Assessment and recognition of competences acquired in formal, non-formal and informal learning in Lithuania is organised centrally by the Qualifications and VET Development Centre (KPMPC) through competences assessment centres. The newly approved description defines the roles and responsibilities of the competences assessment centres and the organisation, delivery (including arrangements in the event of postponement of the assessment or appeals) and general supervision of the system.
The new procedure supports those who have completed a formal vocational education and training programme along with independent learners who acquired professional competences through apprenticeships, work experience, self-education or non-formal learning. It offers participation in the competence assessment, which is required for obtaining a vocational education and training qualification (VET diploma). It foresees assessment of professional competence in accordance with the standards set for qualifications at LTQF/EQF levels 1 to 4 of the national qualifications framework. The competence assessment consists of:
- the theoretical (knowledge) test conducted centrally through the electronic testing system administered by the National Agency for Education;
- the practical (ability) assessment conducted at training establishments that have the hardware and tools necessary to perform the task, or at a real workplace equipped with the necessary hardware and tools:
- for those who have independently acquired professional competences, the practical (ability) assessment consists of tasks to demonstrate practical abilities;
- for those who have completed a formal vocational education and training programme, the practical (ability) assessment consists of tasks to demonstrate practical abilities and an evaluation of practical training.
Competence assessment for qualification will be coordinated by KPMPC. Accredited bodies uniting and representing employers’ associations will delegate experts to the competence assessment commissions; these are professional practitioners from companies of the qualification being assessed who will contribute to ensuring the quality of the tasks.
Arūnas Plikšnys, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports, commented: ‘After broadly discussing the competence assessment procedure with social partners, we are raising the bar for vocational education and training quality, and the reliability of assessment, by getting employers actively involved in the process. This will enable vocational education and training to respond even better to the needs of the labour market, so that vocational education and training programme graduates know exactly how to do what is needed in the real workplace’.
Accelerated recognition of self-acquired professional competences, involvement of employers in assessment processes, and a centralised standardised theory test are expected to be in place as of 1 September 2021, when the new version of the description comes into force.