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Analysis of context

Legal framework in Portugal

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).