The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET)


ECVET promotes mutual trust and mobility in vocational education and training. In the context of international mobility but also mobility within countries, ECVET aims to support recognition of learning outcomes without extending learners' education and training pathways. Learning outcomes are expressed in a uniform way as knowledge, skills and competence.

ECVET makes it easier for employers to understand qualifications achieved abroad. It also improves the credibility of international education and training experience by identifying and documenting what the learner has achieved.

ECVET also enhances the key competences of lifelong learning, especially the language skills, learning to learn skills, social skills, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, as well as cultural awareness and expression.

ECVET Glossary

Learning outcomes: statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process and which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence.

Knowledge: theoretical and/or factual.

Skills: cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).

Competence: responsibility and autonomy.

Unit of learning outcomes (unit): a component of a qualification, consisting of a coherent set of knowledge, skills and competence that can be assessed and validated.

Credit for learning outcomes (credit): a set of individuals' learning outcomes which have been assessed and which can be accumulated towards a qualification or transferred to other learning programmes or qualifications.

Assessment of learning outcomes: methods and processes used to establish the extent to which a learner has in fact attained particular knowledge, skills and competence.

Validation of learning outcomes: the process of confirming that certain assessed learning outcomes achieved by a learner correspond to specific outcomes which may be required for a unit or a qualification.

Recognition of learning outcomes: the process of attesting officially achieved learning outcomes through the awarding of units or qualifications.

ECVET points: a numerical representation of the overall weight of learning outcomes in a qualification and of the relative weight of units in relation to the qualification.

Memorandum of Understanding: an agreement reached between the VET providers to give quality assurance for the assessment and validation of learning outcomes for students, who can then transfer the credit achieved between the participating institutions, accumulating the credit in order to gain an award or qualification.

Individual Learning Agreement: agreement reached between student and VET provider, determining what each can expect from the other.

More information: European Commission