The Status Quo of ECVET implementation in Spain

Leading Organization

Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Immigration; to be further decided.

The ECVET management structure

In process

Education and training sector

(besides ECTS)

ECVET-readiness in terms of learning outcomes approach in VET, unitisation/modularisation

Level of development of validation

No credit system

Accumulable and accreditable learning expressed in learning outcomes; modularised system



Credit arrangements: the Spanish approach to ECVET

In Spain, VET is coherent with the ECVET philosophy. The VET system is based on modular learning programmes. All the diplomas from initial VET within the education system are 2 000 hours in duration, both intermediate diplomas (3B ISCED level) and higher level diplomas (5B ISCED and higher) are expressed in learning outcomes and permit acquiring professional competences following established standards in response to production sector needs. All the diplomas support acquiring and improving personal and social competences and exercising active citizenship. The new system for validation of professional competences acquired through professional experience establishes the assessment and partial accreditation of units of competence of professional qualifications (established standards) included in VET diplomas or on certificates of professionalism.

The competence units thus accredited can result in the validation or exemption of the corresponding modules included in either the VET diplomas or in the certificates of professionalism. At the moment, the validation procedure is only used for vocational education and training at both levels, intermediate and higher. However, the Ministry of Education is working on the legal framework on validation for university level. The first draft of the royal decree recognises universities’ autonomy and states that each university will decide on modules or units to validate, to a maximum of 15%, as well as on the method to be used. Once an official decision on ECVET is reached across government, working groups, including all relevant stakeholders and linking to different advisory bodies, could be set up.

Country fiche – Spain

Argumentation (clear rationales, clear identification of added value)

ECVET added value is linked to increasing trust between systems, as the use of learning outcomes adds transparency and supports mobility. However, much depends on the transparency of the learning programmes of the host and receiving countries. There is doubt regarding the specific added value of credit points.

Commitment (policy- and decision-makers, communication and information to stakeholders and the public)

The first priority is full development of the NQF. It is essential to have the framework ready before making any decision on ECVET. The technical Committee for VET, the General Council on VET, the State School Council and the Sectoral Conference on Education are dealing with ECVET developments.

Capacity building (legislative and regulative framework, remits and allocation of responsibilities, allocation of resources)

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport will be responsible for ECVET arrangements concerning IVET, and the Ministry of Labour and Immigration for CVET. The NCP is the Subdirectorate General on VET of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

Understanding qualifications (NQFs or registers, LO approach to all processes)

All diplomas, intermediate and higher, are expressed in terms of learning outcomes and permit achievement of professional competences following established standards that have been developed in response to the needs of the sectors.

Ensuring transfer of learning outcomes (units of LO including credits, crediting/assessing LO, recognition and validation of LO)

Learning programmes in VET are modular and include a system to assess and accredit the competences acquired through work experience and other learning pathways. The learning outcomes approach is implemented in diplomas structured in professional modules.

Cross-border cooperation (agreements on learning mobility, use of European templates)

There have been projects under the Leonardo da Vinci programme through which promoters and institutions have acquired experience on ECVET. The programmes are coordinated by the Spanish National Agency OAPEE. Memoranda of understanding and agreements for mobility are under development.