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					ADB Institute                                                                                                                       KRIVET

 International Workshop on Workforce Development for the Knowledge Economy
                                7-13 September 2005, Seoul, Republic of Korea




               International Standards
 in Technical and Vocational Education and Training
                              by Hans Krönner, former UNESCO-UNEVOC staff
                                                       Version of 03 September 2005




Abstract
Globalization of national economies as well as globalization of knowledge require the knowledge
worker to be aware of international standards. This is not only the case with respect to the design,
production, marketing and distribution of goods and services. For the promotion of workforce
development, it is equally essential to be aware of internationally agreed standards for technical and
vocational education and training. Such standards serve, inter alia, to ensure a proper balance
between the economic dimension of education and training on the one hand, and personal, social and
human development on the other hand.

At the international level, two UN agencies have a particular mandate in this area: the International
Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO). Normative instruments of these two organizations related to workforce development for
the knowledge economy are being presented. To complete the scope, reference is made to standards
set by the UN General Assembly, but also to examples of standards that have emerged from public-
private partnerships at the international level.

Finally, suggestions are made how to benefit from such international standards for the development of
national systems of TVET.




      1   Introduction ............................................................................................... 1
      2   Scope of standards ................................................................................... 1
      3   Sources of international standards ......................................................... 2
          3.1    The United Nations system ..................................................................................... 2
                 3.1.1   United Nations General Assembly ............................................................... 2
                 3.1.2   The UN Specialized Agencies ...................................................................... 2
          3.2    Private sector and civil society involvement ........................................................ 6
                 3.2.1   The Code of Ethics for Tourism .................................................................... 6
                 3.2.2   The Global Compact..................................................................................... 7
          3.3    Retrieving more standards ..................................................................................... 8
      4   Legal basis and monitoring ...................................................................... 8
          4.1    ILO ............................................................................................................................. 8
          4.2    UNESCO .................................................................................................................... 9
          4.3    Global Compact ........................................................................................................ 9
      5   Utilizing international standards for action planning ........................... 10
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training            Page 1




               International Standards
 in Technical and Vocational Education and Training
                               by Hans Krönner, former UNESCO-UNEVOC staff




1       Introduction
According to a study on "knowledge, work organisation and economic growth" published by the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), "…occupations can then be
categorized into two main groups: non-information and information occupations (or workers), the latter
being divided into two sub-categories, namely those manipulating information (data workers) and
those generating ideas (knowledge workers)" (OECD 2001 para 23).

In order to be able to generate ideas, the "knowledge worker" – no matter whether in industry, in a
training institution, or in a ministry of education – needs to have information at hand, to know about
existing international standards, and make the appropriate judgments about their application in their
specific context.

What do we refer to as "international standards" in the context of this paper?

We will be dealing with international standards that relate to technical and vocational education and
training (TVET), also referred to as "normative instruments", that typically occur under titles such as
Convention, Recommendation, Declaration, Charter, Code or Principles.

We address standards that have been agreed upon by the international community, and that have
been developed jointly with the objective in mind that Member States are expected to apply and
implement them in their national policies and legislations.

We will see later that such standards may be developed
        by governments in intergovernmental organizations such as United Nations Educational,
         Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),
        by organizations that have both public and private constituencies, such as the International
         Labour Organization (ILO), but also
        in international public-private partnerships such as the Global Compact initiated by the
         Secretary-General of the United Nations.

These standards are being developed along a variety of procedures, and their legal quality can vary
widely.

We will not cover international technical standards such as units, symbols, statistical definitions, and
technical standards applied in industry, commerce and other sectors of the economy. Although they
have their relevance for content and curricula in TVET, they are not in focus for the purpose of this
paper.


2       Scope of standards
What do such international standards cover in substance? While our immediate attention goes to
education and training, we have to keep in mind that TVET is not only a preparation for work, but that
it is frequently delivered at the workplace itself. Thus, we cannot confine our considerations to the
education and training process in a narrow sense, but we need to take the workplace and work
environment into account as well.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training                Page 2



Thus, the standards that we want to deal with may cover a broad range of issues, such as:
    Access to education and training
          Education and training objectives
          Relationship of education, training and work
          Safety and health at the workplace
          Labor standards
          Economical, ecological and social dimensions of work
          Ethical aspects
          Human Rights.



3         Sources of international standards
As explained, international standards can have various origins, ranging from intergovernmental
organizations to international public-private partnerships. Let us start with international agencies.

3.1       The United Nations system

3.1.1      United Nations General Assembly
In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations" (UN 1948, Preamble).
Its Article 26 refers to education:

Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and funda-
mental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education
shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the
basis of merit. (UN 1948, Article 26,1)

The Declaration thus makes a difference between "elementary education" that shall be "compulsory",
"technical and professional education" that shall be made "generally available", and "higher
education" shall be accessible "on the basis of merit" only. In other words, the UN Declaration
stipulates that everybody who wants to receive technical and professional education should be given
the opportunity.

Other standard-setting instruments have been adopted by the General Assembly of the United
Nations, among the later ones for example the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" (1989)
which touches on education, training and preparation for employment for disabled children
(UN 1989 Article 23,2).

Given the wide scope of international standards set by the General Assembly of the United Nations,
we will not elaborate further. Instead, we will turn to the relevant Specialized Agencies in the United
Nations system.

3.1.2      The UN Specialized Agencies
Two United Nations Specialized Agencies have major mandates in technical and vocational education
and training: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the
International Labour Organization (ILO). Other organizations such as the Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) do have mandates in education and
training that are restricted to their particular fields of work.

UNESCO and ILO have adopted a range of international standards – mainly conventions and
recommendations – that relate to TVET and to the workplace.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training                   Page 3



It is important to understand the different perspectives from which UNESCO and ILO engage in TVET.
Their division of labor is not easy to grasp. Back in 1954, the two agencies described it as follows:


"The ILO is primarily concerned with technical and vocational education and training in relation to
occupational activities and welfare of workers. UNESCO is primarily concerned with technical
and vocational education as part of the education of human beings equipped to live in a society
dependent upon technological development. In general the word "training" is likely to invoke the
concern of the ILO whereas the word "education" is likely to invoke the concern of UNESCO.

The Major Interest of the ILO
The practical imparting of specific skills relating to a given occupation or given occupations by
means of apprenticeship or other forms of training in factories, workshops or special centres or
institutions is primarily a matter for the ILO, subject to consultation with UNESCO on any general
education questions which may arise.

The Major Interest of UNESCO
Technical and vocational education which takes place within a general educational system is
primarily a matter for UNESCO, subject to consultation with the ILO concerning the prospective
demand for particular skills and the requirements to be fulfilled in respect of such skills.
(UNESCO-ILO 1954).


It was here in Seoul on 26 April 1999, when a keynote speaker at UNESCO’s Second International
Congress on Technical and Vocational Education requested " …that we stop talking different things
about what should be the same thing, and stop insisting that UNESCO’s role is vocational education,
while ILO’s role is vocational training. This is not role splitting, but rather hair splitting!"
(Al-Masri 1999, p.9)




                     Convention                                              Recommendation 195
                          on                                                        concerning
         Technical and Vocational Education                             Human Resources Development:
                     Article 2 (1)                                  Education, Training and Lifelong Learning
                                                                                   Article 1 (3)
The Contracting States agree to frame policies, to                 Members should identify human resources
define strategies and to implement … programmes                    development, education, training and lifelong
and curricula for technical and vocational education               learning policies which … facilitate lifelong
designed for young people and adults, within the                   learning and employability as part of a
framework of their respective education systems,                   range of policy measures designed to create
in order to enable them to acquire the knowledge and               decent jobs, as well as to achieve
know-how that are essential to economic and social                 sustainable economic and social
development as well as to the personal and                         development
cultural fulfilment of the individual in society.

When examining the normative instruments of the two organizations with respect to TVET, it is
important to note that both UNESCO and ILO have mandates in TVET, but that their backgrounds and
approaches are different. While UNESCO focuses on TVET in the contracting states “within the
framework of their respective education systems", the ILO refers to “employability", "decent jobs" and
"economic and social development”.

Thus, letting aside the agreement of 1954, which I believe is no longer reflecting contemporary
approaches to education, training learning, one might state that both organizations deal with the same
matter - technical and vocational education and training -, but from two distinctly different
perspectives.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training            Page 4



UNESCO
The main instruments adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) in the area of TVET are:
         The Convention on Technical and Vocational Education (adopted in 1989); and
         The Revised Recommendation Concerning Technical and Vocational Education (adopted in
          2001), in which technical and vocational education is explicitly understood as “… an
          instrument for promoting environmentally sound sustainable…” (UNESCO, 2001).

Both documents can be considered as cross-cutting rather than addressing specific areas of technical
and vocational education and training and work.

This paper does not provide room for an exhaustive presentation of the content of the UNESCO
Convention and Recommendation. The full text in all six official UNESCO languages is available in
the documentation that has been provided for each participant. However, a summary presentation of
their outlines might illustrate their coverage in substance:

UNESCO’s Convention on Technical and Vocational Education (1989)

     1. Scope
        a) Definition of TVE
        b) Application to forms. levels and providers of TVE
        c) Relation to national legislation
     2. Objectives of TVE
        1. Objectives
        2. General framework
        3. Access
        4. Handicapped and disadvantaged groups
     3. Content and Structures of TVE
        1. Content
        2. Framework and structures
        3. General education, sustainable development
        4. Support for providers outside educational institutions
        5. Definition of competences and updating of curricula
        6. Assessment and recognition of learning at the workplace
     4. Periodic review of structures, programmes and methods of delivery
     5. Personnel
        1. Qualification
        2. Updating
        Employment opportunities
     6. International co-operation
        (a) Exchange of experiences
        (b) Use of international technical standards
        (c) Recognition of equivalencies of qualifications
        (d) International exchange of personnel
        (e) Students from other countries
        (f) Co-operation between countries
        (g) Mobilization of resources

The remaining articles of the Convention are of legal, technical or procedural nature:

     7. Periodic country reporting to the General Conference of UNESCO
     8. Application of the Convention in countries with federal constitutions
     9. to 15. Procedures for accession and ratification; legal matters1




1   The outline is not part of the Convention but has been developed by the author of this paper.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training                Page 5




UNESCO’s Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education (2001)

   I.     Scope
  II.     TVE in relation to the educational process: objectives
 III.     Policy, planning and administration
 IV.      Technical and vocational aspects of general education
  V.      TVE as preparation for an occupational field
          o Organization
          o Programme content
 VI.      TVE as continuing education
VII.      Guidance
VIII.     The learning process
 IX.      Staff
          o Teaching staff
          o Administrative and guidance staff
  X.      International cooperation



Several other standards adopted by UNESCO cover education as well, e.g. the "Convention against
Discrimination in Education" (1960); however, the above Convention and Recommendation are the
only ones targeting TVET (not taking in to account earlier versions of the Recommendation of 1962
and 1974 that have been revised later on).

ILO

As explained, UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are the two UN Agencies
with broad mandates in TVET. Consequently, not only UNESCO but also the ILO has developed
normative instruments, conventions and recommendations that are relevant for knowledge workers in
the area of TVET.

When comparing ILO and UNESCO standards, two essential differences should be recalled:

        (1) While the focus of UNESCO is on education systems the ILO looks at matters from an
            employment and labor market perspective.
        (2) While both UNESCO and ILO are intergovernmental organizations the membership of which
            is states, the ILO has a particular tripartite structure, with workers and employers participating
            as equal partners with governments in the work of its governing bodies.

The ILO formulates international standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations not
only for TVET, but likewise for of basic labor rights: freedom of association, the right to organize,
collective bargaining, abolition of forced labor, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other
standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues.

Over the years, the ILO has adopted several hundred conventions and recommendations. We will
look into the most recent one that covers TVET.
The Recommendation concerning Human Resources Development

The full title is "Recommendation concerning Human Resources Development: Education, Training
and Lifelong Learning" (Recommendation R195). It covers the following areas:
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training                         Page 6




Recommendation concerning Human Resources Development:
Education, Training and Lifelong Learning

   I.     Objective, scope and definition
  II.     Development and Implementation of training policies
 III.     Education and pre-employment training
 IV.      Development of competencies
  V.      Training for decent work and social inclusion
 VI.      Framework for recognition and certification of skills
VII.      Training providers
VIII.     Career guidance and training support services
 IX.      Research in human resources development, education, training and lifelong learning
  X.      International and technical cooperation
 XI.      Final provision



Other related standards adopted by the ILO are the following:
    Convention 122: Employment Policy Convention, 1964
    Recommendation 122: Employment Policy Recommendation, 1964
    Convention 140: Paid Educational Leave Convention, 1974
    Recommendation 148: Paid Educational Leave Recommendation, 1974
    Convention 142: Human Resources Development Convention, 1975
    Recommendation 169: Employment Policy (Supplementary Provisions), 1984

For the concerns of disabled persons, the following standards adopted by the ILO are of particular
interest:
      Recommendation 99: Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled, 1955
      Convention 159: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), 1983
      Recommendation 168: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), 1988

There are many more ILO conventions and recommendations that include elements relating to TVET
and the workplace, although they primarily address other specific such as mining, agriculture or
seafare.

Full access to the whole range of standards is provided on the ILO website:
http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/recdisp1.htm

3.2       Private sector and civil society involvement
As we have noted with respect to the ILO, the adoption of international standards relevant to TVET is
not a monopoly of governments represented in international organizations. It occurs likewise in
partnership between the United Nations and its specialized agencies in direct cooperation with the
private sector and civil society. We will look into two examples:
          the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism adopted by the Word Tourism Organization (WTO)
           and endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and
          The Global Compact of the United Nations.

3.2.1      The Code of Ethics for Tourism
The World Tourism Organization (WTO/OMT)2, a specialized agency of the United Nations, serves as
a global forum for tourism policy issues and as a source of tourism know-how. In 2005, the WTO's
membership is comprised of 145 countries, seven territories and more than 300 Affiliate Members
representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism
authorities.



2   The World Tourism Organization should not be confused with the World Trade Organization that uses the acronym WTO as
    well.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training                         Page 7



In 1999, the WTO General Assembly, which brings together senior tourism officials and high-level
representatives of the private sector from all over the world, approved the "Global Code of Ethics for
Tourism" (WTO 1999), which has subsequently been endorsed officially by the General Assembly of
the United Nations (United Nations 2001).

This Global Code stipulates obligations and rights of tourists as well as of professionals and
entrepreneurs engaged in this area, including "the right and the duty…" of salaried and self-employed
workers in the tourism industry "…to acquire appropriate initial and continuous training" (WTO 1999
Article 9,2)

This is but one example of one particular branch of economy. Knowledge workers will certainly find
conventions, recommendations, codes and similar documents that relate to their particular area of
professional activity (see section "Retrieving more standards" further below).

3.2.2    The Global Compact
The Global Compact was initiated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the World
Economic Forum in 1999. It brings companies together with UN agencies, with labor and with civil
society to support ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor and the environment:


The Ten Principles of the Global Compact

The Global Compact's ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption
enjoy universal consensus are derived from:
   The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
   The International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
   The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
   The United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of
core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards and the environment. The principles are as follows:

Human Rights
   Principle 1:     Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human
                    rights; and
     Principle 2:   make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labour Standards
   Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right
                to collective bargaining;
   Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
   Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
   Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Environment
    Principle 7:    Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
    Principle 8:    undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
    Principle 9:    encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

Anti-Corruption
    Principle 10: Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery.
                                                                                     (UN 1999; Principle 10 added later)

While, at a first glance, these principles refer to business activities and to the world of work in general,
it is obvious that they need to be implanted in TVET curricula, some of them even in general
education.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training            Page 8



3.3    Retrieving more standards
The ILO provides a helpful website that links virtually all areas of human resource development to
normative instruments at the level of the United Nations, of the ILO, of UNESCO, of the European
Union, as well as of individual countries. I commend this rich and well-structured access to
international standards in TVET to professionals engaged in TVET policy, legislation, planning and
management.




                               http://www.logos-net.net/ilo/195_base/en/main.htm


4      Legal basis and monitoring
Thus far we have referred to instruments entitled "Convention", "Recommendation", "Declaration",
"Code" or "Principles" that we consider international standards relevant to TVET. In a next step, let us
turn to their legal quality.

The United Nations have developed a complex system of mechanisms and procedures for the
monitoring of its various international standards related to human rights, including the introduction of a
High Commissioner for Human Rights (since 1994). Given that TVET is not a central issue in these
instruments, we will not elaborate on these in this paper. Instead, we will turn to the specialized
agencies.

4.1    ILO
Legal quality
The ILO standards take the form of international labour conventions and recommendations. ILO's
conventions are international treaties, subject to ratification by ILO Member States, whereas
recommendations - often dealing with the same subject as conventions - are non-binding.
(Hüfner 2002 section 4,2)
Accession
Member States become parties to ILO conventions through a ratification process. The current status
of ratifications is recorded in a database that can be accessed on the ILO website at
http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm
Monitoring
The monitoring of ILO conventions includes regular reporting of each Member State on the measures
taken to give effect to the provisions of conventions which it has ratified. An ILO Committee of Experts
on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations composed of 20 independent legal experts
1provides observations, or addresses requests directly to the reporting government. The Committee's
report is then considered at the annual session of the International Labour Conference by a tripartite
"Committee on Application of Standards". (Hüfner 2002 section 4,2)
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training            Page 9



Violations
For ILO Conventions, a representation may be filed by a trade union or an employers' organization if a
State "has failed to secure in any respect the effective observance within its jurisdiction of any
Convention to which it is a party". The representation should contain detailed information concerning
the alleged violation. The ILO Governing Body may appoint a tripartite committee to study the
allegations. (Hüfner 2002 section 4,2)

4.2    UNESCO
Legal quality
UNESCO’s standard-setting activities comprise Conventions, Recommendations. They are seen as
proposals for submission to Member States.

Recommendations are adopted by the General Conference with simple majority. Conventions are
adopted by the General Conference with two thirds majority, and, as a rule, subject to ratification,
acceptance or accession by states. Conventions define rules with which the parties undertake to
comply.

Member States are obliged to submit Recommendations and Conventions to their competent national
                                                                              .
authorities (e.g. parliaments) within one year. (UNESCO 1945, Article IV,B4)‌ Member States shall
make the text of any convention or recommendation known to the bodies, target groups and other
entities interested in matters dealt with therein. (UNESCO 2004 Article 16,2)

A legal framework for declarations, charters and other similar standard-setting instruments is currently
being developed.
Accession
UNESCO Conventions frequently include a procedure for member states to become parties to the
Convention, which, in the case of the Convention for Technical and Vocational Education, may
include ratification, acceptance, accession or approval.
Monitoring
Conventions and Recommendations normally include provisions for member states to submit reports
on the measures that they have adopted in relation to each convention in force and each
recommendation adopted. UNESCO’s Executive Board examines the reports and submits a
summary and its observations to the General Conference (UNESCO 2004 Article 18).
Violations
In 1978, UNESCO has established a procedure for the examination of alleged human rights violations
in its fields of competence, which includes education. For the Convention on Technical and
Vocational Education, no specific instruments or provisions have been adopted to this end.

4.3    Global Compact
Legal quality
The Global Compact is a voluntary initiative. It seeks wide participation from a diverse group of
businesses and other organizations.
Accession
To participate in the Global Compact, a company sends la letter to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, expressing support for the Global Compact and its principles. The company sets in
motion changes to business operations so that the Global Compact and its principles become part of
strategy, culture and day-to-day operations. The company is expected to publicly advocate the Global
Compact and its principles via communications vehicles such as press releases, speeches etc. It is
expected to publish in its annual report or similar corporate report (e.g. sustainability report) a
description of the ways in which it is supporting the Global Compact and its ten principles. (UN 1999)
Monitoring
"The Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument – it does not “police”, enforce or measure the
behavior or actions of companies. Rather, the Global Compact relies on public accountability,
transparency and the enlightened self-interest of companies, labor and civil society to initiate and
share substantive action in pursuing the principles upon which the Global Compact is based."
(UN 1999)
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training           Page 10



Violations
As the Global Compact is a purely voluntary initiative, it provides no instruments or mechanisms to
enforce its principles, nor to prosecute or sanction violations.


5       Utilizing international standards for action planning
At the end of this overview of international standards relevant to TVET, you may be asking yourselves
how you can benefit from all this in your day-to-day work as TVET "knowledge workers".

In line with a definition of "knowledge" presented earlier at this workshop, my presentation is nothing
but – hopefully well-structured – information. It is up to you, in your capacity as knowledge workers,
to convert this information into "knowledge" by making educated judgments on how to apply it in your
specific work context.

To that end, you might wish considering relevant conventions and recommendations as follows:

        As checklists that can help you covering all essential elements in the context of TVET
         legislation, policy and planning.
        As reference documents to convince ministers and key officials, since these documents
         represent internationally agreed standards that can be referred to as legitimate guidelines or
         benchmarks for national development; as a rule, your government has even actively
         participated in the adoption of for these instruments at the international level;
        As legally binding documents to the extent to which they have been ratified in your country
         through parliaments or otherwise, or to the extent of which your government has spelled out
         its unequivocal political support.
        As a curriculum content in technical and vocational education and training. Since TVET is a
         preparation for work, principles and standards of working life need to be incorporated in the
         learning process. You might therefore agree that the future workforce should be well
         informed about existing international standards, including labor standards. This is particularly
         the case in a more and more globalized economy

All this will contribute to not only turning our economies into knowledge economy, but, at least as
important, converting our societies into knowledge societies.
Hans Krönner: International Standards in Technical and Vocational Education and Training                  Page 11




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Translation of quotations into English, where applicable: Hans Krönner.

				
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