The professional qualifications system forms a part of the Estonian qualifications system. The professional qualifications system connects the education system with the labour market and contributes to lifelong learning and the development, assessment, recognition and comparison of work-related competence.
The objectives of the occupa-
tional qualifications system are:
- to support the competitive edge of the Estonian workforce - Estonian workforce is compe- tent, they have the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for successful operation;
- to form prerequisites that the content and quantity of studies targeted at occupational activi-
ties meet requirements of the labour market;
- to facilitate that the compe-
tence of individuals is apprecia-
ted and recognised, regardless where and how the studies took place;
- to make occupational qualifications internationally comparable.
Figure. Competence circle
Parts of the system are:
- the system for the classification and cataloguing of occupational qualifications – catalogue of occupational qualifications
- the system of occupational qualification standards – occupational qualification standards
- the system for awarding professions – occupational qualification certificates
To bring the competence of graduates and employees into compliance with the requirements of the labour market, the professional qualifications system identifies the competence required for successful work in various roles of the professional area and a respective professional standard is drawn up for each of them. Professional standards help create possibilities for the assessment of competence, which is called the award of profession, and a respective training, in-service training and retraining system.
An important common part of the professional qualifications and education system is the system of education standards, the output of which is curricula.