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Vocational Education Standard
Regulation No. 90 of the Government of the Republic of 6 April 2006
RT I1, 13.04.2006, 16, 131
entered into force 16.04.2206
The Regulation is established on the basis of § 101 of the Vocational Education Institutions Act.
 
Chapter 1
General Provisions
 
§ 1. Scope of application of Regulation
(1)       The Vocational Education Standard is a set of uniform requirements for vocational and professional training at the level of basic and secondary education (hereinafter vocational training).
(2)       The Vocational Education Standard applies to all vocational education institutions which organise vocational training (hereinafter schools).
(3)       The Vocational Education Standard applies to the following types of vocational training provided by schools:
1)         preliminary vocational schooling;
2)         vocational training in basic schools and upper secondary schools;
3)         vocational training for persons beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lack basic education;
4)         vocational training based on basic education;
5)         secondary vocational education;
6)         vocational training based on secondary education.
 
Chapter 2
Objective and Functions of Vocational Education
 
§ 2. Objective and functions of vocational education
(1)       The purpose of vocational training is to create the conditions for the development of individuals with the knowledge, skills, experience, attitudes and social readiness for working as well as abilities for continued and life-long learning.
(2)       The function of vocational training is to prepare responsible workers capable of their own initiative who:
1)         are capable of coping in the changing study, living and working environment
2)         apply acquired knowledge to their work and are orientated towards achieving high quality results;
3)         value their chosen profession and speciality and wish to develop their vocational and professional skills;
4)         keep themselves informed of the development trends in their profession or speciality and are able to apply such knowledge to their work;
5)         have knowledge in economy, business and law;
6)         know and apply the principles of communication and customer service;
7)         are able to communicate, in work matters, in Estonian and, based on the requirements of the relevant professional standard, at least in one foreign language;
8)         are able to work in a sustainable manner with respect to themselves and the environment;
9)         are able to use means of information technology.
 
Chapter 3
Requirements for Professional Skills
 
§ 3. Requirements for professional skills
(1)       Requirements for professional skills arise from the professional standards approved by professional councils.
(2)       The content of studies is determined by the requirements for professional skills set forth by the professional standards. In the absence of a professional standard, the content of study shall be coordinated with the relevant professional associations.
 
Chapter 4
Requirements for Curricula and Study
 
§ 4. National curriculum
(1)       The national curriculum is a document which determines the purposes and functions of vocational training, the requirements for starting and graduating from the studies, the modules of curricula and the volumes thereof together short descriptions, the possibilities of and conditions for electing modules and possibilities of specialisation.
(2)       The national curriculum shall be reviewed and if necessary, a new version shall be approved if the professional standard which constitutes the basis for the national curriculum is repealed, a new professional standard is established, or the name of the professional standard or the requirements for professional skills provided in the standard are amended.
 
§ 5. School curriculum
(1)       The school curriculum is the source document of vocational training. Schools shall prepare a curriculum for each profession or speciality being taught and for every type of vocational training, basing such curricula on the Vocational Education Standard and the national curriculum, and taking account of different forms of study.
(2)       A school curriculum is registered in the Estonian Information System for Education (EISE) formed on the basis of subsection 366 (4) the Republic of Estonia Education Act.
(3)       The volume of study prescribed by a school curriculum shall be calculated in weeks of study whereas the volume of one academic year shall be at least forty weeks of study.
(4)       In the case of curricula for internationally regulated professions or specialities, the prescribed volume of study shall arise from the requirements established by international conventions.
(5)       Where necessary, a school shall prepare an individual curriculum for a student on the basis of the curriculum of the corresponding institution of vocational or speciality education.
(6)       Subjects of general education make up an independent part of the curricula of secondary vocational education.
(7)       The volume of study prescribed by the curricula for vocational training which is based on secondary education may be up to two thirds of the volume of study prescribed by the curricula for applied higher education.
 
§ 6. Requirements for school curricula
(1)       A school curricula consists of the general part, modules of general and basic skills determined by the national curriculum and modules of elective studies.
(2)       The general part of a school curriculum shall set forth:
1)         the purpose and functions of the school curriculum;
2)         the requirements for the commencement and completion of studies;
3)         the structure of the school curriculum;
4)         a list of general, basic and elective study modules, and their volumes.
(3)       A school curriculum shall set forth the purposes of the general, basic and elective study modules, contents of study, study results and principles for assessment of modules.
(4)       If necessary, a school may amend the school curriculum once a year in the part of elective study modules. The renewed version of a school curriculum shall be approved by the head of the school after co-ordinating it with the teachers' council and school board.
 
§ 7. Modules of curriculum
(1)       The content of vocational training established by a school curriculum shall be set forth in the form of modules.
(2)       A module is a comprehensive content unit within a curriculum which is directed towards study results and determines the knowledge, skills and attitudes conforming to the professional requirements.
(3)       A module is made up of one or several subjects or topics.
(4)       The volume of a module depends on the purpose and content of the module.
(5)       The volume of study prescribed by a module is calculated in weeks of study whereas the volume of a module shall be expressed in full numbers and the smallest volume of a module shall be one week of study. One week of study corresponds to forty hours of work that a student spends on the studies.
(6)       If in several areas of specialisation, the general and basic study modules within a single programme coincide to the extent of at least 25 %, the content of study of such specialities may be described in a single national curriculum.
(7)       Modules are divided into general, basic and elective study modules.
(8)       General study modules define sets of knowledge and skills which run through broad groups of studies and are common to several areas of specialisation.
(9)       Basic study modules define sets of knowledge and skills necessary for operation in a profession, speciality or occupation.
(10)     Subjects of general education are included in general and basic study modules in the volume and selection which is necessary for acquiring the corresponding profession or area of specialisation.
(11)     Elective study modules define the knowledge and skills which support and extend professional skills or are related to additional qualifications. Elective modules may make up 5-30% of the volume of a curriculum.
 
§ 8. Studies
(1)       Studies take place in the form of auditory work, practical work, practical training and independent work.
(2)       Auditory work is study in the form of lectures, seminars, lessons or other formats established by the school.
(3)       Practical work means application of the acquired skills and knowledge in a study environment.  Practical work takes place in the form of practical lessons, training lessons, laboratory work or other formats established by the school.
(4)       Practical training is practical work with specific study goals which is carried out within the framework of a curriculum in a working environment under the instruction of a supervisor.
(5)       Independent work is the independent activity of a student for reaching a study goal.  Independent work shall make up at least 10 % of the entire volume of studies.
 
Chapter 5
Vocational Training for Persons beyond Minimum School-leaving Age who Lack Basic Education
 
§ 9. Vocational training for persons beyond minimum school-leaving age who lack basic education
(1)       In vocational training, students beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lack basic education acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for performing skilled work in a profession, speciality or occupation.
(2)       No restrictions related to the level of education shall be set for persons beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lack basic education upon commencing vocational training.
 
§ 10. Volume of studies
(1)       The volume of studies established by school curricula for persons beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lack basic education shall be 20 to 100 weeks of study.
(2)       Practical work shall make up at least 25 % and practical training shall make up at least 25 % of the volume of vocational training.
 
§ 11. Graduation from vocational training by persons beyond minimum school-leaving age who lack basic education
(1)       A person beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lacks basic education is deemed to have graduated from vocational training after he or she has completed, to the full extent, the studies prescribed by the school curriculum and passed the final exam of the profession or area of specialisation.  Instead of a final examination prescribed for the profession or area of specialisation, a student may graduate from a school by taking a professional examination.
(2)       Upon graduation from vocational training, the school issues a graduation certificate together with a results report in proof of concluding the vocational training to a graduating student beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lacks basic education.
(3)       A person beyond the minimum school-leaving age who lacks basic education may acquire basic education pursuant to the general procedure, simultaneously with vocational training or after graduating from vocational training.
 
Chapter 6
Vocational Training Based on Basic Education;
 
§ 12. Vocational training based on basic education
(1)       Students undergoing vocational training based on basic education acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for performing skilled work in a profession, speciality or occupation.
(2)       The prerequisite for commencing vocational training based on basic education is the acquisition of basic education.
 
§ 13. Volume of studies
(1)       The volume of studies based on basic education prescribed by a school curriculum shall be 40 to 100 weeks of study and up to 120 weeks of study under the programmes of music and performing arts.
(2)       Practical work shall make up at least 25 % and practical training shall make up at least 25 % of the volume of vocational training.
 
§ 14. Graduating from vocational training based on basic education
(1)       A person is deemed to have graduated from vocational training acquired based on basic education after he or she has completed, to the full extent, the studies prescribed by the school curriculum and passed the final exam of the profession or area of specialisation. Instead of a final examination prescribed for the profession or area of specialisation, a student may graduate from a school by taking a professional examination.
(2)       A person graduating from vocational training based on basic education shall be issued, by the school, a graduation certificate together with a results report in proof of concluding vocational training based on basic education.
 
Chapter 7
Secondary Vocational Education
 
§ 15. Secondary vocational education
(1)       Students studying under the curriculum for secondary vocational education acquire the vocational, professional and occupational knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for independent skilled work and the general education knowledge and skills prescribed by the curriculum.
(2)       The prerequisite for commencing studies under the curriculum for secondary vocational education is the acquisition of basic education.
 
§ 16. Volume of studies
(1)       The volume of studies prescribed by the curriculum for acquisition of secondary vocational education shall be at least 120 weeks of study, including at least 40 weeks of study for general education subjects.  The volume of vocational training shall constitute at least 50 % of the volume of studies prescribed by the curriculum.
(2)       Practical work shall make up at least 25 % and practical training shall make up at least 25 % of the volume of vocational training.
 
§ 17. Graduation from secondary vocational education
(1)       A person is deemed to have graduated from secondary vocational education after he or she has completed, to the full extent, the studies prescribed by the school curriculum and passed the final exam of the profession or area of specialisation. Instead of a final examination prescribed for the profession or area of specialisation, a student may graduate from a school by taking a professional examination.
(2)       A person graduating from secondary vocational education shall be issued, by the school, a graduation certificate together with a results report in proof of concluding secondary vocational education.
 
Chapter 8
Vocational Training Based on Secondary Education
 
§ 18. Vocational training based on secondary education
(1)       Students undergoing vocational training based on secondary education acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for independent skilled work requiring secondary education.
(2)       The prerequisite for commencing vocational training based on secondary education is the acquisition of secondary education.
 
§ 19. Volume of studies
(1)       The volume of studies based on secondary education prescribed by a curriculum shall be 20 to 100 weeks of study and up to 120 weeks of study under the programmes of music and performing arts.
(2)       Practical work shall make up at least 25 % and practical training shall make up at least 25 % of the volume of vocational training.
 
§ 20. Graduating from vocational training based on secondary education
(1)       A person is deemed to have graduated from vocational training based on secondary education after he or she has completed, to the full extent, the studies prescribed by the school curriculum and passed the final exam of the profession or area of specialisation. Instead of a final examination prescribed for the profession or area of specialisation, a student may graduate from a school by taking a professional examination.
(2)       A person graduating from vocational training based on secondary education shall be issued, by the school, a graduation certificate together with a results report in proof of concluding the vocational training based on secondary education.
 
Chapter 9
Vocational Training in Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools
 
§ 21. Vocational training in basic schools and upper secondary schools
(1)       The aim of vocational training given in basic schools and upper secondary schools is to provide the students with primary vocational, professional or occupational knowledge and skills as well as primary knowledge and skills necessary for planning a career, and to develop a readiness for continued studies.
(2)       Vocational training in upper secondary schools means studies through which students acquiring general secondary education acquire primary vocational, professional or occupational knowledge and skills on the basis of vocational training curricula.
(3)       A school shall take account of the knowledge and skills acquired in the process of vocational training at an upper secondary school if a student is continues his or her studies based on the curriculum for the same vocation or profession.
(4)       Vocational training in basic schools means studies through which students acquiring basic education (that is, students studying under a simplified or coping curriculum) acquire primary vocational, professional or occupational knowledge and skills on the basis of vocational training curricula.
(5)       A school shall take account of the knowledge and skills acquired in the process of vocational training at a basic school if a student continues his or her studies based on the curriculum for the same vocation or profession.
 
§ 22. Students
(1)       Students participating in vocational training at an upper secondary school shall be included in the student list of the upper secondary school and the school shall keep record of such students pursuant to the general procedure. The school shall keep record of the students participating in vocational training at the upper secondary school in the same manner as of the students taking part in courses.
(2)       Students participating in vocational training at a basic school shall be included in the list of students of the basic school or upper secondary school and the basic school or upper secondary school shall keep record of such students pursuant to the general procedure. The school shall keep record of the students participating in vocational training at the basic school in the same manner as of the students taking part in courses.
 
§ 23. Curricula for vocational training at basic and upper secondary schools
(1)       A school shall prepare a separate curriculum for vocational training at a basic school or a upper secondary school.
(2)       A curriculum for vocational training at a basic or upper secondary school shall have the same name as the school curriculum on which it is based. A curriculum for vocational training at a basic or upper secondary school shall constitute a logical and integral part (in the form of a module or modules) within the school curriculum on which it is based.
(3)       The volume of a curriculum for vocational training at a basic or upper secondary school shall be 15 to 40 weeks of study whereas the volume of work for a student shall be 40 hours per week of study.
(4)       A curriculum for vocational training at a basic or upper secondary school shall be co-ordinated with the basic or upper secondary school and the school board.
 
§ 24. Preliminary vocational training
Preliminary vocational training is a low-volume introduction of professions and specialities that is provided by basic schools and upper secondary schools for the purpose of vocational orientation in the form of elective subjects with the volume of up to 15 weeks of study prescribed by the national curricula for basic schools and upper secondary schools, the simplified national curriculum for basic schools (supplementary learning curriculum) or the national coping curriculum.
 
Chapter 10
General Requirements for Teachers
 
§ 25. General requirements for teachers
(1)       General requirements for teachers are determined by the qualification requirements for teachers established based in subsection 30 (3) of the Vocational Education Institutions Act.
(2)       At least 75 % of teachers teaching under a curriculum must meet the conditions provided by the qualification requirements for teachers in the part of pedagogical training.
 
Chapter 11
Broad Groups of Studies, Fields of Study and Programmes
 
§ 26. Broad groups of studies, fields of study and programmes
(1)       Classification of curricula into broad groups of studies, fields of study and programmes shall be based on the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 97, UNESCO, 1997).
(2)       Upon preparation on national curricula, the basis for division shall be the programmes.
 
§ 27. Broad groups of studies
1)         The following are the broad groups of studies:
2)         education;
3)         humanities and arts;
4)         social sciences, business and law;
5)         science;
6)         engineering, manufacturing and construction;
7)         agriculture;
8)         health and welfare;
9)         services.
 
§ 28. Fields of study
(1)       Within the broad group of study of education, the fields of study are teacher training and education science.
(2)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of humanities and arts are:
1)         arts;
2)         humanities.
(3)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of social sciences, business and law, are:
1)         social and behavioural sciences;
2)         journalism and information;
3)         business and administration;
4)         law.
(4)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of science are:
1)         life sciences;
2)         physical sciences;
3)         mathematics and statistics;
4)         computing.
(5)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of engineering, manufacturing and construction are:
1)         engineering and engineering trades;
2)         manufacturing and processing;
3)         architecture and building.
(6)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of agriculture are:
1)         agriculture;
2)         forestry and fishery;
3)         veterinary.
(7)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of health and welfare are:
1)         health,
2)         social services.
(8)       The fields of study within the broad group of study of services are:
1)         personal services:
2)         transport services;
3)         environmental protection;
4)         security services.
 
§ 29. Programmes
(1)       Vocational training is conducted in the programmes marked by an asterisk.
(2)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of teacher training and education science within the broad group of study of education are:
1)         teacher training and education science (general);
2)         general and specialised teacher training;
3)         educational science;
4)         pre-school teacher training;
5)         class teacher and multi-subject teacher training;
6)         subject teacher training;
7)         vocational teacher training.
(3)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of arts within the broad group of study of humanities and arts are:
1)         arts (general)*;
2)         fine arts and study of art*;
3)         music and performing arts*;
4)         audio-visual and other media*;
5)         design*;
6)         applied arts and craft skills*.
(4)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of humanities within the broad group of study of humanities and arts are
1)         humanities (general curricula);
2)         religion and theology*;
3)         foreign languages and cultures;
4)         native languages;
5)         history, philosophy and connected sciences;
6)         history and archaeology;
7)         philosophy and ethics.
(5)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of social and behavioural sciences within the broad group of study of social sciences, business and law are:
1)         social sciences and behavioural sciences (general);
2)         psychology;
3)         sociology and culture science;
4)         political science and citizenship education;
5)         economic science.
(6)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of journalism and information within the broad group of study of social sciences, business and law are:
1)         journalism;
2)         library science, dissemination of information, archival sciences.
(7)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of business and administration within the broad group of study of social sciences, business and law are:
1)         business and administration (general)*;
2)         wholesale and retailing*;
3)         marketing and advertising;
4)         finance, banking and insurance;
5)         accounting and taxing*;
6)         management and administration*;
7)         secretarial and office work*;
8)         institutional administration.
(8)       The programme belonging to the field of study of law within the broad group of study of social sciences, business and law is the programme of law.
(9)       The programmes belonging to the field of study of life sciences within the broad group of study of science are:
1)         biology and biochemistry;
2)         environmental sciences.
(10)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of physical sciences within the broad group of study of science are:
1)         physical sciences (general);
2)         physics;
3)         chemistry;
4)         geosciences.
(11)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of mathematics and statistics within the broad group of study of science are:
1)         mathematics;
2)         statistics.
(12)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of computing within the broad group of study of science are:
1)         computer sciences*;
2)         computer use*.
(13)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of engineering and engineering trades within the broad group of study of engineering, manufacturing and construction are:
1)         engineering trades (general)*;
2)         mechanics and metal work*;
3)         electricity and energy*;
4)         electronics and control engineering*;
5)         chemical engineering and process technology*;
6)         motor vehicle, ship and aircraft technology*.
(14)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of manufacturing and processing within the broad group of study of engineering, manufacturing and construction are:
1)         manufacturing and processing (general)*;
2)         food and drink processing and manufacturing*;
3)         textiles, clothes, footwear and leather processing*;
4)         materials (wood, paper, plastic, glass) processing*;
5)         mining and extraction*.
(15)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of architecture and building within the broad group of study of engineering, manufacturing and construction are:
1)         architecture and town planning;
2)         building and construction*.
(16)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of agriculture, forestry and fishery within the broad group of study of agriculture are:
1)         agriculture, forestry and fishery (general)*;
2)         crop and livestock production*;
3)         agronomy*;
4)         forestry*;
5)         fishery*.
(17)     The programme belonging to the field of study of veterinary within the broad group of study of agriculture is the programme of veterinary medicine.
(18)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of health within the broad group of study of health and welfare are:
1)         health;
2)         medicine;
3)         medical services;
4)         nursing*;
5)         dental treatment and care;
6)         medical diagnostics and treatment methodology;
7)         therapeutics and rehabilitation*;
8)         pharmacy.
(19)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of social services within the broad group of study of health and welfare are:
1)         child care and youth services*;
2)         social work and counselling*.
(20)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of personal services within the broad group of study of services are:
1)         personal services (general)*;
2)         hotel and catering*;
3)         travel, tourism and leisure*;
4)         sports*;
5)         domestic sciences*;
6)         hairdressing and beauty treatment*.
(21)     The programme belonging to the field of study of transport services within the broad group of study of services is the programme of transport services*.
(22)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of environmental protection within the broad group of study of services are:
1)         environmental protection (general)*;
2)         environmental conservation;
3)         natural environment and wilderness;
4)         refuse and waste water treatment.
(23)     The programmes belonging to the field of study of security services within the broad group of study of services are:
1)         security services (general)*;
2)         protection of property and persons*;
3)         occupational health and safety;
4)         military studies*.
 
1 RT= Riigi Teataja = State Gazette
 
 
: 01.02.2008