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.
Systems Level Benefits
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 facilitates the translation of different national qualifications frameworks and their constituent parts.
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 within international mobility programmes, both from the perspective of the individual learner - acknowledging and attributing value to that which they have undertaken during their period of mobility - and from the perspective of the labour market - confirming the importance of mobility 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 and training 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, those which rely on the use of specific technologies, techniques or ingredients).
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 development communities.
More recently, and an important part of the ECVET implementation journey, a Community of Practice has been launched, bringing together ECVET practitioners from different European countries and sectors with a view to building partnerships, sharing experiences and, more generally, facilitating ECVET implementation.
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 part) 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 experiences among mobility practitioners and competent institutions, both nationally and internationally.
In this video, Susanna Vestling of Yrkesakademin i Österbotten (Finland), describes what steps and documents are required and how these steps are carried out in a typical ECVET mobility period in Finland.