Before the new regulation entered into force, the State-recognised documents recognising the completion of a VET programme were a certificate of vocational primary education, a certificate of vocational lower secondary education and a diploma of vocational secondary education. VET programme graduates received one document – either a certificate or a diploma – depending on the level of the programme. Now, they will receive two documents: a certificate or a diploma recognising completion a VET programme, and a professional qualification certificate. The former may be issued even if a learner did not pass a professional qualification exam.
In addition, module certificates and certificates proving completion of a part of a VET programme for non-graduates became available. Module certificates acknowledge professional competences of learners that are important in the labour market and in further studies. The learning outcomes of a part of a qualification are determined in the professional qualification requirements of occupational standards. The certificate of a part of a professional qualification allows the consideration of already acquired competences for resuming studies (e.g. after a break) or for acquiring a related or next-level professional qualification, and ensures the transfer of acquired learning outcomes.
The new legal act also promotes recognition of individual competences. Successful completion of general subjects, professional modules and practical training allows learners to receive a VET certificate or a diploma of a lower qualification level, even if they do not pass a professional qualification examination. Even if learners discontinue their VET programme but acquire part of a professional qualification that corresponds to learning outcomes of a lower-level professional qualification of the same VET programme group, they can receive a certificate of this lower-level professional qualification.
Overall, VET providers are now able to offer learners individual learning plans covering either a programme for a professional qualification, or part of it (modules). This increases VET flexibility and attractiveness for learners, and helps get dropouts and those with low or outdated qualifications and skills back to a learning path.
In addition, from September 2023, professional qualification certificates have become digital. Gradual transition to all-digital VET diplomas/certificates is also underway.