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Annex III - Glossary of terms

Accompanying person

as a general definition applying to all fields of education training and youth, an accompanying person is the one who accompanies participants – whether learners or staff/youth workers - with special needs (i.e. with disabilities) in a mobility activity, in order to ensure protection, provide support and extra assistance.

Additionally, in the case of

  • VET learners under Key Action 1,
  • Short or long term pupils' mobility and blended mobility of young people under Key Action 2,
  • Youth Dialogue Projects,

an accompanying person may also be the adult that accompanies one or several VET learners, school pupils or young people (especially minors or youngsters with little experience outside their own country) to ensure their protection and safety as well as their effective learning during the mobility experience. 

Accreditation process that ensures that the organisations wishing to receive funding under an Action of the Erasmus+ Programme respect a set of qualitative standards or pre-requisites defined by the European Commission for that given Action. Depending on the type of Action or on the country where the requesting organisation is located, the accreditation is carried out by the Executive Agency or a National Agency. The accreditation process is in place for organisations wishing to participate in higher education projects (including mobility).
Action a strand or measure of the Erasmus+ Programme. Examples of Actions are: Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, Sectors Skills Alliances, etc.
Activity a set of tasks carried out as part of a project. An activity can be of different types (mobility activities, cooperation activities, etc.). In the framework of Jean Monnet, an Activity is equivalent to an Action (see definition above).
Adult education all forms of non-vocational adult education, whether of a formal, non-formal or informal nature (for continuous vocational training see "VET").
Adult education organisation any public or private organisation active in the field of non-vocational adult learning.
Adult learner any person who, having completed or is no longer involved in initial education or training, returns to some forms of continuing learning (formal, non-formal or informal), with the exception of school and VET teachers/trainers.
Advance Planning Visit (APV) Planning visit to the country of the receiving organisation(s) ahead of Youth Exchanges in Youth mobility projects and ErasmusPro activities in VET learners mobility projects. The purpose of the APVs is to ensure high quality activities by facilitating and preparing administrative arrangements, building trust and understanding and setting-up a solid partnership between organisations involved. In case of youth mobility projects, young participants can also be involved in the visit to integrate them fully in the project design.
Affiliated entity

The following can be considered Affiliated Entities (in accordance with Art. 187 of the Financial Regulation):

  • legal entities having a legal or capital link with beneficiaries; this link is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation;
  • several entities which satisfy the criteria for being awarded a grant and together form one entity which may be treated as the sole beneficiary, including where the entity is specifically established for the purpose of implementing the action.

The Affiliated Entities must comply with the eligibility and non-exclusion criteria, and where applicable also with the selection criteria applying to applicants.

Applicant participating organisation or informal group that submits grant application. Applicants may apply either individually or on behalf of a other organisations involved in the project. In the latter case, the applicant is also defined as coordinator.
(Application) deadline final date by when the application form must be submitted to the National or Executive Agency to be considered eligible.
Apprenticeship (Apprentice) apprenticeship-type schemes are understood as those forms of Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) that formally combine and alternate company based training (periods of practical work experience at a workplace) with school based education (periods of theoretical/practical education followed in a school or training centre), and whose successful completion leads to nationally recognised initial VET qualifications.
Basic skills literacy, mathematics, science & technology; these skills are included in the key competences.
Beneficiary if the project is selected, the applicant becomes beneficiary of an Erasmus+ grant. The beneficiary sings a grant agreement with – or is notified of a grant decision by – the National or Executive Agency that has selected the project. If the application was made on behalf of other participating organisations, the partners may become co-beneficiaries of the grant.
Blended learning study type that involves learning in a combination of modes. Often used more specifically to refer to courses which use a combination of traditional face-to-face teaching work-shops or seminars, and distance learning techniques on-line (such as internet, television, conference calls).
Call for proposals invitation published by or on behalf of the Commission to present, within a given deadline, a proposal for action that corresponds to the objectives pursued and fulfils the required conditions. Calls for proposals are published in the Official Journal of the European Union (C series) and/or at relevant websites of the Commission, National or Executive Agency.
Certificate in the context of Erasmus+, a document issued to a person having completed a learning activity in the field of education, training and youth, where relevant. Such document certifies the attendance and, where applicable, the learning outcomes of the participant in the activity.
Clerical Error a minor mistake or inadvertence unintentionally made in a document that changes its meaning, such as a typographical error or the unintentional addition or omission of a word, phrase, or figure.
Co-financing the co-financing principle implies that part of the costs of a project supported by the EU must be borne by the beneficiary, or covered through external contributions other than the EU grant.
Company legal persons established under civil or commercial law, including cooperative societies, and other legal persons governed by public or private law, except those which are non-profit-making.
Consortium two or more participating organisations teaming up to prepare, implement and follow up a project or an activity within a project. A consortium can be national (i.e. involving organisations established in the same country) or international (involving participating organisations from different countries).
Coordinator/Coordinating organisation a participating organisation applying for an Erasmus+ grant on behalf of a consortium of partner organisations.
Credit mobility a limited period of study or traineeship abroad - in the framework of on-going studies at a home institution - for the purpose of gaining credits. After the mobility phase, students return to their home institution to complete their studies.
Credit a set of learning outcomes of an individual which have been assessed and which can be accumulated towards a qualification or transferred to other learning programmes or qualifications.
Degree mobility period of study abroad aimed at the acquisition of a whole degree or certificate in the destination country/ies.
Dialogue mechanisms dialogue with young people and youth organisations and decision makers which serves as a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the youth field.
Diploma Supplement an annex to the official qualification documentation, which is designed to provide more detailed information on the studies completed according to an agreed format which is internationally recognized a document accompanying a higher education diploma, providing a standardised description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies completed by its holder. It is produced by higher education institutions according to standards agreed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. The Diploma Supplement is part of Europass (see below). In the context of an international joint study programme, it is recommended to deliver a "joint diploma supplement" covering the entire programme and endorsed by all the degree awarding universities.
Double degree/multiple degree a study programme offered by at least two (double) or more (multiple) higher education institutions whereby the student receives, upon completion of the study programme, a separate degree certificate from each of the participating institutions.
Dual career the combination of high-level sports training with general education or work.
ECHE (Erasmus Charter for Higher Education) an accreditation granted by the European Commission giving the possibility to higher education institutions from Programme Countries to be eligible to apply and participate in learning and cooperation activities under Erasmus+. The Charter outlines the fundamental principles an institution should adhere to in organising and implementing high quality mobility and cooperation and states the requisites it agrees to comply with in order to ensure high quality services and procedures as well as the provision of reliable and transparent information.
ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) a learner-centred system for credit accumulation and transfer, based on the transparency of learning, teaching and assessment processes. Its objective is to facilitate planning, delivery and evaluation of study programmes and learner mobility through the recognition of qualifications and periods of learning. a system that helps to design, describe and deliver study programmes and award higher education qualifications. The use of ECTS, in conjunction with outcomes-based qualifications frameworks, makes study programmes and qualifications more transparent and facilitates the recognition of qualifications.
ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) a system that 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. ECVET aims for better compatibility between the different vocational education and training systems in place across Europe and their qualifications. 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.
Enterprise any undertaking engaged in an economic activity regardless of its size, legal form or of the economic sector in which it operates.
EQAVET (European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training) a reference tool for policy-makers based on a four-stage quality cycle that includes goal setting and planning, implementation, evaluation and review. It respects the autonomy of national governments and is a voluntary system to be used by public authorities and other bodies involved in quality assurance.
EQF (European Qualifications Framework) a common European reference tool that serves as a translation device between different education and training systems and their levels. It aims to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility and facilitating their lifelong learning, as defined in the 2008/C 111/01 Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council.
ESCO (multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) identifies and categorises skills and competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training, in 25 European languages. The system provides occupational profiles showing the relationships between occupations, skills, competences and qualifications. ESCO has been developed in an open IT format and is available for everyone to use free of charge.
Established relates to an organisation or body fulfilling certain national conditions (registration, statement, publication, etc.) that allow such organisation or body to be formally recognized by its national authority. In case of an informal group of young people, the legal residence of its legal representative is considered as having the equivalent effects for the purposes of eligibility to an Erasmus+ grant.
Europass Europass is a portfolio of five different documents and an electronic folder aiming to contain descriptions of the entire holder's learning achievements, official qualifications, work experience, skills and competences, acquired over time. These documents are: the Europass CV, the Diploma Supplement, the Certificate Supplement, the Europass Mobility and the Language Passport. Europass also includes the European Skills Passport, a user-friendly electronic folder that helps the holder to build up a personal, modular inventory of his/her skills and qualifications. The aim of Europass is to facilitate mobility and improve job and lifelong learning prospects in Europe.
European Development Plan for VET, schools and adult education organisations, a document outlining the needs of the institution/organisation in terms of quality development and internationalisation, and how the planned European activities will meet those needs. The European Development Plan is part of the application form for schools and adult education organisations applying for learning mobility of staff under Key Action 1.
European Youth NGO NGO that: operates through a formally recognised structure, composed of a) European body/secretariat (the applicant) legally established for at least one year in a Programme Country on the date of submission of the application and b) national organisations/branches in at least twelve Programme Countries having a statutory link with the European body/secretariat; 2) is active in the field of youth and runs activities that support the implementation of the fields of action of the EU Youth Strategy; 3) involves young people in the management and governance of the organisation.
Force majeure an unforeseeable exceptional situation or event beyond the participant's control and not attributable to error or negligence on his/her part.
Grassroots sport organised sport practised at local level by amateur sportspeople, and sport for all.
Group Leader in youth mobility projects, a group leader is an adult who joins the young people participating in a Youth Exchange  in order to ensure their effective learning (Youthpass), protection and safety.
Groups of young people active in youth work but not necessarily in the context of a youth organisation (also informal groups of young people) group of at least four young people which does not have legal personality under the applicable national law, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf. These groups of young people can be applicants and partners in some Actions of Erasmus+. For the purpose of simplification, they are assimilated to legal persons (organisations, institutions, etc.) in this Guide and fit within the notion of Erasmus+ participating organisations for the Action in which they can take part. The group must be composed of at least four young persons and their age should be according with the overall age of the young people in the programme (13-30). In exceptional cases and if all young people are minors, the group could be represented by an adult. This would allow a group of young people (where all are minors) with a help of a youth worker/coach to submit an application.
Higher education institution any type of higher education institution which, in accordance with national law or practice, offers recognised degrees or other recognised tertiary level qualifications, whatever such establishment may be called, or any institution which, in accordance with national law or practice, offers vocational education or training at tertiary level.
Higher education modernisation agenda strategy of the European Commission aimed to support Member States' reforms and contribute to the goals of Europe 2020 in the field of higher education. The main areas for reform identified in the new agenda are: to increase the number of higher education graduates; to improve the quality and relevance of teaching and researcher training, to equip graduates with the knowledge and core transferable competences they need to succeed in high-skill occupations; to provide more opportunities for students to gain additional skills through study or training abroad, and to encourage cross-border co-operation to boost higher education performance; to strengthen the "knowledge triangle", linking education, research and business and to create effective governance and funding mechanisms in support of excellence.
Informal groups of young people see the definition of "groups of young people active in youth work but not necessarily in the context of a youth organisation" above.
Informal learning learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure which is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support; it may be unintentional from the learner's perspective.
International in the context of Erasmus+, relates to any action involving at least one Programme Country and at least one Partner Country.
Job Shadowing (practical learning experience) a short stay at a partner organisation in another country with the aim of receiving training by following practitioners in their daily work in the receiving organisation, exchanging good practices, acquiring skills and knowledge and/or building long-term partnerships through participative observation.
Joint degree single degree certificate awarded to a student upon completion of a joint programme. The joint degree must be signed by the competent authorities of two or more of the participating institutions jointly and recognised officially in the countries where those participating institutions are located.
Joint programmes higher education (study or research) programmes jointly designed, delivered and fully recognised by two or more higher education institutions. Joint programmes can be implemented at any higher education level, i.e. bachelor, master or doctorate. Joint programmes can be national (i.e. when all universities involved are from the same country) or transnational/international (i.e. when at least two different countries are represented among the higher education institutions involved).
Key competences the basic set of knowledge, skills and attitudes which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment, as described in Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Learning mobility moving physically to a country other than the country of residence, in order to undertake study, training or non-formal or informal learning; it may take the form of traineeships, apprenticeships, youth exchanges, teaching or participation in a professional development activity, and may include preparatory activities, such as training in the host language, as well as sending, receiving and follow-up activities.
Learning outcomes statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process, which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence .
Lifelong learning all general education, vocational education and training, non-formal learning and informal learning undertaken throughout life, resulting in an improvement in knowledge, skills and competences or participation in society within a personal, civic, cultural, social and/or employment-related perspective, including the provision of counselling and guidance services.
  Mobility/Learning agreement an agreement between the sending and receiving organisation, as well as the participating individuals, defining the aims and the content of the mobility period in order to ensure its relevance and quality. It can also be used as a basis for the recognition of the period abroad by the receiving organisation.
Month in the context of the Erasmus+ Programme and for the purpose of calculating the grants, a month is equal to 30 days.
MOOC An abbreviation for "Massive Open Online Course," a type of course that is completely delivered online, is open to be accessed by anyone without cost, entry qualifications or other restrictions and often have large participant numbers. They can have in-person components, e.g. encouraging local participant meetings, and formal assessment, but tend to use peer review, self-assessment and automated grading. There are many variations of MOOCs, e.g. focused on specific sectors, target groups (e.g. vocational focus, teachers, etc.) or teaching methods. MOOCs funded under Erasmus+ have to be open for all and both the participation and a certificate or badge of completion are free of charge for participants. Please note that the open access requirement for educational resources applies also to MOOCs and other complete courses.
Non-formal learning learning which takes place through planned activities (in terms of learning objectives and learning time) where some form of learning support is present, but which is not part of the formal education and training system.
Occupational profile the set of skills, competences, knowledge and qualifications that is usually relevant for a specific occupation .
One-cycle study programmes integrated/long programmes leading either to a first or a second-cycle degree and which, in some countries, can still be better characterised by duration in years rather than credits. In most of these countries, the programmes outside the Bologna first-cycle model are in the fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing and midwifery and in most cases involve 1-8 % of the student population. The typical length of integrated programmes leading to regulated professions is in general 300-360 ECTS/five-six years depending on the regulated profession in question.
Open Access A general concept of publishing materials of a specific kind openly, i.e. to be accessible and usable by the largest possible user group and for the largest number of use cases. Erasmus+ has an Open Access Requirement for educational resources and encourages Open Access of research results and data.
Open Educational Resources (OER) educational materials of any kind (e.g. textbooks, worksheets, lesson plans, instructional videos, entire online courses, educational games) which can be freely used, adapted and shared. OER have either been released under an open license or are in the public domain (i.e. copyright protection has expired). Cost-free materials that cannot be adapted and shared by the public are not OER.
Open licence a way for copyright holders (creators or other rightholders) to grant the general public the legal permission to freely use their work; in the context of the Erasmus+ Open Access Requirement, the applied open license must permit at least use, adaptation and distribution. The open license should be indicated on the work itself or wherever the work is distributed. Educational materials with an open license are called Open Educational Resources (OER).
Open Method of Coordination an intergovernmental method providing a framework for cooperation between the EU Member States, whose national policies can thus be directed towards certain common objectives. Within the scope of the Programme, the OMC applies to education, training and youth.
Participants in the context of Erasmus+ participants are considered those individuals fully involved in a project and, in some cases, receiving part of the European Union grant intended to cover their costs of participation (notably travel and subsistence). Under certain Actions of the Programme (i.e. Strategic Partnerships) a distinction is hence to be made between this category of participants (direct participants) and other individuals indirectly involved in the project (e.g. target groups).
Participating organisation any organisation or informal group of young people involved in the implementation of an Erasmus+ project. Depending on their role in the project, participating organisations can be applicants or partners (also defined as co-applicants, if they are identified at time of submission of the grant application). If the project is granted, applicants become beneficiaries and partners may become co-beneficiaries if the project is financed through a multi-beneficiary grant.
Partner (organisation) participating organisation involved in the project but not taking the role of applicant.
Partner Countries countries which do not participate fully in the Erasmus+ Programme, but which may take part (as partners or applicants) in certain Actions of the Programme. The list of Erasmus+ Partner Countries is described in Part A of this Guide, section "Who can participate in the Erasmus+ Programme".
Partnership an agreement between a group of participating organisations in different Programme Countries to carry out joint European activities in the fields of education, training, youth and sport or establishing a formal or informal network in a relevant field such as joint learning projects for pupils and their teachers in the form of class exchanges and individual long-term mobility, intensive programmes in higher education and cooperation between local and regional authorities to foster inter-regional, including cross-border, cooperation; it may be extended to institutions and/or organisations from Partner Countries with a view to strengthening the quality of the partnership.
People with fewer opportunities persons facing some obstacles that prevent them from having effective access to education, training and youth work opportunities. A more detailed definition of people with fewer opportunities can be found in Part A of this Guide - section "Equity and inclusion".
People with special needs a person with special needs is a potential participant whose individual physical, mental or health-related situation is such that his/her participation in the project or mobility activity would not be possible without extra financial support.
Profit-making body active in Corporate Social Responsibility a private company that a) carries out its business in compliance with ethical standards and/or b) on top of its business activities, carries out some actions that have social value.
Programme Countries EU and non EU countries that have established a National Agency which participate fully in the Erasmus+ Programme. The list of Erasmus+ Programme Countries is described in Part A of this Guide, section "Who can participate in the Erasmus+ Programme".
Project a coherent set of activities which are organised in order to achieve defined objectives and results.
Qualification a formal outcomes of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual achieved learning outcomes to given standards.
Receiving organisation under some Actions of Erasmus+ (notably mobility Actions) the receiving organisation is the participating organisation receiving one or more participants and organising one or more activities of an Erasmus+ project.
School an institution providing general, vocation or technical education, on any level from pre-school to upper secondary education. Please consult the list of types of institutions defined as schools in each country; for more information contact the National Agency in the country.
Sending organisation under some Actions of Erasmus+ (notably mobility Actions) the sending organisation is the participating organisation sending one or more participants to an activity of an Erasmus+ project.
Short cycle (or short-cycles higher education - SCHE) qualifications in most countries it is within the first cycle in the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area (ISCED Level 5). They are typically represented by approximately 120 ECTS credits within national contexts, leading to a qualification that is recognised at a lower level than a degree at the end of the first cycle. Some programmes are longer than three years but typically will not give more than 180 ECTS credits. In the majority of countries students can use most of the credits earned in SCHE to progress to degree courses. The descriptors of the short cycle correspond to the learning outcomes of EQF level 5.
SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) enterprises (see definition above) which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million EUR, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million EUR.
Social enterprise an undertaking, regardless of its legal form, which is not listed on a regulated market within the meaning of point (14) of Article 4(1) of Directive 2004/39/EC, and which: 1) in accordance with its articles of association, statutes or any other statutory document establishing the business, has as its primary objective the achievement of measurable, positive social impacts rather than generating profit for its owners, members and stakeholders, where the undertaking: a) provides innovative services or goods which generate a social return and/or b) employs an innovative method of production of goods or services and that method of production embodies its social objective; 2) reinvests its profits first and foremost to achieve its primary objective and has in place predefined procedures and rules for any circumstances in which profits are distributed to shareholders and owners, in order to ensure that any distribution of profits does not undermine the primary objective; 3) is managed in an entrepreneurial, accountable and transparent way, in particular by involving workers, customers and/or stakeholders affected by its business activities.
Staff persons who, on either a professional or a voluntary basis, are involved in education, training or youth non-formal learning, and may include professors, teachers, trainers, school leaders, youth workers and non-educational staff.
Third cycle the third cycle level in the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area agreed by the ministers responsible for higher education at their meeting in Bergen in May 2005 in the framework of the Bologna process.  The descriptor of the third cycle of the QF EHEA corresponds to the learning outcomes for EQF level 8.
Traineeship (work placement) spending a period of time in an enterprise or organisation in another country, with a view to acquire specific competences that are required by the labour market, carry out work experience and improve the understanding of the economic and social culture of that country.
Transnational relates, unless otherwise indicated, to any action involving at least two Programme Countries.
Transversal (soft; life) skills include the ability to think critically, be curious and creative, to take initiative, to solve problems and work collaboratively, to be able to communicate efficiently in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment, to be able to adapt to context, to cope with stress and uncertainty; these skills are part of the key competences.
Union transparency and recognition tools instruments that help stakeholders to understand, appreciate and, as appropriate, recognise learning outcomes and qualifications throughout the Union.
Validation of non-formal and informal learning

a process of confirmation by an authorised body that an individual has acquired learning outcomes measured against a relevant standard and consists of the following four distinct phases:

  1. Identification through dialogue of particular experiences of an individual;
  2. Documentation to make visible the individual's experiences;
  3. A formal assessment of these experiences; and
  4. Certification of the results of the assessment which may lead to a partial or full qualification
Vocational education and training (VET) education and training which aims to equip people with knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences required in particular occupations or more broadly on the labour market. For the purpose of Erasmus+ projects focusing on initial or continuing vocational education and training are eligible under VET actions.
Virtual mobility a set of activities supported by Information and Communication Technologies, including e-learning, that realise or facilitate international, collaborative experiences in a context of teaching, training or learning.
Workplace learning Study type which involves the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences through carrying out – and reflecting on – tasks in a vocational context, either at the workplace (such as alternance training) or in a vocational education and training institution
Young people In the context of the Erasmus+ Programme, individuals aged between 13 and 30.
Youth activity an out-of-school activity (such as youth exchange, volunteering or youth training) carried out by a young person, either individually or in a group, in particular through youth organisations, and characterised by a non-formal learning approach.
Youth worker a professional or a volunteer involved in non-formal learning who supports young people in their personal socio-educational and professional development.
Youthpass the European tool to improve the recognition of the learning outcomes of young people and youth workers from their participation in projects supported by the Erasmus+ Programme. Youthpass consists of: a) certificates that can be obtained by participants in several Actions of the Programme; and b) a defined process which supports young people, youth workers and youth organisations to reflect about the learning outcomes from an Erasmus+ project in the field of youth and non-formal learning. Youthpass is also part of a broader European Commission strategy which aims to enhance the recognition of non-formal and informal learning and of youth work in Europe and beyond.