Focus area
The overarching objective of the initiative was to enhance labour market adaptability and effectiveness, as well as to strike a greater balance of labour market demand and supply by developing a system for workforce competence assessment by sectors and regions. The rationale of the Competence Assessment System can be defined, as follows: Forecasting the demand for labour force with specific qualification levels in specific sectors and regions. It lead to the creation of the National Competence Assessment System ‘MyCompetence’.
Implementation level
At what level is the initiative implemented?
Starting period
TIMESPAN: In what year did the initiative commence?
The initiative commenced in 2009. Although formally concluded in 2014, the Competence Assessment System initiative was continued within the framework of a 2-year Project No. BG05M9OP001-1.013-0001 “MyCompetence”, started by MLSP in September 2016 under Procedure No. BG05M9OP001-1.013 “Development of National System for Competence Assessment – MY COMPETENCE” of OP HRD 2014-2020, co-funded by ESF.
PERSPECTIVE: is the initiative based on evidence derived from skill forecasts or foresight activities?
A Workforce Competence Assessment System was established and updated in accordance with the current and future labour market demand.
Policy area
To which POLICY AREAS(s) does the initiative apply?
How it is funded?
Funded as project (at least 3 years)
Project No. BG051PO001-2.1.06 ‘Development and Implementation of a Workforce Competence Assessment System by Sectors and Regions’
Funded by the EU
European Social Fund
Operational Programme Human Resources Development

Skill mismatch

Skill mismatch target
What type(s) of skills MISMATCH does the initiative aim to addresses?
Skill shortages (employers cannot fill their vacancies due to a lack of skills in the labour market)
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?
Develops the employability of young graduates through e-tools for self-assessment of competences
Offers know-how for the introduction of the competence approach in HRM in organisations
Supports the initiation of effective measures at national level for the labour force upskilling and reskilling
Helps employed individuals assess their own competences and address any skills deficiencies
Supports the initiation of effective measures at sectoral level for the labour force upskilling and reskilling
Supplies information about the skills needs of the business to the VET and higher education systems
Skills delivered
What types of skill  does the initiative deliver?
Basic literacy and numeracy skills
Basic digital skills
More advanced digital skills
General employability skills (team working, communication, etc.)
Green skills
Career management skills


What methods of undertaking skills assessments and / or skills anticipation does the policy instrument utilise?
Skills forecasting
Forecasts for the future development of the 20 pilot sectors with regard to human resources, enterprises and technologies
Development of standards for competence assessment for occupations in 2o pilot economic sectors
Use of skills intelligence
How is labour market information / skills intelligence used within the initiative?
LMI was used to link the developed competence standards to NQF
LMI has been used for the design of competence standards
Competence standards have been used by students
Competence standards have been used by unemployed
Competence standards have been used by HRM managers


Main responsible body
Main body or organisation with overall responsibility for the initiative.
National ministry
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy - in the period 2016-2019
Social partner: employer organisation
Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) - in the period 2009-2014
Other involved organisations
Which other organisations have a role in the initiative?
National ministry
Involved in the design of the initiative and in its delivery: 2016-2019
National agency
Contracting authority: 2009-2014
Social partner: employer organisation
Involved as lead organisation in delivering the initiative: 2009-2014
Social partner: trade union
Involved as partners in delivering the initiative: 2009-2014
National PES
Involved in consultative bodies - Sector Skills Committees
Regional PES
Involved in consultative bodies - Sector Skills Committees
Chambers of Commerce
Involved in consultative bodies - Sector Skills Committees
Training Providers
Involved in consultative bodies - Sector Skills Committees
Research centres, universities
Involved in consultative bodies - Sector Skills Committees
Involved in consultative bodies - Sector Skills Committees
Who are the intended beneficiaries?
Young people making the transition from education into work
Has helped high school and university graduates in self-career guidance
Adults in employment with upskilling potential
Has helped enterprises identify their employees' upskilling needs
Adults in employment with reskilling potential
Has helped enterprises identify their employees' reskilling needs
Has helped job seekers get a better idea of the level of their own skills and competences


Success factors
SUCCESS FACTORS in the implementation
The initiative involved business and all relevant stakeholders in the implementation of activities. Being a social partner, BIA assists and cooperates with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in the implementation of labour market related policies. BIA mobilised the necessary inhouse expert potential to implement such a significant project.
BARRIERS in the implementation
No barriers to the implementation of the initiative were identified.
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?
Monitoring and evaluation included economic sectors covered; sector competency models developed; models of key positions for respective sectors; described tasks related to the job operation; described and classified knowledge bits; described and defined skills; identified and described competencies; descriptions of the competence demonstration levels; identified and classified competence assessment tools and development pathways; specialties identified by professional fields, vocational schools, universities and regions; analyses and surveys.
UPDATES: whether there have been any major updates of the initiative since it has been implemented?
The sectoral analyses on the state of each of the 20 pilot economic sectors covered by the project were first prepared in 2011 and were subsequently updated every year. In the period 2016-2019 a MLSP project added 5 to the initial 20 economic sectors
EVIDENCE ON EFFECTIVENESS: How effective is the policy instrument?
Notable evidence includes:
- Identifying the degree of compliance with workforce
competence requirements and fostering favourable conditions
for enhancing productivity and adaptability;
- Improving initial recruitment and continuously assessing
workforce competence at company level;
- Increasing possibilities and workforce degree of participation in
lifelong learning;
- Fostering favourable conditions for improving personal and company career perspectives and enhancing workforce employability and participation in the learning economy;
- Enhancing company activities for continuing vocational training based on an adequate staff competence assessment and the demand for VET;
- Providing analytical information and forecasts about the demand for qualified workforce at sector and regional level.
SUSTAINABILITY: How sustainable is the policy instrument? Do you expect the instrument to continue over the next few years and why?
The skills assessment has already evolved into a sustainable policy instrument, as BIA's Competence Assessment System initiative was continued within the framework of the 2-year project of MLSP. Any further upgrading of the scope of the initiative in terms of economics sectors covered will however depend on the availability of EU funding.

Other instruments in Bulgaria