Competences do not remain the same throughout the years. They have been changing over time with the alterations ascertained in the labour market. For example, today it is more relevant to be competent in terms of interpersonal skills and aspects linked with communication, teamwork, resilience and adaptability than ten years ago. In the future, due to new labour market demands, the most relevant competences may be different. For this reason, it is fundamental that Education and Training Systems are able to provide young people and adults with competences that can always adjust to what the labour market values.
Several years ago, there was an adoption of a European Qualifications Framework (EQF), which all Member States should use as a reference when building their National Qualifications Frameworks. It implies an approach to qualifications based on learning outcomes and it gained ground in Europe (cf. Cedefop, 2009), surpassing the use of approaches that focus on length, contents and teaching methodologies to design qualifications. This approach has become the basis for vocational education and training standards, curricula, assessment criteria, qualification descriptors and level descriptors in national qualifications frameworks. These frameworks addressed the integration of descriptors for (8) different qualification levels, based on knowledge, skills and competences/attitudes. This means that the bases were created for learning processes to be defined based on what is expected to be achieved at the end of a learning process.
The Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council on the establishment of the EQF (23 April 2008) explicitly sets out that the Member States shall use “(…) an approach based on learning outcomes to define and describe qualifications” and to promote the validation of informal and non-formal learning.
The ECHOES Competences Matrix intends to be a contribute in line with this recommendation.COMPETENCES MATRIX