Qualification frameworks

European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training

The creation of a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) was originated with the Copenhagen Declaration, which in turn represented an initial step for the implementation of the strategies set up by the Lisbon Council in 2000 for the enhancement of European vocational education and training (VET). This political process –commonly known as the Copenhagen process– received continuity with a number of significant benchmarks:

  • Maastricht Communiqué, 14 December 2004
  • Helsinki Communiqué, 5 December 2006
  • Bordeaux Communiqué, 26 November 2008
  • Bruges Communiqué, 7 December 2010
  • Communication from the Commission of 20th November 2012

These documents, together with the related Council Conclusions, introduced the guidelines that are in the foundations of the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training, which provided official endorsement to ECVET.

ECVET intends to facilitate the validation, accumulation, recognition and transfer of learning outcomes in order to allow more flexible individual learning pathways and to increase the permeability throughout qualification systems and educational programs both at national and transnational level. It should be interpreted in close connection with other initiatives in the field of education and training, such as Europass, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System and, namely, the European
Qualifications Framework (EQF) for lifelong learning and the European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET).

After the adaptation period, the effective implementation of ECVET at national level should take place between 2012 and 2015, with a revision of the Recommendation in 2014.

More information is available on the website of the European Commission.