Prior to embarking upon the implementation of ECVET, it is important to consider the benefits for your company, organisation or institution and the added-value that ECVET might bring to existing programmes and practices.
From a systems-level perspective, the use of learning outcomes - a key component of ECVET and many other European recognition tools and instruments - provides greater flexibility in education and training, allowing learners to accumulate learning outcomes with a view to achieving a qualification or part-qualification. Learning outcomes also support increased transparency between countries, systems and qualifications and build on the successes of the European Qualifications Framework - a common European Framework that makes qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems.
Benefits for Geographical Mobility
From a geographical mobility perspective, ECVET targets the increased recognition of learning outcomes achieved during a mobility period. This increased recognition improves the credibility of learning and international mobility programmes, both from the perspective of the individual learner - acknowledging and attributing value to that which they have undertaken and achieved during a period of short or long-duration mobility - and from the perspective of the labour market - confirming the importance of the mobility period from a lifelong learning and skills development stance.
ECVET principles and practices also favour a more quality-assured mobility experience, with many of the common tools and documents adopted as a part of ECVET implementation (for example, Memorandum of Understanding, Learning Agreements) contributing to a more successful mobility experience and, in the long-term, potentially reducing the workload tied to international mobility. ECVET promotes a structured mobility experience through which achieved learning outcomes can be better integrated into existing education, training and qualifications pathways.
In addition to recognising the similarities of different learning programmes, and systems, ECVET also valorises the differences, with certain mobility programmes allowing access to knowledge and skills that might be less accessible locally (for example, use of specific ingredients, technologies or techniques).
Sharing Successes and Experiences
For those involved in the early years of testing and development, ECVET provided an opportunity to learn from other companies, organisations and institutions implementing one or more ECVET principles or practices, sharing successes and lessons learned and building stronger ECVET communities of practice.
An equally important part of the journey has been the building of a ECVET Community of Practice, at European level, with policy makers, practitioners, employers and others brought together at the Annual ECVET Forum or during peer learning events led by the ECVET Secretariat.
Added-value of ECVET
In summary, through introducing of one or more elements of ECVET, it is possible to improve and enhance the quality of the mobility experience for all beneficiaries and stakeholders. For those targeting systems-level change, the advantages are even greater. In all cases, ECVET provides for:
improved flexibility in education and training with a view to building (full or partial) qualifications.
increased recognition of learning, including that achieved through geographical mobility.
improved credibility for international mobility among learners and employers.
structured and quality-assured mobility provision leading to a reduced workload for mobility practitioners in the longer-term and making use of a common language for recognition in mobility.
improved understanding of different national or regional VET systems among mobility practitioners.
learning outcomes that are more easily embedded into existing education and training pathways.
access to knowledge and skills, through geographical mobility, that might not be accessible locally.
the development of mutual trust and a sharing of experience among mobility practitioners and competent institutions, both nationally and internationally.
In this video, Anne Tyynelä from Tampere Vocational College (Finland) talks of the added-value of ECVET when developing common units and identifying learning outcomes across different partner organisations.