To learn more, please browse the frequently asked questions below
What is ECVET?
ECVET is the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training.
It uses a common procedure to recognise learning outcomes achieved in formal, non-formal
and informal settings. Learning outcomes are defined in terms of the knowledge,
skills and competence required to achieve them. Students receive credits, which
can be transferred from one place of learning to another, thus encouraging mobility
throughout Europe. Students can accumulate credits towards the award of a qualification.
One year of study is equivalent to 60 credits and credits can be weighted to reflect
the complexity, scope and volume of study involved by the awarding of points. It
is a voluntary system, which can be applied to qualifications by awarding bodies
in a national context.
How does it work?
ECVET breaks qualifications down into units of learning outcomes. It
allows students to participate in vocational education and training during periods
of mobility and to have the results of their learning acknowledged with the award
of one or more units. It enables learners to build on their achievements when moving
between vocational training systems. For example, a hairdresser receiving credit
for learning outcomes achieved during a period of mobility overseas could have them
validated on return to the home country, to then count the credit towards a final
The value of ECVET lies in allowing employers and training providers
to validate the achievements of individuals according to a recognised methodology.
The procedure acknowledges national frameworks and standards and allows flexibility.
Institutions are able to agree Memoranda of Understanding
and individuals can negotiate Individual Learning Agreements
with the institutions where they study. ECVET is flexible and permits a variety
of different learning pathways.
Who can use ECVET?
Awarding bodies are able to use the ECVET methodology to assign ECVET
credits to newly designed awards and adapt existing vocational qualifications.
Any learning provider can use ECVET as a tool for validating learning outcomes from
non-formal or informal education and training, or when using nationally or internationally
recognised vocational qualifications that incorporate ECVET.
Individuals can also benefit from ECVET. It will facilitate their mobility and by
arranging a learning agreement with two or more institutions they can accumulate
credits towards qualifications.
Where does ECVET work?
ECVET is a process developed within the EU and the EEA, so initially
it is anticipated that institutions and individuals in these areas will be involved.
This is the website of the England National Contact Point and we can help with enquiries
about ECVET in these countries. For advice about ECVET in other countries, please
contact the relevant CP.
When is ECVET being introduced?
ECVET is gradually being introduced to vocational education and training
qualifications throughout Europe. Each country should have measures in place to
facilitate this by 2012.
How can organisations apply ECVET?
As the National Contact Point for England, we are able to advise on the
implementation of ECVET. If you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you should
approach your local National Contact Points for information or advice. The methodology
for applying ECVET is outlined in
European Recommendations 2009/C 155/02. Further
guidance on the methodology will be available via the
How does ECVET link with other European ideas, like Europass?
ECVET is an initiative of the European Union which aims to enhance the
mobility of individuals and their ability to accumulate credit for learning during
periods of vocational education and training in their home, and other States. ECVET
is designed to link closely with the
documents: particularly Mobility.
Q How can the National Contact Point for England help?
The National Contact Point for England can offer advice about such matters
as assigning ECVET credit to existing qualifications; how to draw up a Memorandum
of Understanding (see Glossary)
and how to validate VET credits. The National Contact Point is available by phone
and email from 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday: please use the link below for contact
I am an Awarding Body representative – how does ECVET affect me?
ECVET is gradually being introduced throughout Europe to all vocational
education and training awards and once your qualifications are awarded the ECVET
logo you will begin to benefit from the integration of students from this country
and abroad. There is also potential to forge lasting relationships with similar
organisations through Memoranda of Understanding, leading to the exchange of knowledge
and experience of ECVET.
I am an international student: how is ECVET going to help me?
Periods of work and study spent abroad can be assessed and validated
as part of a larger award using ECVET. Individual learners will be able to benefit
from the cultural exchange and rich experiences of working and studying away from
home, while continuing to accumulate credit towards a VET qualification.
I am an employer: how is ECVET useful for me?
ECVET is intended to serve as a mark of quality in vocational education
and training. Employees embarking on periods of work abroad will be able to continue
to study for qualifications in VET via arrangements with VET providers abroad. There
is great potential for cultural exchange and enrichment. New recruits from abroad
will be able to build on learning outcomes achieved in their home country.
What is a Memorandum of Understanding?
A Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement reached between two providers
of VET. It provides quality assurance for the assessment and validation of learning
outcomes for students, who can then transfer the credit achieved between the two
participating institutions, accumulating the credit in order to gain an award or
There is no template Memorandum of Understanding but examples will be published
on this website in due course and advice can be obtained from the
National Contact Point for England.
What is an Individual Learning Agreement?
Who should record the individual’s achievement?
Is applying ECVET compulsory?
ECVET is gradually being employed by adapting existing VET qualifications
and designing new ones. Pilot projects have been undertaken in many European countries
and it is anticipated that all new qualifications will be able to use ECVET from
2012. The system is expected to improve the mobility of students and the attractiveness
of qualifications which are endorsed with the ECVET logo. Although ECVET is voluntary,
it is anticipated that there will be a demand for information about its implementation.
To this end, a network of ECVET National Contact Points has been established, whose
role it is to facilitate the introduction of ECVET in each Member States and to
advise awarding bodies, VET providers and students.
A more detailed FAQ, together with examples of the implementation of ECVET in various
pilot projects can be found here:
If you have further questions about ECVET please