the tertiary education sector
  • Registering private training establishments
  • Accrediting and quality assuring non- university tertiary education
  • administering the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • administering the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students

Prior to joining NZQA Jane led Policy, Strategy and Research at the Department of Corrections for seven years and led tertiary education policy for the Ministry of Education for ten years. Earlier in her career Jane was on the staff of the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Auckland University and also worked on global climate change and held positions conducting research on alcohol problems, family violence and child abuse.

Siegfried Willems

Siegfried graduated as Master of Educational Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, specialised in the relation between education and work, and the training of teachers. He started working at CINOP, nowadays an independent social enterprise,  more than 25 years ago as senior consultant dealing with various topics, such as up streaming from VET to higher education, quality assurance for private training providers, social inclusions, entrepreneurship, international mobility. Since 1998 he is a programme manager in the EU programmes Leonardo da Vinci, Lifelong Learning and nowadays Erasmus+ where he is dealing in the National Agency with VET and Adult education and involved in NCP ECVET, national team of ECVET experts, NRF EQAVET, Europass, National Coordinator Adult Education, EPALE, ELGPN, Euroguidance. He is a member of the Dutch steering group for internationalisation of VET chaired by the Dutch Ministry. Since 2015 he dropped his responsibilities as director to turn his strategic expertise into added value.

Loukas Zahilas

Loukas Zahilas is Head of the Department for VET Systems and Institutions at Cedefop. He studied Chemistry and ICT and has a PhD in educational policies (qualifications frameworks). After a six-year stint in the pharmaceutical industry, he has concentrated his efforts entirely on education and training. His more than 20 years of professional experience in VET were mainly acquired at the Greek Ministry of Education, the University of Athens and since 2006 at Cedefop.