Focus area
The Competent matching system is a database system. This system is the foundation for the competent based matching approach adopted by the VDAB. Employers provide information on vacancies and competencies they need. Employed adults can use the database to make a compentency profile or gather information. Jobseekers can use the database to determine what competencies they need.
Implementation level
At what level is the initiative implemented?
Starting period
TIMESPAN: In what year did the initiative commence?
Policy area
To which POLICY AREAS(s) does the initiative apply?
How it is funded?
Funded by regional government
The Flemish government funds VDAB

Skill mismatch

Skill mismatch target
What type(s) of skills MISMATCH does the initiative aim to addresses?
Underqualification (individuals' qualifications/credentials are below their job's needs)
Skill gaps (worker's skills are below the level of proficiency required by their employers and jobs)
Skills obsolescence (some or all of an individual's skills are no longer relevant to the current employer or in the labour market generally)
Skills matching focus
How does  the initiative address skills mismatches?
Employed adults can also use the database to make a competency profile or gather information on reskilling or upskilling based upon the vocational skill fiches as part of lifelong learning (levenslang leren).
Jobseekers can use the database to determine what competencies they need (upskill, reskill) in order to qualify for a specific job and can communicate their competencies by making a competency based job profile for matching purposes.
Employers provide information on vacancies for the database and can use it to communicatie what competencies they need.
Skills delivered
What types of skill  does the initiative deliver?
Career management skills


What methods of undertaking skills assessments and / or skills anticipation does the policy instrument utilise?
Real-time labour market information (e.g. big data analysis of job advertisements, CVs)
Employers and job seekers contribute to continued development of the career fiches, as well as the social partners and the VDAC team on the database
In developing the Competent database, which forms the basis for the competent based matching approach, the SERV utilised the French databased RÔME as its starting point. The French PES shared the database with the SERV to use and potentially harmonise qualification and career fiches in the future to promote cross-border labour mobility.
Use of skills intelligence
How is labour market information / skills intelligence used within the initiative?
The instrument allows job seekers and enterprises to communicate which skills and competences they have and which ones are needed, and feed this information into the Competent database using career fiches.
Based on the information from the database, competent based matching takes place, and the PES decides on which specific services are required to help a job seeker (which trainings or courses may be required, which career or specific enterprises may be suitable, etc).
This database of career fiches is used in the employment services to match job seekers to enterprises.
Job seekers can use the database to find out which jobs are a fit for them based on their competencies or which competencies they need to obtain for a specific job.


Main responsible body
Main body or organisation with overall responsibility for the initiative.
Regional PES
VDAB (Flanders PES)
Other involved organisations
Which other organisations have a role in the initiative?
Regional ministry
Competent based matching and the development of one competency language is a central part of The Flemish government's policy plans in the field of work and education (also lifelong learning)
Social partner: employer organisation
Social partner are involved in defining, drawing up and updating the career fiches in the database
Social partner: trade union
Social partner are involved in defining, drawing up and updating the career fiches in the database
National PES
Pole Emploi, the French PES, is a partner in the initiative, the french ROMEv3-fiches which are adapted to the Belgian labour market are the basis of the database.
Regional PES
VDAB uses the database as the basis of their services.
Synerjob (the Belgian association for the regional public employment services consisting of VDAB, Le Forem, Actiris, Bruxelles Formation and ADG) are involved in defining, drawing up and updating the career fiches in the database.
Who are the intended beneficiaries?
Intended beneficiaries are both job seekers and enterprises. The instrument helps job seekers to communicate which types of skills and competences they have, and allows enterprises to communicate which types of skills and competences they need.


Success factors
SUCCESS FACTORS in the implementation
There is no available information on the success factors
BARRIERS in the implementation
There is no recent information on barriers in the implementation. With the initial implementation in 2016 the stakeholder and especially social partner collaboration had been problematic and therefor a barrier.
Monitoring and evaluation
MONITORING and EVALUATION: Is progress measured regularly? What are the indicators used to measure progress of the policy instrument? Have any evaluations been conducted?
It appears there have not been evaluations of the development or effectiveness of the competent database.
UPDATES: whether there have been any major updates of the initiative since it has been implemented?
The database itself is frequently updated. The competency language Competent 2.0 has created better usability, better adapted to the current labour market reality and more flexible update mechanisms to it keep it relevant. The competence finder (competentiezoeker) was developed to automatically recognise relevant competences on the basis of text (e.g. a CV, profile description,
training content, etc.)
EVIDENCE ON EFFECTIVENESS: How effective is the policy instrument?
There is no available information on the effectiveness of the initiative, the continued emphasis on competency based matching and the shared competency language in Flemish policy suggests it is considered an effective approach.
SUSTAINABILITY: How sustainable is the policy instrument? Do you expect the instrument to continue over the next few years and why?
It is plausible the instrument will continue to be improved and used in the next years as competency based matching has become a central part of the Flanders labour market policy and most recent policy documents express the goal to further develop one competence by all actors on the labour market. The instrument has also been transferred to another EU member state, the Dutch PES, UWV, as of 2021.

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