Development of ESCO

Initial development of ESCO v1

The Commission developed ESCO v1 between 2011 and 2017. While previous versions of ESCO (ESCO v0.x) were intended for piloting and testing, ESCO v1 is developed for use in live systems providing services to end users.

For the development of ESCO v1 the Commission collaborated closely with stakeholders and Member State experts.

For the occupations pillar the Commission and experts participating in Reference Groups or online identified occupations sector by sector and analysed the knowledge, skills and competences relevant for these occupations. Sources, such as national classification systems, reports, research papers and job vacancies were used in this process. The process followed the ESCO guidelines.

The skills pillar of ESCO v1 was mainly populated through this analysis of occupations. It was complemented by analysing terminology of learning outcome descriptions.

The Commission coordinated the development of the qualifications pillar of ESCO v1 with the work on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). It provided a qualification metadata schema to ensure that Member States and awarding bodies can provide structured data on qualifications. The Commission is supporting Member States that create national databases of qualifications through grants and technical assistance.

Continuous updating

After the release of ESCO v1, a process of continuous updating will start in which new versions of ESCO are developed and released. A versioning mechanism will keep track of changes.