Distribution of Responsibilities
Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, is legally and politically responsible for all levels of education, including adult education. All is however under the aegis of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. This includes the responsibilities of the ministry of general policy making in the field of adult education in consultation with stakeholders; general administration related to the implementation of the framework legislation for adult education; the affairs of funding and providing support for development and innovation in the field of adult education; and supervision and evaluation tasks.
The most important act concerning adult education and training is the framework legislation on adult education of 2010 (Act 27/2010). The legislation can be described as a “fifth pillar”, supporting the education system in Iceland, forming a legal framework for education services provided by several educational centres located around Iceland, operated under the guidance of Fræðslumiðstöð atvinnulífsins (e.The Education and Training Service Centre (ETSC).It is the designated focal point for support to the development of adult education, basic skills and second chance education. The centre serves as a forum for cooperation between the Ministry of Finance, the Icelandic Federation of Labour (ASI), SA-Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA), Confederation of State and Municipal Employees of Iceland (BSRB), and the Association of Municipalities in Iceland (SÍS). The aim of the forum is to increase the supply of educational opportunities for people in the labour market who have limited formal basic education, immigrants, and others, as well as other educational tasks of general concern for the community. The ETSC is also the centre for pedagogic advice and development in its field of work.
A service agreement with The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, provides state budget funding for the operation of ETSC. The service agreement includes servicing the Educational Fund which provides for a state budget funding for education and training courses, counselling, and validation by accredited educational providers.