ECVET Principles and Technical Components

ECVET is a technical framework for the transfer, recognition and, where appropriate, accumulation of learning outcomes, with a view to achieving a qualification.


ECVET is a decentralised mechanism that relies on the voluntary participation of Member States, and wider VET stakeholders, and relies on mutual trust being established among all those involved.


ECVET centres on a series of Technical Components that, together, facilitate the process of learning recognition, irrespective of the country or education system in which the learning took place.


Successful ECVET implementation requires that qualifications be described in terms of learning outcomes, with learning outcomes brought together in units, and units often accumulated to form the basis of qualifications or awards. Assessment, validation and recognition processes must also be agreed, among all those participating, and should respect existing national, regional, sectoral or institutional practice.


In cases where credit is able to be awarded, a points system might also be considered with points directly attributed to ECVET units and qualifications.


ECVET practitioners are able to benefit from the use of common European documents, or templates, that promote quality in learning mobility, namely:


  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): a voluntary agreement, between competent institutions, which sets out the framework for credit transfer and accumulation; the MoU formalises the ECVET relationship through confirming mutual acceptance of the status of, and the procedures put in place by, competent institutions.
  • Learning Agreement (LA): a contract signed by all mobility parties, including the learner, in which the learning duration and expected learning outcomes are confirmed alongside mechanisms for assessment, validation and recognition.
further reading

Establishment of the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET): Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council (2009)