Qualification assessments for refugee training and employment: Fasttrack with ECVET and Skillsbank

Erasmus+ VET KA2 Strategic Partnership (2016-2018) NO, AT, BE, ES, DE, FR, IT, PT, TR

NTI-MMM: Multilateral Monitoring and Management  2016-1-NO01-KA202-022083

The world is facing an unprecedented displacement crisis. Today, almost 60 million people are forcibly displaced as a result of violent conflicts and natural disasters. By end of February 2016, over 1.1 million people  refugees, displaced persons and other migrants  have made their way to Europe either escaping conflict and serious threats in their country or in search of better economic prospects.
The current influx of refugees and other migrants is a common European challenge affecting every country, including Turkey. Some countries are exceptions like Germany, Greece and Italy with huge numbers arriving, Portugal wishing to get more refugees and Turkey serving as a buffer zone. Four of these countries are represented in the consortium comprising 14 partners from 9 countries. The partnership includes partners with critical first line experience from reception of refugees and other migrants, and from handling their applications for transit and residency.
A documentation and declaration of skills, competences and certifications will be of great value to the individual migrant, the recipient country, and to the host community. This project aims to usethe Skillsbank experiences and system to meet the immediate needs for a rapid competence assessment and declaration for refugees and other migrants.


  1. Establishment of an easy-to-use mechanism that givesrefugees/migrants an opportunity to document their skills and competences (in their own language) by using basic ECVET and Learning Outcome principles
  2. Facilitation and reduction of processing time in handlingof refugees and asylum-seekers residence applications, and identification of appropriate/relevant individual career pathways towards employment and training
  3. Improving the recipient countries possibilities for a fast identification of migrants skills and competences, and thus for a facilitated integration and participation in work and capacity building programs
  4. Exploring the possibility of issuing a RefuPass stating the individuals competence portfolio based upon Learning Outcomes

Skillsbank (LdV 2011-1-1-NO1-LEO05-03275) is the basis for the RefuSkills technical developments. It is a multilingual web based toolkit targeting career guidance, recognition of prior learning and individual training support. It is based upon Learning Outcomes and uses principles from EQF (the European Qualification Framework) and ECVET (the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training).The interface is presently available in 9 languages. An Arabic version is demonstrated as a prototype.

The system aggregates Learning Outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and competences into logical units constituting full qualifications. Skillsbank furthermore offers a Recognition of Prior Learning assessment module where each Learning Outcome can be self-assessed byindividuals. Subsequently assessors can validate and conclude with a consolidated assessment to be included in the individuals competence portfolio.

The RefuSkills project will use the Skillsbank options for a self-declaration by the migrant to be matched against a previously described qualification (fully or just partially, depending upon employment opportunities and training requirements). The Arabic option makes it possible to create bi-/tri-/quadri-/multilingual versions of qualification requirements. The migrant will use the most relevant language for the self-assessment input, whereas the hosting side can work in an available parallel language version.

After the self-assessment, several options are available:
The migrant can use a print-out as a self-declaration against a competence profile;
The self-assessment can pass through an external assessor to be formally validated against qualification requirements;
After the external assessment the migrant may have a compatible qualification document as a competence passport according to qualification requirements and standards; or
Have a basis for career guidance and further training  formally in a training institution or in the workplace.
Depending upon type of output required in a national or a sectoral setting, the output documents created will be linked to the Skillsbank database for an automatic merge of information into the new layout. This applies to developed documents as well as to a Europass CV or other existing formats and will be extended with a RefuPass.

Methodology/approach comprise:

  • Initial surveying/mapping of refugee status in all partner countries
  • Identification of Key Competencies expressed as Basic Skills, Transversal Skills or Core Competencies
  • Identification of the most relevant/requested vocations/occupations and the respective qualification matrices
  • Development of ICT solutions regarding integration with Skillsbank modules, new documentation, use on tablets and mobile phones
  • Internal and external roll-out/dissemination