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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


National Support Services - Belgium (NL)

EPOS vzw

Consciencegebouw 7C
Koning Albert II laan 15
1210 - BRUSSEL

+32 2 553 98 68
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  • The organisation
  • Work programme
  • The team
  • Adult Learning in the country
  • National Stakeholders

The EPALE NSS is part of the npo Epos. Epos is a non-for-profit organisation that strengthens and enriches the international dimension and cooperation in education and training in Flanders. Besides the EPALE NSS, Epos is also the National Agency for the Erasmus+ Program, the National Support Service for eTwinning,  the national Europass and Euroguidance Centre, the contact point for the European Language Label and National Relay for the European Day of Languages. Next to these EU related activities, Epos also runs two smaller programmes funded by the Flemish Government (Buurklassen and Erasmus Belgica). Epos is a cooperation between the Flemish ministry of Education and Training,  VDAB (Flemish Employment and Vocational Training Service, the public employment service in Flanders) and Syntra Vlaanderen (the Flemish Agency for Entrepreneurial Training, a public Agency co-ordinating the training system for apprentices). This unique partnership ensures that all the  official education and training providers in Flanders are stakeholders of the npo, and by doing so improve the real impact and benefits for the citizens.

A few of our publications:

Our EPALE extra magazine.

Our EPALE flyer(link is external)

Our e-zine 'Dit was EPALE in 2016'.



Our video's:

Here's a summary of our workplan for 2017/2018:


In 2017 and 2018, with the news skills agenda in mind, we’ll strengthen our efforts to engage employers and the public employment service even more in EPALE. In our communication and promotion strategy we aim to

  • network with existing and new EPALE stakeholders,
  • sign a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the EPALE stakeholder groups represented in the Epos (Erasmus+ NA) board,
  • conduct workshops and/or webinars for EPALE users
  • strengthen our network of EPALE Ambassadors,
  • organize or participate in events for or with EPALE stakeholders,
  • promote EPALE on every occasion and with all means possible.
To make sure to offer high quality content on the Dutch pages we will work with EPALE Ambassadors and start or strengthen collaboration with specialised research centres. Our EPALE Ambassadors’ network is representative of our different target groups. They will support us in motivating people in adult education to deliver relevant content. We’ll continue to make use of other proven strategies to curate content (such as screening stakeholders communication channels, cooperation with the CSS and other NSSs, etc.). In cooperation with the CSS, the Dutch and the other Belgian NSSs we’ll define thematic priorities to gather highly relevant content.
The NSS Flanders will actively participate in the general implementation of EPALE. This means participating in formal EPALE meetings, being an active participant in the platform, cooperate with the CSS and the other NSSs, suggest new ideas and initiatives as well as suggest interesting topics and discussions. We’ll do everything in our means to improve the usability and user friendliness of the platform.
Mid 2016 the new collaborative spaces and communities of practice were launched, new features which can be of great use to our audiences. We will be promoting them actively. We will also set up a collaborative space for our own purposes e.g. to collaborate with our Ambassadors, our neighbouring NSSs about content creation, etc. We will be happy to animate a community of practice. Whenever the occasion, we will comment on blogs, resources, etc…. We will also deliver and/or participate in public webinars and other online activities


The team

Karine Nicolay is the EPALE-coordinator for Flanders at Epos.

Renilde Reynders, responsible for the domain 'Adult Education' in Epas supports Karine.

Flemish adults wanting to learn can look for education in the formal and non-formal adult education sector. Learning can be vocationally-oriented or not. An integrated education and training policy is being developed.


Adult education in Flanders is offered in Adult Basic Education Centres (ABECs) and Adult Education Centres (AECs).

  • Basic education

Adult basic education is situated mainly on the level of primary education and the first stage of fulltime secondary education for reading, writing, mathematics or other basic skills. Adult basic education is offered by 13 Adult Basic Education Centres.

  • Secondary adult education

Secondary adult education is situated on the level of the second and third stage of fulltime secondary education. It offers a wide range of training in for example languages, cooking, ICT, etcetera. In 2013-14 there were 122 Adult Education Centres offering secondary adult education.

  • Higher vocational education and the specific teacher training

Higher vocational education contains professionally oriented programmes on level 5 of the Flemish qualification framework. The specific teacher training takes up a separate space in the educational field and is not linked to an educational level. Higher vocational education and the specific teacher training are offered by the adult education centres.


Next to formal adult education a range of non-formal adult education is being offered.

  • SYNTRA Flanders, the Flemish Agency for Entrepreneurial Training, is responsible for the co-ordination of the training towards entrepreneurship. The agency stimulates entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.
  • VDAB is the public employment service of Flanders founded in 1989 in order to make the labour market in Flanders as transparent and dynamic as possible. With a view to reaching that goal, the VDAB offers employment services, training and career guidance.
  • SoCius, the support point for socio-cultural work with adults, gathers activities from socio-cultural organisations who offer courses, lectures, debates etcetera.
  • Higher education institutes, university colleges and universities, offer distant learning and evening courses for adults.


An overview of the educational system of the Flemish community on Eurypedia. Look for the subtitle 'Lifelong Learning'., gathering courses and training from the Adult Basic Education Centres, the Adult Education Centre, the Academies for part-time education in the arts, university colleges and universities, VDAB, SYNTRA Flanders socio-cultural organisations.

Stakeholders are in the formal, non-formal and informal adult education:

  •  teachers and trainers
  •  the ‘actors of change’ (multipliers) like:
    •  policy-makers (key-persons of the Ministry of Education and Training, Culture, Labour, Welfare)
    •  professionals (unions of teachers/heads of adult education organisations, consortia of adult education, support centres in adult education (like SoCius, FARO, VOCVO…)
  • education providers (the adult education organisations in the formal and non-formal adult education sectors, cultural institutions, local authorities, the ‘umbrella’ organisations, Huizen van het Nederlands, Federatie van de Basiseducatie…)
  • VDAB (the public employment service also offering vocational training) and Syntra (Flemish centre for entrepreneurial training)
  • social partners (unions…)
  • media / journalists specialised in education
  • regional authorities, networks of local authorities…