European Approach to Microcredentials

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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A webinar on a European Approach to Microcredentials took place earlier this month highlighting micro credentials in the Vocational Education and Training sector. The event was co-organised by EARLALL and SwissCore.

European Approach to Microcredentials Webinar

Noelia Cantero, EARLALL Director, and Maria Pascual, Head of the International Projects Unit for VET, Department of Education of the government of Catalonia introduced the webinar. They were followed by Williman O’Keeffe, European Commission (DG EMPL), who presented the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on a European approach to Micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability. The Proposal establishes a “common European approach to the ongoing provision of microcredentials and sets out a definition and guidance for the design and description of microcredentials to facilitate their transparency and usage”. It is expected for the Council to reach an agreement and have the Recommendation published soon. From the European Commission’s policy context, the webinar provided an example of the use of microcredentials at a pan European level. Dr. Svatopluk Stolfa, from the technical University of Ostrava presented the Automotive Skills Alliance, an initiative presently set out in the context of the Pact for Skills. He was accompanied by Marek Spanyik, who explained how the development framework of microcredentials (the DRIVES EU funded project framework) works and how the skills gained by the trainees are recognized, through microcredentials.

The second part of the webinar was chaired by Laurin Reding, European Advisor for Education at SwissCore, and was dedicated to exploring examples on how the microcredentials are implemented in Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. Dr Emma Francis, Project Officer MicroCreds, Irish Universities Association, presented the MicroCreds project, led by the Irish University Association. The project aims to establish a national framework for accredited microcredentials. The partnership is working on the development of the framework that will set standards for excellence in flexible learning. She was followed by Pascal Paschoud, President of Swissuni and Executive Director for Further Education at EPFL. He presented an overview of Microcredentials in higher education in Switzerland and the flexibility that they provide from an education perspective. Then Björn Flintberg, Project Leader at the Research institute of Sweden, presented the RISE technical pilot for microcredentials, based on the European Commission’s Recommendations. The last panelists showed an example from Spain, Catalonia. Cristina Marfil, Technical Advisor at the Directorate-General for Vocational Education and Training, Regional Ministry of Education of the Government of Catalonia, introduced the new VET Spanish Law and the changes that it has produced regarding the recognition and definition of microcredentials in Catalonia. Then, Neus Caufapé, Principal of Institut Escola del treball de Lleida, presented the MICROVET: An opportunity to upskill VET graduates, Erasmus+ Project. It aims at analysing the labour requirements for 2030 and the development of short VET trainings (microcredentials) to provide answers to those demands in the partners’ countries.

Maria Pascual concluded the webinar and informed participants that EARLALL will organise a follow-up event on Individual Learning Accounts in the autumn 2022.

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Steven Galvin

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