The Barcelona European Council in 2002 set as a target to make Europe’s education and training systems a world quality reference by 2010. Since then important steps have been made towards this objective.
The Copenhagen declaration (November 2002) set the basis for the development of a Common Quality Assurance Framework for VET in Europe (CQAF). In May 2004 the European Council endorsed the CQAF. The CQAF builds on the target set by the European Council, and is included in the report on the follow-up of the objectives of Education and Training systems in Europe.The European Network on Quality Assurance for Vocational Education and Training (ENQA-VET, established in October 2005), is a follow up to the Council Conclusions of 2004. It provided, in some cases supported by national quality assurance reference points, for a limited number of initiatives and projects at national and European levels, which were carried out to support, test and refine the CQAF.
The use of CQAF is voluntary. The primary users are national/regional authorities, public and private bodies (including training providers) in charge of quality assurance and improvement. The need to promote a culture of quality improvement and wider participation in the ENQA – VET, namely by drawing on the principles of the CQAF, was underlined by the European Ministers of Vocational Education and Training in Helsinki (5 December 2006). The application of the CQAF at national /regional systems and at training providers is reported in national and sectoral reports in the virtual community for Quality Assurance in VET (http://communities.trainingvillage.gr/quality) and in the ENQA-VET documents. For Greece, Spain and France there are nor national reports neither any other information for the application of CQAF. For Germany and Romania there have been developments, but still there is a lot to do, especially at the level of training providers.