VQTS I (2003-06)

VQTS I (2003-06)

With regard to the promotion of a "European Workspace", it is generally agreed among European policy makers to enhance European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET): the "Bruges-Copenhagen" process. Therefore transparency of certificates, diplomas and qualifications, transferability of competencies as well as accreditation and recognition are necessary. These aims should be achieved through the promotion of measures - similar to those of the "Sorbonne-Bologna-Prague process" (e.g. ECTS) - in the area of VET.

The specific aim of this pilot project is to create a systematic procedure to ensure international transfer of vocational qualifications (in terms of competencies and skills) at secondary level in order to increase mobility in VET. Students / Apprentices should be able to use their qualifications - acquired in educational institutions or / and in companies - as a "common currency" throughout Europe.

The vocational field of "Mechanical Engineering" was selected as a model for developing and testing this procedure.


On completion of the project, a manual was produced which contains:
the documentation of the developed procedure of international transfer of acquired qualifications,

  • samples for documents and informative literature for potential users,
  • instructions for the realisation of the procedure,
  • guidelines and instructions for the implementation of the procedure and
  • consideration of the transferability of the model into other economic sectors or fields of VET.



Luomi-Messerer, Karin & Markowitsch, Jörg (Eds., 2006):VQTS model. A proposal for a structured description of work-related competences and their acquisition. Vienna: 3s research laboratory. 


Helsinki Award 2006

The Leonardo da Vinci project VQTS was awarded for excellent practice in addressing the priorities of the Copenhagen process and promoting an enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training.

The VQTS (Vocational Qualification Transfer System) project, coordinated by 3s research laboratory, is one of ten Leonardo da Vinci projects in Europe that received the Helsinki Award 2006. The European Commission has awarded these ten projects, out of a total of around 2000, because they have successfully promoted the Europeangoals at grassroots level. The VQTS project was awarded in the category "Recognition of competences and qualifications, including ECVET" because it has developed an ECVET approach and has created a common and systematic procedure for the international transfer of acquired qualifications taking into account all the specifics of the systems currently in use in the participating countries.


The nomination was announced in the conference From Copenhagen to Helsinki. Best Practices Supporting European Cooperation in VET. The conference took place on 4th of December 2006 in Helsinki, Finland and was organised by the Finnish Leonardo da Vinci National Agency in CIMO in co-operation with the Ministry of Education in Finland and the European Commission. The official awarding ceremony was organised as part of the dinner of the Ministerial Meeting of Ministers of Education and Training, which was taking place on 4-5th December in Helsinki. The Finnish Minister of Education and Science, Antti Kalliomäki, and European Commissioner, Ján Figel, presented the awards.



EU Lifelong Learning Award 2007 in Gold

At an award ceremony held in Berlin on 6-7 May for the launch of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the new flagship EU funding programme in the area of education and training, 18 outstanding projects under the ERASMUS, COMENIUS, GRUNDTVIG, LEONARDO DA VINCI and JEAN MONNET programmes were awarded the 2007 Lifelong Learning Awards.

The German Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan, and European Commissioner, Ján Figel, presented the awards. The VQTS project was awarded with the Lifelong Learning Award in GOLD! This means that the VQTS project was selected as the best one from more than 2000 Leonardo projects!

The "Lifelong Learning Award" in Gold was given to the VQTS project for its contribution to the development of the ECVET, the European Credit system in vocational education and training. The VQTS model offers a foundation for the structured description of work-related competences and their acquisition. This enhances transparency and facilitates the comparison of training programmes in the different European countries and, thus, increases international mobility in vocational training.


This project has been funded with the support of the European Community and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (bm:bwk) as well as the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (bm:wa)

Project partnership


3s research lab (coordinator), ibw, öibf, bm:bwk, bm:wa, WKÖ, ÖGB (Gewerkschaft Metall-Textil), HTL Graz-Gösting, HTL St. Pölten, Siemens AG Österreich, Voith Paper St. Pölten

Czech Republic



CIRIUS, Undervisningsministeriet, Dansk Industri, Dansk Metal, Metalindustriens Lærlinge, EUC Syd Technical College, Danfoss A/S


biat - University of Flensburg, Bundesverband staatl. gepr. Techniker e.V., Gewerbliche Berufliche Schulen der Stadt Flensburg - Fachschule für Technik und Gestaltung, Staatliche Technikerschule Weilburg, KRONES AG - Werk Flensburg


NIVE, Oktatasi Miniszterium, BKIK, Emasoft Stúdió Kft.





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