The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR)
The national vocational qualifications register lists all formal vocational qualifications (full, partial and add-on) regulated by the 2011 VET act (
). Qualifications may be acquired by completing a vocational programme, meeting all the complex vocational and examination requirements set for a given qualification and passing the final complex exam. Some of the qualifications in the register can be obtained only within the formal school system, some only in adult training, the rest in both forms. The register was created in 1993 and has since been regularly reviewed and amended ( ).
Three types of qualifications are available:
- a vocational qualification entitles its holder to perform all jobs related to one or several occupations; its vocational and examination requirements typically include several qualification-specific modules as well as modules shared by two or more qualifications;
- a partial vocational qualification entitles its holder to perform at least one job and its vocational and examination requirements contain only some of all modules of a qualification; no programmes to award it can be launched within the formal school system, except for vocational programmes for SEN learners and the vocational bridging programme;
- an add-on vocational qualification can be obtained by those who have already obtained a vocational qualification; it typically includes only qualification-specific modules and entitle its holder to perform a new job that requires higher level expertise.
The classification of the register (seven-digit identification number) specifies the level of qualification, if it can be acquired in the formal school system or in adult learning, and the training field for each qualification. Detailed other data are also included in the NVQR register (
Vocational and examination requirements (SZVK)
Standards of a qualification included in the national register (NVQR) are defined in its vocational and examination requirements (
) - published as a decree of the responsible minister - that specify (among others):
- its entry requirements;
- the jobs that can be performed by those holding this qualification and the occupational profile;
- share of theoretical and practical training;
- duration of summer practice;
- learning outcomes: identification numbers of its ‘vocational requirements’ modules (see below); and
- assessment standards: ‘examination requirements’, including any preconditions (e.g., foreign language exam) and the content and form of the exam activities.
Vocational requirements modules
A module may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. Modules are published in a separate government decree (
) and specify for each work activity:
- the occupational standards (its ‘task profile’); and
- the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks (
) ( ).
Designing and updating qualifications and standards
Any institution or person can initiate the deletion, modification or introduction of a vocational qualification in the NVQR register by submitting a proposal to the minister responsible for the given qualification (sector). The initiating institution or person must provide detailed justification for the amendment (
Proposals are first reviewed by the National Office of VET and Adult Learning (
). Social partners are involved in the process through the National VET and Adult Learning Council ( ), whose opinion is consulted by the minister responsible for VET before making a final decision ( ). Social partners and experts (practitioners as well as teachers) ( ) were involved in all major VET qualifications development projects initiated by the government.
Standards can also be updated without modifying the national register, by the amendment of the SZVKs/vocational requirement modules only. In that case, SZVKs are developed by practitioners and teacher experts, commissioned by the responsible body/agency. The Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (
) has played a special role in qualification design, it was responsible for developing the standards of the majority of qualifications (those that are required for manual jobs). Their role in qualification design is being reviewed in 2019 in relation to the responsibilities of the newly set up sectoral skills councils.
Sectoral skills councils
Under a 2017 amendment to the VET act, as of 1 July 2018, the chamber of commerce coordinates the operation of the newly established sectoral skills councils (SSCs) (
). In case of sectors which fall within the competence of the Minister for Agriculture (including also forestry, food industry and fisheries), this task will be carried out with the involvement of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture ( ).
On the government’s initiative (
), 18 SSCs covering 41 economic sectors, each with 7-19 members, were set up in 2018. These are voluntary associations of stakeholders in a given sector that will support and promote the design, update and development of qualifications standards and align them with labour market and employer demands. Their work includes:
- monitoring of labour market trends and technological developments;
- making proposals for new/updated qualifications in the national register and training programmes and skills;
- making forecasts to share short- and medium-term strategies.
Framework curricula in IVET
VET schools have to prepare their own local VET curricula based on centrally prepared framework curricula issued for each VET qualification in the national register: these define the vocational subjects to be taught and their content and class hours, based on the vocational and examination requirements (
). They are issued in a decree by the minister responsible for VET and adult training ( ), with the approval of the minister responsible for education ( ) and the minister responsible for the given qualification. The protocol of designing and updating framework curricula is defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult training. Curricula are developed by commissioned teacher experts and practitioners and then validated by the National Office of VET and Adult learning.
The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the National Framework Curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.
Standards and curricula in adult training
- Adult training courses that award a VET qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register have to observe the same standards (vocational requirement modules - SZVKs) and framework curricula as those applied in formal school education;
- Concerning other vocational courses not included in the national vocational qualifications register, adult training providers are free to design and deliver their own curricula and they have to observe regulations of the Adult training act only if the training is financed from the State budget or the training levy (
). Curricula of such ‘supported other vocational training’ have to include all data specified in the adult training act and be designed in accordance with a programme listed in the register of ‘adult training vocational programme requirements’ ( ).
The adult training vocational programme requirements are similar to the vocational and examination requirements ( ) in content and function: they define outcome standards along with NQF level, entry requirements/competences, minimum-maximum class hours etc. for each module. They were introduced by the Adult training act of 2013 to promote uniform and transparent standards in adult training.
They can be designed by anyone and submitted to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is responsible for their registration. Under the chamber guidelines assisting their design, adult training vocational programme requirements have to define learning outcomes for each module, in accordance with the knowledge, skills, attitude and responsibility-autonomy descriptor structure of the Hungarian Qualifications Framework (HuQF/MKKR).
Proposals are approved by a five-member Programme Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which includes three adult training programme experts delegated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) (
), one delegated by the Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) ( ) and one by the responsible minister.
The complex vocational examination
State recognised vocational qualifications listed in the national vocational qualifications register are awarded at the final complex vocational examination. The preconditions of sitting this exam are defined in the vocational and examination requirements of the given qualification:
- in courses provided in adult training, these include passing a final exam in all modules (‘module exam’);
- in VET provided within the formal school system, the certificate issued upon the successful completion of the reference school year is equivalent to taking these module exams.
At the final complex vocational examination, learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board. The exam board comprises four members: one is the candidate’s teacher/trainer, the others are experts from the national register of examiners. The president of the board is appointed by the minister responsible for VET and adult training. In the case of qualifications overseen by the chamber of commerce – that make up the majority of the qualifications for manual jobs – he/she is appointed from among the experts recommended by the chamber.
In principle, those who fail to meet all vocational and examination requirements of a given qualification may still receive a partial qualification. In practice, however, this seldom happens. Learners can get exemption from taking a module exam in adult training (those that they have previously passed). Learners in VET schools can also get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision.