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Upcoming conference: Making better qualifications in ETF partner countries

Year/Date: 10/03/2014

the ETF will host an international conference on qualifications systems

On 8 and 9 April 2014 in Brussels, the ETF will host an international conference on qualifications systems.

Transformed economies – the changing world of qualifications

Most ETF partner countries are reforming their education and training systems to better meet labour market needs and to give people a real chance of lifelong learning.

These reforms usually include changes to qualifications systems, where new ideas are introduced: the learning outcomes principle, use of standards to develop qualifications, establishment of new institutions and relationships with stakeholders, and new quality assurance systems.

Qualifications is one of the key themes in our work with the partner countries, and so ETF is organising a major international conference

We have developed the programme of the conference, drawing on our new study “Making Better Vocational Qualifications in ETF Partner Countries”.

The aim of the conference

The conference will open up the study’s findings for discussion.  The organisers want the event to contribute to the reforms in qualifications by helping answer some practical questions. How can reforms move forward from pilots and ad-hoc measures such as donor-driven standards to new, national qualifications? How the social partners and other stakeholders can be engaged? How can we  make qualifications more transparent and portable and accessible for the individual?

While in 2011 the ETF conference concentrated on the national qualifications frameworks, the upcoming conference will focus on the reform of the qualifications themselves and the related elements of the qualifications system such as occupational standards, curricula, assessment and quality assurance. 

Three themes

The conference will tackle three broad topics: development of qualifications, ensuring quality of qualifications, making sure qualifications are useful for the citizens. Each subject will be covered in a separate workshop:

  • Making better qualifications

Key issues covered: Developing qualifications, definitions of qualifications, design, learning outcomes, occupational standards, implications for curricula and assessment.  More on making better qualifications theme

  • Ensuring trust in qualifications

Key issues covered: Quality assurance and regulation, relevance of qualifications and stakeholder roles.  More on ensuring better qualifications theme

  • Bringing qualifications closer to the citizen

Key issues covered: mobility and migration, recognition at home and abroad. More qualifications closer to the citizen

All our workshops will also address the implications for our partner countries of the ongoing Commission consultation on the European Area of Skills and Qualifications.  

The participants  

Participants are drawn from ETF Partner country ministries, VET agencies, qualifications authorities, employers’ bodies and trades unions, NGOs and other actors in the field of VET reform. Members of the EQF Advisory Group, and experts and officials from UNESCO, Cedefop and the European Commission will also attend; there will also be a small number of experts from third countries, such as Australia and Hong Kong.

Four weeks before the event, registrations were nearly full.


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