Cedefop's first policy learning forum, focusing on the definition and writing of learning outcomes for vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, took place on 24 and 25 September in Thessaloniki.

The forum explored the way learning outcomes approaches are applied in initial vocational education and training (IVET) throughout Europe. It focused on three VET qualifications; plumbing (heating and cooling); CNC machine operation; and tourism and travel. They were selected to show the wide scope of knowledge, skills and competences covered by current VET qualifications.

In his opening speech, Cedefop Director James Calleja said that it is great to see this experiment happening: 'In this joint effort with the Commission, our intention is to support Member States and social partners directly.'

Participants were involved in an active process of dialogue and exchange of experiences in the plenary sessions as well as in the working groups with the aim to present as many national approaches as possible and use this as a basis for identifying challenges and opportunities in defining and writing learning outcomes.

A follow-up event will be organised in 2016. Key issues and concrete examples discussed in the inaugurating policy forum will be assessed and presented in a more systematic way.

At the closing session, Cedefop's Jens Bjornavold said: 'We need a community of practice, supported by research, by Cedefop. Systematic sharing of experience has started here.'

For more information, visit the event page.