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Conditions of service for teachers and trainers working in adult education and training

Belgium - Flemish Community

9.Teachers and education staff

9.8Conditions of service for teachers and trainers working in adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023

Adult Education (AE)

Adult education staff (vwo), with the exception of staff employed in nursery and primary education centres are covered by the same legal status regulations as nursery and primary and secondary school staff. [See 9.2]

For teaching staff (teachers of secondary adult education) of the Adult Education Centre – just as for nursery and primary and secondary education – the employment conditions of the legal status decrees apply (27 March 1991). (see 9.2)

Access to the profession

Since 2010, the employability of teachers has no longer been determined on the basis of subjects but on the basis of modules and training courses. If all the modules of a training course have been awarded the same certificates of competence, the certificates of competence will be established at the level of a training course and the staff member will be employable for the entire course. Where this is not possible because the content of the course modules is too diverse, the certificates of competence are defined at module level and so the staff member can only be employed at module level.

As in the case of compulsory education, certificates of competence in adult education are classified as “required”, “deemed sufficient” and “other” certificates of competence and an interactive web application makes it possible to find out which diplomas confer which teaching competence.

Working hours

As in compulsory education, the volume of teachers’ assignments is expressed in 50-minute teaching periods. However, as in compulsory education, this does not mean that a full teaching assignment is limited to teaching between 20 and 25 hours, depending on the field of study in which the performance is delivered.



Teaching staff

Salary scales

Starting salary

(not indexed in €)

 Maximum salary

(not indexed in €)

(based on seniority)

Sufficient and required certificate of competence + certificate of pedagogical competence

Master/license degree




Technical Engineer/dipl. HKO 2nd degree




Professional bachelor/


bachelor’s degree in education : secondary education




HSO + 3 yrs useful experience/

LSBO/LSTO + 6 yrs useful experience/9 years useful experience




Other certificate of competence

Master/license degree




Professional bachelor/HOKT




HSO/LSBO/LSTO/3 yrs useful experience




The salaries are in € at 100%, they must be multiplied by a coefficient of 1.6734 (index on 1/07/2017)

Source: department of education & training  (see also files on permanent training)

Adult basic education centres

As from 1 January 2018, the staff of the adult basic education centres will have their own educational status. The primary basis for this legal status regulation is the decree of 7 July 2017 on the legal status of staff in adult basic education.

The staff regulations should allow the centres to organize training provision in a flexible way, maximizing the response to the specific needs and learning needs of the low-literate learners.

The adult basic education sector employs some 900 people in 13 ABECs. In the adult basic education sector, a full-time assignment is 36 hours a week.

Types of posts

There are the following posts.

  • Director (each centre has one FTE Director) (promotion post)

  • Assistant director (selection post)
  • Staff officer (recruitment post)
  • Adult basic education teachers (teachers with a pedagogical qualification received a substantial wage increase) (recruitment post)
  • Expert by experience in poverty or social exclusion (recruitment post)
  • Policy support administrative assistant (recruitment post)
  • Executive administrative assistant (recruitment post)


The career of these staff members consists of three phases:

  1. At the beginning of an educational career, a teacher is always appointed for a fixed period of time. This is an appointment for a maximum of one school year in a vacant or non-vacant position. The staff member must fulfil the financing or subsidy conditions. Furthermore, the Flemish legislator does not impose any additional conditions and a school board decides for itself whom it recruits.
  2. As soon as a staff member has accumulated 24 months of service in a centre within a period not exceeding 36 months, a temporary staff member reaches a second stage in his educational career: temporary assignment for an indefinite period of time.
  3. A third step is the permanent appointment. A permanent appointment is possible if the following conditions are met: 
  • seniority of at least 24 months within a maximum period of 36 months in the centre on 31 August of the school year preceding the date of the permanent appointment to the post in question;
  • they hold an appropriate certificate of competence;
  • if the last evaluation in the post in question was not an evaluation with the final conclusion “insufficient”.

Development cycle

The functioning of the members of staff is monitored in a development cycle in which the focus is on coaching conversations and development conversations.

A development cycle consists of a series of interviews between each ABEC staff member and the person in charge. The purpose of these interviews is twofold: to develop the skills of the staff and to achieve the centre’s objectives. These interviews are based on the competence profile and the job profile.

Formal evaluation moments are also foreseen.


Hired staff may take temporary other assignment leave (TAO) within the centre or in another centre.

Permanent staff in adult basic education may also be temporarily assigned to a recruitment, selection or promotion post at the other educational levels by taking leave on a temporary other assignment.

Temporary staff may take time off on account of reduced performance (AVP). An AVP may be included for a post in another ABEC or for employment in another post in the same ABEC.

Temporary and permanent staff may take leave due to an assignment or special assignment in order to take up employment with the Federation of Adult Basic Education Centres, with the VOCVO or with a representative trade union.



Certificates of competence considered sufficient 

Other certificates of competence 


At least bachelor + BPB 

At least bachelor 

Assistant director  

At least bachelor + BPB 

At least bachelor 

Staff officer 

At least bachelor 


At least bachelor + BPB 

At least bachelor 

Administrative assistant 

No requirement 


Administrative assistant 

At least HSO 


Experience expert 

Certificate or certificate of training as an experience expert in poverty and social exclusion 


More information can be found in the circular of 14 December 2017 (Dutch only)

Part-time artistic education (PAE)

Teachers in part-time education in the arts are also subject to the same legal status regulations as staff in nursery and primary, secondary and adult education.

Access to the profession

As in the other levels of education, teachers must be in possession of a certificate of competence classified either as “required”, “deemed sufficient” or “other”. The required proofs of competence always include specific art diplomas from higher education, supplemented by teacher training. The academics themselves assess whether a holder of a certificate of competency deemed sufficient (i.e. a basic diploma of the same level but in a different discipline of art, supplemented by a teacher training programme) has the necessary skills to teach a subject.

In exceptional cases, artistic experience may be taken into account as a certificate of competence and may lead to full recruitment [SEE 9.2]. This is the case, for example, in subjects for which there are no specific programmes in higher art education.

Working hours

In part-time education in the arts, the volume of a teacher's assignment is expressed in terms of teaching hours of either 50 minutes (visual and audiovisual art) or 60 minutes (performing arts). However, as in compulsory education, this does not mean that a full teaching assignment is limited to 22 hours of teaching in 1st,2nd and 3rd grade or to a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 22 hours of teaching in 4th grade.

Vocational training VDAB

The instruction personnel of the VDAB is subject to the BVR of 30 March 1994 (legal status regulation of the instruction personnel by employment contract recruited by the Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training VDAB).

Entrepreneurial training SYNTRA Flanders

The professional knowledge trainers are practitioners who are either employers themselves or employed as entrepreneurial employees in an SME. The Decision of the Flemish Government of 31 July 1991 determines the terms and conditions of employment and the financial arrangements of the teachers in the course of their apprenticeship and along their entrepreneurial paths.

Agricultural Training 

Teachers give lessons either as part of their duties as an employee of an organization or company (an approved centre, an agricultural organization, a research institute, a government agency, etc.) or on a self-employed basis. The centre that receives the teacher’s allowance passes it on to the teacher himself or to his employer on the instructions of the teacher.

Socio-cultural adult work (SCAW)

Socio-cultural education organizations are almost always non-profit organizations.

There is a high turnover of staff in the socio-cultural sector. Up to 20 years service, the following applies: the higher the seniority, the lower the outflow rate. For staff members who have been working within an organization for less than five years, 15% left in 2009. This drops to 1.3% for employees who have worked in their organization for 15 to 19 years. The effect of retirements has been felt since 35 years service: 15% of this group of employees left in 2009. (Boekstaven 2010)