About ReferNet


Refernet is Cedefop’s European network of expertise on VET. It was set up in 2002 to meet the growing demand for comparative information about VET systems, developments and policies at the time. The network covers EU member states, Iceland and Norway. Each country is represented by a key organisation involved in VET and/or VET-related research and analysis referred to as the national ReferNet partner.  

ReferNet’s mission is to support cooperation in VET-related issues between the EU (Cedefop) and the member states and associated countries, but also among member states, to facilitate the flow of information between the EU and the individual countries and so ensure mutual awareness of EU and national VET developments.  

Currently ReferNet supports Cedefop in monitoring, assessing and reporting on countries’ progress, in implementing joint priorities for VET agreed under the so-called GP/DSI/ReferNet_FPA/001/19 8 ‘Copenhagen process’, which aims at strengthening European cooperation in VET and VET’s contribution to reaching the goals of Europe’s strategy for 2020.  

ReferNet supports Cedefop by:  

  • reporting on national VET systems and VET-related policy developments;  
  • raising the visibility of VET and disseminating information on VET and related issues. ReferNet informs on VET’s role, purpose, governance and structure.  

It provides insights in developments and trends in VET-related policies, and analyses of how each country is progressing in its implementation of common European policy objectives. ReferNet is a platform to exchange information, share practices and ideas and promote understanding of different VET challenges in the partner countries. Working together provides a stronger evidence base on VET and related issues in Europe. Closer cooperation across the EU will also contribute to raising awareness on the value of VET. ReferNet partners benefit from thematic discussions, peer learning and information exchange. The work also supports the visibility of VET at the national level.

ReferNet is part of Cedefop’s work programme and is therefore subject to decisions of Cedefop’s Governing Board and the budgetary authorities. It is regularly evaluated to ensure that the resources allocated are used efficiently and economically, in keeping with the objectives set for the network and with the policy agenda and strategy of Cedefop.

(Source: Cedefop)

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