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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Quality assurance in adult education and training

Belgium - Flemish Community

11.Quality assurance

11.3Quality assurance in adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023

Responsible bodies

The inspectorate

Regular assessments [see] are also organised by the educational inspectorate [see] in adult education and PAE (part-time arts education).

The Agency for Higher Education, Adult Education, Qualifications and Grants (AHOVOKS)

The Agency for Higher Education, Adult Education, Qualifications and Study Grants is the result of the merger of the Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Training and the Agency for Higher Education, Adult Education and Study Grants. AHOVOKS is an agency in the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training. See 11.1 for more information.

Pedagogical guidance services and VOCVO,Flemish Support Centre for Adult Education

VOCVO, Flemish Support Centre for Adult Education, supports all CBEs (Centres for Basic Education) (Decree of 15 July 2007). VOCVO is a non-profit organisation with a delegate from each participating centre board in the general assembly.

VOCVO and the net-linked PCSs (see 11.1) are responsible for:

  • pedagogical and organisational support;
  • promotion of expertise of the staff members;
  • coordination, stimulation and facilitation of educational innovation and quality assurance;
  • support the centres in achieving the attainment targets, specific attainment targets, recognised professional qualifications and basic competences of the trainees, through working with curricula and with approved training profiles in anticipation of the approved curricula.

The implementation of all these assignments is clarified in a three-yearly policy plan.

SYNTRA Flanders

Both the Executive Board of SYNTRA Flanders and the Commission of Practical Training (responsible for apprenticeships) include representatives of the representative organisations of employers and employees, small and medium-sized enterprises and agriculture that belong to SERV.

SYNTRA-Flanders evaluates the five SYNTRAs every three years with respect to how well known the programme is and its market share, customer satisfaction and effectiveness. SYNTRA also uses a self-evaluation tool based on EFQM coupled with an assessment panel consisting of both internal and external members. This panel assesses the self-evaluation, and the action and improvement plans developed by SYNTRAs, and engages in probing discussions with all actors in connection with the organisation of SYNTRA training activities.

SYNTRA-Flanders is responsible for overall quality assurance in the centres.


Ensuring the quality of knowledge in all entrepreneurial training activities in Flanders is the responsibility of the knowledge centre for entrepreneurial skills, Competento ( This provides information on policy documents and research reports, contacts and exchanges between the education and business sectors, models, methodologies and teaching materials, networks to do with Learning Entrepreneurship, screening tools for entrepreneurial skills, training for trainers, instructors and teachers and training pathways.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Division of Sustainable Agricultural Development

This is responsible for the recognition of the organisers (recognised centres), the registration of the instructors, the subsidisation of training activities, site inspections, the issue of certificates and the payment of the social advancement allowance for the participants.

Agency for Socio-cultural Work for Youths and Adults

The organisations that are subsidised by the decree on socio-cultural adult work are required to take account in their work of the principles of general quality assurance and to ensure professional development and professionalism. The way in which they do this forms one element of the evaluation of their work by the Agency for Socio-Cultural Work for Young People and Adults. For associations, specialised training institutions and movements, this may have consequences for the adaptation of the subsidy amount.


Socius, the support centre for socio-cultural adult work, is an autonomous organisation that is subsidised by the Minister of Culture to support the socio-cultural adult work sector. Socius’ role is set out in the management agreement entered into by the centre with the Flemish government. The current agreement runs from 2011 to 2015.

Approaches and methods for quality assurance

Adult Education (AE)

Each Centre for Adult Basic Education and each Centre for Adult Education is required to develop and implement a quality assurance system with regard to:

  • the organisation of educational provision;
  • learning pathway guidance at individual trainee level;
  • the implementation of other educational roles and competences, administrative and organisational roles and competences assigned by decree or by the Flemish government;
  • the organisation and management of the institution so that the organisation’s goals can be achieved;
  • the treatment of the trainee and of staff members consistently with their rights and duties;
  • the continuing education of staff.

The centres may rely on support from a pedagogical counselling service or VOCVO in this connection.

5% of the operational allowance (for CABEs) or the operating funds (CAEs) must be spent on quality assurance and the development of learning resources.

Job descriptions and evaluation are also similar. [See].

Part-time artistic education (PAE)

Quality assurance in PAE does not differ significantly from that in other branches of education and at other levels, and is thus largely regulated in the quality decree, which also applies to the other levels. [See 11.1 elementary and secondary education].

Job descriptions and evaluation are also similar. [See].

Vocational training VDAB

The VDAB and the skills centres have gained the R4E (K2b) attestation from EFQM.

Entrepreneurial training SYNTRA Flanders

In entrepreneurial training, overall quality assurance has been structurally embedded in the SYNTRA network since 2001. For critical self-evaluation within the centres, the VIZO version of the PROZA quality tool is used. The evaluation of the quality process is monitored by an assessment panel consisting of the president and vice-president of the executive board of SYNTRA Flanders, the managing director, the departmental heads for sectoral networking and the entrepreneurial competences hub, the competent decentralised head of service and internal and external experts. There are also results measurements by an external research agency, in the areas of effectiveness, customer satisfaction, familiarity of name and product, and market share.

Training in Agriculture

Most training is attended on a voluntary basis. Subsidisation is contingent on the presence of a minimum number of participants. Programmes that do not match the expectations of the participants therefore do not survive.

The Department for Sustainable Agricultural Development conducts spot-checks on the quality of the programmes, the suitability of the premises and the use of teaching material. The programmes must not have a commercial character. The quality of the programmes based on an obligation (starter programmes and work experience placements) is guaranteed by:

  • a legally imposed curriculum,
  • the assessment of the candidates by means of a final test (test for the certificate for establishing a business) which is monitored or organised by the government,
  • for the work experience placements: extra on-site checks and compulsory evaluation reports.

Socio-cultural adult work (SCAW)

The Agency for Socio-Cultural Work for Youths and Adults assesses the work of the organisations among other things on the basis of the annual reports and by means of an assessment visit by a joint committee composed of members of the Agency and external experts. In the course of a policy period, every subsidised organisation is assessed. The end result of the evaluations was communicated to the organisations in late 2009 and for each subsidised organisation provides a basis for the determination of its subsidy budget for the next policy period, 2011-2015, in accordance with the rules set out in the decree of 4 April 2003.

SoCiuS, the support centre for socio-cultural adult work, provides advanced training and organises peer supervision meetings, colleague groups and workshops. Special attention is paid to the topics of ‘interculturalisation’ and ‘community-building and social activation’, as well as others. SoCius also supports the application of quality assurance in the sector.