The new demands of the productive sectors require the revision of current vocational qualifications, as well as the design of new ones that respond to emerging skills. Significant progress is being made in the process of renewing the national catalogue of occupational standards (Catálogo Nacional de Cualificaciones Profesionales, CNCP), in close collaboration with each productive sector and the autonomous communities.

From an initial catalogue with 668 standards in 2018, this numbers has risen to 739 in 2022 so far, with most of them (52.6%) new or revised.


The national catalogue of occupational standards is organised into sector branches and competence levels; it comprises the most significant standards identified in the Spanish production system in terms of units of competence, which are subject to recognition and accreditation. The catalogue serves as the basis and reference for elaborating the training offer: VET diplomas, which are made up of a combination of several occupational standards (in full or in part) and professional certificates, which usually consist of a single standard.



Specialisation courses

Adapting the training offer to meet new or emerging industry needs and respond to innovations in the productive system requires developing a new type of qualification, such as the specialisation courses. In place since 2020/21, these are aimed at intermediate (upper secondary) or higher (tertiary) level VET graduates wishing to follow short-duration courses to deepen their knowledge in the same field of the qualification acquired, or to broaden the competences included in it.

Since 2019, 17 specialisation courses have already been approved: cybersecurity in information technology environments; cybersecurity in operational technology environments; cell cultures; video game and virtual reality development; digitalisation of industrial maintenance; additive manufacturing; intelligent manufacturing; 5G network implementation; artificial intelligence and big data; advanced maintenance of railway rolling stock; hybrid and electric vehicle maintenance; hybrid and electric vehicle systems; composite materials in the aerospace industry; building information modelling (BIM); audio description and subtitling; artisan bakery and pastry-making; railway signalling and telecommunications systems.

The renewal of the catalogue and development of specialisation courses has focused on priority sectors, such as new advanced information technology; automated machine tools and robotics; aeronautical equipment; modern railway transport equipment; energy-based vehicles and new equipment; agricultural machinery; biopharmaceuticals and advanced medical products; consumer chain: manufacturers and distributors; hospitality and tourism; personal care services.

These new additions result from the actions set out in the plan for the modernisation of vocational training launched by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in 2020. The future Law on the organisation of the system of qualifications and vocational training, about to be approved in spring 2022, complements the modernisation plan. It aims to improve and foster vocational training among young people, improving their employment prospects, thus fulfilling economic and social demands.

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Spain; Cedefop (2022). Spain: latest technologies modernise VET. National news on VET