The best information always comes from the source. Ten years ago, Cedefop set up a network designed to provide it with the most reliable information on national vocational education and training systems and policies. So this week's annual ReferNet plenary meeting is not all business - it's also a celebration of an excellent partnership.
All Member States, Iceland and Norway are represtented in ReferNet. The information and data it provides is displayed in Cedefop's databases, and is used for the Centre's comparative studies. ReferNet gives valuable insights into national systems and policies by keeping its finger on the local pulse: in each country, the network builds upon national consortia, led by a coordinating institution and consising of organisations directly involved in the field.
The core business of ReferNet has moved during this past decade, from documentation to policy analysis. The network is now called upon to provide not just data but a detailed analysis of how each Member State is progressing in its implementation of common policy objectives. This, in turn, will allow the European Commission to formulate tailored recommendations for each Member State.