Finland - Individualised flexible learning pathways using learning outcomes

Every student following an initial or continuing VET programme has an individual study (learning) plan which is connected to official state-recognised qualifications. These qualifications are based on learning outcomes, and the individual’s study plan can include different ways to achieve these learning outcomes. In 2018 there will be VET reform to strengthen further the idea of customer-oriented VET in order that VET is designed to meet the needs of students and the world of work e.g. by increasing learning in the workplace and other learning environments. Digital learning environments and new approaches to pedagogy (e.g. modern simulations) will also have a larger role in the future of learning.

To achieve a qualification candidates have to demonstrate, mostly in a real working context, the skills and competences required by the profession. This means, for example, that VET providers have to cooperate more with employers and other VET providers to provide learners with the most suitable learning environments, learning methods and opportunities to combine their chosen qualification with vocational studies from other qualifications or free choice studies. It is also possible for a learner to obtain simultaneously a vocational upper secondary qualification and take the matriculation examination.

The VET qualification system of vocational is based on national qualification requirements. Education providers prepare their own local curricula based on the national curricula and the students' personal study plans.

The teacher/instructor and the learner prepare each student’s personal study plan - this will be updated several times during the study time. The representative from the work place also takes part in planning if necessary. For students with special needs their parents and support personal often take part in preparing the personal study plans in order to include all the support activities that the learner needs. A central part of each person’s plan is the identification of the skills and competences that a learner already has and a focus on the missing parts of a qualification.

The system is based on a national electronic data-base of all the qualifications and modules - this is used by the VET providers to design their curricula. The data-base also helps to prepare the individual study plans for each learner. An electronic monitoring system is needed for the documentation and the follow-up of the learners’ acquisition of competences. The quality management system of VET providers includes guidelines on the processes of planning, implementation, evaluation and review of individual learning pathways and individual study plans.

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For more information on this case study contact:

Finnish National Agency for Education
Hakaniemenranta 6
P.O. Box 380, 00531 Helsinki, Finland

Vocational Education Centre Sedu
Koulutuskeskus Sedu
Koulukatu 41
FI-60100 Seinäjoki, Finland

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