The European Council Recommendation stated that all European countries should adopt a common definition of microcredentials. The document included a comprehensive list of the principles and the basis for acquiring knowledge using microcredential programmes. In practice, microcredentials are defined as short units of learning designed for individuals to help them acquire a specific set of skills and better present themselves in the labour market.
In compliance with the new Law, the Agency for VET and Adult Education developed a detailed ‘Methodology for creating adult education programmes for acquiring micro-qualifications, partial qualifications and complete qualifications financed through vouchers and other sources of financing’. The methodology provides clear instructions for planning, creating and developing educational programmes in the field of adult learning. Alongside the methodology, the Agency for VET and Adult Education also developed 25 examples of qualification standards, which can be used as a basis for creating programmes validated by the institution responsible for its development.
The novelty of those programmes leading to microcredentials also lies in their type of financing, as they introduce vouchers for people engaged in education. Vouchers have been issued by the Croatian Employment Service from April 2022. By the end of October 2022, more than 102 adult education institutions were listed with more than 711 microcredential programmes available, including a vast number of programmes honing digital and green skills. Learners who are granted a voucher receive in average EUR 1 300. The majority of these learners are unemployed or searching for a new job opportunity (78%). To this date, more than 6 445 people have submitted a request to receive a voucher. Microcredentials promoted through this voucher system have already become one of the most forward-looking measures in attracting learners to adult education, while ensuring that the education provided is aligned with labour market needs.