The Estonian Qualifications Authority (trademark - Kutsekoda) as a private legal entity (foundation) was established in August 2001 in order to continue developing the occupational qualifications system launched by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1997. Kutsekoda was established by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Estonian Employers' Confederation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Estonian Employees' Unions' Confederation (TALO) and the Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions. In addition to the founders of the Kutsekoda, the Supervisory Board of the Kutsekoda includes a representative of the Ministry of Education and Research.
Kutsekoda is developing a support structure for occupational qualifications system in order to increase the competitiveness of Estonian employees and promote the development, assessment, recognition and comparison of their occupational competence.
Main functions of Kutsekoda
- to organise and coordinate the activities of sector skills councils;
- to provide counselling and assistance for awarding bodies;
- to keep the register of occupational qualifications;
- to organise consultation and training related to the occupational qualifications system;
- to introduce the Estonian occupational qualifications system on the national and international level by creating conditions for the mutual comparison of occupational qualifications;
- to organise the development and updating of occupational qualification standards on the basis of decisions made by sector skills council;
- to organise the work of Europass Centre;
- to act as a national reference point for vocational qualifications and as a national coordination point for the EQF implementation.
Adult education in Estonia is divided into formal education, informal work-related training and retraining and popular adult education.
Flexible study opportunities have been created for adult learners: distance learning and evening courses, external study and part-time study, as well as participation in various courses. Formal education acquired within the adult education system allows adults to acquire basic and general secondary education at adult upper secondary schools through distance learning, evening courses or external study. Adult upper secondary schools are flexible in preparing individual curricula and adapt the study process to the needs of the students, allowing them to study single subjects, for example. In addition to formal education, institutions of vocational education and higher education are providing increasingly more continuing education courses and retraining courses. These courses allow adults to acquire and improve their professional, occupational and speciality knowledge, skills and experience as well as to retrain themselves. Training courses allow students to develop their creativity, talents and social skills also. Such training is usually linked to people’s interests and hobbies. Although this training is mainly provided by informal education centres, it is also available at many other training institutions.
The Association of Estonian Adult Educators ANDRAS and the Ministry of Education and Research have been organising the Adult Learners’ Week every autumn since 1998.
The objectives of this week are to value education, learners and educators, and introduce learning opportunities. The activities of the Adult Learners’ Week have expanded over the years and events are organised throughout the entire year, in addition to the main event, which lasts a week.
Read more about Funding for formal education, Work-related training, Popular adult education, Legislation, Development plans and more: Ministry of Education and Research
The new Adult Education Act (01.07.2015) is the central act of the adult education system. It stipulates the right of every person to constantly develop their knowledge and skills, the obligations of the state and local governments in the coordination of adult training, and the obligation of employers to grant study leave to learners engaged in distance learning, evening courses, external study or part-time study.