Depending on the objective of adult education, it is divided into formal training, work-related training and non-formal training.
Educational institutions where the study conducted by them lasts for more than 120 hours or 6 months per year must hold an education licence.
The activities of an adult education institution that offers formal education are regulated by the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act, the Universities Act or the Private Schools Act, i.e. quality assurance measures are also applied to these educational institutions.
Work-related and non-formal training of adults is regulated by the Adult Education Act (1993) and the Private Schools Act (1993).
The system of vocations, i.e. acknowledgement of vocational and professional qualifications is regulated by the Professions Act (2008).
The Ministry of Education and Research is the institution developing and implementing the quality requirements of adult education, also developing a unified and structured system of vocations and organising its supervision.
Applications for education licences are processed by and licenses are issued by the Minister of Education and Research.
In terms of vocational and professional qualifications, the quality of education is checked by vocational councils whose work is organised by the Estonian Qualifications Authority.
Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance
An education licence of an adult education institution organising adult work-related or non-formal training is a licence for carrying out study on basis of the curriculum specified on the licence. The education licence is issued with a decree of the Minister of Education and Research to a person who wishes to found an adult education institution or to implement a new curriculum in his or her adult education institution.
The education licence for an adult education institution is for a no fixed term.
An application for education licence shall be accompanied by the curriculum for which the licence is applied and by a confirmation from the owner of the school that teachers or teaching staff members that correspond to qualification requirements are available for implementation of the curriculum of the institution.
The Private Schools Act specifies the requirements for curricula.
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Please note that the new Adult Education Act in Estonia will be in force since 01.07.2015