European Credit transfer system for VET (ECVET)

The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) aims to give people greater control over their individual learning experiences and make it more attractive to move between different countries and different learning environments.

The system aims to facilitate the validation, recognition and accumulation of work-related skills and knowledge acquired during a stay in another country or in different situations. It should ensure that these experiences contribute to vocational qualifications.

ECVET aims for better compatibility between the different vocational education and training (VET) systems in place across Europe and their qualifications.

It aims to create a technical framework to describe qualifications in terms of units of learning outcomes, and it includes assessment, transfer, accumulation and recognition procedures.

ECVET Implementation at UK level

Linking ECVET to Erasmus+

Depending on national/system- level priorities ECVET can be used for several purposes and implemented at project or system level. Many member states are implementing ECVET at project level to support transnational mobility and lifelong learning. Some member states are however implementing ECVET at system level to reform their VET systems or develop a credit system using ECVET principles.

The UK has all of the main building blocks in place for ECVET implementation with well-established credit and qualifications systems. Thus ECVET is not being implemented or adopted as a Credit Accumulation and Transfer System for the UK.

The UK is using ECVET to promote transnational mobility, to ensure a quality experience for the learner/worker and recognition/validation of their learning. UK ECVET Experts are promoting and encouraging organisations involved in mobility to use ECVET in geographical mobility, linking ECVET to Erasmus+.

UK ECVET National Contact Points (NCPs)

During July 2011 ECVET National Contact Points were established in Scotland (SCQFP), Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation), and CollegesWales (ColegauCymru). An ECVET NCP for England has existed from April 2010 managed by ECCTIS Ltd. These designated contact points work closely with the UK National Agency for Erasmus+ on the implementation of ECVET through the Erasmus+ programme and the co-ordination of the UK team of ECVET Experts.

UK ECVET Experts

ECVET activities are now included in the Erasmus+ National Agency (The British Council and Ecorys UK) yearly work programme. ECVET activities will run for the duration of the Erasmus+ programme (2014 - 2020). Thirteen UK ECVET Experts have been appointed by Ecorys to promote and raise awareness of ECVET. The aims of ECVET activities are to:

  • raise awareness of ECVET to key stakeholders;
  • promote and encourage organisations involved in mobility to use ECVET in geographical mobility, linking ECVET to Erasmus+;
  • provide specific support to organisations in understanding ECVET within the UK context via a suite of guidance materials, events and support visits; and
  • develop an ECVET community of practice within the UK.