The new Act on adult education and training focuses more on quality of adult education and training. It contains some significant changes compared to the practice so far and aims at labour-market relevance of adult training.
In contrast to the previous act of 2001, the scope of the new adult training act of 2013 (LXXVII 2013) does not cover all types of adult training. Its regulations apply only to training for which the State undertakes special responsibility either by awarding a recognised qualification or by funding it. The new law relates to providers which offer courses in one of these categories:
- recognised vocational programmes listed in the national qualifications register (Országos Képzési Jegyzék, OKJ);
- vocational programmes subsidised by national/EU funds;
- foreign language courses that prepare for a language proficiency exam or are subsidised by national/EU funds;
- other courses that are subsidised by national/EU funds, such as catching-up programmes, IT courses, etc.
· Previously, accreditation of adult training providers and programmes was not mandatory, although it was a requirement for receiving public funding. The former accreditation system was often criticised as not differentiated enough, very bureaucratic, and unable to ensure quality of training. From September 2013, a new system of registration and quality assurance has been in place.
Now training providers have to apply for a permit and specify their course programmes. The permit is awarded for an indefinite period by the VET and Adult Education Directorate of the National Labour Office (Nemzeti Munkaügyi Hivatal, Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Igazgatóság, NMH SZFI), based on an opinion of an expert committee. All providers have to operate a quality assurance system. Every two years an external evaluation is conducted, and every other year NMH SZFI will inspect all training providers.
Improving quality of training also foresees that OKJ courses in adult training are based on VET framework curricula and a minimum number of teaching hours is set. In this way, it guarantees that a qualification obtained at a VET school or in an adult training course are comparable.
Proposals for adult training vocational programmes are assessed by a five-member committee, of whom three are appointed by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara, MKIK), one by the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture (Magyar Agrárkamara) and one by the responsible minister. The MKIK has received considerable rights and duties in administering adult training, to ensure labour-market relevance of vocational and supported training.