The two credit systems, European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for higher education and ECVET for VET, represent different methodological approaches which both aim at facilitating credit transfer and accumulation.
However, to fully support lifelong learning, it is crucial that these systems become connected. In the long run, a joint implementation of both credit systems might enable greater permeability between VET and higher education (HE). In several of the countries participating in this project, qualifications are at boundaries between ECVET and ECTS. For example, the French BTS and the UK Foundation Degree are both designed using the learning outcomes approach and would naturally fit the ECVET logic. However, in order to receive financing of their students’ mobility, institutions awarding these qualifications have to use ECTS.
The project has chosen to test ECVET on qualifications at different EQF levels (4, 5, 6 and 7). These qualifications are situated at the junction of VET and higher education as they are designed according to the learning outcomes approach, favour on-the-job training and respond to a professional standard needed by companies.
Three sectors have been selected: plastic industry, hospitality management and training of trainers.
The choice of the plastic industry sector stems from the fact that some of the partners have already been involved in the Europlastic project –www.europlastic.org – which aimed at developing a European curriculum in this sector, including teaching in English and internships abroad.
As for hospitality management, this industry requires its workers to be mobile and to experience different types of national cuisines and services in order to progress in their careers. Lastly, training of trainers appeared to the partners to be of particular relevance in the linkage between ECTS and ECVET.
The BE-Twin project intends to develop tools and methodologies to facilitate a common implementation of ECTS and ECVET.
The project has first identified common denominators to design a translation tool between the two systems. These are being tested through three case studies, based on three different sectors, corresponding to four EQF levels (levels 4, 5, 6 and 7):
* Levels 4 and 5 – Plastic Industries;
* Levels 5, 6 and 7 – Hospitality management;
* Levels 6 and 7 – Training of Trainers.
The project will then define a global framework in which both credit systems will be complementary and not opposed. This will enable:
* the enhancement of vertical mobility of learners in VET, to bridge the gap between higher education and VET, by enabling recognition of ECVET and ECTS credit; and
* the combination of the learning pathways approach of ECTS with the learning outcomes approach of ECVET.
The Be-Twin project is focused on three sectors (plastic industry, hospitality management and training of trainers). The project aims to test ECVET on qualifications at different EQF levels.
The matrix designed by the project is a translation tool allowing an articulation between ECTS and ECVET. It describes the same qualification in terms of ECVET points and ECTS points. This matrix can be used in two different ways: to apply both credit systems within one training programme, or apply one credit system using the methodological approach based on learning outcomes to enable permeability between different sectors of education and training. The way the matrix is used will depend on the decision of the training providers. In the long run, there might be only one system but this question is beyond the scope of the project.
Project Promoter:CCIP, Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris, FrancePartners:DEKRA akademie GMBH, GermanyEkonometpika, Greece Ente nazionale acli istruzione professionale, ItalyEuropean Marketing Confederation, Belgium Fédération de la plasturgie, France Fondazione Giacomo Rumor Centro Produttivita Veneto, Italy Lifelong Learning Network Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire,Telford and Wrekin, UKNetwork of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), Belgium Rectorat de Paris -Délégation Académique à la Formation professionnelle initiale et continue, France Rusenski Universitet "Angel Kanchev", Bulgaria Stratford-upon-Avon College, United Kingdom Ufficio Scolastico Provinciale di Venezia, Italy Zaklad Doskonalenia Zawodowego, Kielce, Centrum Ksztalcenia Zawodoweg, Radom, Poland