Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Official Journal Reference

L 156 of 1990-06-21

Legislative Reference

90/267/EEC of 1990-05-29
To encourage in the area of continuing vocational training a greater and more effective investment effort and improved return, innovations in management, methodology and equipment, transnational cooperation and exchanges of information, and the development of more effective mechanisms geared to changes in the European labour market, with the aim of supporting and complementing the continuing vocational training policies and activities developed by and in the Member States.


The fundamental objectives of a common vocational training policy set forth in Council Decision 63/266/EEC (Official Journal No 63 of 20.4.1963) refer in particular to the need to promote basic and advanced vocational training and, where appropriate, retraining. In this context, the 1991-1995 action programme is designed to interact with the tasks and actions of the European Social Fund (ESF), the EUROTECNET and COMETT programmes, the IRIS network on vocational training for women with a view to 1992, and experimental schemes promoted by small and medium-sized undertakings.

The Decision establishing the FORCE programme includes the following definitions:
- The term "continuing vocational training" is used to denote any vocational training engaged in by a worker in the European Community throughout his working life;
- The word "undertaking" is used to denote not only large but also small and medium-sized undertakings, regardless of their legal status or the economic sector in which they operate, and all types of economic activity;
- The term "training body" denotes all types of public, semi-public or private establishments engaged in vocational training, further training, updating or retraining activities, regardless of the way in which they are referred to in the Member States;
- The word "worker" denotes any person having active links with the labour market, including the self- employed.


Two complementary parts:

- Common framework of guidelines (measures at national level):
Designed to support and complement the policies and measures adopted by the Member States, bearing in mind the responsibilities of the parties concerned under national law, with a view to promoting the coherent development of continuing vocational training between the Member States. Measures may include:
. Setting up and developing a national network of model programmes for demonstrating and disseminating established company strategies and schemes for the inter-action of "technical innovation and continuing training" as decision-making elements for firms and the two sides of industry;
. Preparing and exchanging outstanding examples of training concepts, materials and aids for carrying out continuing training;
. Setting up consortia/cooperatives/partnerships for continuing training, for example between vocational training institutions and small and medium-sized firms or bodies representing them;
. An exchange of experience among experts, scientists and political decision- makers, with the involvement of both sides of industry, concerning organization and substantive aspects of in-house continuing training;
. Cooperative arrangements/partnerships among bodies which advise on innovation and organizational questions, and provide firms with advice about skills, in order to improve the standard of information available on strategies and continuing training;
. An overview of the need for lifelong learning and of practical means for achieving it and of the future demand for skills in the light of technological change and in the context of planning for vocational training
. The preparation of regular reports on steps taken to implement the Common framework guidelines;

- Transnational measures, implemented at Community level:
. Action I - Support for innovation in continuing vocational training:
Achieving synergy in innovation; European sectoral surveys of continuing vocational training plans;
. Action II - Analysis, monitoring, assessment and forecasting:
Exchange of comparable data on continuing vocational training; analysis of contractual policy on continuing vocational training; forecasting trends in qualifications and occupations;
. Action III - Accompanying measures:
Support and continuing evaluation of the programme and dissemination and transfer of the results obtained.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by the FORCE Advisory Committee composed of two representatives from each Member State, by the FORCE Technical Assistance Office, by National Coordination Units to be established in each Member State, and by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). It shall keep the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training regularly informed of the development of the programme and ensure that there is consistency and complementarity with other Community programmes involving vocational training.

Eligibility for participation in the programme shall be assessed under five specific headings:
. All projects and activities must be concerned with continuing vocational training;
. Actions must be concerned with the training and training needs of invididuals within the active labour force and related to the settings and contexts within which they develop their training;
. The planned provision of continuing vocational training must be central to projects submitted by companies, agencies, institutions, employers/unions, consortia and partnerships;
. Organizations eligible to take part in analytical and research activities must have a recognized capacity of expertise;
. Projects and activities must have a real impact on the transfer of good practice.

Guidelines, procedures and criteria for the submission and selection of projects are set forth in the FORCE Vademecum and in the FORCE Guide.

The funds estimated as necessary for the financing of the programme in the first two years of the four-year period amount to ECU 24 million.

Every two years the Member States shall send to the Commission a report on the steps taken to implement the Common framework guidelines laid down in Article 5 of the Decision, including information on current arrangements to promote and finance continuing vocational training. External assessments of the programme and its operation shall take place during the first half of 1993 and the first half of 1995. Before 30 June 1993 the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training an interim report on the launch phase and, before 30 June 1995, a final report on the implementation of the programme as a whole.
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