A new qualification, ‘freight forwarder’, has been added to the List of professions for vocational education and training (LPVET) in Bulgaria, as maintained by the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET).

It is included in the professional field ‘transport services’ and has two specialisations: EQF/NQF levels 4 and 5.

The professional competences at level 4 are related to freight forwarding, transport and warehouse logistics. Competences at level 5 develop level 4 competences with knowledge and skills for planning and managing logistical processes.

The qualification includes a wide range of competences related to overall management of the supply chain. The freight forwarder is trained to contract insurance for cargoes, gaining knowledge and skills in the transport of dangerous goods while respecting international treaties. It is necessary for the trainee to work with specialised forwarding software and to have foreign language skills to communicate and collaborate with foreign colleagues. Proposed duties will include carrying out logistics for land, sea and air transport, developing individual logistics solutions and offering alternatives.

The proposal to include this qualification in the list of professions in Bulgaria was initiated by the Bulgarian Association for Freight Forwarding, Transport and Logistics. According to the National Statistical Institute, 1496 enterprises related to freight forwarding operate in Bulgaria, with over 3000 employees. The need for qualification at international level in this profession is confirmed by the European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services (CLECAT). Freight forwarders organize 65% of land freight, 95% of air freight and 65% of freight by sea for the European market.

For NAVET to ensure the quality of vocational training, it will develop an educational standard for a relevant vocational qualification. It will meet the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the establishment of a European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) and will be developed in units of learning outcomes. The aim is to support qualification recognition by European countries and to promote the mobility of freight forwarders.

Once the educational standard and curriculum are developed, those who want to train in the new profession will be able to do it in centres for vocational training and in vocational high schools for level 4, and in vocational colleges for level 5. Learners will acquire a certificate of professional qualification for ‘freight forwarder’ or a vocational training certificate when the training is performed only for a part of the profession.

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