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Glossary

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  • access to education and training

    Definition: 

    Conditions, circumstances or requirements (such as qualifications, education level, competences or work experience) governing admittance to and participation in educational institutions or programmes.

    Source: 
    adapted from Unesco, 1995.
  • accreditation of an education or training programme

    Definition: 

    A process of quality assurance through which a programme of education or training is officially recognised and approved by the relevant legislative or professional authorities following assessment against predetermined standards.

    Source: 
    adapted from Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.
  • accreditation of an education or training provider

    Definition: 

    A process of quality assurance through which an education or training provider is officially recognised and approved by the relevant legislative or professional authorities following assessment against predetermined standards.

    Source: 
    adapted from Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.
  • adaptability

    Definition: 

    Capacity of an organisation or of an individual to adapt to new technologies, new market conditions and new work patterns.

    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2008.
  • adult education

    Definition: 

    General or vocational education provided for adults after initial education and training for professional and/or personal purposes, and which aims to:

    • provide general education for adults in topics of particular interest to them (e. g. in open universities);
    • provide compensatory learning in basic skills which individuals may not have acquired earlier in their initial education or training (such as literacy, numeracy) and thus to;
    • give access to qualifications not gained, for various reasons, in the initial education and training system;
    • acquire, improve or update knowledge, skills or competences in a specific field: this is continuing education and training.
    Comments: 

    adult education is close to, but not synonymous with continuing education and training.

    Source: 
    adapted from European Training Foundation 1997; Cedefop, 2004.
  • ageing society

    Definition: 

    A society characterised by an increasing proportion of older people, usually linked to a declining birth rate.

    Comments: 

    in an aging society, education and training provision must prevent:

    • skill shortages and gaps;
    • early retirement by retraining and upskilling older workers.
    Source: 
    Cedefop.
  • alternance training

    Definition: 

    Education or training combining periods in an educational institution or training centre and in the workplace. The alternance scheme can take place on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Depending on the country and applicable status, participants may be contractually linked to the employer and/or receive a remuneration.

    Comments: 

    the German ‘dual system’ is an example of alternance training.

    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2008.
  • apprenticeship

    Definition: 

    Systematic, long-term training alternating periods at the workplace and in an educational institution or training centre. The apprentice is contractually linked to the employer and receives remuneration (wage or allowance). The employer assumes responsibility for providing the trainee with training leading to a specific occupation.

    Comments: 
    • in French, the term ‘apprentissage’ relates to both apprenticeship and the process of learning (see ‘learning’);
    • the German ‘dual system’ is an example of apprenticeship.
    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2004.
  • assessment of learning outcomes

    Definition: 

    Process of appraising knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences of an individual against predefined criteria (learning expectations, measurement of learning outcomes). Assessment is typically followed by certification.

    Comments: 

    in the literature, ‘assessment’ generally refers to appraisal of individuals whereas ‘evaluation’ is more frequently used to describe appraisal of education and training methods or providers.

    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2004.
  • attractiveness of vocational education and training

    Definition: 

    Capacity of vocational education and training to:

    • encourage individuals to deliberately choose vocational education and training;
    • offer quality qualifications that open up career prospects;
    • persuade employers to recruit holders of VET certificates.
    Comments: 

    attractiveness of VET depends on various factors:

    • image of VET and parity of esteem with other educational pathways;
    • flexibility of pathways allowing mobility between VET and academic education;
    • quality of VET offer;
    • involvement of stakeholders, including social partners, in VET and in the provision of guidance and counselling.
    Source: 
    Cedefop.
  • awarding body

    Definition: 

    A body issuing qualifications (certificates, diplomas or titles) formally recognising the learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and/or competences) of an individual, following an assessment procedure.

    Source: 
    Cedefop, 2008.