Tools for TVET

The multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations

ESCO is part of the Europe 2020 strategy. The Commission services launched the project in 2010 with an open stakeholder consultation. DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – supported by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training Cedefop – coordinates the development of ESCO. Stakeholders are closely involved in the development and dissemination of ESCO.

Between ESCO v0 and ESCO v1, the content of the classification has been entirely re-developed. The work took from 2011 until 2017.

ESCO v1 is the first full-scale ESCO version.

Different from the previous ESCO versions which have versioning numbers starting with 0 (zero), it is not only recommended for piloting and testing, but also for systems in production that deliver services to end users. As of this version, a versioning mechanism will keep track of changes in ESCO.

ESCO v1 follows the three pillar approach. It will contain around 3,000 occupations, 13,500 knowledge, skill and competence concepts and a framework for the qualifications pillar. ESCO v1 wil be available in 26 languages.

The ESCO v1 data has been developed following two approaches:

for 11 economic sectors it has been developed in cooperation with Sectoral Reference Groups;

for 16 economic sectors, experts have contributed in an online consultation.

The Cross-sector Reference Group has supported the horizontal development of the classification throughout the whole process.

ESCO has been developed in an open IT format, is available for use free of charge by everyone and can be accessed via the ESCO portal.

More info here:

The European credit system for vocational education and training

The European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET) is a powerful tool for increasing cross-border cooperation in education and training.

The aim of the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is to:

  • make it easier for people to get validation and recognition of work-related skills and knowledge acquired in different systems and countries – so that they can count towards vocational qualifications

  • make it more attractive to move between different countries and learning environments

  • increase the compatibility between the different vocational education and training (VET) systems in place across Europe, and the qualifications they offer

  • increase the employability of VET graduates and the confidence of employers that each VET qualification requires specific skills and knowledge.

More info here:

Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering the use of Innovative Educational technologies

SELFIE (Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering the use of Innovative Educational technologies) is a free tool designed to help schools embed digital technologies into teaching, learning and assessment. SELFIE has a strong basis in research and was developed based on the European Commission framework on promoting digital-age learning in educational organisations.

SELFIE anonymously gathers the views of students, teachers and school leaders on how technology is used in their school. This is done using short statements and questions and a simple 1-5 answer scale. The questions and statements take around 20 minutes to complete.

Based on this input, the tool generates a report – a snapshot (‘SELFIE’ :-)) of a school‘s strengths and weaknesses in their use of technology.

SELFIE is available for any primary, secondary and vocational schools in Europe and beyond, and in over 30 languages. It can be used by any school – not just those with advanced levels of infrastructure, equipment and technology use.


  • SELFIE involves the whole school community – school leaders, teachers and students – in a 360-degree process covering many areas of school practice.

  • Because every school is unique, the tool can be customised. Your school can select and add questions and statements to suit your needs.

  • SELFIE allows all participants to answer questions that match their experience, as students, teachers or school leaders.

  • SELFIE is free of charge. Answers are anonymised and data is secure.

  • You can take the assessment from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

  • On completing SELFIE, each school receives a tailor-made, interactive report which provides both in-depth data and quick insights into strengths and weaknesses.

More info here:

The most trusted European tool to manage learning and career

Europass offers a range of free, multi-lingual tools for people to use to manage their careers and lifelong learning. Europass tools are available for stakeholders across the EU to use as part of the support, services and help they provide to people. The tools can be used by education and training providers, guidance practitioners, employers, public employment services, social partners, youth work providers, youth organisations, volunteer organisations and policymakers among others.

The europass tools are the following:

  • Europass Profile

  • Europass Certificate Supplement

  • Diploma Supplement

  • Europass Mobility

More info here:

DigComp: the European Digital Competence Framework

The European Digital Competence Framework, also known as DigComp, offers a tool to improve citizen's digital competence. Today, being digitally competent means that people need to have competences in all areas of DigComp.

The report called DigComp 2.0 presents the updated list of 21 competences (also called the conceptual reference model) whereas the eight proficiency levels and examples of use can be found in DigComp 2.1. Take a look at the new infographic explaining the 8 proficiency levels using a metaphor of "Learning to swim in the digital ocean".

What can DigComp do for citizens?

The Digital Competence Framework can help with self-evaluation, setting learning goals, identifying training opportunities and facilitating job search.

Self-evaluate the level of digital competence and facilitate the job search

From summer 2015 onwards, the Europass CV includes an online tool for jobseekers to self-evaluate their digital competence and describe and include it in their Curriculum Vitale (CV). The tool uses the five areas of the DigComp framework with an easy to use self-evaluation form. See also news about the New Europass Framework.

Set learning goals and identify training opportunities

In 2014, the Basque Country in Spain created a free online Self Diagnosis Tool for testing one's level of digital competence based on the DigComp framework. After taking a 15-minute online test, the results are available in a simple format to evaluate one's skills and identify training opportunities. Mid 2015, more than 10 000 individuals have already taken the test. Currently, the EU is planning to implement a similar tool which will eventually be available for all citizens in their own languages.

What can DigComp do for policymakers?

The Digital Competence Framework can help to monitor citizen's digital skills and to support curricula development.

For policymakers it can be beneficial to know where citizens stand for digital competence at the country level. The EU-wide Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) offers an indicator for Digital Skills that uses the DigComp framework.

The "digital skills" indicator is one part of the many indicators to measure Human Capital which is needed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by a digital society. The Digital Agenda Scoreboard offers an online tool to view the data in an interactive way (opens a new window, please allow time for the download).

The DigComp framework can be used to plan and design education and training offers. For example, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports has adapted DigComp for Spanish teachers and it has been used as a strategic support document for further development of teacher professional development (Marco comun de Competencia Digital Docente 2.0). Other similar examples can be found under implementation.

More info here:

VET toolkit for tackling early leaving

The Europe-wide VET toolkit for tackling early leaving was developed by Cedefop in 2017. Based on evidence of success, It provides practical guidance, tips, good practices and tools drawn from VET aiming at helping young people to attain at least an upper secondary qualification.

You can use the toolkit to:

  • Promote reflection and dialogue among policy-makers and practitioners on the current strategies to tackle early leaving from VET;

  • Support decision-making processes through the development of action plans inspired by the toolkit guidance, tips, and good practices.

Integrate the following activities in your workshop, training session or event to promote reflection and good practice on how to tackle early leaving from education and training. The activities, available here in MS word files, can be downloaded and used independently and can be tailored to your audience. Each activity includes a set of questions to trigger reflection and discussion, guidance for consulting the relevant toolkit sections, and materials to help participants turn reflection into action.

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EEN: The ETF sister initiative on EXCELLENCE FOR ALL

An International Network for Centres of Vocational Excellence - The ETF is building a network of Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs), which are organisations meeting criteria of innovation and quality in education and training provision and in how they respond to labour market skills demands. Typically, centres are successful vocational schools or other providers or clusters of such schools. This is connected to a wider EU supported initiative to promote Centres of VET Excellence

Centres of vocational excellence can act as:

• Engines for vocational training development – beacons for vocational training reforms

• Examples of high commitment to change and improvement

• Examples of good partnership between relevant stakeholders

The ETF network will provide a platform for the continuous exchange of practice among new and existing CoVEs at local, national or international level. The network will support the diffusion of excellence to the VET system and help CoVEs develop partnerships between in different countries. In this regard, the network will have three main outputs:

• Partnerships

• Peer learning

• Tools

Each participating CoVE will be expected to identify a member of staff who will participate directly in the activities of the network and who will mobilise engagement in their own institution and networks.

Visit a website for more info: