Vocational education and training (VET), traditionally operating in a national context, is increasingly developing in response to European and global requirements. Priority has been given to the development and implementation of qualifications frameworks at national, European and international levels, leading to stronger cooperation among countries and regions. Qualifications can also be awarded by international bodies and organisations, reflecting the internationalization of technologies and labour markets. Cedefop and the ETF collaborate with UNESCO and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning to monitor global national qualifications framework (NQF) and RQF developments.
From their earliest stages of development, Cedefop has supported the development and implementation of EU tools and principles for transparency and recognition of qualifications, promoting cooperation among national VET systems and the mobility of learners and candidates. In particular, Cedefop supports the implementation of the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning, as well as developments in the area of validation of non-formal and informal learning; it also supports the work on the European quality assurance framework for VET (EQAVET), in line with the Council Recommendation on VET. Building on the challenges faced in the implementation of the European credit system for VET (ECVET), Cedefop attaches special importance to work supporting transfer of learning across institutional, sectoral and national borders. The EU tools and principles are designed to help people progress through education and training at any age, change careers or move abroad for work or for further education; strengthening their synergy and coherence is a high priority for Cedefop. This is done by promoting at national and European levels the use of the learning outcomes principle, which connects most of these tools.
Cedefop contributes to the development of ESCO (the European terminology on skills, competences, qualifications and occupations), which can help link the labour market to education and training. The Agency also follows developments related to the new Europass platform, which brings together information on skills, qualifications, learning, and job opportunities, aiming to support individuals in managing and planning their learning and career across Europe. It is in this framework that Cedefop supports the work on the 2020 European skills agenda European skills agenda by the European Commission.