Summary of work done by UKNA relating to ECVET

UK National Agency
for Leonardo, Grundtvig and the Transversal programmes
How do we support the transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications,
including the recognition of informal and non-formal learning in the UK?
1. Support to projects through Leonardo, Grundtvig and the Transversal programmes
As the UK National Agency (NA) for Leonardo, Grundtvig and the Transversal programmes, we
support projects which test EU initiatives (e.g. EQF, ECVET and EQAVET) in the UK:
Leonardo: The EU programme which supports Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Leonardo Mobility projects (approx €15m/year)
In the UK we are sending approx 4,500 Leonardo participants abroad each year (incl. approx 1,000
apprentices). The development and implementation of ECVET elements (description of learning outcomes),
could be tested in Mobility projects. We support Mobility for:
 Trainees in initial vocational training (i.e. apprentices and trainees in initial VET) - IVT;
 People in the Labour Market in continuing vocational training – PLM, and
 the mobility of professionals in VET - VETPRO.
Leonardo Transfer of Innovation projects (TOI) (approx €8m/year)
Since 2007 we have supported Transfer of Innovation projects which aim at encouraging the transparency
and recognition of skills and qualifications, e.g. through ECVET, the EQF or EQARF. The EU priorities that
TOI projects should focus on are as follows:
 Encouragement of cooperation between VET and the world of work
 Support to initial and continuous training of VET teachers, trainers, tutors
 Promotion of the acquisition of key competences in VET
 Development and transfer of mobility strategies in VET
 ECVET for transparency and recognition of learning outcomes and qualifications*
 Improving quality assurance systems in VET (EQARF)*.
Leonardo Partnerships (approx €1m/year)
Partnerships encourage the establishment of partnerships at a European level which focus on key
themes of common interest in the VET field.
Grundtvig - The EU programme which supports adult education (approx € 3.5m/year)
We support various types of projects (In-service training of staff, Visits & exchanges, Assistantships,
Workshops, Senior Volunteering Projects, Preparatory visits) and Learning Partnerships. Mobility of adult
learners is supported within Learning Partnerships, Grundtvig Workshops and Senior Volunteering Projects
for informal learning.
The Transversal programme- Supports the implementation of transversal aspects of
European policy in education and training (approx € 350k/year in the UK)
We support approx 240 Study visits /year for education and vocational training specialists and decision
makers in the UK every year. Study visits aim to promote a peer learning culture, i.e. observation, exchange
and mutual learning on experiences of common interest at the EU level. It encourages discussion of
relevant themes and develops quality approaches and transparency of education and training systems.
Useful Reference: * Consult specific Study visits which can be of interest to the Group (see Annex 1) for
learning professionals involved in the design or delivery of education or vocational training, you could benefit
from a Transversal Study Visit in another European country.
2. National Thematic Networking in the UK
UK Thematic Networking for the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes was officially
launched in April 2008 and aims at bringing together projects, practitioners, policymakers and
stakeholders in Thematic Networking groups (TNGs) to discuss four key themes:
Group 1:
Transparency of qualifications and skills, including recognition of informal and nonformal learning
Group 2:
Continuous training of learning professionals
Group 3:
Meeting training and skills needs
Group 4:
Working with under represented groups
The above themes were selected as important areas for the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal
programmes, as well as areas highly relevant to the current UK policy agenda for lifelong learning.
Essentially thematic networking aims, through the establishment of four networking groups, to
provide a platform for Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal projects, practitioners, policymakers
and stakeholders to:
 network with each other;
 discuss the theme and UK policy developments; and
 share knowledge of the achievements of projects related to the theme.
In Group 1 we usually provide an update on the key policy developments with regards to
‘Transparency of qualifications - at the European and UK levels and then have an example of a
project (usually a Leonardo TOI or Partnerships project) which currently test new approaches
related to the EQF or ECVET in specific sectors.
Useful Reference:
* The Directory of TOI projects supported in the UK since 2007 working on the topic of Transparency of
skills will be shortly available on: and follow the links for Group
* The blog of Group 1 is interesting because some of the members of our National Thematic Work are
currently reacting on the EQF and ECVET- it might be interesting for you to have a look at some of their
messages – showing their perspectives as key practitioners – just FYI Consult
From 2010 until 2013 we will, in addition to continuing to discuss themes and produce recommendations,
focus on reaching policymakers external to the Groups, and making our voice heard through our TNG
Meetings. In 2011 the TNG Strategy the focus is towards engagement with policy makers and continued
mainstreaming. In 2011 we will hold events in Birmingham (Q2 2011) and at the Northern Ireland Assembly
(Q4 2011). The event in Northern Ireland will be followed up by a mailout to Members of the Legislative
Assembly "(MLA) giving information on their constituency’s participation in our programmes. We will
produce a brochure for each mailout mapping activity across the country and including case studies. (We
already did this in Wales and Scotland in 2010 which was well-appreciated by policy-makers).
3. European Thematic Networking
NetECVET: Working Together To Understand and Implement ECVET
 We are working on this project with 14 other National Agencies (NAs), which is led by the
German NA, to work together with all NAs to support the implementation of ECVET, linking the
EU level with national levels.
 NetECVET will collect best practice examples of results, methods and instruments developed by
existing projects. A web-based toolbox will be developed to help promoters, particularly tailored
to mobility projects, to apply ECVET principles. Regional workshops and training sessions for
NAs will also be held to gather feedback on the toolbox and to train NA staff. A handbook and
training materials will be produced to accompany the toolbox. A final conference will take place
to disseminate the results of the project and a conference report will also be produced.
 NetECVET will innovate the way transnational mobility is carried out, promoting the involvement
of practitioners and competent bodies, increasing the focus on lasting partnerships and QA. It
will ensure that there is a mainstreamed common European understanding of ECVET and
increase the visibility of Leonardo projects. It will also give VET practitioners the opportunity to
exchange on how this works in practice and can be compared across borders and sectors. It is
anticipated that there is an increased testing and implementation of ECVET elements and more
project applications under the ECVET priority.
4. Restricted Call for tender to LLP NAs - Supporting National Teams of ECVET experts
The purpose of the National Teams of ECVET Experts is to provide a pool of expertise in certain areas to
promote and enhance progress toward the adoption, the application and the use of ECVET in their countries.
The overall context of the work carried out by the National Team will be:
 Implementing the action lines as mentioned in the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of
the European Council on the establishment of ECVET;
 Promoting the development and use of ECVET as part of a lifelong learning approach which is an element
of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs.
Within these broader objectives the National Team will, amongst other activities, provide counselling to VET
relevant competent bodies and institutions.
Useful Reference: The invitation to submit proposals will be restricted to LLP NAs. The grant is awarded to
the LLP NAs on the basis of an Activity Plan and a budget. Members of the National Teams should be, for
example, researchers and practitioners in VET, qualification experts, internal relations officers or VET
experts. Each team should also include a representative of the economic sector.