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Analysis of context

This book is the result of a collaborative work of the consortium involved in DILABS. The analysis of the contexts were established according to their own experience and involvment with local, regional or national authorities. This book was made thanks to the exchange between the partners of the consortium (meeting, visioconference, seminars, collaborative tools...) and it is a review of the context in which the partners evolve as far as adult education and vocational training is concerned.

The main goal of this activity was to go deeper in each context in order for the participants to be aware of the context in which they evolve, and in which their activity is implemented. Going deeper in the research of documents contribute to the enrichment of the basic knowledge for each participants concerning this topic.

This book is an activity within the methodology. It makes sense for participants who go through the whole process of "raising awareness", because we consider that being aware of the context in which our activities is performed contributes to the improvement of our own practices.

Site: Digital Community and Innovation in Adult Education and Basic Skills
Course: Sensibilisation : identification des compétences clés en situation
Book: Analysis of context
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Date: Monday, 17 June 2024, 5:08 PM

Legal framework in Italy

In Italy, the legal framework aims at building an integrated system between Formal Education (school and university), Vocational Training and Non-formal Education (associations and universities). Since 1997 the national policies has redefined the adult education system through the foundation of Permanent Territorial Centres overtaking the initial aim to provide literacy training to the population, in order to respond to the cultural needs, especially with the spread of best practices. Further, in 2000, this system was reinforced thanks to the agreement between Government, Regions and public and private entities, and it was ratify the right of knowledge and lifelong learning included into the right of citizenship. In particular, the main legislations, which regulate the Adult Education in Italy, are:

  • Law 59 of 15/3/1997 on the Public Administration Reform. Article. 21: "[...] educational institutions realize [...] training offer extensions which would also include training programs for adults ...".
  • Ministerial Order 455 of 29 July 1997, the Ministry of Education has established the Permanent Territorial Centres (CTP) for education and training in adulthood.
  • 31.3.1998: Legislative Decree No. 112 on the conferment of administrative functions and tasks to the regions and local authorities, in the implementation of Chapter I of the 59/97 law.
  • Agreement into Unified Conference of State-Regions of 2 March 2000 and the Directive No. 22 of 6 February 2001 have further clarified the relevant policies, where the Ministry, other government departments, regions, local authorities "must commit themselves to promote the integrated Adult Education system and to work in synergy with the actors involved in the sector, in particular considering the contribution of associations.
  • The Act No. 269/2006 art.632 redefined the Adult Education system related to Permanent Territorial Centres (CTP) into the educational institutions, called "Provincial Centres for Education of Adults (CPIA )".
  • Through Fornero law (Presidential Decree no. 263/2012) was introduced a new form of adult education institution: District education center. CPIA will be up to the challenge of reducing the educational deficit of adults in Italy, in addition to meeting the new demands of knowledge, expertise and skill posed by the "learning society".
  • In 2012, thanks to Law No. 92 on the reform of the labor market in a growth perspective, it was defined the right to the lifelong learning.

Therefore, Adult Education is focused on the concept that culture is a right, also for those who want to increase their knowledge. Increase the qualification of people and work forces is the main idea of these policies, in order to have skilled workers and aware citizens. Despite the recent reorganization of educational system for Adult Education, there are problems related to the lack of specific funds and the difficulty to involve adults in learning activities.

Legal framework in Norway

Our analysis of the context is based on the facts that many adults and immigrants without relevant education (key competences) are or will become unemployed in a continuous changing labour market. This indicate emphasis on:

Adult Learning:

To give adults better opportunities to strengthen their skills, increase their opportunities to participate in training and to recognize their skills. According to White paper from Norwegian Government (White Paper Meld. St. 16 (2015–2016), the aim is social inclusion and a second chance for adults learning, and that each individual shall have the skills that form the basis for a stable and lasting labour market attachment. To reach this goal the Norwegian Government will develop a coordinated and coherent policy for adults with low education, poor basic skills or skills without formal recognition. Many of the challenges in this field cut across sectoral lines. The White paper therefore is prepared jointly by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Public security. The White paper has three main priority areas that together are aimed at creating better access to education for adults and a better basis for cooperation between educational authorities, integrational authorities and labour market authorities.
It is also an aim to close the gap between youth and adult rights to upper secondary education. Those who will be entitled to upper secondary education as adults will receive this training before they reach the age of 25, even though their youth entitlement has expired.

A quicker transition to work for immigrants:

To achieve a seamless transition to working life for immigrants. A main goal is to recognize immigrants´ competences, which they already possess upon entry into the country. To strengthen their key competences, it is regarded by Norwegian Government to facilitate better incorporation of primary and secondary education in the introduction program for immigrants, including trials in which Norwegian language training and basic skills are combined with education at the primary level.

Legal framework in Spain - IES Jacarandà

Our institution, IES Jacarandà, provides formal education, since our students´goal is to get the basic certifícate of secondary education, which allows them to get a job or carry on with their training or studies.

Their profile attend to two different pictures: young people who left school before finishing their education, and middle aged people that return to school because they wish to improve their personal situation or just knowledge.

We attempt to provide our students with those basic skills required to start functioning  as independent learners or individuals in everyday life and working environment. Beside basic skills, they start the process to acquire some personal competencies. For that reason we also  work with them attitude and emotional intelligence, since many learners have a history of school and personal failure and it is important to work motivation and self-steem.

IES Jacarandá provides Secondary education for adults, among other levels, in the scope of achievement of basic skills.


Adult Training Provision

Adult training provision in Spain includes basic education and literacy processes, integration into the labour market and leisure activities. The diagram below is a summary of the system.

  1. Adult training provision offered by the education, employment and local authorities

Type of provision


Responsible authorities

Provision to raise achievement in basic skills

Basic education for adults

Initial education


Secondary education for adults

Vocational secondary education for adults

Basic vocational training

Language education

To acquire the Basic User level (A1 and A2) according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

In order to obtain a language certificate, they may sit the corresponding tests.

Provision to achieve a recognised qualification during adulthood

Post-compulsory education



Vocational training: intermediate and advanced vocational training cycles


To obtain a qualification: Lower Compulsory Secondary Education CertificateBachillerato certificateTechnician certificate, Advanced Technician certificate.

To obtain a language certificate without completing the corresponding course.

To have access to studies leading to the award of an official qualification: intermediate and advanced vocational training, advanced artistic education and university education.

Provision targeting the transition to the labour market


Supply training

Specific programmes aimed at people with special training needs, or experiencing difficulties entering the labour market or overcoming skill barriers.


Training actions with recruitment commitment.

Training actions primarily aimed at the unemployed.

Placements in companies.

Work-linked training

Training and learning contract (Dual vocational training: Training activity of this contract).

Public employment and training programmes:

  • Workshop-schools and trade training centres

  • Employment workshops

PREPARA Programme

Provision of liberal (popular) adult education1

Educational provision


Training provision

Training for employment provision

Cultural provision

Other types of publicly subsidised provision for adult learners2

Demand training

On-the-job training actions



Individual training plans

Supply training

Training programmes aimed primarily at employed workers

Training actions for public officials

Provision To Raise Achievement IN Basic Skills

Provision aiming to raise achievement in basic skills is mainly offered by the education authorities. They provide an opportunity to study basic education for adults, which comprises initial education, secondary education for adults, vocational secondary education for adults (basic vocational training) and language education.

Secondary education for adults

Secondary education for adults is intended to help them obtain the Lower Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate. It also seeks to facilitate the acquisition of the basic skills that are necessary to foster their personal development and promote their social integration, continuation of their studies and their integration into the labour market or promotion. 

  • Admission requirements: Students must be over 18 and, exceptionally, over 16 if they have a work contract or they are high-performance sportspeople. In order to have access to this type of provision, a compulsory initial assessment of the student is also carried out.

  • Organisation: It is organised into three areas:

- Communication: basic aspects of the curriculum for compulsory secondary education relating to the subjects of Spanish Language and Literature and the first foreign language.

- Social: including aspects relating to Social Sciences, Geography and History, Citizenship Education and Human Rights, as well as those concerning perception in the curriculum of both Plastic and Visual Education and Music.

- Scientific-Technological: including aspects relating to Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Technology, as well as those concerning health and the environment in the curriculum of Physical Education. The guiding and counselling role is included in the actual teaching/learning process in an integrated way, as part of the teaching. 

  • Teaching methods: In most Autonomous Communities, this type of provision is organised in such a way that it can be completed in one or two academic years. In order to help adults combine their personal, family and working life with study, provision can be classroom-based, distance or partially distance. 

  • Assessment: It is considered as a continuous process. It is important that it is personalised, integrative and that it takes into account the characteristics of students.

  • Certification: Students who successfully complete secondary education for adults are awarded the Lower Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate.

Description of other actions relevant for DILABS project have been included below

Training actions and programmes included in vocational training for employment, according to target group

Training provision by employment authorities

Target group

Supply training

Training plans primarily aimed at employed workers.


Primarily employed workers.

Unemployed people may also participate.

Specific programmes aimed at people with special training needs, experiencing difficulties entering the labour market or overcoming skill barriers, or young people under 30.

Employed or unemployed people with special training needs, experiencing difficulties entering the labour market or overcoming skill barriers, informal carers with dependents, and young people under 30.

Training actions with recruitment commitment1.

Primarily unemployed people and immigrant workers in their countries of origin.

Training actions primarily aimed at the unemployed.

Primarily unemployed workers, although employed workers may also participate.

Placements in companies.

Unemployed people aged 18-25.

Other initiatives.

People who are deprived of their freedom and Army and Navy military personnel.

Work-linked training

Training and learning contract (Dual vocational training: Training activity of this contract).

Young people aged 16-25 (the age is extended to 30 until the unemployment rate drops below 15%) whose professional qualifications are not recognised by the vocational training for employment system or the education system. For detailed information on dual vocational training linked to this contract, see article National reforms related to transversal skills and employability.

Public employment and training programmes:

  • Workshop-schools and trade training centres

  • Employment workshops

Unemployed people aged 16-25 (workshop-schools and trade training centres) or 25 or over (employment workshops).

PREPARA Programme

Unemployed people who have exhausted entitlement to employment benefit and who are not receiving any other benefit.

Validation Of Non-Formal And Informal Learning

In Spanish eduction system only the evaluation of profesional competences have been developed.

The evaluation and accreditation of the profesional competencies through work experience and non-formal and informal training is one of the necessary instruments to make lifelong learning a reality, encouraging the adult population, especially those who dropped out with no qualification, to reintegrate into the education system through the recognition of their training.

Since 2009, this evaluation and accreditation is conducted according to criteria guaranteeing its reliability, objectivity and technical rigour. The National Catalogue of Vocational Qualifications serves as an objective reference for this procedure, since it lists the vocational qualifications to be recognised and accredited, identified in the productive system on the basis of the skills required to practice the profession. Since its implementation, all the education authorities have published different calls for the recognition of certain competences. The procedure comprises the following stages:

  • Guidance, on the basis the documents provided: An advisor draws up a non-binding report. If it is positive, the candidate may have access to the evaluation stage. If negative, the report indicates the additional training to be undertaken by the candidate as well as the institutions where he/she can receive it.

  • Evaluation of the professional competence: It is checked whether the candidate has the professional competence required.

  • Accreditation and record of the professional competence: The accreditation is issued to candidates who have completed the evaluation stage for each competence unit for which the professional competence has been demonstrated.

On completion of the evaluation and accreditation process, the relevant authorities provide all participants with the necessary guidelines to complete training leading to the award of a vocational training qualification or a certifícate of profesional experience.

If the workers’ professional competences that have been evaluated are not enough to achieve the level of qualification required by a vocational training certificate or a certificate of professional experience, they are partially accredited. Thus, they can complete their training in order to obtain the relevant qualification or certificate.

Legal framework in Spain - Inercia Digital

The Spanish Education Organic Law mention the importance of acquiring these key competences in order to get the general certificate of secondary education, that means that the students who finish the high school should be provided with the basic skills and key competences to face a higher education or the labour market. The fact is that this is not happening in real life. People are not prepared in all of these competences even after the high education at university. So it is more complicated for adults who stopped studying a long time ago to have these competences. That is the reason why a lifelong learning approach should be carried out. Adults need to keep them training and learning about innovations and changes on their professional field.

In base of the European framework of key competences, some changes have been done in order to promote the acquisition of the basic skills, which are required in every job. To this end, some of the actions that government is doing are referred to the provision of high quality learning for all students based on relevant curricula that is being demand on the labour market. One of the action to avoid the existence of adults without key competences is to reduce the early school leaving and to increase the early childhood education in order to get adults more prepared in case they do not keep studying and receiving formation after school. The most relevant action to get the implementation of the key competences in the most of the population is to improve the support for teachers, schools leader and teacher educators, because it is impossible to teach someone about some knowledge that the own teacher or responsible person does not have.

Once students finish their preparation, the approach to improve their skills and key competences is aimed to get employing basics, to obtain new qualifications, to up-skill or re-skill for employment or for personal growth. The organic education law establishes adult education in order to offer people over eighteen years old the opportunity to acquire, bring up-to-date, complete or expand their knowledge and aptitude of their personal and professional development. There is also the possibility of entering university courses without school qualifications for people over 25 years old by passing a simple test, with the aim of increase the university formation between adults. In addition, adults may also benefit from other training processes outside the regulated education system, through extended vocational training and from initiatives that aim at aiding specific groups at risk of being excluded, to help them to re-include them in society and, consequently, in the labour market.

Adults can get formal education, which include literacy, consolidation of knowledge, languages, preparation for access to university or VET and other technical courses. Furthermore, within the non-regulated education system, adults can access to a wide variety of training courses, such as short or long-term training courses aimed at improving professional skills or reintegration into employment (organized by social agencies with public funding), and courses with a variety of objectives as literacy, languages, etc. of different duration (organized by various agencies with public funding, usually as part of specific projects).

The main providers of adult education in Spain are:

  • In regulated university education: Universidad Nacional a Distancia UNED (National Distance Learning University).
  • In non-university regulated education: Centros de Educación de Adultos (Adult Education Centres).
  • In non-university regulated education via distance learning: Centro para la Innovación y Desarrollo de la Educación a Distancia CIDEAD (Centre for Innovation and Development of Distance Learing Education).
  • In non-regulated education: There is a complex network, which includes a multitude of associated companies with different geographical áreas and backgrounds. There is also an emphasis on the classroom mentor, which is an open system of learning provided by the ministry of education, which is implemented into lifelong learning, whose training relies fundamentally on the Internet.

Legal basis of this kind of education systems reside in the ministry of education, but every autonomous community counts on its own public organization because legislative and executive competence on several issues is transferred to the autonomous communities, between them, education system.

What do we mean by « basic skills » and/or « key competences » in France ?

The « key competences » approach in France


A lack of basic skills (write and read), particularly functional (i.e understand a message on daily life topics) and numeracy along with digital skills, can be an obstacle to find a job or to obtain a qualification.

This situation leads to problems of professional integration and/or professional mobility or problems to stay in a job.

Consequently, the ANLCI (National Agency facing illiteracy issue, that unites public and private partners in highlighting literacy issues), to address the social pressure of various social partners, has constructed and proposed a Framework of « key competences in professional contexts » (2009).

The objective is to facilitate professional integration and anticipate professional deployments/transfers, along with coordinate the actions at the national level.

Some key dates

  • 2006 : European framework of key competences for lifelong learning : introduction of the notion of competency (composed of knowledges, skills and attitudes).

The European key competences framework defines 8 key competences which complete/ enhance the basic skills (read, write and count).

• Communication in native language

• Communication in foreign languages

• Numeracy and basic skills in science & technology

• Digital skill

• Learning to learn

• Social and civic competences

• Entrepreunership

• Cultural awareness and expression

  • The European framework of key competences for lifelong learning was adapted by the French Ministry of Education with the creation of a specific framework including 7 competences (“Socle commun de connaissances et de compétences »).
  • In 2016, it became « Le socle commun de connaissances, de compétences et de culture», focusing on 5 themes to define knowledge and competences that one student is supposed to achieve at the end of his/her education.

Introduction of the term “competences”:

  • Languages to think and communicate

  • Methods and tools to learn

  • Education to be a person and a citizen (citizenship)

  • The natural and techonological systems

  • The representations of the world and of the human activity

  • DGEFP (Délégation Générale à l‘Emploi et à la Formation Professionnelle, section of the Labour Ministry, in charge of the implementation of the Government policy, regarding employment and vocational training) influences the specifications decided by the sponsors establishing public contracts related to key competences (instructions of 2006)

2014 : law on vocational training (introduction of the obligation of competency acquisition)

What are the basic skills in the « ANLCI Framework »?

They are the required competences in professional life, to be able to:

  • Read a diagram, safety directives, work planning, timetables

  • Calculate quantities and prices

  • Communicate with customers and colleagues

  • Understand rapidely

  • Anticipate the development of a task

The « Anlci Framework » distinguishes 10 basic types of knowledge to be able to implement 7 specific tasks

4 Types of general knowledge

6 Types of technical skills and know-how

Oral : understand and communicate

Digital Skills

Writing : read and write

Technics (technology and vocabulary associated to the position)



Space and time

Cultural awareness (Foreign Language)

The rules (safety, quality, environment and Hygiene)

For each types of knowledge, there are 3 levels. They identify the level of mastering of the competences associated to the knowledge.

  • Level 1 = IMITATION = the worker uses only his/her auditory and visual memory
  • Level 2 = ADAPTATION = the worker, only if his/her professional context does not change, can apply what he/her has memorized.
  • Level 3 = TRANSFER = the worker is able to transfer what he/she has learnt in any context.

Distinction between framework of competences and framework of certification

In 2014 : the French government implemented a new law on vocational training.

New certifications appear and aim at validating the acquisition of some of the key competences:

  • CléA : professional inter-sectors certification. Validation of 7 competences.

  • Voltaire : only to check and validate the spelling competency

The ANLCI Framework for « key competences in professional contexts » (2009) is a competences framework whereas CléA is an inter-sectors certification standard.

This certification standard refers to « the basic knowledge and competences that a person should get to enhance one’s professional integration and one’s possibilities to get into vocational training programs ».

It is a tool in favour of training, employment, professional evolution and competitiveness.

With Cléa, it is possible to:

  • Implement an accurate assessment for workers

  • Identify the training needs and programs

  • Identify the richness of personal and professional backgrounds

Certification CléA created by the committee COPANEF

It consists of the knowledge and skills that a person needs to have, in order to favor his/her employability and to facilitate the access to vocational training – regardless of the professional sector or job.

It is officially registered as of right on the National Inventory and is eligible for any vocational training provisions, including “le compte personnel de formation (CPF)” or “personal training account”.

This certification lies on a framework based on work conducted by the Committee Observatories and Certifications within the COPANEF according to:

  • National Cross-sectorial Agreement (ANI) of October 5th, 2009, annex to article 12 of ANI of December 14th, 2013

  • French Law 2014-288 of March 5th, 2014 concerning Vocational training, employment and social democracy (“training provisions eligible for CPF are the training programs allowing participants to get Competences and knowledge basic skills as defined by Decree”).

Competences and knowledge basic skills cover:

  • communication (Litteracy) skills ;

  • numeracy, and basic scientific reasoning skills ;

  • digital basic skills ;

  • team working ;

  • empowerment and achieving an individual aim ;

  • ability to learn how to learn (lifelong learning) ;

  • ability to respect proper movement and postures, hygiene rules, security and environmental rules.

COPANEF is a national cross-sectorial joint committee aiming at coordinating joint policies as regards training and employment, defining policies implemented by the “professional career security joint funds” (FPSPP) and monitoring the implementation of the “personal training accoung” (Compte personnel de formation – CPF). The members are representative of social partners, professional branches. An official website ( was created to inform and guide professionals, employers, employees, training centers, and all the staff involved in vocational training and adult education (only in French).

To validate the basic skills all the knowledge and competences have to be assessed (there is no partial validation) whatever the professional sector is. This first level of professional skills is favoring employability and access to further vocational training. The content was written in a manner to enable the adaptability to any professional sector, and context.

NQF and Coherence to match the requirements of the labour market

In France, our global system relies on two pillars:

  • R.O.M.E. : le Répertoire Opérationnel des Métiers et des Emplois (Inventory of Jobs and Positions)

  • R.N.C.P. : le Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnels (National Register of Vocational Certifications) our National Qualification Framework

On one hand, jobs and positions are registered in a specific inventory set up by the National Job Center (Pôle Emploi). This inventory gathers more than 10 000 titles of jobs (and positions) and more than 500 files describing these jobs (ROME). Each document gives a description of jobs and makes it easier for employers and job seekers to compare job offers with applications, and to compare skills requirements.

On the other hand, the National Register of Vocational Certifications guarantees that any qualifications are registered following its level and the professional sector it belongs to (hierarchization of jobs). It is responsible for the registration of qualifications by positioning them within the NQF and controls the positioning of other certifications that are not under its responsibility. The registration is made following a unique format for each qualification. What is important to notice is that social partners and professional organizations have been closely involved to set up the National Register of Vocational Certifications (RNCP).

There is coherence between the two registers (professional standards and qualification standards) and the aim is to match the requirements of the labour market.

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies 2011-2012

International Assessment of Adults Competencies was carried out in 2011-2012. They studied the level of basic skills such as understanding of the text and the level of mathematical  and IT skills. The research was made in 24 countries including Poland, where almost 10,000 people was tested. General results of the research indicated that the level of understanding of the text in Poland is 267 points in relation to the average 273 points obtained in the group of countries belonging to the OECD. Mathematical skills level in Poland was established on 260 points to 269 points in the OECD group. Even though Polish average scores are below the average of OECD countries, during the seventeen years they rose better than in all the surveyed countries. A similar research IALS carried out In Poland in 1994 indicated 232 points for understanding the text in relation to 267 points in 2012. 

Unfortunately, the mathematical and IT skills proved to be the lowest of all the countries participating in the study. Research indicates that only 50,2% of respondents in Poland completed the test PIAAC using computer. Compared to 75,6% average in general. In addition,  according to respondents, 46% of them do not use the computer at work. Average result is 30%. 19% of respondents has high competence information and communication in relation to the average of 34%.

If it comes to understanding of the text there is a huge difference between the generations. Young people aged 16-26 reach approximately 280 points in relation to adults aged 55-65 years, their average score is only 32 point. People with secondary education and the vocational education reached the result below the average. Because this group is the largest in Poland (over 56% of the respondents aged 25-65 years) it affects strongly at the outcome of the Polish test. The results of the Polish students are highly heterogeneous. Worse results reach the students of humanistic and social  field of study than medical, technical and science. 

A good result, compared to the other surveyed countries, have public administration, employees of the service sector, health and office workers. The unemployed and the passive reach scores which are significantly lower than the average in the surveyed countries. 

The average level of urban residents is definitely higher than the countryside inhabitants. Results of Polish farmers are very low, this occupational group is substantially higher in Poland than in other countries. 

Unique is that women have higher results in both: the understanding of the text and mathematical skills. In other countries the men reach higher average scores, although the difference is minimal. Research also showed that young people in Poland achieved average results higher than the OECD group in understanding the text. 

If it comes to the level of mathematical and IT skills the best scores are reach by a workers of modern service branch. The best scores have high qualified intellectual workers. They are better than simple job worker, qualified physical worker and medium qualified intellectual worker. The status on labor market is important because active workers have much better scores than unemployed or passive. The education has also influence on the score. The best outcomes are reach by people who has graduated higher education (better scores than secondary education and primary education). Inhabitants of cities bigger than 500.000 inhabitants has better scores than people who live on the countryside or cities below 500.000 inhabitants. The score also depends on the age of respondents. People between 25 and 34 years old have best results. The worst have people between 55 and 65 years old.

Educational system for adults in Poland, and the development of key competences

In Poland, there is a concept of lifelong learning which means learning throughout life. The concept is defined by Regulation of the Education System and the Act from 20th April 2004 about employment promotion and labor market institutions. They define lifelong learning as:

  1. "... education in schools for adults, and obtaining and supplementing general knowledge, skills and professional qualifications in non-school forms by persons who fulfilled the duty school" - Regulation of the Education System
  2. "... education in schools for adults, as well as obtaining and supplementing general knowledge, skills and qualifications in relation to the unemployed, job seekers, employees and employers" - Act about employment promotion and labor market institutions. 

Adults have the same possibilities to learn as young people. In addition, Regulation of the Minister of National Education from 7th February 2012 on the frame of education project  in public schools says about the number of teaching hours which must be realized at different levels of education at schools for youngsters and for adults. All of the classes develop the basic skills and key competences.

In Poland, adults can learn in the following forms: 

  • High school for adults- this is the only opportunity to obtain a secondary school education in case of not having it yet, or graduating the vocational school. When student does not have a secondary education, learning starts from the first semester. In this case, the it takes 6 semesters which is 3 years. In case of finishing the vocational school learning starts from 3rd semester and takes 2 years. Both ends with obtaining secondary education and the ability to pass matriculation exam. 
  • Part-time study -after passing the matriculation exam, student can begin the part-time study. This is the kind of study which is offered by the public and private universities. Organization of classes in this case is specific. All activities are held every 2nd week only on Fridays afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. This allows adults to connect professional work with the ability to increase their education and acquire new competencies. Today in Poland it is difficult to find a well-paid job without a higher education. For many people this is the only possibility to achieve it. 
  • Postgraduate studies are also carried out like part-time study. They are directed for people with Bachelor or Magister degree, but who also want to get new qualifications and specialized skills. Classes also are held every 2nd week on Fridays afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.

High school for adults contains in its frame of training the key competences such as communicating in mother tongue carried out by the Polish language lessons, communicating in foreign language carried out by teaching a foreign language- English or German. Mathematical, scientific and technological competence are developed by lessons of mathematics, physics and chemistry, digital competences- through lessons of computer science. Social and civic competences are developed on lessons of Knowledge About Civics. Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship are improving on the lessons of Basic Entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression on the lessons of Knowledge About The Culture. This means that the Polish educational system in the frame of basic education ensures development of all key competencies recommended by the European Parliament. 

Part-time study develops the key competences in a frame of Computer Science or Information Technology. It is important that on the technical fields of study there are also classes related to humanities or social science fields. On the fields of humanities and social sciences study are realized classes related to the mathematical fields. Thus also during getting higher education most of the key competences are developing. That trend is showed by the research PIAAC. Respondents with an university degree reach higher score than those with basic education only.

Postgraduate studies do not include in their frames classes directly developing the key competences, because they are focused on acquiring advanced and very specialized knowledge on the chosen field. 

The key competences training for adults, and the support of the European Union

Voivodeship Mazowsze in 2016 in the frame of regional operational programme financed by the European Union, announced the competition for projects referring to the development of key competences for adults. Within the framework of the project it was possible to get funds for training or other forms of raising competences of digital skills, literacy and foreign language. The process of training has to be proven by formal confirmation and certification of acquired skills. These forms are:

  • Training or other forms of raising the competence, ending with the external certificate confirming the acquisition of specific IT competences. As it was planned in the application for funding the project, referred to the guidelines of the Minister of Infrastructure and the Development in a scope of the monitoring of the implementation of operational program for the period of 2014-2020. 
  • Language training ending with the external certificate confirming that the project participants reached the specified level of proficiency (in accordance with the European system of reference for languages).

Projects will be implemented in 2017, and for one of the Voivedeship was given nearly 5 million Euros. This shows how strong is the pressure in Poland to develop the key competences for adults.

A summary

The development of the key competences is an extremely important undertaking. It will provide the of young stuff for the constantly changing demands of the labor market. The development of such competences as communication in foreign language or IT skills gives all the  Europe an opportunity to have a chance in competing with other high-developed countries around the world. In addition, this will allow us for a successful cooperation and to use a synergie effect. 

Poland consistently implements a recommendation of the European Parliament related to the development of key competences for education of young people and adults. Basic education realize the development of all key competences. In addition, with the support of the European Union, large financial grants are spent on further development of key competences for adults.

Legal framework in Portugal

This work was made in the framework of ERASMUS + project  DILABS and focuses on the theoretical and legal assumptions related with the adult education and training model of the Group of Schools Júlio Dantas (AEJD).

We do not intend to, or could, do in detail. We just intend to systematize some steps of the process, which seem more relevant for the description of the Key Competences in the Adult Education system in Portugal.

Regarding its structure, the work presented here is developed over two chapters. The first presents the legal framework for the Adult Education and Training Centre of AEJD. The second focuses on existing education and training offering in that group of schools and the description of Key Competences.

Center “Qualifica” – Agrupamento de Escolas Júlio Dantas (Group of Schools Júlio Dantas)

Aware of the centrality that the lifelong learning (LLL) has taken on in our society, the secondary school Júlio Dantas has always sought to make its contribution through the creation and diversification of educational and training offerings to give response to "non-traditional" public needs – young adults who have left the education system without the completion of compulsory schooling and/or without qualification, low-skilled adults, school or professional active working adults, immigrants, unemployed with low qualification level and qualified assets who wish to acquire other levels of qualification.


In this context, in 2006, joined the "Iniciativa Novas Oportunidades” (New Opportunities Initiative), advocated by “Plano Tecnológico” - Unidade de Coordenação do Plano Tecnológico, 2005 -  (Technological Plan Coordination Unit, 2005), with the creation of the "Centro Novas Oportunidades Terras do Infante da Escola Secundária Júlio Dantas” (Centre of New Opportunities “Land of the Infant” of secondary school Júlio Dantas).


This initiative was based on the idea that the twelfth year of schooling (12th grade) was the minimum level and reference point for the qualification of Portuguese citizens.

In 2013 the network "Centros Novas Oportunidades” (New Opportunities Centres) was extinct and replaced by "Centros para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional – CQEP” (Centers for Qualification and Professional Education), created by Ordinance No. 135-‐ A/2013, May 28th. Thus, through Decree No. 1465/2014, January 29th  the "Centro para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional do Agrupamento de Escolas Júlio Dantas – CQEP/ AEJD” (Center for Qualification and Professional Education Group of Schools Júlio Dantas) was created and ran until the end of December 2016. During this period the training and adult education was relatively sparse due essentially to lack of funding preventing the affectation of physical and human resources for its normal functioning.


In 2016 the ministerial order No. 232/2016, of  August 29th, proceeded to create Centers “Qualifica” (qualifies) , extinguishing the "Centro para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional – CQEP” (Center for Qualification and Professional Education).

According to the preamble to the Ordinance above,  "revitalize the adult education and training as the central pillar of the qualifications system, ensuring the continuity of policies for lifelong learning and continuous improvement of the quality of processes and learning outcomes is a national political priority".


The "Centro Qualifica do agrupamento de escolas Júlio Dantas CA – AEJD”, (Center “Qualifica” for the Group of schools Júlio Dantas), started its activity on the 1st of January 2017, and is intended for adults aged 18 years and above who want to obtain a qualification and, exceptionally, to young people who are not attending any education or training system  and are not included in the labour market (paragraph 2 , of the article 1 of ministerial order No. 232/2016)


The assignments of Centers “Qualifica” are (paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, article 2, of ministerial order No. 232/2016):

a)                 The information, orientation and forwarding of candidates, in particular for vocational education and training, based on the different types of qualifications and adapting existing offerings to profiles, needs, motivations and expectations of candidates and the dynamics of the labour market;

b)                 The recognition, validation and certification of competences developed by adults throughout life through formal, informal and non-formal school education, professional or double certification, based on references of the National Qualifications Catalogue;

c)                  The development of information and dissemination actions targeting young people and adults, businesses and other employers about professional education and training offerings available and the relevance of lifelong learning;

d)                 The promotion and participation in networks of place-based partnership that contribute, in the context of vocational education and training, to a more integrated and consistent intervention, identifying concrete needs of qualification and in the organization of useful answers to the population, in particular to facilitate the marking and identification of young people who are outside the system of education and training and promote their forwarding to appropriate qualifying responses;

e)                 The monitoring of the candidates sent to qualifying offers;

f)                   The support to the "Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional, I. P.  - ANQEP, I.P. (National Agency for qualification and vocational education) regarding their specific competence criteria definition network structuring and implementation of monitoring mechanisms of education and training offerings.

According paragraph 1 of article 11, the activity of CQ-AEJD embodied in the following steps of intervention:

  • Welcoming - registration and clarification, considering the mission and the scope of intervention of the CQ-AEJD;
  • Diagnosis – candidate profile analysis, in order to identify education and/or training responses adjusted to his/her situation (motivations, needs and expectations);
  • Information and guidance – identification of individual projects of education and professional qualification, taking into account realistic options of future studies and/or integration into the labour market;
  • Forwarding- forwarding the candidate for an offer (internal or external to the Group) of education and/or vocational training or for a process of “Recognition and Validation” and “Certification of Competences”.
  • Processes of Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences (RVCC Process).

AEJD Education and/or Training Offering

For the current year the offering for education and/or training of adults in AEJD is indicated below:

1.      Courses of Adult Education and Training – Courses EFA

2.      Portuguese Courses for Speakers of Other Languages – Courses PFOL

3.      Completion of Secondary Level of Education

4.      Certified Modular Training – FMC

5.      Process of recognition, validation and certification of competences (secondary level) – RVCC Process NS Schooling

Courses of Adult Education and Training – Courses EFA

Legal Framework:

Ordinance No. 230/2008, 7 March, as amended by Ordinance No. 283/2011, 24 October.

The courses of adult education and training (EFA) are intended for individuals aged 18 years and above, not qualified or unqualified, for the purpose of inserting, reinserting and progression in the labour market and who have not completed basic education or high school (point (e) of article 9 of Decree-Law No. 396/2007 of 31 December).

The EFA courses aimed at the creation of specific educational itineraries for adults, in an attempt to "unschooling" this training based on a skill approach, and contextualised in life (social, professional and personal) of adults.

The construction of the curriculum of these Courses is based on benchmarks of key competences, which contributed to solving problems (more or less complex) that individuals have to face in their daily lives.


According to the training venues, the secondary level of EFA courses integrate all or some of the training components below.




Basic training

Transdisciplinary nature and transversal component aiming the acquisition or enhancement of personal, social and professional skills, in order to (re) insert into active life and the adaptability to different work contexts.

To enhance the development of citizens, in the national and community space, providing conditions to deepening capacities for autonomy, initiative, self-learning, teamwork, collection and information processing and problem-solving.

Technology Training


Component that aims to equip graduates with scientific and technological skills in order to develop practical activities and problem solving that are inherent to the exercise of a given profession.

Practical training in  work context


Component that aims to strengthen scientific and technological skills acquired in training context, by performing activities inherent to professional practice, as well as facilitate future (re) employability of graduates.


of Reflective


Aims for the development of reflective processes about the heritage of acquired experience and acquisition of knowledge and skills in the context of adult training.

Source: adapted IEFP


Basic training (FB)

Basic training incorporates three key skills areas: Citizenship and Professional Component (CP), Society, Technology and Science (STC) and Culture, Language and Communication (CLC).

These areas are organized in Catalogo Nacional de Qualificações* - CNQ (National Qualifications Catalogue) for short-term Training Units (UFCD) ** of 50 hours each.


Areas of

Key Competences


Learning outcomes



32 (4 / UFCD)



28 (4 / UFCD)



28 (4 / UFCD)





Regarding foreign language the key competence area of Culture, Language and Communication, can integrate  2 UFCD foreign language  - CLC_LEI (initiation) and CLC_LEC (continued).

 Technology Training (FT)

The technological training component is structured in UFCD, according to the training level 4 benchmarks, that integrate the CNQ.


 Practical training in  work context  (FPCT)


The practical training in the work context results from the collaboration school-companies/institutions and takes place at the end of the course. The relationship between the school and the companies/institutions is regulated by a memorandum of cooperation which essentially establishes the framework of rights and obligations of each party.


FPCT programming must be agreed between the principal trainer entity of the course, the adult and the entity where they will carry out this training component (framing entity). Such programming must take into account the human and material resources of the framing entity, and the activities to be undertaken should be relevant to the acquisition and consolidation of Technological Training Skills, according to the professional output conferred by the course attended.

It is expected that a tutor from the framing entity of this training component and designated for this purpose, will accompany groups consisting of a maximum of five adults, in conjunction with the trainer of the Technological Training and Mediator of the course, and the final assessment of FPCT should be articulated among them. (Courses in Adult Education Secondary Level - Guidelines for Action: 39).



Skills profile:

  • To be aware of themselves and the world, assuming detachment and ability to question prejudices and stereotypes in different scales;
  • To recognise the fundamental rights and duties in different contexts: personal, labour, national and global;
  • To understand within a framework of training/learning of continuous and permanent overcoming of acquired personal and professional skills, recognizing the complexity and change as life features;
  • To present programming capability of personal and professional goals, mobilizing resources and knowledge, in contexts of uncertainty, in a permanent learning attitude;
  • To recognize, in common life, the multiplicity and interconnectedness of social, communicational, linguistic, cultural, technological and scientific elements;
  • To act systematically, based on reasonings that include validated scientific and technological knowledge in different fields of expertise (private, professional, institutional and macroestrutural);
  • To operate in daily life with current technologies, mastering technical principles, their languages and communication capabilities, as well as the impacts (positive or negative) in environmental and social settings;
  • To search information of diverse nature, interpreting and applying it in problem solving or optimization of daily life solutions in different contexts of performance;
  • To plan their own actions, in time and space, predicting and analyzing causal links between processes and/or phenomena, as well as using experimental methods logically oriented;
  • To devise their own practices, simultaneously, such as product and producer of specific social phenomena, liable to a scientific, cultural, linguistic approach or communication;
  • To know how to clarify and communicate some of the cultural, linguistic, scientific knowledge and technology uses in his current life, through abstract languages of basic level;
  • To understand science as a natural process of production and validation of appropriate knowledge of the real world, but also as social practice in constant transformation, including large areas of uncertainty;
  • To understand the language and culture as key elements of life in society and as fields of knowledge and expertise.

“Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário” (Gomes et al, 2006b: 22)


This Profile of key competences of adults, which corresponds to secondary-level certification, adds, where applicable, the corresponding profile of the area of Technological Formation held, revealing the main knowledge, knowing-doing and social and relational specific knowledge to the professional developed outcome (Courses of Adult Education and Training Secondary-Level Guidelines for Action: 40).

Portuguese Courses for Speakers of Other Languages – Courses PFOL

Legal Framework:

Ministerial order No. 1262/October 15, 2009

Are intended for non-native adults and the linguistic-communicative profile of output can correspond to the level A2 or B2.

The curriculum organization of Portuguese Courses for Speakers of Other Languages is, for each unit of training, according to the respective training benchmarks listed in the “Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações” (National Catalogue of Qualifications).

3.        Completion of Secondary Level of Education

Legal Framework:

Decree-Law No. 357/2007, of October 29, rectified by the rectification Declaration No. 117/2007, of December 28


Are intended for candidates who have attended, without completing, study extinct plans prior to DL 74/2004 (up to six subjects per year).

The curriculum organization of each training unit is in accordance with the respective training benchmarks listed in the “Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações” (National Catalogue of Qualifications).


1.     Certified Modular Training – FMC

Legal Framework:

Ordinance No. 230/2008, of March 7, as amended by Ordinance No. 283/October 24, 2011


Are intended for candidates who wish to acquire more school and professional skills, with the view to (re) insert or progress in the labour market.


The curriculum organization of modular training is, for each unit of training, according to the respective training benchmarks listed in the “Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações” (National Catalogue of Qualifications).



5.        Process of recognition, validation and certification of competences (secondary level) – RVCC Process NS Schooling


Legal Framework:


Ordinance No. 232/2016, of August 29


The process of recognition and validation of skills aims to certify skills acquired through work experience and adult life, assigning a certificate whenever the validated skills correspond to benchmarks for school certification and the certification of vocational training, adopted in Portugal (ANEFA 2002).


The National System of Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences is based on benchmarks of key competence, which act as a guiding framework for the whole process, and are based on an organization in various areas that integrate key skills related to technical, scientific and cultural fields (ANQ 2007b).

There are three areas of key competences, in “Referencial de Competências Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário: Cidadania e Profissionalidade  - CP (Framework of Key Competencies for the Education and Training of Adults-Secondary Level: Citizenship and Professional Component); Society, Technology and Science (STC); and Culture, Language, Communication (CLC).

The key competences are generated and shown from comprehensive themes, in which eight are specific to the Area Citizenship and Professional Component and seven common to Society, Technology and Science and Culture, Language, Communication, in a total of 22 Units.

As the operationalization of the various key competences takes place in the context of private, professional, institutional contexts, and macrotexture for each, there are 88 key competences that underpin the entire benchmark.


The RVCC process NS Schooling develops along a set of individual sessions and in small groups, during which the students, supported by a techno-pedagogical team, identify, evaluate and reflect on their experiences of life and their relevance for the learning they provided. They collect evidence to prove these learnings and organize a portfolio that is confronted with the benchmark of key skills, through the application of the instruments related with the process, a privileged evaluation instrument of the trainee.


Skills profile: Citizenship and Professional Component


It is intended that the adult who obtains secondary-level certification in this area can demonstrate ability to act in different life contexts, in an informed and critical way, evidencing a consciousness and an heritage of fundamental rights and duties, in conjunction with the primacy of common good, assuming at the same time a framework of lifelong learning, open to the complexity and initiative as life references.


(in Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário (Gomes et al, 2006b: 47))



Key Competences

  • To Recognise the fundamental rights and duties in different contexts: personal, national, labour and global;
  • To understood oneself within a framework of training/learning of continuous and permanent overcoming personal and professional competencies acquired, recognizing the complexity and change as features of life;
  • To be aware of themselves and the world, assuming detachment and ability to question prejudices and stereotypes in different scales;
  • To adopt principles of loyalty and belonging, in open dialogue with the difference;
  • To identify complex moral dilemmas in the different contexts of experience, and be able to make choices with insight and courage, with respect for the common heritage rule;
  • To understand pluralism and tolerance as crucial challenges to a healthy community insertion;
  • To intervene actively in institutions and deliberative mechanisms, calibrating argumentation with the accommodation of divergent views;
  • To have programming capability of personal and professional goals, mobilizing resources and knowledge, in contexts of uncertainty.


In Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário (Gomes et al, 2006b: 47)


Skills profile: Society, Technology and Science

It is intended that an adult who has obtained secondary-level certification, demonstrates capacity to act in this area in its different life contexts, so informed and critical, incorporating in its practice validated knowledge about Society, Technology and Science.


(in Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário (Gomes et al, 2006b: 62))




Key Competences  

  • To Recognize, in his current life, multiplicity and interconnection of social, technological and scientific elements;
  • To act systematically, based on reasonings that include scientific and technological validated knowledge;
  • To operate in everyday life with current technologies, mastering their technical principles as well as the impacts (positive or negative) in environmental and social settings;
  • To search for technical and scientific information, interpreting and applying it in problem solving or optimization of solutions;
  • To plan their own actions, in time and space, predicting and analyzing causal links between processes and/or phenomena, as well as using experimental methods logically oriented;
  • To devise their own practices simultaneously such as, product and producer of specific social phenomena, liable to a scientific approach;
  • To know how to explain some of the scientific and technological knowledge applied to current life, through basic level abstract languages;
  • To understand science as a natural process of production and validation of appropriate knowledge to the real world, but also as social practice in constant transformation, including broad areas of uncertainty.


In Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário (Gomes et al, 2006b: 62)



Skills profile: Culture, Language, Communication

It is intended that an adult who has obtained secondary-level certification, interacts on CLC Area in different communication domains, demonstrating various skills in order to act appropriately with critical spirit, responsibility and autonomy, distinct contexts designed and defined for this benchmark. …the certificate adult must demonstrate competencies that go through reading, comprehension and production of texts of different types and supports, with utilitarian purposes, recreational and aesthetic training, subject to degrees of varied complexity of procedures depending these degrees on greater or lesser familiarity the individual has with the know-how in CLC. Should also demonstrate skills for understanding culture as a field of production, enjoyment and social relationship; and yet, understand the different models of communication, in particular, the predominant role of the media content in contemporary society.


(in Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário (Gomes et al, 2006b: 78))


Key Competences 

  • To interact in Portuguese language, with clarity and correctness, highlighting critical spirit, responsibility and autonomy.
  • To understand long texts in Portuguese language and/or foreign language, recognizing their implicit meanings, their typologies and related functionality.
  • To reflect on the functioning of the Portuguese language, enjoying it while aesthetic object and preferred means of expression of other cultures.
  • To understand the main ideas of texts in foreign language and express themselves orally and in writing with ease on different themes.
  • To show knowledge of various languages, on different media, in order to understand the different socio-cultural, sociolinguistic and scientific-technical to create awareness of its own identity and the other.
  • To understand the functioning mechanisms of content production in mass media, positioning themselves critically about them.
  • To highlight intercultural competencies that will provide greater openness and acceptance of new linguistic and cultural experiences.
  • To have a broad understanding of culture, recognizing in this concept, from designated areas and erudition to new languages and integrative forms of expressions of popular culture.
  • To put in perspective the dimension of Culture has pivoting sector with other spheres of intervention.
  • To recognize that individual access, from young ages, to awareness-raising activities of culture and arts is a significant condition for citizens active participation in Culture.
  • To recognize the impact of new communication technologies in emphasizing some characteristic features (flexibility, pluriactivity) on the organization of the cultural work.
  • To understand the emergence of new occupations and professions in the cultural sector as a result, among other factors, of the growing emphasis on the diffusion process in the existence of cultural and artistic goods.


in Guia de Operacionalização do Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos - Nível Secundário (Gomes et al, 2006b: 78)

Final notes

Much is unsaid, not only due to time constraints, but mainly due to the complexity of the subject. We only intended to present the Adult Education and Training Model for the Group of Schools Júlio Dantas, describing the key competences in this framework. We must recognize that the discontinuance of public policies in the area of adults education and training, in recent years, limits his endogenous, global and integrated development; however we think the Group of Schools Júlio Dantas was able to deal with emerging issues and create the conditions for progress and success.

There are no magic formulas when we're talking about adult education and training models, what we can do is provide with as much information and possible strategies, entering into a paradigm of lifelong learning crucial in times to come.




ANEFA, Agência Nacional de Educação e Formação de Adultos (2002a) Roteiro estruturante: centros de reconhecimento, validação e certificação de competências. Lisboa, ANEFA


ANQ, Agência Nacional para a Qualificação (2007b) Carta de qualidade dos centros novas oportunidades. Lisboa, ANQ.  


Gomes, Maria do Carmo (coord.) e AAVV (2006a). Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos – Nível Secundário. Lisboa: DGFV – ME.


Gomes, Maria do Carmo (coord.) e AAVV (2006b). Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de Adultos – Nível Secundário: Guia de Operacionalização. Lisboa: DGFV – ME.


ANQEP, Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional (2017)

Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional [Internet]. Lisboa, ANQEP.

Disponível em: <> [Acedido em janeiro 2017].




Decree-Law No. 357/2007, of October 29, rectified by the rectification Declaration No. 117/2007, of December 28


Decree-Law No. 396/2007 of December 31


Decree No. 1465/2014 of January 29


Ordinance No. 230/2008, of March 7, as amended by Ordinance No. 283/2011, 24 October.


Ministerial order No. 1262/October 15, 2009


Ministerial order No. 135/2013, March 28


Ministerial order No. 232/2016, of August 29

Legal framework in Czech Republic

According to Glafka, we can define key competences as a set of knowledge, abilities, skills, values and attitude. For individual’s personal development and participation in society are significant.

The variety and conception of key competences are based on:

  • values which are generally acknowledged in the society;

  • commonly held ideas on which individual’s competencies contribute to individual’s education, successful life and to strengthening the functions of civil society.

We can define a skill as the ability to accomplish a task with predefined results. Often skills are divided into basic and specific skills. In the area of work, some basic skills could include also time management, teamwork and leadership, self-motivation and others, whereas specific skills are useful only for a certain occupation. Certain environmental incentives and situations are usually requested to assess the level of skill being shown and used.

Among other activities and aims of our institution we also focus our interest in strengthening the cooperation between schools and companies who act as potential employers for graduates. Practically it doesn’t mean we deliver tailor-made activities for companies or training for employees. It is rather about connecting those two worlds, starting discussions about their needs – on both sides, raising awareness about gaps and imbalance on labour market – there is missing labour force in some fields, whereas for some professions there is no more need as market is full. The labour force is not “produced” by schools based on the real situation on the labour market – lately it was very popular to study economics so there are many people with economic background but needs of the labour market are different. Then there is imbalance on labour market. Often graduates form secondary vocational schools (upper and post-secondary education levels) are not equipped with knowledge and skills required by the labour market. There is missing dual system in Czech education system.

In the Czech Republic there haven’t been adopted any law or policy exclusively dedicated to adult education, yet. The Czech Republic follow the Strategy2020 (implemented the Strategy into the education system as a Strategy of educational policy of the Czech Republic till 2020) and there are no other policies applied in terms of adult education. In 1990 there was established The Association of Adult Education Institutions (the largest professional association of its kind) which among others promote the interest and needs of adult education institutions, cooperate with state authorities and other entities in preparation and implementation of legislative and other measures of adult education. In area of adult education there could be applied the following: Act 179/2006 Coll. on Verification and Recognition of Further Education Results.

Key competences and skills required in GLAFKA’s environment*

  • Verbal and written communication in native language (written and verbal)

  • Verbal and written communication in foreign language (English is must, other languages are welcomed)

  • Digital skills and competences – the level of skills and competences depends on the role/occupation of an employee (there are different requirement on ICT trainers and administrative staff, for example)

  • Teamwork – we usually work in teams, often on distant bases so team work is also very important to function perfectly

  • Learning – lifelong learning being very important for personal development and we expect our colleagues are open to new learning experiences

  • Organization – as planning, scheduling, be able to deal with multiple tasks

  • Problem solving – covering critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving

  • Information gathering and research

  • Empathy and patience and tolerance – especially when we work with seniors groups or any disadvantageous groups.

*) the level of mentioned skills and competences always reflect the responsibilities and tasks of each individual

Key competences in Czech Education System

Key competences in Czech Education System*

*) Following information and text is taken from the Framework Educational Programmes and Report published by ReferNet “Key Competences in IVET”

The purpose and aim of education are to equip all pupils with a set of key competencies on the level which is attainable for them and thus to prepare them for their further education and their participation in society. The acquisition of key competencies is a long-term and complicated process, which begins with preschool education, continues during elementary and secondary education and is gradually refined in subsequent life. While the level of key competencies acquired by the pupils by the end of their elementary education cannot yet be regarded as final, the key competencies acquired form a non-negligible basis for the pupils’ lifelong learning and their start in life and in the work process.

Key competencies are not isolated phenomena; they are variously interconnected, multifunctional, have an interdisciplinary nature and can always be acquired as a result of the overall educational process. The entire educational content and all of the activities taking place at school must therefore be aimed at and contribute to forming and developing these competencies.

The educational content of the FEP EE conceives the subject matter as a means of mastering the expected activity-based outcomes, which gradually link and create preconditions for an effective and complex utilisation of the acquired abilities and skills on the level of key competencies.

At the elementary stage of education, the following are considered as key competencies: learning competency, problem-solving competency, communication competency, social and personal competency, civic competency, professional competency.

Key competences are incorporated in all educational programmes. They are uniformly defined for all FEPs of relevant level of education on the basis of the Common European Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. They relate to the education of the students within the age group 15-19 as well as to adult learners who increase their qualifications by means of study at secondary technical schools. In FEPs, key competences are formulated as learning outcomes at which learning in all fields and subjects of education shall be aiming. They are formulated individually as well as within particular contents and areas of education (linguistic education, mathematical education, social sciences, aesthetic education, sciences, economics, health education, training in ICT, specific vocational education depending on fields of study).

The key competences as defined in the framework educational programmes (FEPs) need to be incorporated in the school curricula, however, the manner of incorporation and their implementation is the responsibility of the school. Key competences might be developed by means of both subjects taught (general subjects, vocational subjects, specialised subjects focusing on a specific key competence) as well as by means of cross-subject learning and other forms (such as adaptation courses organised by many schools at the beginning of the school year in the first grade, students projects and project weeks). For example, communication skills are being developed within the subjects of Czech language and literature and a foreign language, reading literacy (work with a text and information) is promoted by means of other subjects – including the vocational subjects and media education. At least one foreign language is incorporated in all educational programmes. Foreign languages teaching covers also communication skills within the area of particular profession.

The framework educational programmes specify also the cross-subject topics aimed at deepening the knowledge as well as developing key competences. The topics include: “Citizen in a Democratic Society”, “Man and the World of Work”, “Man and Environment”, “ICT education”).

All the cross-subject topics need to be incorporated in the school educational programmes. The topics can be incorporated in the teaching process in various manners depending on the decision of individual schools. They can be implemented through both the core subjects as well as the specialised ones, however also in other forms or by means of extracurricular activities. The cross subject topics enable the schools to respond promptly to the existing social, political or school issues and problems. To support implementation and assessment of cross-subject topics, several methodological reference books including also examples of good practice at schools have been published. The schools make use mainly of various thematic student projects and project weeks, including even the projects with wide public or pupils of primary schools as a target group.


VET curricula (framework educational programmes of vocational education and training, RVPs) include eight types of competences:

  1. Communication skills: covering communication (oral as well as written form) in Czech and at least in one foreign language, ability to discuss and justify one’s view point, ability to process administrative paperwork, working documents and longer texts on common as well as specialised topics (shortened). It promotes also reading and informational literacy – ability to work with a text and information.
  2. Learning competences:
    • ability to learn efficiently, evaluate acquired results and progress achieved and set realistic goals and needs for one’s own further educational path;
    • ability to apply various methods of work with a text (esp. study and analytical reading), to be able to search and process information efficiently; to master reading literacy; to use various information sources – including other people’s experiences – when learning;
    • monitor and evaluate one’s own progress while achieving the learning goals, to be able to accept evaluation of one’s own learning outcomes also from other people, to know the possibilities of further education particularly in one’s own field and profession.
  3. Problem solving skills :
    • ability to tackle independently common issues at work as well as in one’s private life,
    • ability to co-operate with other people while looking for a solution to issues and problems (team work)
    • Learning competences and problem solving skills are developed primarily through a choice of appropriate teaching methods for individual subjects
  4. Personal and social skills:
    • to be able to set, on the basis of knowledge of one’s own personality, realistic goals for personal development in the area of leisure as well as work,
    • to take care of one’s health, interact with other people (work in team) and contribute to the formation of good interpersonal relationships,
    • to be able to adapt to changing living and working conditions and influence them in a positive manner according to one’s own capabilities and possibilities,
    • to be ready to address one’s own social and economic affairs, to master financial literacy;
    • to work in team and participate in joint work and other activities;
    • to accept and carry out assigned tasks in a responsible fashion.
    • Competences are developed both in the framework of selected educational areas and subjects, e.g. social sciences, health education, economic education, psychology, practical training, particularly practice in real work environment as well as in other forms (courses, student projects). The emphasis is placed on creating positive environment at school and in the classroom. Development of these competences is promoted also by cross-subject topics, in particular by Citizen in a democratic society.
  5. Mathematical competences :
    • Functional use of mathematical skills in various life situations, to be able to read and create different forms of graphic representation (tables, diagrams, charts, schemes, etc.), to apply effectively mathematical methods while solving practical tasks in common situations.
    • Competences are developed within a separate subject – mathematics and in applied form also in other subjects, particularly the vocational ones.
  6. Civic competences and cultural awareness :
    • ability to act responsibly, independently and actively not only in one’s own but also in public interest;
    • to obey the laws and respect human rights and individuality of other people (or their cultural differences); actively speak out against intolerance, xenophobia and discrimination;
    •  to act in line with moral principles and rules of ethical behaviour, contribute to the implementation of democratic values; to respect traditions and values of one’s own nation, to understand its history (past) and present in European as well as world context;
    • to promote the values of local, national, European as well as world culture and adopt a positive attitude towards this culture; to get to understand the importance of the environment for humans and act in a spirit of sustainable development.
  7. ICT competences and information literacy:
    • ability to work with a PC and other means of information and communication technologies; ability to work with the common basic and application software; ability to learn to use new applications;
    • ability to get information from open sources, in particular from the Internet; to work with information from various sources carried on different types of media (printed, electronic, audio-visual) also with the use of other means of ICT; to be aware of the need to assess credibility of different sources of information and to adopt critical approach to obtained information presented by the mass media, i.e. media literacy.
  8. Employment and entrepreneurial competences: optimal use of one’s own personal and professional assets in order to be successful in the world of work, while building and developing one’s own professional career and the related need for continuing education; to adopt a responsible attitude towards one’s own professional future and thus also education; to be aware of the importance of lifelong learning and to be ready to adapt to changing working conditions; to have an overview of the employment possibilities on the labour market in the given field; purposefully and responsibly decide about one’s own future educational path and professional career; to have a realistic idea about the salaries, working and other conditions in the field and about the requirements of the employers and being able to compare those with one’s own expectations and prerequisites; to be able to acquire and evaluate information on employment as well as educational opportunities, to be able to use advisory and intermediary services from both the world of work and education; to be able to communicate efficiently with potential employers, to present one’s own professional potential and career goals; to have knowledge on general rights and obligations of employers and employees; to understand the nature and principles of entrepreneurship, to be aware of the legal, economic, administrative, personal and ethical aspects of entrepreneurship; to be able to seek and assess business opportunities in line with the reality of the market environment, one’s own prerequisites and other options.

The National Register of Vocational Qualification

The National Register of Vocational Qualification*

*) Following information and text is taken from (National Institute for Education, Education Counselling Centre and Centre for Continuing Education of Teachers)

The National Register of Vocational Qualifications (NSK) provides a common framework for outputs of initial and continuing education and is a basis for defining the structure and content of the fields of initial education through complete (comprehensive) vocational qualifications (CVQ) and for assembling of vocational qualifications (VQ) into CVQ. The current implementation of the NSK is characterized by the fact that the primary aim of defining VQs is filling the gap in the labour market and the possibility to compose CVQ from VQs is viewed as secondary. This means that there are many vocational qualifications, which cannot be combined and assembled into complete vocational qualifications. The national system of occupations (NSP), on which the NSK is based, also points to "atomization" of occupations and more than half of the occupations in the system is divided into standardized positions. These trends are the result of exclusive involvement of representatives of employers as creators of NSK and NSP, while representatives of educators have no significant influence in this process. From the point of view of the labour market efficiency this primary NSP / NSK function is entirely legitimate. However, it has weakened the role of the NSK in initial education.

Better coherence between initial VET and the NSK is supported by the MŠMT assignment that involves Field Groups, which are sector oriented or groups of experts from VET schools, professional associations and employers. Field Groups are based in the National Institute for Education and financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. They facilitate communication among education programmes designers and representatives of schools and employers.

Experts – guarantors who are the leaders of individual field groups play a key role within implementation of this task. They are responsible for preparation of sources and background materials; above all they prepare initial proposals of set of qualifications in a given sector. Proposal are assessed, modified and finalised by external experts in work groups. Each complete vocational qualification is developed in a different work group. Representatives of employers are nominated by Sector Councils.

Among results of such cooperation between teachers and employers are:

-    Proposals of qualifications sets and courses of study for various areas (sectors)

-    Proposals of qualifications standards for complete vocational qualifications

-    Proposals so called “birth certificates of vocational qualifications”, which are further developed into standards of vocational qualifications.

Proposal prepared in work groups are then discussed in sector councils and field groups. After that they are submitted to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and will become source for further development of VET at the secondary level.