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 Welcome to the European Qualifications Framework - Credit Transfer In VET e-Community
Loukas Zahilas
Jens Bjornavold

Welcome to Cedefop's e-Community on a "European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and a European Credit Transfer System for VET (ECVET)".

If you want more information on how to join a community for the first time and a brief description of the platform functions, please click on the 'User Guidelines' in the top banner.

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.