European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training

The core purpose of the European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) in the UK is to enable the recognition of learners’ achievements during periods of study and/or training overseas.  ECVET aims to use a common language and structure to promote mutual trust among providers of vocational education & training and competent institutions across Europe.  The aim is to encourage more learners and staff to undertake periods of training or study in another European country.

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and offers exciting opportunities for study and training for learners and staff across Europe.  Erasmus+ supports the use of ECVET to recognise the achievements of participants on Erasmus+ projects.

There is a team of ECVET experts in the UK and across the EU.  The ECVET Experts website provides support and guidance to organisations that want to understand and implement ECVET in Erasmus+ projects.  If you have queries not covered by the website, contact the ECVET National Contact Point and Experts for Wales, who are located at CollegesWales. 

What it can do for learners, workers and jobseekers

ECVET enables the learning outcomes achieved during a period of training or study in Europe to be acknowledged and recognised.  This adds value to your experiences abroad. 

Before you leave for a study visit or work placement in Europe, you will sign a learning agreement so that you are clear of the purpose of your training. After you return to Wales, you may choose to present the skills and experiences gained in this way to potential employers using Europass.

What it can do for college tutors whose learners go on a study visit abroad

As part of organising a study visit or work placement for your learners using Erasmus+ funding, you will need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with your partner organisation in Europe and agree the intended learning outcomes. This will help you ensure that the learning undertaken abroad can be formally recognised as part of your learners’ vocational qualification in the UK.

What it can do for college tutors who wish to improve their own practice

Erasmus+ offers college tutors the opportunity to gain an insight into different teaching delivery and assessment techniques in other European countries.  Using ECVET principles, learning outcomes can be identified and achieved during periods of study overseas. 

What it can do for employers

Apprentices who undertake periods of training abroad will improve their knowledge and understanding through exposure to new and different work practices.  These new skills and competences can be recognised through ECVET. 


Other tools you may be interested in:

The European Qualifications Framework helps you understand qualifications levels abroad.

Europass is a portfolio of documents that describes an individual’s knowledge and skills in a way that’s understood across Europe.

The European Skills, Competences and Occupations lists the knowledge and skills needed for specific jobs in Europe.
The Non-formal and Informal Learning system helps identify and assess all forms of learning.

The European Quality Assurance System for Vocational Education & Training helps give confidence that the quality of vocational education and training programmes in Europe can be trusted.

The Non-formal and Informal Learning system helps identify and assess all forms of learning.




Siân Holleran, International Coordinator at ColegauCymru and an ECVET Expert outlines the benefits to learners of Erasmus+.