Vocational Education and Training (VET) at EQF levels 6 to 8 (completed)

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Cedfop, has contracted Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI), Hedda (here at the Department) and Wirtschafts und Sozialforschung (WSF) to develop a study on “Vocational Education and Training (VET) at EQF levels 6 to 8”.

Objectives & Outcomes

The study focuses on 13 countries in Europe (the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Romania), and its main objectives are to:

  1. Provide Cedefop with an overview and analysis of the provision and characteristics of VET in Europe at the levels equivalent to 6 to 8 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF);
  2. Offer Cedefop an analysis of how the value attributed to qualifications by the labour market stakeholders’ impacts on considering VET at those levels;
  3. Help Cedefop understand how the shift to learning outcomes (might) influence the parity of esteem between VET and academic/higher education at the levels equivalent to 6 to 8 of the EQF;
  4. Present Cedefop a perspective on the future development of VET at higher education levels.


The study is divided into two main sections as follows:

Part A – critical analysis of the development of vocationally oriented education and training at levels equivalent to EQF levels 6 to 8 in selected countries. Part A includes:

  • Analysing the understanding by policy makers and sector stakeholders in the Education and Training systems and in the labour market of VET/vocationally oriented education and training models in higher education/EQF levels 6 to 8.
  • Providing an overview of VET and vocationally oriented education and training programmes and qualifications at levels equivalent to EQF levels 6 to 8. It should take into account the historical incremental development over the past 5-10 years.
  • Analysing and assessing how the shift to ‘learning outcomes’ and ‘competence based qualifications’ influence the status and provision of vocationally oriented education and training at higher education levels. This analysis should also include the valuing of qualifications by the labour market as an indicator for the shift to learning outcomes

Part B – in-depth analysis of VET at EQF levels 6 to 8 through explanatory case studies of six vocational sectors. The countries and sectors involved include: Agriculture (France and Denmark); Nursing (Norway, England); ICT (Germany, Poland); Distance Learning (Portugal, the Netherlands);Teacher training (England, Finland); Management (Germany, Ireland). Part B includes:

  • Policy making and policy decisions related to VET on levels 6 to 8 (considering at least the education and training policies, the labour market and employment policies including quality assurance mechanisms, funding and initiatives such as excellence initiatives in higher education - HE).
  • Links to the labour market demand and vocational profiles: for instance, the relation between sectoral competence/qualifications frameworks and the supply of qualifications (e.g. the role of educational and occupational/professional standards), characteristics of education and training providers (in particular providers without public funding), cooperation models between enterprises and providers of vocationally oriented education and training.
  • Characteristics of VET at levels 6 to 8 on the basis of VET/vocationally oriented learning programmes/qualifications, e.g. curricula design, learning outcomes approach, validation and recognition practices, flexibility in curricula, adjustment to non-traditional students (e.g. adults in employment), quality of teachers and trainers, participants’ profiles and opportunities.

The research methodology through which the study was elaborated included extensive desk research, combined with a total of 87 structured interviews – using face-to-face and distance methods – with relevant stakeholders from the project countries. The stakeholders that were interviewed and received the questionnaire included from ministries, national vocational agencies, education providers, social partners and employment organisations.In addition, a quantitative survey was conducted.


The project is funded by CEDEFOP.


The project is cooperation between Hedda, Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI) and Wirtschafts und Sozialforschung (WSF)


Download CEDEFOP Research paper (pdf) here


Published Sep. 20, 2010 1:24 PM - Last modified Mar. 9, 2015 2:30 PM


E-mail: Peter Maassen

Phone: +47-22844122