Key actor in regulating adult education is the state. Laws are passed by the Croatian Parliament. The Government prepares the laws and the panels of the Government and Parliament decide on the legislative proposals. The Government conducted the preparation of the 2014 Strategy for Education, Science and Technology. This is a key strategic document for the entire education system, including the adult education system.
Ministries are key bodies that decide on the operational regulation of adult education. The Ministry of Science and Education proposes laws and regulations for regulating adult education, prepares strategic development documents, adopts and approves formal adult education programmes and conducts supervision over the work of adult education institutions. At the Ministry of Science and Education, the Department for Adult Education is responsible for adult education. It is part of the Service for the Secondary and Adult Education System. This service is in the Sector for Secondary and Adult Education, which is part of the Directorate for Education.
The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy coordinates the evaluation of adult education programmes implemented under active employment policy measures. This is conducted by the Service for Harmonisation of Education and Labour Market. This is important because the implementation of these measures helps finance adult education programmes. The calls are announced by the Croatian Employment Service. This Ministry also performs expert tasks in the field of implementation and development of the Croatian Qualifications Framework. The Croatian Qualifications Framework is crucial for the development of all new adult education programmes. They should comply with occupational standards and qualifications standards in the qualification framework. The Ministry is also a key national body for the implementation of the European Social Fund 2015–2020. It is in charge of preparing and implementing programmes related to the work on human capacity development.
Several national agencies play an important role in adult education. The Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education is a public institution. It was established in 2010 by merging the two agencies – the Agency for Vocational Education and Training and the Agency for Adult Education, established under the Act on Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education. This agency provides expert opinions on formal adult education programmes. This is a key step in accepting new programmes proposed by adult education institutions. The Agency performs analytical, development and research tasks for the activities of the adult education system. The Agency participates in the evaluation, self-evaluation and external evaluation procedures in the adult education system. In the implementation of the Croatian Qualifications Framework, the Agency prepares and develops a methodology for the elaboration of occupational standards and methodology for the elaboration of adult education programmes. The Agency has an important role to play in implementing EU projects. It performs activities of financing, procurement, contracting, payment and supervision of the implementation of projects co-financed from EU funds. It conducts professional training of employees in the adult education system and conducts professional supervision over the work of institutions.
The Education and Teacher Training Agency provides opinions on programmes in primary education and grammar schools in adult education. The National Centre for External Evaluation of Education conducts State Matura exams for adults. The Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes announces calls, selects and monitors adult education institutions' projects under the Erasmus Programme.
The Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts is responsible for preparing and conducting the Master Craftsman Exams (level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework).
Local and regional self-government units are usually the founders of public institutions for adult education. That gives them founding rights. According to the Law on Institutions, the institution starts and ceases to operate by the founder’s decision. The founders determine the activity and change of activities of the institution, the composition of the supervisory board, the consent to change the use of the property and are responsible for the obligations of the institution.
The implementation of adult education programmes is financed by learners, employers, the central government and local self-government. Most of the funds from the state and local budgets are allocated under a call.
According to the 2007 Adult Education Act the state budget provides funds for:
- costs of implementing the primary adult education programme,
- costs of implementing the secondary adult education programme for adults who have completed only primary school and other educational programmes. These funds are awarded occasionally under a call.
- costs of monitoring, improving and developing adult education.
The state budget can also provide funds for financing equipment for teaching and other material resources, development and implementation of innovative programmes. This is awarded under a call. Financial incentives to institutions can be provided from the state budget in the same manner.
Local self-government is not obliged to provide funds for adult education. The law only provides for the possibility of financing those institutions it founded. In this case, it can finance investments, material costs and programme implementation costs to the adult education institutions it founded. It may also finance the costs of programme implementation under a call.
- Strategy for Education, Science and Technology (2014) https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/full/2014_10_124_2364.html
- Ministry of Science and Education (2020) Organisational chart of the Ministry of Science and Education. https://mzo.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/dokumenti/PristupInformacijama/OrganizacijskaShemaMZO-2020-10-26.pdf
- Regulation on Internal Organisation of the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy (OG 97/2020). https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/full/2020_08_97_1822.html
- Act on Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education (OG 24/2010); https://www.zakon.hr/z/281/Zakon-o-Agenciji-za-strukovno-obrazovanje-i-obrazovanje-odraslih
- Act on the Education and Teacher Training Agency (OG 85/2006) https://www.azoo.hr/app/uploads/2020/11/Zakon_AZOO.pdf
- Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (2020) Master Craftsman Exams. https://www.hok.hr/obrazovanje/majstorski-ispit
- Law on Institutions (OG 76/93, 29/97, 47/99, 35/08, 127/19); https://www.zakon.hr/z/313/Zakon-o-ustanovama
- Adult Education Act (OG 17/07, 107/07, 24/10). https://www.zakon.hr/z/384/Zakon-o-obrazovanju-odraslih