about ECVET

ECVET aims to make vocational qualifications more transparent, accessible and easily translatable across Europe. It is the Vocational and Educational twin of the Higher Education ECTS.

Get to know more about ECVET, a pilar of PIRATE project, with online resources on ECVET-Team website
The CEDEFOP 2013 monitoring about ECVET implementation, general analysis and per country, is available under http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/6118_en.pdf

EQF&ECVET in PIRATE

How to ensure people coming from another european country to learn earth building would get a recognition of the training they received when back home or when moving to another country ?

Promoting mobility for learning has been from the beginning of the works on european earth building an objective, for the sake of discovering another place as well as because gives learning another dimension. Craftsmen in the Middle Ages learnt their trades by traveling for several years to various construction sites, so as to build up their skills and knowledges on a variety of situations. This mobility of craftspeople reinforced exchanges and fed the evolutions of the arts of building. The gothic churches are a powerful example of the excellence such practices led to. Learning in different places is still active today, especially for the so-called “natural” building techniques such as the ones involving earth : few formal trainings exist and people involved in these practices value experience through informal exchanges and discovery, so that many people are learning by traveling around and building networks as well as buildings.

However, their experience is usually not recognized. As for the experienced conventional builder who might have some skills, knowledge and competencies in various trades related to the art of building, natural building travelers would need a way to transfer their achievements from one place to another and to be recognized according to these achievements. And as the professional paths are very changing nowadays, these achievements should also be transferable from and to non-construction sectors.

Enabling the transfer of the learners achievements from one learning environment to another is a core concept of the European Qualification Framework (EQF). This tool aims at providing a trans-national reference to help “translating” these achievements from a learning system into another, thus easing the mobility of the learners wether it is between different countries or between different Vocational and Educational Training (VET) systems.

The division of the trainings into small units can ease the setup of several journeys in someone’s learning path : smaller units can be learnt and validated in a shorter time, therefore in different places. The time spent and achievements made in different contexts are therefore counting for a qualification. Small units also make it possible for more people to enrich their curriculum : qualifications composed of several and identified shorter units means it is possible to organize in several shorter learning times. This can ease the access in a life-long learning context, e.g. for people still employed who have limited time and who might not need to learn the whole set of units. Furthermore, as the objectives are more limited than for a full qualification, people will less likely lose their motivation while earning proofs of their achievements. These achievements will be smaller but they might nonetheless improve their employment prospects and be gratifying, especially if a certificate of achievement is delivered.

However, these achievements can be questioned if an agreement is not made between the organizations where the learner will spend time as a learner or as a professional. Certificates can loose their value, as well as the satisfaction and the motivation of the learner can drop. It is essential for a learner to be able to monitor his/her progress in a stable framework to gain in self-confidence with each achievement successfully validated, no matter the level of qualification. In a mobility context, the framework has to be trans-national to allow visibility and insurance that the achievements can be transferred between learning locations.

Such transfers require that the involved organizations trust each other for granting a learner his/her achievements and validating them. Both have to know what they’re talking about exactly when they allow the transfer of what a learner achieved in one context to another. An agreement is needed between the training organizations about how the units are defined, what their content is and how to assess the learner’s achievements. As the VET situation is different in each country, a “common language” has to be used to allow recognition of achievement, hence transfers between countries. The European Qualification Framework (EQF) answers that need of a reference point for trans-national exchanges, at the European level. It is associated to ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) for the fields of Vocational and Educational Training. ECVET aims to make vocational qualifications more transparent, accessible and easily translatable across Europe. It is the Vocational and Educational twin of the Higher Education ECTS.