This research paper is one in a series produced as part of the Cedefop project The changing nature and role of VET (2016-18).
The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of how CVET is conceptualised in various international level policy documents and how it is referred to across countries. It discusses national conceptions of CVET, the providers, participation by IVET graduates in non-formal education and training (NFE), and participation of adults in VET education institutions in European Union Member States, Iceland and Norway. The paper describes how the provision of CVET by different types of provider has changed over the past two decades, discussing the main drivers of this change and speculating about possible future trends. One of the main findings is that there are many dominant conceptions of CVET across Europe and the use of this term is not consistent, sometimes not even within countries.