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CEDEFOP trans-European network on qualifications and certification of vocational training schemes

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) has issued a call for expressions of interest, to be followed by a restricted invitation to tender, within the framework of technical support for the Commission of the European Communities/Task Force human resources, education, training and youth, to set up a database network at European level on occupational qualifications and the certification of vocational training schemes.

The network will:
- Count on the goodwill of Member States to participate. It should facilitate the exchange of information and permit relevant bodies to gain and mutually exchange information on data related to qualifications and certification;
- Be based on existing findings on the comparability of qualification, on recognition of occupations for which provisions exist, and should be in line with Community programmes (eg, PETRA, FORCE, COMETT);
- Have the main objectives of (a) permitting individuals to furnish lucidly and effectively to potential employers throughout the Community their occupational qualifications, instruction received and occupational experience, and (b) providing employers with access to descriptions of qualifications and corresponding occupational experience in order to determine whether the skills of applicants originating in other Member States correspond to the employment offered;
- Encourage activities undertaken by Member States in the exchange of information and knowledge on qualifications systems, and qualifications themselves, in order to realize the objectives cited below;
- Be available in a variety of forms including conventional (hard copy) and electronic media. The possibility of online consultation both under ASCII and on videotext should also be envisaged;
- Support, before 1995, interrogation in all official languages of the Community. Consequently it should make optimal use of existing databases at national and European level. Links should exist with the CEDEFOP database on Member State vocational training systems.
- Support activities linked with promoting transEuropean education and training networks being developed by the Commission.

Work in the first year is to focus on the networking of three or four Member States already possessing databases in the field and on helping other interested Member States to set up their own databases. In following years the network should expand and adapt to the extent that the Member States confirm the feasibility, acceptability and utility of such a network.

CEDEFOP invites expressions of interest from private or public organizations regarding the setting up of such a network which should, above all, be based on existing databases in several Member States. Bodies and/or agencies responsible for databases at national or regional level are invited to express interest. Potential contractors should be aware of problems relating to multilingualism at European level. They should possess a thorough knowledge of the terminology used in the field and be willing to work, if necessary, in all official languages of the European Communities.

In view of the complexity of the subject, both binational and multinational consortia have every chance of being contracted. They should be able to integrate their knowledge and skills in the three domains of:
- Education, training, qualification and certification; - Programming, software and database production (creation and maintenance);
- Terminology and multilingualism, including automatic translation.

On the basis of the response to the call, CEDEFOP will invite selected contractors to furnish details on estimated finance and staff requirements for the activity. The total amount of the required grant should be indicated by the tenderers. The activity is to cover three to four years after which the network should be in a position to function without Community aid.

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