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Cedefop e-Communities





Cedefop and European Commission representatives


  Cedefop e-Communities deliver a suite of tools to publish documents, share bookmarks, engage in discussion, access news feeds, conduct polls, send group emails and more. You can learn more about the Sinapse project here.

The ‘Copenhagen Declaration’ of the European Council in November 2002 on enhanced European cooperation in VET and as a continuation the Maastricht Communique, placed priority vocational training issues high on the political agenda.

As a follow-up, Cedefop agreed with the European Commission to organise and host a number of e-Communities to promote dialogue and information exchange on the priorities listed in the Declaration. Communities were set up to provide a platform for members of the technical working groups which the Commission has mandated and, at the same time, to offer access to the broader VET community to information and developments. Initially these focused on transparency, quality, credit transfer and guidance.

In the meantime Cedefop has established 6 e-Communities with a total number of more than 2,000 members.

e-Communities related to Policy Development (6)
Europass Implementation e-Community   
Quality Assurance in VET
Non-formal and Informal Learning
European Qualifications Framework - Credit Transfer in VET
Sectoral Approaches to LLL
Trainers in VET

Cedefop Internal Virtual Communities (1)
Cedefop Governing Board


A word of explanation


The e-Communities are interactive websites that allow groups of people to communicate and exchange information over the Internet in their own private and secure area. Within each area, called an online community, participants are provided access to a suite of powerful tools that enable a group to effectively get organised, share knowledge and communicate.

Each e-Community has its own working methods and agenda but they all interact and exchange information. When the individual communities consider themselves to be ready, they offer a broader public the opportunity to ‘Preview’ some of their work. The e-Communities are also available through the Cedefop website.

Should people want to actively participate in the debate, they can then 'Apply for Membership' of the group. The Animator of the e-Community in question will in each case decide whether to accept or reject the application. When filling out the form it is always advisable to give a brief description of your profile and interest in the community in the section 'Optional Message to Community Administrators'. To find out more, visit the User Guidelines pages of this section.

Each e-Community has been assigned an Animator. The role of the animator, who has in depth knowledge of the particular field, involves the following important actions:
  • facilitate the knowledge transfer across the communities
  • prepare short inputs to initiate discussion on new topics related to the work of the Commission’s Expert Group and to further develop existing discussions
  • produce a working group project plan,
  • anticipate member needs and resolve member disputes,
  • locate gaps in the issues and actions,
  • prepare reports as requested from these sources for delivery to the European Commission’s relevant working group and for other purposes.

Each e-Community has also been assigned an Administrator. The administrator’s role can be summarised in the following actions:

  • to monitor and handle the community’s look, design and feel, its overall function, activity and storage.
  • in collaboration with the animator to implement the structure of the community’s tools and functions and apply the required security settings.
  • to manage members according to the member-profiling feature and establish member groups and permissions in different tools and folders.
  • to collaborate with the animator in determining effective ways to enhance participation

Cedefop and European Commission representatives:
A member of the Cedefop staff together with a representative from the European Commission work jointly to support the work of the animator in producing analysed and filtered information and strategic questions so as to effectively steer the work of individual working groups.

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e-Communities related to Policy Development (5)

Europass Implementation e-Community
This is a private community, reserved only for the members of its group.

Created 30 September 2005

Cedefop: Philippe Tissot philippe.tissotcedefop.europa.eu,
Athanassios Siaperas athanassios.siaperascedefop.europa.eu
DG EAC:  Carlo Scatoli carlo.scatoliec.europa.eu

The purpose of this e-Community is to support the implementation of the Europass initiative in Member States. Europass promotes transparency of skills and qualifications and facilitate mobility of learners and workers throughout Europe. Europass brings together five instruments developed at European level: the Europass CV, the Europass Language Passport, the Europass Mobility and the Europass Certificate and Diploma supplements.

The Europass Implementation e-Community provides a forum to National Europass Centres to exchange information and experiences.

Access to this e-Community is limited to the staff of Europass National Centres. For more information on Europass, go to http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu or contact your National Europass Centre.

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Quality Assurance in VET
URL /quality

Created 07 February 2003

Cedefop: Tina Bertzeletou tina.bertzeletoucedefop.europa.eu

The e-Community is one of the six communities set up by Cedefop to fulfil two of its missions, namely to exploit and disseminate information on VET and to provide a forum for debate and exchanges of ideas.

The present e-Community focuses on quality in VET. It treats information on the developments in this field, mainly within the Member States and at national and European levels. This is the reason that information on managing VET through quality in the rest of the world is although welcomed, scarce.

Apart from Cedefop's own studies, two are the main sources of information: the Member States on one hand, and the European Institutions with the European Commission occupying the central position, on the other hand. This is due to the fact that the European Commission and the Directorate General Education and Culture (DG EAC) are in charge of promoting VET in the European Union, through the implementation of the European policies in this field as defined in the EU documents and programmes. Besides, DG EAC seats in Cedefop's Governing Board and assures the Centre's budget.

Over the last six years, Cedefop provided DG EAC with technical and scientific support for implementing its programmes on Quality in VET. The first one was called European Forum on Quality in VET with a two-years mandate (2001-2002). The second one, the Technical Working Group on Quality in VET (TWG) was set up in the context of the Copenhagen Declaration for a two-years period (2003-2004) which extended to 2005 also. In October 2005, a major development took place, namely the setting up of the European Network on Quality in VET (ENQA-VET). Members of the e-Community will find information on the work within the Network mainly, whereas the work realised under the European Forum and the TWG is stored within the section on Quality Assurance in VET on the Cedefop website: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/about-cedefop/projects/quality-assurance-in-vet/. Subsequently, the content areas addressed in this e-Community regard the main topics developed within this process.

These topics aim at reinforcing the central policy objective to render VET a vital component of the 2000 Lisbon Council's agenda to make by 2010 Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustaining growth and producing more and better jobs as well as creating greater social cohesion.

In particular, the topics addressed in the e-Community focus on the exchange of models and methods on:
- The development and use of Quality standards and norms in VET with particular emphasis on output/outcome standards and targets
- The development and adoption of Quality criteria in VET
- The development and use of Quality indicators in VET
- The development and adoption of self-evaluation approaches as a support mechanism to assure Quality in VET and the elaboration of a self-assessment guide for VET providers
- The identification of tools and systems used for better matching the demands of the labour market and the training and competences offered in view of increasing the employability at local, regional, sector or national levels
- The identification, creation and/or strengthening of links between the Quality assurance approaches in VET and those in Higher Education under the overall perspective of the European Qualification Framework.

Members will also find information on the Quality strategies developed within enterprises and sectors, with a special interest on the small and medium firms.

All the above is to be consulted in the "Documentation" folder of the e-Community.

The e-Community serves also the communication needs of the members of the ENQA-VET which is actually consisting of the officially nominated representatives of 23 countries plus the representatives of the European social partners, UNICE and ETUC. This is the reason it has a special section devoted to them which is not accessible to the rest of the members.

An e-Community can not contain everything even at the restricted level of the quality in VET. This is the reason we have created a special section with "Links" to several electronic addresses where members can find useful related information and be kept informed of the latest developments.

An e-Community is not a library and it is much the outcome of the interactions between its members. As animator of the present e-Community, I would like to urge members to post by themselves or to send to me information on their activities, needs and news and I shall insert it on their behalf. The quality dimension of education and VET in all their forms and all levels is a constantly evolving field of experimentation and research.

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Non-formal and Informal Learning
URL /nfl

Created 09 May 2003

DG EAC: Jens Bjornavold jens.bjornavoldcedefop.europa.eu

This e-Community is provided by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in order to support the development and implementation of methods and systems for identification and validation of non-formal learning. Established already in 2003, the e-Community is intended as a meeting place for everybody interested and involved in the field - policy makers, practitioners, researchers and others.

There is clear demand for such a meeting place. During recent years validation of non-formal and informal learning has become a key-element in national and European strategies for lifelong learning. More and more countries have moved from a stage of initial testing and experimentation to full scale implementation where validation has become an integrated part of mainstream education, training and learning systems.

These developments signal a shift in perspective where it is acknowledged that learning takes place in a wide range of settings – at work, in voluntary activities as well as in schools – equally important to the creation of a knowledge based society. This shift can also be described as one from learning inputs to learning outcomes. While a learning input based approach will emphasise duration and location of learning, an outcome based approach will give priority to what an individual actually knows an/or is able to do.

The e-Community is a tool supporting exchange of experiences and mutual learning in this field. The following issues are of particular relevance;

• The development of the education and training pillar of the Lisbon strategy; ‘Education and Training 2010’. Validation is currently followed up by the cluster on ‘Recognition of learning outcomes’ and the members of the e-Community will be invited to provide input to this work.

• The implementation and development of the Common European Principles on the Identification and Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning will be given priority in the coming period and the members of the e-Community can provide important support to this work.

• At national level, questions related to quality assurance and cost-efficiency of validation are becoming more important. The e-Community can support the exchange of experiences and mutual learning on these themes.

• The e-Community will support the development of national and sectoral Communities of Practice. This will include a continuation of support for the development, dissemination and valorisation of transnational projects (such as Leonardo da Vinci Thematic Action and other Pilot Projects).

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Credit Transfer in VET - European Qualifications Framework
URL /credittransfer-eqf

Created 21 January 2003

Cedefop:    Loukas Zahilas loukas.zahilascedefop.europa.eu
                 Jens Bjornavold jens.bjornavoldcedefop.europa.eu

The e-Community is supporting the work of the European Commission on a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) and on the establishment of a European Qualifications Framework (EQF). These are two parallel and mutually independent actions based on two separate mandates. ECVET and EQF, are inter-related and have a number of common elements but are also designed for specific purposes. It seems logical to bring both under one virtual umbrella.

The participation in the e-Community provides an opportunity to interested professionals and the wider expert public to accompany the work on both issues in a horizontal perspective by disseminating information and enabling an increasing co-operation between representatives of Member States. This should allow for a bottom-up cooperation through the presence of different stakeholders and experts.

Navigating through our community you find the acronyms:
1. ECVET ‘European Credit transfer system for Vocational Education and Training’ stands for the main objective of the respective activities, and

2. EQF standing for the ‘European Qualifications Framework’ intends to become a device for improving mutual understanding of national and sector qualifications frameworks and for translating levels and ranges of learning throughout Lifelong learning between national systems.

Main tasks of the e-Community are:

1. Information
The e-Community members have the opportunity to inform themselves, consult and comment upon, on the spot and on line, documents about recent developments in the field of VET credit systems’ development and EQF proposals at European and national levels. The e-Community contains a rich documentation on surveys and outcomes of studies on both national and international approaches to the questions at stake.

2. Communication
The e-Community is a communication platform especially through its configuration with the comments and chat functions. The members have the opportunity to evaluate the work and the progress at European level against the background of their national VET settings and to involve or give a feedback to their own colleagues via the e-Community.

3. Development of new concepts and schemes for Credit Transfer
According to its mandate (2002), the Technical Working Group is in charge of investigating how transparency, comparability, transferability and recognition of competences and/or qualifications, between different countries and at different levels, could be promoted by developing reference levels, common principles for certification, and common measures, including a credit transfer system for vocational education and training. The members of the Technical Working Group and the members of the e-Community are collaborating to develop innovative concepts and common principles. The e-Community is associated to this work along an agenda and work programme which is set up after consultation between the CEDEFOP representative and the animator of the e-Community on Credit Transfer. Outcomes on its work on reference levels were backing the further initiative of the European commission on the European Qualifications Framework.

4. Establishment of a European Qualifications Framework
The work on the EQF started in November 2004 by the establishment of an expert group advising the European Commission. The outcome of its deliberations was a Commission staff working paper made available for consultation of Member States and stakeholders in July 2005. The consultation was officially ended by a major conference in Budapest end February 2006. The expert group finished its mandate in the mean-time, however, a sub-group was created to further treat the matter of level descriptors in order to specify and simplify present proposals. This part of the Community is primarily intended to disseminate information and enable the placing of new evidence arising from Member States development or European level actions for instance on sector level.

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Sectoral Approaches to LLL
URL /sq

Created 21 May 2003

Cedefop: Loukas Zahilas loukas.zahilascedefop.europa.eu

This e-Community was set up to support the work on development of sectoral qualifications in line with the Copenhagen Process.
The Copenhagen declaration on increased co-operation in vocational education and training (November 2002) states that increased attention should be given

'…to the development of competences and qualifications at sector level, by reinforcing co-operation and co-ordination especially involving the social partners. Several initiatives on a Community, bilateral and multilateral basis, including those already identified in various sectors aiming at mutually recognised qualifications, illustrate this approach.'

This e-Community serves as a platform with several purposes:

- to facilitate work on issues related to development of sectoral qualifications;
- to display the results of the ongoing mapping of initiatives and projects on development of competences and qualifications at European sectoral level;
- to enable exchange of views and experiences both within the social partners organisations at European sectoral and national level, and other stakeholders in the field of vocational education and training.

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Trainers in VET
URL /vettrainers

Created 10 May 2012

Cedefop: Irina Jemeljanova irina.jemeljanovacedefop.europa.eu

The purpose of this community is to support the activities of the Thematic working group on professional development of trainers in vocational education and training (VET). The Thematic working group on professional development of trainers in VET was launched in February 2012. It is part of European cooperation in education and training ('ET2020').

Members of the group come from ministries, national bodies and training and research centres in the Member States.
The group aims to identify examples of effective policies and practice and to consider how policies can support vocational trainers in the workplace with:

(a) their role and tasks;
(b) the competences that they need;
(c) ways of validating the competences they acquire and
(d) opportunities to keep their knowledge, skills and competence up-to-date.

The outcomes of the work of the group will contribute to European cooperation on vocational education and training (the Bruges Communique).

This e-Community serves as a platform with several purposes:

- to facilitate work on issues related to development of sectoral qualifications;
- to display the results of the ongoing mapping of initiatives and projects on development of competences and qualifications at European sectoral level;
- to enable exchange of views and experiences both within the social partners organisations at European sectoral and national level, and other stakeholders in the field of vocational education and training.

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Cedefop Internal e-Communities (1)

Cedefop Governing Board
This is a private community, reserved only for the members of its group.

Created 04 November 2003

Cedefop: Michele Boukouvala michele.boukouvala-ketterercedefop.europa.eu

The purpose of this site is to provide an information tool for the members of Cedefop's Governing Board. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) is an agency of the European Union. Created in 1975 with a tripartite Governing Board, it provides services to the European Commission, the European Member States and the Social partners as well as Norway and Iceland.

Cedefop is administered by a Governing Board of representatives of Member State governments, employer organisations, employee organisations and the European Commission. BUSINESSEUROPE (the Confederation of European Business), ETUC (the European workers confederation) and Norway and Iceland participate as coordinators and observers.

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