The provincial centres for adult education (Centri provinciali di istruzione degli adulti – CPIA) provide the following educational offer:
- first level courses organised into two teaching periods:
- the first teaching period aims at the obtainment of a first-cycle certification;
- the second teaching period aims at the obtainment of the certification on the basic competences acquired at the end of compulsory education with reference to the activities foreseen in the curricula common to all branches of technical and vocational studies;
- literacy courses and Italian language courses targeted to foreign adults and leading to a certification attesting the knowledge of the Italian language not lower than the level A2 of the Common European Framework of reference for languages developed by the Council of Europe.
Upper secondary schools offer second-level courses leading to a technical, vocational or artistic upper secondary certification. Courses are organised into three teaching periods corresponding to the three teaching periods of mainstream upper secondary education, i.e. the first two-year period, the second two-year period and the fifth year.
All courses can be personalised according to an Individual formative agreement upon recognition of the adult’s knowledge, and formal, informal and non-formal competences.
To define the Individual formative agreement, a specific board activates – upon the adult’s request – a procedure organised into three steps (identification, validation, certification):
- the first step (identification) aims at identifying the competences acquired by the adult in formal, non-formal and informal learning;
- the second step (evaluation) aims at verifying the competences held by the adult and acquired in the above mentioned contexts.
- in the third step, a specific board certifies that the adult owns the competences identified and assessed in the previous steps and assigns the number of credits corresponding to the one or more competences expected to be acquired at the end of the pathway chosen by the adult at enrolment.
The Individual formative agreement formalises the personalised study path for the teaching term of the pathway chosen by the adult.
The reform introduced the ‘learning units’, meant as the unit of measurement for planning education programmes. Units refer to learning attainments and instead of contents. Learning attainments are organised into knowledge, skills and competences and units can be available also in the form of e-learning for groups of the same level to allow personalised teaching.
The following measures on workload and timetables are foreseen to meet learners’ needs:
- welcoming and guidance activities aimed at the definition of an ‘Individual formative agreement’ for maximum 10% of the overall amount of hours;
- acknowledgment of the credits acquired and of learners’ knowledge and competences formally, non-formally and informally acquired;
- personalisation of the study path related to the level of the course, that can also be completed the subsequent year, according to the individual formative agreement;
- overall learning hours equal to 70% of the amount foreseen for the mainstream courses of studies;
- distance learning, corresponding to maximum 20% of the overall learning hours.
Provision to raise achievement in basic skills
First-level courses are organised into two teaching periods: the first period aims at the acquisition of the leaving certificate of the first-cycle of education, while the second period leads to the certification of the key competences required at the end of compulsory education. Such competences refer to activities and general subjects common to all study branches of vocational and technical institutes. The learning outcomes of the first-level courses refer to the following ‘cultural areas’:
• languages area,
• historical-social area,
• mathematical area,
• scientific-technological area.
The learning outcomes expected at the end of each teaching term of the first-level courses, correspond, , to specific competences, knowledge and skills referring to each ‘cultural areas’.
First-level courses are open to people aged 18 and above, also non Italian citizens, who do not hold the leaving certificate of the first-cycle of education or lacking the basic competences linked to compulsory education. Courses are also open to people aged 16 and above and without a leaving certificate of the first-cycle of education. In exceptional cases, upon agreement between the Regional school office and the Region, also young people aged 15 can enrol in these courses.
To access the second teaching term and achieve the relevant learning outcomes, learners in the first teaching term must acquire a series of competences.
The first teaching term of a first-level course has an overall tuition time of 400 hours. For learners who do not hold a primary school certificate, the overall tuition time can be increased of maximum 200 hours for the acquisition of the basic competences of the primary level of education.
At the end of the second teaching term, learners are expected to acquire an additional series of competences. The learning outcomes are the same of the first common two years of the technical and vocational pathways (compulsory education). The overall tuition time of the second teaching term of the first-level courses is 825 hours destined to general subjects common to all study branches of the vocational and technical institutes.
Literacy and Italian language courses for adult foreigners lead to a certification of their knowledge of the Italian language that should correspond at least at the level A2 of the Common European Framework of reference for languages developed by the Council of Europe.
The above mentioned courses are open to working-age non Italian citizens who have also obtained educational qualifications in their countries of origin.
Provision to achieve a recognised qualification during adulthood
Second-level education courses aim at obtaining a certificate of technical, vocational or artistic upper secondary education. They are held in the educational institutes providing these branches of study.
Second-level technical and vocational courses are organised into the following three teaching periods:
- the first period corresponding to the first two years of the mainstream course of studies in the branch chosen by the student, aims at the obtainment of the certification required to access the second two-year period of the same course of study;
- the second term, corresponding to the second two-year period of the mainstream course of studies in the branch chosen by the student, aims at obtaining the certification necessary to access the last year of the same course of study;
- the third term aims at obtaining the technical or vocational qualification for the study branch chosen by the student.
Second-level courses are open to people aged 18 and above, including non-Italian citizens, holding the leaving certificate of the first-cycle of education. Courses are also open to people aged 16 and above, holding the leaving certification of the first-cycle of education if they are unable to attend day-courses. Priority is given to adults who want to obtain a qualification at one level higher than the one they currently hold; however, also adults holding a second-cycle certificate can also enrol, in case of a specific and motivated need and if posts are available.
Provision targeting the transition to the labour market
The education and training offer provided by CPIAs has the purpose of helping adults acquire knowledge, skills and competences that can be capitalised in their life. Such development of competences can generate a multiplier effect with an impact on civic and social welfare, therefore increasing their access to the labour market. Interaction between the labour market and the education and training system actively engages public and private entities.
The main reference tools for widening the educational offer are the public system for the certification of competences, grounded on codified international, national or regional classifications together with the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).
The agreement for widening the educational offer can be signed with the relevant departments of the Regions, with local authorities and/or with public or private entities. The agreement aims at widening and implementing the educational offer through initiatives that are linked to the CPIA’s purposes and, therefore, to its cultural, social and economic context of reference.
Provision of liberal (popular) adult education
Publicly subsidised liberal adult education is not available at national level.
Other types of publicly subsidised provision for adult learners
The reform of the adult education system includes also adult education courses in the detention centres. Such courses have the purpose of re-educating prisoners to a civilised coexistence, of helping them to plan their own life projects, to take responsibility for themselves and the society.
The planning of courses in detention centres should ensure that the new organisation and teaching structure does not conflict with the organisation of the spaces and times of this type of institution and of users.
Therefore, CPIAs and upper secondary institutes should adequate the organisation of their educational offer for detained adults to the specificity of spaces and the variability of the times of detention.
CPIAs and schools, as autonomous entities, can sign specific agreements, for example, to promote activities for the professional development of staff, to set up educational workshops, to enhance libraries and to activate intervention measures for the recovery, the integration and support for minors and for adults also after their release from prison.
Ministerial Order no. 455 of 1997 (establishment of permanent territorial centres)
Law 27 December 2006, no. 296 (Financial law 2007)
Ministerial decree 25 October 2007 (re-organisation of permanent territorial centres)
Law 28 June 2012, no. 92 (Reform of the labour market)
Presidential decree 29 October 2012, no. 263 (re-organisation of centres for adult education)
Legislative decree no. 13 of 2013 (validation of non-formal and informal learning and certification of competences)
Inter-ministerial decree 12 March 2015 (Guidelines for the application of the new adult education system)
Inter-ministerial decree 30 June 2015 (operational dispositions on the recognition of regional qualifications)
Inter-ministerial decree 8 January 2018 (Establishment of the National framework of qualifications)