Brief description of the context of the VET system in Belgium (Fr)

The main developments in quality assurance in VET in French-speaking Belgium over the last decade were:

  • A 2007 Decree created the Inspectorate Body, specified its organisation and missions and clarified the status of the inspectors. This included a description of their role in controlling quality of training in IVET (secondary level) and CVET for adults;
  • A review of the 1991 Decree establishing CVET for adults is under discussion. At the end of 2012, the Government adopted a first draft of a new Decree reforming CVET for adults. This draft Decree foresees a merger of the Higher Council for Social Advancement (hereafter Higher Council) with an advisory body in charge of CVET for adults into a new Social Advancement General Council. It also foresees opening the EPS up to eLearning.

In French-speaking Belgium (Walloon Region and Bruxelles Region), education and training-related competences are with the French-speaking Community. One important aspect of education in Belgium is the principle of freedom in education, i.e. the organisation of schools may not be subject to any restrictive measures. This principle is contained in the Constitution and is the basis for relationships between VET providers and public authorities at regional and community level. This principle has consequences for the way quality assurance operates in the country: The institutions have a high degree of autonomy, but there are control mechanisms in place to assess the extent to which the education and training provided by these institutions are up to Community standards.

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Brief description of the context of the VET system in Belgium (FL)

VET in Flanders is offered at different levels and by different providers. The demarcation between IVET and CVET is not always clear cut. Generally speaking, vocational education and training programmes followed before entering the labour market are considered as IVET (initial education) whereas vocational education and training programmes followed after having had work experience are part of CVET (adult education). The thinking behind the Flemish strategy to enhance quality assurance is based on the notion that obtaining a qualification in IVET has the exact same value as the qualification obtained in CVET and thus the Flemish Ministry of Education opted for a combination of IVET and CVET rather than making a distinction between the two systems. A consequence of this integrated approach, however, is that the process of building up the approach is much slower since a broad range of stakeholders (i.e. the different Ministries of Education and Training on the one hand and Employment on the other hand, the social partners and sector councils) have to be involved and consulted.

Another dimension of the integrated approach is the strong focus on the bringing together of the implementation of the other EU instruments in the field, such as EQF and ECVET. The development of the Flemish Qualification Structure formed the basis and the focus is now on the implementation of EQAVET in Flanders.

Qualification levels 1 to 4 with regard to professional qualifications will fall under the new integrated quality assurance system. The same goes for professional qualifications at qualification levels 5 to 8 obtained outside higher education. Higher vocational education (HBO5) and professional qualifying pathways at bachelor level and higher fall outside the scope of the integrated quality assurance framework. The processes described below are mainly elements of the current system.

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