Cedefop's first policy learning forum, which will focus on the definition and writing of learning outcomes for vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, takes place this week (24-25 September) in Thessaloniki.

A main priority for Cedefop is to support Member States and social partners in further developing and improving VET and lifelong learning policies and practices.

To be able to do this in a systematic way, the agency organises a series of policy learning forums covering a range of subjects.

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

  • The plumbing qualification, while emerging from traditional crafts, is rapidly changing to match new technological, regulatory and political requirements.
  • The CNC machine operation qualification is at the core of modern industries, exemplifying how traditional industrial skills meet advanced technology requirements.
  • The tourism and travel qualification represents the growing service sector and the challenges involved in developing ‘soft’ skills and competences critical to the delivery of high quality services.


The forum requires active participation, before and during the event, from all participants (experts and other stakeholders, including social partners).

Prior to the event, national representatives have been asked to submit a written input summarising the way the learning outcomes approach has been implemented in their particular national setting.

Participants will be 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.

The final plenary session aims to draw together the findings and identify issues to be addressed more systematically in the future – through new forums or in other forms of cooperation and policy support.

For more information, visit the event page.