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The European Commission proposes credits for vocational education and training

The European Commission has just published a working document proposing the creation of a European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET). It aims to facilitate the transfer, accumulation and validation of learning outcomes which people acquire in conditions of mobility from one learning context to another or from one system of qualification to another. While many Europeans undertake learning activities outside their home country, the European area remains characterised by disparate systems of vocational education and training. This leads to the difficulty to identify and recognise skills and diplomas.

ECVET will serve as an information exchange tool to describe qualifications. It should be based on the voluntary participation of the Member States and of the stakeholders in qualifications systems and vocational education and training. In order to shape and put into existence the ECVET, the Commission has launched a consultation process until March 2007, involving policy-makers, social partners, stakeholders and experts. But also individuals are able to have their say through the Commission’s e-mail address In June 2007, the consultation results will be discussed by a major European conference under the German Presidency, after which the Commission will take the decision how to establish the ECVET system.

If applied, ECVET will be similar to ECTS – the European Credit Transfer System, already used for university programmes. Sometimes, however, political reasons make it necessary to reinvent the wheel. Commission Staff Working Document: European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) European Commission – Education and Training