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Estonia - Development of the accreditation system in VET

ReferNet Estonia

In accordance with the Development Plan for the Estonian Vocational Education and Training System 2009-2013, the national accreditation system is being developed and implemented. The principles, criteria and regulation of accreditation are worked out and after a pilot round, the new system will be implemented in all VET curricula groups.

The pilot round is the first step to adopt a national recognition system in VET. The system of internal evaluation (2006-2010), whereby schools needed to present at least one internal evaluation report, will be replaced by accreditation of curriculum groups. The existing licenses for municipal and private schools will be replaced by accreditation. If accreditation is successful, schools will be granted the right to carry out teaching for 6 years. If the result is ‘conditional’, the right will be granted for 1-3 years with the need to undergo accreditation again after that period. In case of a negative result, the curriculum group will be closed, and students will be given an opportunity to finish their studies at the same school or at a different school.

The pilot accreditation will be carried out in 2011 in two curriculum groups: construction and hotel and catering. The means and activities for development and implementation of the accreditation system are taken from the European Social Fund program ‘Substantive Development of Vocational Education 2008-2013’, carried out by The National Examinations and Qualifications Centre with the Quality Assessment Council EKKA. The latter is also responsible for carrying out the pilot round.