Competency orientation in vocational training

An important document for vocational training is the orientation framework „vocational training for a sustainable development “, which was developed and introduced in the year 2001.
The orientation framework is seen „basically as a concentrated action of the participants of vocational training, who can make their contribution in their respective areas of responsibility “. Important areas of activity among others are:

  • identification of basic-vocational core competencies for sustainable development and testing of related teaching concepts

  • identification of job-specific skills of the new overall concept and converting these into training/learning arrangements.

This is where the EuKoNa project places the focus. Competency orientation is at the centre of this approach. The orientation of the target groups and the general objective of the qualification are based on the following areas of competency:

areas of competency

competency definition


perceiving and communicating problems and actions in sustainability-related situations


analysing operational business situations as well as operational systems, products and processes under aspects of sustainability


planning and developing lasting concepts and modelling of lasting work and business processes as well as lasting products


structuring and presenting sustainable circumstances, processes and solutions


evaluating and reflecting data, products, solutions and processes under aspects of sustainability


transferring learning results to other subject matter with sustainability dimensions

In the resolution recommendation and in the report of the committee, for education, research and technological impact assessment (17. committee) of the action schedule for the UN decade “education for sustainable development” it is emphasized that in the last years a set of measures has  already been introduced, among others  “The consideration of learning goals for the modernization of vocational training and training-schemes for new jobs, the development of practice-related concepts in sector-oriented pilot schemes as well as further preparative and flanking measures, such as the orientation framework for the integration of sustainability in vocational training.” (p. 3)

The following commitments and recommendations are mentioned:

  • The resolution calls upon politicians in particular to further pursue systematically „the exemplary development and testing of concepts for integration of sustainability into vocational education in selected fields of practice within places of teaching, to intensify application-oriented vocational training research and documentation and dissemination of good-practice examples. “(p. 5).

  • Furthermore: „the mechanism of a transfer facility for sustainable projects, research, good-practice examples from and for operational practice and model project in vocational education as a common platform for bundling, informing, examining communication and co-operation where by links to a general education platform are to be considered “(p. 5).

  • Additionally we read: “bundling their activities for promotion of education for a lasting development on national and international level in a plan of action. This is meant to be a contribution of the Federal Government to „education for a sustainable development“ component of the sustainability strategy of the Federal Government. General, vocational and higher education is to be involved with adequate contributions in each case “(p. 7).

In the meantime numerous good examples have been contributed, which dispute the methodological aspects. The publication under consideration contains various contributions, which need to be analyzed on an ongoing basis.

In relation to the classification of „vocational training for sustainable development“, you have to keep in mind the following points:

- The reference frame includes the three dimensions of sustainable development,
- it consolidates new competencies and teaching methods,
- it includes conceptionally the creation, and change of the surrounding conditions, and is 
   part of a learning organization.
- it connects and consolidates other political areas, changes of structure, technology
  developments, etc.
- it is increasingly directed towards vocational, learning location approaches, thus contributing to an    interchange between rigid job limitations,
- it is an answer to the challenge of life-long learning.

Ultimately, every vocational field, every profession will be affected by the new overall concept in a specific way. Furthermore there is an area of overlapping vocational competency and qualification that has to be considered. For an extensive implementation of the sustainability concept numerous activities are required which EuKoNa is dedicated to.


Eukona auf deutsch Eukona in english