The European Union (EU) has several common instruments helping individuals in transfer, recognition and accumulation of their assessed learning outcomes, to achieve a qualification or to take part in lifelong learning. The European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) is one of these instruments; it uses flexible and individualised learning pathways, including transnational mobility.

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the ECVET recommendation in 2009 and invited Member States to create the necessary conditions and adopt measures to apply the system to all VET qualifications. External evaluation of ECVET implementation was carried out in 2013: the report is available here.

What ECVET does

ECVET allows learners to accumulate, transfer and use their learning in units as these units are achieved. This enables building a qualification at learners’ own pace from learning outcomes acquired in formal, non-formal and informal contexts, in their own country and abroad. The system is based on units of learning outcomes as part of qualifications that can be assessed and validated.

It offers a framework for making learners more mobile and qualifications more portable, laying down principles and technical specifications and making use of existing national legislation and regulations. It applies to VET (vocational education and training) qualifications at all levels of the European qualifications framework.

ECVET complements and builds on concepts and principles shared with the European qualifications framework (EQF), Europass and the European quality assurance reference framework for VET (EQARF).

What Cedefop does

In cooperation with the European Commission, Cedefop monitors and provides technical and analytical support for application of the ECVET recommendation at EU, national and sectoral levels. It researches and analyses qualifications and qualification systems, along with links between the European tools for education and training (ECVET, ECTS, EQF, FQ-EHEA, Europass, EQAVET). Results are made available online.

Cedefop also organises and participates in events related to ECVET, including ECVET users’ group meetings, ECVET annual forum, and peer learning activities.

Useful links

European Commission on ECVET

European ECVET Network

ECVET projects


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