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Portugal:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

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Overview Portugal

Contents

Portugal:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Portugal:Historical Development

Portugal:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Portugal:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Portugal:Political and Economic Situation

Portugal:Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Portugal:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Portugal:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Portugal:Organisation of Private Education

Portugal:National Qualifications Framework

Portugal:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Portugal:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Portugal:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Funding in Education

Portugal:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Portugal:Higher Education Funding

Portugal:Adult Education and Training Funding

Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Higher Education

Portugal:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Portugal:First Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Bachelor

Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Portugal:Second Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Portugal:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Portugal:Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Distribution of Responsibilities

Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Portugal:Main Providers

Portugal:Main Types of Provision

Portugal:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Portugal:Teachers and Education Staff

Portugal:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Portugal:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Management and Other Education Staff

Portugal:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Portugal:Management Staff for Higher Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Quality Assurance

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Educational Support and Guidance

Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Portugal:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Portugal:Mobility and Internationalisation

Portugal:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Mobility in Higher Education

Portugal:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Portugal:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Portugal:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:National Reforms in School Education

Portugal:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Portugal:National Reforms in Higher Education

Portugal:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Portugal:European Perspective

Portugal:Legislation

Portugal:Institutions

Portugal:Glossary

2017

Qualifica Programme

As part of the Qualifica Programme announced by the Government at the end of 2016, the following developments occurred:

  • Publication of Decree Law no. 14/2017, 26th January, which amends Decree Law no. 396/2007, 31st December. The latter Decree regulates the National Qualifications System and the structures that ensure its operation;
  • publication of Order no. 47/2017, 1st February, which regulates the National Credit System for Vocational Education and Training and defines the guidance model and the individual qualifications and skills register;
  • launch of Qualifica Portal and Qualifica Passport;
  • publication of the dispatch that created 261 Qualifica Centres (Dispatch no. 1971/2017, 8th March);
  • application for the creation of 42 Qualifica Centres;
  • application to obtain financial support within Human Capital Operational Programme (HCOP), by the Qualifica Centres network of the North, Centre and Alentejo regions;
  • updating of SIGO Platform – Qualifica Centres;
  • creation of a communication platform between ANQEP and the Qualifica Centres network (Microsoft Office 365);
  • upgraded version of the document “Orientação ao Longo da Vida – Guia Metodológico” (Lifelong Guidance – Methodological Guide) made available to the entire network of Qualifica Centres;
  • methodological guidelines for the development of RVCC processes in Education and Training made available.

The Qualifica Portal aims to make obtaining information easier, allowing users to consult programme-related services and tools. The portal is designed for trainees, employers and agents involved in adult education and training, allowing them to search for current provision by area, collect information on the National Credit System and obtain or update the Qualifica Passport, where training is recorded.

The Qualifica Passport is a (digital) guidance tool and registration of individual qualifications and skills that not only registers qualifications acquired by adults throughout their lives but also a simulation of possible qualification routes and organize what qualification pathways already taken or to be taken, according to the qualifications a person may acquire and the further education and training paths possible for this person. It identifies the skills lacking, in order to create training pathways that are more suited to each person’s needs, among the different available paths. 

The Credit System allocates credit points to qualifications that are included in the National Qualifications Catalogue and other certified training courses, provided they are registered in the Information and Management System of the Education and Training Provision Offer (SIGO) and fulfil the quality assurance criteria.

This system incorporates the principles of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET), promoting mobility within Europe.

The application process for the creation of 42 Qualifica Centres, which is currently underway, will see the creation of 300 Qualifica Centres in the mainland during the first half of 2017, as established in the Qualifica Programme.

In addition to the application to create Qualifica Centres, the application for POCH funding for the Qualifica Centers located in the North, Centre and Alentejo regions is also underway.

The stabilising and funding of the Qualifica Centres network are key aspects of the Qualifica Programme, taking into account their importance for adults qualification, in terms of guiding them towards different types of qualification and RVCC processes.

Following the publication of Ordinance no. 232/2016, 29th August, the Microsoft Office 365 Platforms - Qualifica Centres and SIGO - Qualifica Centres Platforms were made available. In addition, support documentation was drawn up/updated and made available, including the Methodological Guidelines on the development of school and training RVCC processes and the Lifelong Guidance – Methodological Guide, which incorporate changes made to the Centres activities under the Qualifica Programme.

Within this context, the Qualifica Centres can fully develop, contributing to the adult qualification goals established in the Qualifica Programme.

Currently, the training for the Centre teams is being prepared and will take place between 3rd and 20th April.

This training is designed for the Qualifica Centres teams (Guidance, Recognition and Validation and Skills technical staff and trainers) and covers the following areas:

  1. Lifelong guidance
  2. Academic RVCC: methodology and tools
  3. Academic RVCC: skills validation and certification (complementary training; validation and certification conditions; testing)
  4. Vocational RVCC: methodologies and tools
  5. Vocational RVCC: skills validation and certification (complementary training; validation and certification conditions; testing

2016

Vocational Education

Between 2002 and 2015, the number of early school leavers fell from 45% to 13.7%, which is not unrelated to investment in vocational education in upper-secondary education (levels of attendance have quadrupled and currently account for nearly 50% of total students), and the adoption of 12 years of schooling (compulsory as of 2010).

That said, overall, not only does the Portuguese population lack qualifications (55% of adults between 25-64 did not complete upper-secondary education and around 45% of the workforce has few or no digital skills), but previous investment in adult qualification was abandoned in 2012, with significant reductions in both education-training qualifications for adults and the recognition, validation and certification of competences, thus impeding the growing convergence with European averages that had occurred since 2007.

Among its priorities, the 21st Constitutional Government’s programme has established:

  • extending the range of courses and qualifications in vocational education;
  • consolidating pedagogical diversification strategies within vocational education and the promotion of stronger bonds between school, community and the family;
  • improving the status of vocational trainers through ongoing training programmes in pedagogy, didactics and technical skills, as well as a review of the organization of the initial training provided to them;
  • greater recognition of vocational education and qualifications in the labour market, establishing greater cooperation with the social partners and businesses.

To meet the objectives set out, The National Credit System, which is based on the ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) model, is in the final stage of completion and will improve mobility mechanisms between courses, redirecting students to other forms of training and facilitating the completion of interrupted courses.

The Passaporte Qualifica is currently being prepared, in parallel with the creation of the National Credit System. This is a digital tool that functions as a platform to record all training individuals have undertaken.

The implementation of a quality assurance system for vocational education is based on the EQAVET (European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training) model, which aims to consolidate and certify the quality of vocational schools.

The Rede Qualifica is currently at the preparation phase. This network will play an important part in helping young people find qualifications that match their situation, ambitions and characteristics.

The Portuguese A programme has become modular, so it can be used on vocational courses, ensuring that these training courses replicate science-humanities courses. Until now, students on vocational courses studied the Portuguese B syllabus and then, in order to enter higher education, they had to take the Portuguese A exam. This improves the equity and permeability of different courses of study.


Qualifica Programme

Considering the structural deficit of the Portuguese population qualifications (55% of adults of the 25-64 age group did not complete secondary education), it is necessary to develop an adult education and training program that provides this national priority.

This program will be based on a triple integration:

  • Integration of the means and institutional actors, with a strong coordination and cooperation between the areas of Education, Labour, Solidarity and Social Security and Higher Education, both in the formulation of the instruments used for the task and in its operationalisation on the field;
  • integration and mobilisation of different kinds of answers and instruments, combining adult education and qualifying professional training with recognition, validation and certification of competences and;
  • integration of the answers in the perspective of who searches the system, making the network and the training paths portfolio coherent in the perspective of the student, being that these should be possible to customize to fit an individual path.

To this end the Qualifica Network was created,  allowing the effective development of the recognition, validation and certification of competences processes, the access to information and guidance about education and training offers, combining physical spaces with online assets.

This measure is being implemented through the activation of the former Qualification and Professional Education Centres (Centros para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional – CQEP), endowing them with qualified technicians for vocational guidance and hours credit, and the conditions for a decentralized action.

Starting with the current 238 centres, this network will have a total of 270 centres in 2016 and 300 in 2017. The expansion of the network will take place in the municipalities in which it is necessary to ensure an answer to the qualification needs, simultaneously giving priority to territories in which the number of active adults who didn’t complete secondary education is bigger, but also assuring territorial cohesion, considering the specific and contingent dynamics of the low density territories.

The creation of the Qualifica Centres was legally established through the Ordinance no. 232/2016, 29th August.

The creation of a national credit system, aligned with the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET), that allows and favours mobility processes for students and trainees, introducing a greater flexibility in the training paths, allowing people to resume interrupted paths, streamlining the attendance of longer duration offers and prioritizing already existing short term modular training that contribute to the educational and professional qualification, preserving the value of those paths.

The decree-law that creates this national credit system is being created and is expected to be published in December 2016.

The creation of the Qualifica Passport, an instrument that will aggregate the training attended by the person, allow to consolidate the individual training paths, and develop flexible processes of referral for further training paths.

 

Learning Outcomes-based Qualifications

In terms of the design of learning outcomes-based qualifications, ANQEP, IP, used a new methodology to a range of qualifications, which were made available in the National Qualifications Catalogue (Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações CNQ). These outcomes-based qualifications were organised into skills and training frameworks for the following education and training areas: Hotels and Restaurants, Tourism and Leisure, Commerce, Management and Administration and Secretarial and Administrative Work.

For the 2016/2017 academic year, schools have the option to develop learning outcomes-based qualifications in the form of vocational courses, using the frameworks associated with this methodology.

With the purpose of developing skills according to this new approach, ANQEP, IP, has held a number of training sessions for teachers, trainers and coordinators of vocational courses that will implement frameworks of learning outcomes-based qualifications.

 

National Reforms Program

The Government presented the National Reforms Program stabilising the following objectives:

  • Promote training and labour activation policies for young people who are not studying, being trained or working.
  • Launch an integrated program for adult training and education.
  • Ensure the possibility of a second opportunity for qualification.
  • Leverage lifelong learning strategies.
  • Adult education and training program based on a triple integration (assets made available by different stakeholders; different types of instruments and responses; and different portfolios of educational pathways).
  • Qualify Passport (Passaporte Qualifica) to consolidate the individual qualification itinerary.


Vocational Education Development

The development of Vocational Education in Portugal is one of the Government’s objective, pursuing:

  • Achieving the target of 50% of upper-secondary school students in dual certification career paths by 2020;
  • increased attractiveness of vocational education, improved operational conditions, quality and relevance of training provision that contribute to the gradual improvement of the social perception of this type of training.

Parallel with and complementary to this, a programme of information session should be created for the dissemination and promotion of vocational education.

2015

The Qualifications Portal

In Portugal, choosing a qualification pathway or finding information on non-higher education level occupations has become easier. Since 11th March 2015 this can be done at www.portaldasqualificacoes.pt.

Managed by the Directorate-General for Statistics on Education and Science (DGEEC) and the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training  (ANQEP), the Qualifications Portal brings together several services related to qualification levels 2, 4 and 5 of the National Qualifications Framework attained through formal or informal learning.

The Qualifications Portal has six main webpage entries, so that citizens can find and choose training that is suitable to their profile and visualize/print the record of completed training and/or qualifications attained. It also enables people to make a match between the chosen training and its prospective employability level after graduation, to contact a Centre for Qualification and Vocational Education, to consult the training standards and the professional profiles and visit  ANQEP’s website, which provides detailed information on education and training opportunities for both young people and adults.

In addition to these links, the qualifications portal is connected to other portals, such as the “Learning Opportunities and Qualifications in Europe” and the “Youth Guarantee" in Portugal.

The system was launched in March 2015 and is available at the Qualifications Portal and at http://sanq.anqep.gov.pt


The Qualification Needs Forecasting System (Sistema de Antecipação de Necessidades de Qualificações – SANQ)

A national project is currently being developed by ANQEP in partnership with several government agencies and regulatory bodies with the aim to establish a Qualification Needs Forecasting System (Sistema de Antecipação de Necessidades de Qualificações - SANQ), which will track, permanently, the relevance of qualifications for the labour market as well as the evolution trends of the supply of qualified human resources.

SANQ comprises three modules: Diagnosis (qualifications needs analysis), Planning (recommendations and guidance to help defining the VET provision for the following school year) and Regional in-depth analysis (application of the diagnosis and planning components at regional level).

It provides information to the strategic design of VET policies, both at national and regional level, helping to plan VET provision at upper secondary level.


Referencing of Professional Courses to the National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ)

The XIX Constitutional Government decided that the referencing of all types of education and training of young people to the National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ) was one of the measures that would improve vocational education and the link between schools and businesses.

It was also recognized that the referencing of professional courses overseen by the Ministry of Education to the CNQ, like other forms, can be a tool for these courses to respond more flexibly, more dynamically and in a more tailored way to the needs of companies and to the country’s economic and social development.

In line with this option, Ordinance No. 74-A / 2013, 15th February, states that "professional courses are part of the National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ) on a transitional basis until they are included within provisions of Decree-Law No. 396/2007, 31st December".

Within this framework, in 2015, the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training (ANQEP) - an organization responsible for regulating vocational education and training provision - defined the terms under which the integration of professional courses develop within the CNQ developed, from the academic year 2015 to 2016 onwards.

As such, the conditions were created for the harmonization of different types of education and training, which will then develop in line with common qualification frameworks, allowing the integrated development of the education and training system.


Project for the implementation of Quality Assurance Systems in line with the EQAVET Framework

Decree-Law No. 92/2014, 20th June, states that vocational schools should implement quality assurance systems for training processes and the results obtained by their students, and that these systems should be coordinated with the EQAVET (European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education) and Training framework.

Although the scope of Decree-Law No. 92/2014, 20th June, is restricted to vocational schools, the implementation of quality assurance systems is strategically important for all VET providers, in relation to continuous improvement of its training processes and the results obtained by the students/trainees. Within this context, the implementation process of VET provision quality should gradually cover all of them, irrespective of their type.

In this context, the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training (ANQEP), an organization responsible for promoting, monitoring and supporting the implementation of quality assurance systems for training processes and the results obtained by the students of vocational schools and certifying them as EQAVET systems, is involved in an ongoing project with the objective that:

Vocational schools:

  • Adopt a quality assurance model in line with the EQAVET Framework or adapt this framework to the model they are implementing (by the end of 2015).
  • Implement a quality assurance system in line with the EQAVET Framework (until end 2016).

Providers of other VET types:

  • Become part of the process intended for vocational schools, within the same timeframe, if they believe they are in a position to do so.
  • Gradually begin the implementation process for quality assurance systems in line with the EQAVET Framework according to when they deem they are able to, from the beginning of 2017, in order to have implemented such systems by 2020.

Further information: www.qualidade.anqep.gov.pt