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In order to articulate the supply of skills and the needs of the labour market, Portugal has been developing measures to adapt training skills to the current demand.
The National Qualifications System (SNQ) was established in 2007, in which instruments, such as the National Qualifications Framework (QNQ) and the National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ), were developed.
In this context, it became possible to anticipate the training needs and subsequent planning of educational and training offers, according to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) guidelines, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2008.
National Qualifications Framework (QNQ)
The National Qualifications Framework (QNQ) includes all levels of education: basic, secondary and higher education, vocational training and non-formal and informal procedures of recognition, validation and certification of competencies.
It is structured in eight levels of qualification, characterized according to three domains for the definition of learning outcomes:
National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ)
The National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ) is an instrument for the strategic management of basic qualifications (not corresponding to a higher education), managed by the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education, PI (ANQEP, I.P.).
This is an open instrument, which is constantly being updated.
The CNQ is updated through the Open Model of Consultation for the Update of the National Qualifications Catalogue, where the various entities of the SNQ have to submit proposals to update the CNQ.
System to Anticipate the Need of Qualifications (SANQ)
The System to Anticipate the Need of Qualifications (SANQ) is implemented by the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education, PI, and is available at the Qualifications Portal. The SANQ’s purpose is planning the network of offers, as well as providing information and support to other procedures for planning and managing of skill development strategies.
The National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education, PI (ANQEP, I.P.), defines the planning criteria for the professional courses’ network in each school year, by crossing the evolution of the educational offer for young people (vocational courses and training courses) and the relevance obtained for each qualification, as foreseen in article 30th of the Ordinance no. 74-A/2013, of 15th February.
ANQEP, I.P., is also responsible for establishing the terms of application and operation of the professional courses taught in public, private and cooperative educational establishments (Ordinance no. 74-A/2013, of 15th February), through the Integrated System of Information and Management of Educational and Training Offers (SIGO).
The Observatory of the Paths of Secondary Education Students is a project integrated in the Directorate-General of Education and Science Statistics of the Ministry of Education, which monitors the paths of Portuguese young people attending secondary education, in order to provide diagnosis, monitoring and assessment tools to support local and central decision-making in the education subsystem.
In higher education it is the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES) that provides the official information on courses and higher education institutions.
Admission competitions to higher education are organised annually as well as the establishment of vacancies. This annual quota bears in mind the limits stipulated in the accreditation elaborated by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES), which has the responsibility to assess and accredit the higher education institutions and their study cycles, and, in integrated degrees and masters, is subjected to the guidelines defined by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, that aim at the offer’s regulation according to certain criteria, such as employability, effective demand, regional and sectorial needs.
Studies and dissemination
Among the various initiatives, studies and presentation/clarification sessions have also been promoted, especially at the regional level.
In order to promote the reflexion between the different actors of various ministries and the national/ international experts, diffusion and dissemination sessions were developed.