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A systematic, long-term training alternating periods at the workplace and in an educational institution or training centre. The apprentice is contractually linked to the employer and receives remuneration. The employer assumes responsibility for providing the trainee with training leading to a specific occupation (CEDEFOP 2008).

Assessment is any process that measures the knowledge, the understanding, the abilities, the skills or the competences of a learner (student/trainee)

Assessment tool
An assessment tool (instrument and instructions for use) includes the following components:



Certification (skills certification)
Formal standardised assessment process for the validation of knowledge, know-how, personal and professional attitudes acquired by a student after a professional educational training or program

The ability to apply (theoretical and practical) knowledge, skills and attitudes stated in the learning outcomes of an educational programme in a practical work setting.

Competency-based training
Competency-based training is performance and standards-based and related to realistic workplace practices. Its focus is on what learners can do rather than on the courses they have completed.

Counselling in the educational context means that an expert/an experienced person gives advice to a learner. Objectives of counselling could be:

Counselling and Learning Support can be accomplished in very different ways: By means of guide books, internet counselling etc.

A coherent unit of planned subjects and activities that have to be undertaken by a learner during a certain educational programme.
It indicates the objectives to be achieved by the learner and the tasks to be fulfilled in order to achieve these.



Regular feedback is a means to guide the learners by providing them with an awarenss of their progress and achievement. It promotes motivation and helps to improve learning skills also in other fields.


Guidance is provided by teachers/trainers or workplace supervisors. It relates primarily to working techniques and methods


Learning/training unit
Learning units (units of learning outcomes) are components of a qualification consisting of a coherent set of (knowledge, skills and) competencies that can be assessed and validated (ECVET definition, see European Parliament 2009). The units have to be structured comprehensively and logically and lending themselves to assessment.

Learning Project
A complex task, based on challenging questions or problems, that involve students in design, problem-solving, decision making, or investigative activities.

Learning support
Systematic interchange regarding the progress of a learner. It aims at strengthening self-learning and self-management competencies by supplying advice (as far as necessary) at all stages of the learning activity. Learning support does not procure actual knowledge in a field, but helps the learner to acquire it more effectively.

Learning outcomes
Statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning. Learning outcomes are distinct from the aims of learning, in that they are concerned with the achievements of the learner rather than the overall intentions of the teacher. Learning outcomes, together with assessment criteria, specify the minimum requirements for completing a learning unit.



A portfolio is a purposeful collection of samples of annotated and validated pieces of evidence (e.g. written documents, photographs, videos, audio tapes)


Skills means the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments.


Vocational education and training


Work-based learning
Acquisition of knowledge and skills through carrying out – and reflecting on – tasks in a vocational context, either at the workplace (such as alterance training) or in a VET institution (CEDEFOP).

Work placement/Internship
Period of training at a workplace in an enterprise