European reference levels for education and training: promoting credit transfer and mutual trust.
Cedefop Panorama series
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This report is the principal outcome of the Cedefop-funded study on reference levels zones of mutual trust for the accumulation and transfer of credits: definition of reference levels in vocational education and training. It focuses on two key areas: (a) how zones of mutual trust (ZMTs) operate, and whether they are useful for both understanding how transparency arrangements operate and for framing public policy designed to improve access and progression (in employment, education and training); (b) whether an agreed framework of levels would help allocate qualifications and accumulated experience effectively to improve ZMTs particularly in increasing Europe-wide cooperation in vocational education and training. On (a), the authors define ZMTs and conclude they are extremely useful for explaining access and progression in employment and vocational education and training. On (b), based on extensive scrutiny of existing qualification levels frameworks, they conclude a new framework and associated administrative arrangements for its effective implementation are a prerequisite for the proper design and application of European credit transfer schemes in VET (ECVET). As a result, the project team provides a theoretical basis for a new eight-level framework, which includes both outcome and process elements. It is both practical and easy to use.