THE ECVET SYSTEM
The European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) is one of the common EU tools.
It is intended to aid the transfer, recognition and accumulation of assessed learning outcomes of individuals aiming to achieve a qualification and to promote lifelong learning through flexible and individualised learning pathways (European Parliament and Council of the EU, 2009).
The creation and implementation of main principles of ECVET should lead to better understanding of citizens′ learning outcomes (LO), their transparency, transnational mobility and portability across and within Member States (MS). It should contribute to European cooperation in education and training in a more coherent and integrated way and link it with the developments of national qualification frameworks (NQFs), validation of non-formal and informal learning, quality assurance in VET and Europass (Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and European Commission, 2015).
The ECVET recommendation (European Parliament and Council of the EU, 2009) invited the MS to create necessary conditions and adopt measures to make it possible that, as from 2012, ECVET is gradually applied to vocational education and training (VET) qualifications at all levels of the European qualifications framework (EQF). ECVET should be applied in accordance with national legislation and practice and on the basis of trial and testing. To be operational, the credit system should be underpinned by the following ECVET principles and technical components:
(a) qualifications should be described in units of LO, a central concept of ECVET principles, with associated points (ECVET points). The ECVET recommendation (European Parliament and Council of the EU, 2009) makes a clear distinction between the components of VET qualifications defined as units of learning outcomes and the components of formal learning programmes or training provision commonly known as modules (Cedefop, 2014a);
(b) there should be a process for units of LO to be assessed, validated and recognised, and for their transfer and accumulation;
(c) ECVET partnerships are supported by complementary documents, such as:
– memorandum of understanding (MoU);
– learning agreements (LA),
– personal transcripts of records (henceforth, complementary documents).
ECVET in Europe: monitoring report 2015 10 ECVET is meant for individual learners to be able to accumulate, transfer and use their learning in units as they are achieved; to build a qualification at their own pace from LO acquired in formal, non-formal and informal contexts in their own country and/or abroad.