Network for excellence

Vocational excellence

ETF Network for Excellence: an international network of Centres of Vocational Excellence

What are centres of excellence in vocational education and training? 

Centres of vocational excellence are skills providers that are showing the way forward for vocational education and training.  In contributing to regional skills strategies, they promote employment and regional development. They work closely with employers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to foster innovation, applied research, entrepreneurship and reskilling.  They are attractive to learners because they offer responsive, flexible, personalised learning pathways, up-to-date technology, and a fast track into employment and higher education.  They are inspirational for teachers, trainers and managers because they offer models of advanced practice in teaching, teacher training, organisational development and leadership.  They are compelling for policy makers because the show how, through greater autonomy and cooperation, educational and training providers can become a driving force for the continuing improvement of education and training systems. 

What is the aim of the ETF initiative 'Network for Excellence'? 

The ETF’s Network for Excellence (ENE) is intended to encourage the sharing of ideas, practices and experience between centres of excellence at both national and international levels.  The development and sharing of excellence is supported systematically by the Network’s self-assessment tool (ENESAT) that helps centres align their own development with that of other members of the network.  In addition, the Network has initiated six Development Partnerships through which groups of centres of excellence are working together to improve in specific domains of excellence.  

In partnership with, the Network delivers a series of regular webinars on key issues for vocational excellence. The ETF has launched an on-line platform, the Community for Innovative Educators – which addresses innovation in teaching and learning. 

The ETF Network for Excellence mirrors the European Union initiative on centres of vocational excellence.  Through the Erasmus+ programme, the EU is providing sustained funding for the development of platforms and support services for centres of vocational excellence.  ETF places particular importance on the contribution that centres of vocational excellence can make to improvements in vocational and education systems and also in their contribution to the internationalisation of vocational education. 

What are the priorities of the ETF Network for Excellence? 

The ETF Network for Excellence is currently working on eight themes:   

  • Work-based learning 

  • Pedagogy and professional development 

  • Entrepreneurial vocational centres 

  • Industry 4.0 and digitalisation 

  • Autonomy and institutional development (financing, leadership, governance) 

  • Going green – supporting sustainable goals 

  • Social inclusion and equity 


Joining the Network 

Since its creation in 2020, the ETF Network of Excellence has grown steadily. As of October 2021, it comprises 217 members from 29 countries (142  from ETF partner countries, 68 from EU member states and 7 from Africa). 

Members of the ETF Network for Excellence share a commitment to improving the functions, processes, organisational characteristics and relations with partners that characterise centres of vocational excellence.  They are also committed to national and international collaboration and, in particular, to sharing practices with other Network members.  The Network is open to members from all countries and includes individual training providers, clusters of providers and centres that coordinate other providers. 

When the initiative was launched, national ministries in the ETF’s partner countries were requested to nominate individual centres or clusters of vocational training providers to join the Network.  

Policy makers (ministries, other national, regional stakeholders, etc.) from EU Member States and ETF partner countries are invited to engage in the actions of the Network. 

If your Vocational Centre would like to join the Network, please, send you request to the address: 

You will then be invited for an introductory meeting with the ENE Secretariat and asked to complete a simple registration form. 

Where can I find more information? 

Here we need to provide links to information on our Partnerships on the website and Open Space once updated. Below links can be already added:  

  • ENE Self-assessment tool - ENESAT 


More information

The ETF network for excellence_Concept note
The ETF network for excellence_PPT presentation
The ETF network for excellence_Leaflet