Mobility of apprentices in Europe

The European network to promote, implement
and enhance learning mobility for apprentices




Quality assurance in Higher VET

Quality assurance in Higher VET
Published Tuesday 04 August 2015


For several years European Institutions have stressed the importance of vocational education and training (VET) for the employability of (young) people and the economic competitiveness and growth. In many countries strategies to foster VET focus, however, largely on initial VET. Higher VET (HiVET), that is, VET leading to qualifications on levels 5 to 8 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), is often neglected or underestimated in such policies.
This is largely due to the heterogeneity of HiVET with its great variety of providers, assessment procedures, qualification standards, etc. This distinguishes HiVET from the higher academic education that has a largely uniform qualification structure and common standards of quality assurance. Though quality assurance (QA) mechanisms are in place in HiVET as well, there are no European reference guidelines, nor are the mechanisms uniformly defined on national levels. As a consequence HiVET qualifications are often underrated, i.e. there is a lack of parity of esteem between qualifications from the higher academic education and higher VET.


The main objectives of HiVETnet are to increase transparency in higher VET and promote more parity of esteem between higher academic education and higher VET. These aims should be reached by producing two key results:
  • European Guidelines and Principles on Quality Assurance in Higher VET
These guidelines should serve as European QA reference guidelines for HiVET providers and qualification awarding bodies. Taking into consideration the specificities of HiVET, they should comprise quality aspects for all stages of a qualification's life-cycle.
  • European Network on Quality Assurance in Higher VET
This network should guarantee the sustainability and further development of the QA guidelines and foster – in the long run – the development of a “Higher VET Area” in which the QA guidelines are used.


A partnership of six organisations has been formed to meet the objectives of this project. Five national organisations from Austria (ibw – project coordinator), Belgium (IFAPME), France (APCMA), Germany (ZDH) and Greece (IME GSEVEE) as well as one European organisation (UEAPME) will work together on this three-year-project to develop the products and contribute to the political work in this field by disseminating information about the project and its deliverables.