The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) aims to give people greater control over their individual learning experiences and make it more attractive to move between different countries and different learning environments.
The system aims to facilitate the validation, recognition and accumulation of work-related skills and knowledge acquired during a stay in another country or in different situations. It should ensure that these experiences contribute to vocational qualifications.
ECVET aims for better compatibility between the different vocational education and training (VET) systems in place across Europe and their qualifications.
By 2012, it should create a technical framework to describe qualifications in terms of units of learning outcomes, and it includes assessment, transfer, accumulation and recognition procedures.
In ECVET, an individual’s learning outcomes are assessed and validated in order to transfer credits from one qualification system to another, or from one learning "pathway" to another.
According to this approach, learners can accumulate the required learning outcomes for a given qualification over time, in different countries or in different situations.
The system also allows the possibility to develop common references for VET qualifications and is fully compatible with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
The European Commission set up a European ECVET users' group and a European ECVET network.
EU Members States should ensure that all relevant qualifications and related ‘Europass’ documents issued by national or regional authorities contain clear information related to the use of ECVET.
Several projects focusing on the development and promotion of ECVET are being developed in different sectors (including automobile service, chemistry, tourism, and international trade), funded by the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP).
A network of LLP National Agencies created "NETECVET" with the aim to exploiting the Leonardo and LLP project results and to develop a toolbox to foster the transnational mobility of learners.
Guidelines and instruments that support the use of ECVET are available from the portal of the ECVET Team.
The development of ECVET began in 2002 after the Copenhagen Process emphasised the need for a credit transfer system for VET. National governments and the European Parliament gave their final approval to legislation in June 2009.