The HQF has eight learning-outcomes-based qualification levels, reflecting the existing formal education and training system in Greece. Levels are defined in terms of knowledge (factual and theoretical), skills (cognitive and practical) and competence (autonomy and responsibility). Although work on level descriptors for HQF and on a qualifications framework for higher education has taken place separately, they are now integrated into the comprehensive framework, with higher education qualifications (bachelor degree, master degree and doctorate) linked to HQF levels.
The shift to learning outcomes represents a significant change in the Greek system from an 'input' approach to an outcome-oriented focus. The outcomes-based HQF is expected to support design of outcomes-based qualifications, thus moving towards lifelong learning and a more transparent qualification system. Consistent effort has been made by EOPPEP in 2020 to facilitate the introduction of the learning outcomes approach with the development and publication of relevant guidelines.
Reforms in general education and VET were initiated under Law 4186/2013 ( Law 4186/2013 stipulates that vocational education and apprenticeship programmes will include clearly formulated learning outcomes and will be analysed in knowledge, skills and competences per subject, field and speciality.) on restructuring secondary education ( Law 4186/2013 on restructuring of secondary education and other provisions. Official Gazette, 193/A, 17.9.2013. ). The reforms that were initiated with this law brought about developments in curriculum reform on the basis of learning outcomes and training of counsellors and teachers. Working groups were formed under the auspices of the Ministry of Education to draft learning outcomes of qualifications provided in subsystems of formal education, and to suggest their allocation to the eight levels of the HQF. In the school year 2020/21, pilot skills workshops will be included in the compulsory school programme, while subjects which require written and oral assessment will be revised, based on learning outcomes ( More information here.).
In vocational education, since 2006, Greece has developed – by Ministerial decree ( Common Ministerial Decision 110998/2006 on the accreditation of occupational profiles. Official Gazette, 566/B of 2.5.2006.) – a methodology for analysing occupational profiles (standards), incorporating the learning outcomes approach ( See Dželalija (2015).), as an early effort to create a methodology for modularising VET curricula. It was also seen as a precondition for setting up a system for validating informal and non-formal learning and for accrediting training programmes. EOPPEP, in cooperation with social partners, developed and accredited 206 occupational profiles (standards) based on learning outcomes; updating and renewing outcomes in occupational profiles is a necessity, according to labour market research, surveys and evaluation of existing curricula. The legislative framework is set by Articles 2 and 41 of the new Law 4763/2020, which specifies the content of these training programmes.
A ministerial decision on a quality framework for VET curricula was adopted in 2017 ( Ministerial Decision 26412/2017 on the quality framework of VET curricula. Official Gazette, 490B/2017, 20.2.2017. ), including the definition of learning outcomes, the connection with occupational profiles and issues regarding the design of VET curricula. The curricula will include explicitly the stated learning outcomes sought, analysed by knowledge, skills and competences, per subject, sector and specialisation, and teaching material will be prepared in line with the learning outcomes sought for each subject. Other ministerial decisions ( Ministerial Decision Φ2/181534/Δ4. Official Gazette, 3820B/2017, 31.10.2017. ) taken were related to the curricula of the apprenticeship courses, based on learning outcomes ( As a result of Law 4186/2013 that set up the EPAL apprenticeship class, several Ministerial decrees of the Minister of Education were issued: the curricula of each specialisation are described according to the learning outcomes approach.
Ministerial Decision Φ2/165262/Δ4. Official Gazette, 4496/B/11-10-18.
Ministerial Decision Φ2/146353/ΓΓ4 Official Gazette, 3643/B/1-10-19. ), the apprenticeship certification scheme ( In this scheme, the process verifies whether the graduate participating in the theoretical and practical part of the exam can answer questions that cover the learning outcomes of the curriculum.) and assessment of apprenticeship courses ( Presidential Decree 40/2018. Official Gazette, 76A/2018, 30.4.2018. ). The development of vocational education curricula for 35 specialties (336 subjects) based on learning outcomes has been undertaken by the Institute for Educational Policy and 23 of them have already been completed. EOPPEP, the body responsible for the certification of the apprenticeship graduates, has also created a database with 200 to 250 exam questions for each one of these specialties. A main pillar of the new Law 4763/2020 is the upgrade of vocational education schools (EPAL) and vocational training institutes (ΙΕΚ) in terms of curricula with clearly defined learning outcomes, technical equipment and teacher training.
In higher education, the Greek authority responsible for the accreditation of higher education programmes (HQAAA) uses, as evaluation criteria, the learning outcomes approach and expected competences in accordance with the national qualifications framework for higher education ( This is anticipated by Law 3879/2010, Article 16, Paragraph 4, point (d), as supplemented by Article 46 of the present law. ). Higher education qualifications are included in the HQF register and general descriptors of higher education programmes have been developed in cooperation with higher education institutions. Evaluation of higher education institutions has been completed ( In June 2016, HQAAA finished the evaluation of 36 higher education institutions.) and self-certification against the framework of qualifications of the European higher education area is in progress ( Information on external evaluation of higher education institutions can be found at: https://www.ethaae.gr/en/quality-assurance/external-evaluation-reports-of-institutions). Higher education levels are mentioned in the legislative acts that concern qualifications ( HQF levels 7 and 8 are mentioned in the approvals of the regulations for post-graduate and doctoral studies. Relevant information can be found in the Official Gazette (OG) 481/B/18-2-2019 (Amendment of the 3672/b/4-6-18)).