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National Support Services - Croatia

National Support Services - Croatia


Agencija za strukovno obrazovanje i obrazovanje odraslih


    The Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education is a public institution, founded in June 2010  (by merging of two agencies  – Agency for Adult Education, founded in 2005, and Agency for Vocational Education and Training, founded in 2006).

    One of the Agency's main goals is the development of the existing vocational curricula and development of vocational qualifications based on competences and learning outcomes, in accordance with the needs of the labour market and further education. The Agency has developed and implemented the system of quality assurance in vocational education and training and is responsible for the process of self-evaluation of vocational schools. The Agency is also responsible for the professional development and training of teachers in vocational schools, through the organization and implementation of professional examinations, the implementation of procedures for their promotion, as well as organization and implementation of professional training.

    The agency is also responsible for planning, developing, implementing, monitoring and improving the adult education system. Among other things, the Agency organizes and carries out the Lifelong Learning Week national education campaign, carries out professional training of adult learning professionals and, at the request of adult education institutions, provides expert opinions on programs of formal adult education.

    The agency is active in the area of bilateral and European international cooperation. It actively participates in the development and implementation of EU policies and initiatives in the field of vocational education and training and adult education. The Agency cooperates with a number of international institutions in the field of vocational education and training and adult education.

    In accordance with the Act on the Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education (Official Gazette, no. 24/10), the Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education is responsible for the following tasks:

    - Performing analytical, research and development activities for the vocational education and adult education system,

    - Coordinating proposals of corresponding professional and working bodies in the vocational education and adult education system,

    - Providing professional and advisory activities to institutions in the vocational education and adult education system,

    - Participating in the evaluation, self-evaluation and external evaluation procedures in the vocational education and adult education system,

    - Preparing and developing the methodology for drafting occupational standards, vocational qualifications and curricula in vocational education as well as the methodology for drafting educational programmes,

    - Preparing proposals for occupational standards and providing expert opinions on other proponents' proposals,

    - Preparing proposals for vocational qualifications standards and providing expert opinions on other proponents' proposals,

    - Developing vocational curriculum and providing expert opinions on other proponents' proposals,

    - Proposing a network of centres for new teaching technologies in vocational education and related educational institutions for each centre to the Ministry,

    - Providing expert support in defining a proposal of the institutions and curricula network in vocational education and infrastructure with the goal of their rationalization and social justification,

    - Encouraging cooperation and participating in the implementation of programmes and projects related to the development of the adult education and vocational training system,

    - Preparing and implementing programmes and projects financed or co-financed from EU funds and other forms of international assistance,

    - Performing activities related to financing, procurement, contracting, payment and monitoring of the implementation of projects co-financed by the European Union,

    - Carrying out training and additional training of employees in the vocational education and adult education system,

    - Organizing and conducting certification exams and the procedure for professional advancement of teachers in vocational education, as a public authority,

    - Defining the contents of the acquired knowledge and skills checks that a student or participant of vocational training acquired during the performance of practical training and exercises at the employers premises,

    - Performing administrative tasks for the Council for Adult Education, Council for Vocational Education and sector councils,

    - Giving its prior opinion on the Minister's decision on defining educational sectors as integrative areas of one or more professions,

    - Preparing guidance on conditions and manner of continuing education for the same or a different qualification level (horizontal and vertical mobility) as determined by institutions' professional authorities,

    - Providing guidance on the elements and manner of self-evaluation of vocational education institutions and the contents and manner of preparing reports of the Quality Committee at VET institutions.

    - Defining criteria for the establishment, implementation and monitoring of systematic financing of adult education in the programme, investment and material operations,

    - Performing activities regulating issue of textbooks in accordance with the law,

    - Performing professional and pedagogical supervision as well as other types of professional supervision of institutions, in accordance with the law and the Statute,

    - Organizing and implementing national student competitions and festivals of students' works in the vocational education system,

    - Cooperating with social partners and other stakeholders in the education system,

    - Setting up and maintaining an information system with a database of institutions and their participants, personnel, material conditions, property and other important information relating to the institutions' activities,

    - Participating in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of national programmes,

    - Preparing information for state administration bodies, the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Parliament and, on a needs basis, making reports regarding the activities,

    - Performing other tasks in accordance with the law and the Agency Statues.

    Main priorities

    The project's main priorities will include presenting the EPALE platform to the adult education community in Croatia, motivating the community to participate in the EPALE platform and supporting the Central Support Service in providing quality content on the multilingual, dynamic, interactive and innovative platform.

    Target groups

    All formal and non-formal organizations providing adult education, teachers, coaches, managers, scientists, representatives of public authorities responsible for education and employment of adults.

    Main activities

    The EPALE will be promoted through various promotional activities, including regional conferences, promotional presentations, creating newsletters, promotional materials and videos, and through collaboration with key stakeholders. NSS will regularly contribute to the EPALE's content and implement activities (focus groups, workshops, joint research, online surveys) with the aim of improving and increasing both the quantity and the quality of content. NSS will also actively participate in the EPALE online community. NSS website will be updated and new content will be added. Content will be translated from Croatian to English, English to Croatian and Croatian to the main European languages, in order to promote multilingualism on the EPALE platform. NSS will cooperate with CSS and participate in activities organized by CSS.

    Previous activities as the EPALE NSS

    NSS used to implement activities as the EPALE NSS in the framework of the "EPALE National Support Service (NSS) for Croatia“ project from 1/10/ 2014 to 31/12/2015.


    Main results

    Main results will be the following:

    1) increased number of registered users from Croatia

    2) content which will contribute to the platform and encourage other users to contribute with their own work

    3) the EPALE online community will be animated

    4) maintenance of the EPALE NSS website

    5) multilingualism on the EPALE will be supported

    6) cooperation with CSS and participation in activities organized by CSS. 


    Mario Vučić


    Team members

    Mile Živčić

    Ognjen Piljek Ž

    Nives Novak


    The Adult Education Act defines adult education in Croatia as the entire process of adult learning with the purpose of exercising the right to an unrestrained development of one's personality; training for employability: earning qualifications for a first-time career, professional retraining, acquiring and expanding vocational knowledge, skills and abilities;  enabling one for civic participation.  Adult education has been defined as a part of the unique education system of the Republic of Croatia.

    Adult education in the Republic of Croatia is conducted as formal, non-formal, informal and/or self-guided learning.  Non-formal adult education includes various learning processes aimed at enabling adults to work, to participate in a variety of social activities, and to reach a higher degree of personal development. On the other hand, informal adult education includes activities in which adults accept such views, positive values, skills and knowledge as are gained through everyday experiences, as well as a range of other influences and sources from their environment. Unlike non-formal education and informal learning, formal adult education in the Republic of Croatia results in acquiring certification in form of a public document. Therefore, formal education in the Republic of Croatia takes place within institutional and publicly verified forms of education, with the purpose of acquiring vocational knowledge, skills and abilities and it includes primary school education of adults, secondary school education of adults; earning a secondary school degree or qualification, a lower qualification, receiving professional retraining, training and supplemental training, and higher education. 

    Costs of adult education, both formal and non-formal, are mostly borne by students themselves. Primary adult education is free for all students with the funds provided from the state budget, but there is no systematic funding from government sources for other segments of adult education. Croatian Employment Service secures funds for a part of students who enrol in adult education programmes as part of some of the measures aimed at unemployed persons.

    The main elements of the legislative framework governing formal adult education in Croatia are the Adult Education Act and related regulations - Ordinance on Public Documents in Adult Education; Ordinance on Standards and Regulations as well as Methods and Procedures for Determining the Fulfilment of Requirements in Adult Education Institutions ; Ordinance on the Contents, Form and Method of Keeping Andragogical Documentation; Ordinance on Records in Adult Education.



    Formal adult education (*source: Common Database for Adult Education (AZUP))

                    Number of institutions: 576

                    Adult education programmes, per type:

    • training programmes: 52 %
    • vocational retraining programmes / obtaining secondary school education: 27 %
    • additional education programmes: 9 %
    • foreign language learning programmes: 9%
    • other: 3%

                    Students by gender:      - M:76 %

            - F: 24 %


    Participation in lifelong learning (*source: Eurostat)

                    Share of adults (age 25-64) who participate in some form of education: 3.1 %

    Ministry of Science, Education and Sports

    Ministry of Labour and Pension

    Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult

    Agency for Mobility and EU

    Croatian Employment

    Croatian Employers'

    Croatian Andragogy

    Croatian Association for the Education of

    Association of Institutions for Adults

    Garićgradska 18

    10000 Zagreb


    +385 1 62 74 666
    +385 1 62 74 606