The National Qualifications and Vocational Training System established in 2002 offers two different approaches providing VET in Spain and as an afterwards in Basque Country Region:
1.-One from the Education System and,
2.- The other from National Employment System.
VET offered in the education system is primarily oriented towards IVET and has deep roots and tradition among the youth population after Secondary Compulsory Education. On the other hand, VET in the National Employment System is aimed at a more adult population either employed or unemployed, and is considered CVET. VET of the National Employment System is named, since 2007, as National Subsystem of Vocational Training for Employment.
VET in the education system: Regarding to Educational System the National Education Authority executes the General guidelines of the Government on education policy and regulates the basic elements or aspects of the system but the Regional Education Authorities develop the National regulations and have executive and administrative competences for managing the Education System in their own territory. In addition, the schools have pedagogical, organisational and managerial autonomy for their resources. This autonomy is accompanied by the participation of the education community in the schools organisation, government, management and evaluation.
With the aim of ensuring generalized training and guaranteeing the validity of the diplomas, the education authorities set up the basic teaching aspects, the objectives, the basic competencies, the learning outcomes, the content and the criteria for assessment. Public Teaching Centres have the autonomy to develop and complete the curriculum for the different stages, so that at the beginning of each school year they must draw up an annual programme that includes all the aspects that have to do with organizing and operating the centre. The Education Authorities of the Autonomous Communities (For instance Basque Country) must supplement the basic curriculum for each IVET Diploma (High and Intermediate). VET Diplomas curricula has been revised during 2011 and 2012 by the national Education Authorities in accordance with units of competence (UC) of the Qualifications of the CNCP. These VET Diplomas, based on Units of Competence, can be offered in a modular way, thus easing the conciliation of the private and professional life for adults through shorter modular training instead two years-long programmes.
VET in the National System for Employment: Two different vocational training modalities were in force until 2007: occupational training, targeting the unemployed people, and continuous training, targeting the employed.
Both systems were integrated into a single Subsystem of vocational training for employment in relation to the National System of Qualifications and Vocational Training. The National Subsystem of Vocational Training for Employment aim is to extend the universal access to training of businesses and workers (employed and unemployed). It is a system based on the cooperation amongst the different authorities and combines state and regional levels with sector collective bargaining at national level, building a single frame of reference based on the Agreement reached between the social partners and the Government. Social Agents are strongly committed in the implementation of the National Subsystem of Vocational Training for Employment as participation in the design and planning of this VET Subsystem, is recognised and expected to be carried out “via the representative organizations in the industry for business and labour union organizations, having also regard for the needs of self-employed workers and companies in the social economy through their representatives.
As I have said these VET Diplomas awarded from the education System and the certificates for professional standards get from the training for employment system are based on Units of Competence.
Every qualification consists of competence units (UC, in Spanish). The competence unit is the minimum set of professional competences which can be partially recognized and accredited.
Every competence unit is linked to a learning module which describes the necessary learning to acquire that competence unit.
This structure facilitates the assessment and accreditation of the every workers competence unit acquired both through work experience and non-formal or informal learning. Recognized and accredited competence units can be accumulated so as to obtain the accreditation of a qualification, an official diploma on vocational education and training (VET) or an Occupational Aptitude Certificate.
The learning module is a coherent education and training block related to each of the competence units which form a profesional qualification.
Each learning module has a standardized structure which includes the identification and specifications of that particular learning process. These specifications must be included in any educative offer leading to an official diploma on VET or an certificate of professional standards based on the CNCP. The training offers shall be able to regulate the length of the learning module according to the nature of the group receiving the education, the learning modality, the number of students and other objective criteria. The learning specifications are expressed as capacities and their related assessment criteria, as well as the contents leading to the achievement of those capacities. Besides, the capacities whose acquisition should be completed in a real working environment, shall be identified. The capacities are the expression of the learning outcomes. Every Capacity has a set of assessment criteria which delimit the scope and level of one capacity as well as the context in which that capacity is going to be assessed. Moreover, some parameters of the learning context shall be included like space in workshops and facilities, profile of instructors and others of the same nature. These parameters shall be guiding for the basic regulation of training offers leading to an official diploma on VET or a certificate of profesional standards.
To sum up, the VET qualifications are defined in terms of learning outcomes. The professional modules contained in each qualification gather the learning outcomes and the corresponding assessment criteria that show that the qualification holder knows, understands, and is able to do as expected on completion of the programme. These learning outcomes are closely related to work activities and required professional competences