The establishment of the efficient and open adult education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the best interest of all of its citizens, who will through their own development contribute to realize the development goals of the community they belong to. It should fulfill four interrelated goals of lifelong learning: individual development and personal satisfaction, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability. Youth and adult education can be formal, non-formal and informal learning. Legal provisions that entitle to continuing adult education define this area as part of a unified education system. Principles and standards in the field of adult education in BiH were adopted as an umbrella document at the state level, which served as a reference framework for further harmonization of legislation and policies at lower levels. The concept of lifelong education is emphasized at all levels of education. According to the Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education in BiH "Adult education is organized in specific subjects and for their professional and personal development. Adult education includes professional training, new training, retraining and other activities that provide lifelong learning. Adult education is or will be goverened by the laws of the entities, cantons and Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with the principles and standards defined by this law". The Framework Law on Vocational Education and Training in BiH provides that "Schools may organize training for adults within their registered activity, with the consent of the relevant educational authorities. The competent minister brings the curriculum for adult education and training". In addition, the same law stipulates that "Students of adult training will be charged for training. The fee amount is determined and adopted by the school board, with the approval of the competent ministry of education".
Given that the Principles and Standards in the field of adult education are an umbrella document, they imply adult education as part of a comprehensive education system. It assumes the openness and flexibility of the system in learning and advancement as well as intersectoral activity. All social actors involved in the development of adult education must work on a partnership basis, and ultimately adults are responsible for their own development.
Adults are defined as persons over the age of 15 who have not completed primary education, i.e. over the age of 18 who have completed regular or additional education and want to improve their knowledge, skills or competences.