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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.3National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning

Last update: 16 April 2024
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New models for the national certification of competences

In January 2024, the Ministry of education and merit has published the DM 14/2024 containing the new models for the certification of competences acquired by pupils at the end of primary, lower secondary and compulsory education, as well as at the end of adult education courses.

The certification models are based on the key competences for lifelong learning, while they differ as for the analytic description of the competences.

The certification of the competences acquired during and at the end of upper secondary education will be introduced gradually starting from a network of schools. This trial phase is necessary given the variety of types of upper secondary paths, both general and vocational.

Certifications will be released by schools and delivered to families and to the schools of the next level and, in case of the certifications released at the end of lower and compulsory education, competences are included in the personal student's e-portfolio.

As for adult learners, the certifications are delivered to the adults themselves, except for minors.

The Ministry will soon provide school with specific guidelines that will be updated once the implementation of the certification of competences at upper secondary level is completed.

Introduced a new technological-vocational path

In December 2023, the Ministry of education and merit launched the experimentation of a new technological-vocational path (filiera tecnologico-professionale). The trial phase will start in school year 2024/2025 and will be based on projects submitted by networks made up by at least a technical or vocational institute, one accredited training agency operating in the regional vocational training system (IeFP), if existing in the relevant region, and one Higher technological institute (ITS Academy). Technical/vocational studies last four years, instead of the ordinary five years, and end with the final State examination, like all the other upper secondary paths. After the State exam students have acquired the competences to enter the labour work or can decide to go further in their studies by attending two optional years at higher technological institutes.

Enrolments to this new upper secondary vocational path have started in January 2024.


Published the Decree on the initial training and recruitment of secondary teachers

On 26 September, the Prime Minister Decree (DPCM 4 agosto 2023) on the new initial training for secondary school teachers, was published, as set out in Law 72/2022 that modified the Decree 59/2017, which had introduced the former reform of the initial training and recruitment for secondary teachers (please see below for a summary of the contents of the DPCM).

Signed the Decrees on the initial training and recruitment of secondary teachers

On 2 August, the Prime Minister Decree (DPCM) was signed, defining the new initial training courses for secondary school teachers, as set out in Law 72/2022, which introduced the reform of the training and recruitment system for teachers at this school level.

According to the reform, future secondary school teachers will have to acquire, in addition to a master's degree, at least 60 credits in qualifying training courses. Courses of 30 or 36 credits are also envisaged for those who have already served at least three school years and for those who have obtained 24 credits under the previous training system.

The DPCM, currently awaiting publication, defines the content and structure of the training. Of the 60 credits, at least 10 must be acquired in the pedagogical area and at least 20 credits in direct or indirect practical training.

The training courses end with a final qualifying examination that includes a written test and the simulation of a lesson. The qualification is of unlimited duration and is not in itself a qualification to work as a tenured teacher, which can only be accessed through competitive procedures.

Lastly, it provides for a system of course accreditation by the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University System and Research (ANVUR), which will also carry out a periodic evaluation of the courses in order to ensure the homogeneity of the training offered.


The Guidelines for guidance

In December 2022, the Ministry approved the guidelines for students' guidance (Linee guida per l'orientamento), which aim at strengthening the connection between lower and upper secondary education, tackle early school leaving and promote access to tertiary education. The main new features of the Guidelines are:

- From the 2023/2024 school year, 30 hours of guidance are introduced in lower and upper secondary schools, organised in modules and managed autonomously by the school. Each orientation module involves personalised learning that is recorded in the student's digital portfolio (E-Portfolio).

- Each school identifies tutor teachers to help students review the key parts of each personal E-Portfolio and to help families in their choice of educational paths and/or career prospects.

- In the coming years, guidance will be a strategic priority of the initial training and CPD of teachers of all grades and in the induction year, and specific training initiatives will be planned for tutor teachers.

- On an experimental basis, 'training campuses' will be set up to offer a complete overview of all secondary study paths.

- Students and families will be able to make use of a digital platform that provides information and data on upper secondary education, on tertiary education and data useful for the transition into the world of work.

Finally, a specific reference figure is envisaged in the school who, together with families and students, will facilitate the choice between continuing their studies or entering the world of work, while at the same time facilitating the match between students' skills and the demand for work.

Final State examinations – specific measures for the school year 2021/2022

On 31 January 2022, the Ministry of education has released the draft documents that establish the organisation of the State exams held at the end of lower and upper secondary education.

Specific measures have been taken to meet the difficulties students have experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lower secondary education: students will take two, instead of two, written tests and one interview. The two written tests verify the competences in Italian and in mathematics, while the interview verifies the competences in all the curricular subjects. Tests are drawn up by the examination board of the school.

The participation in the national standardised tests is not a requirement for the admission to the exam.

Upper secondary education: students will take two, instead of three, written tests and one interview. The first written test verifies the competences in Italian, and it is drawn up at central level. The second written test verifies the competences in a curricular subject typical of the different branches of each type of upper secondary school and it is prepared by the examination boards of the schools. The interview verifies the competences in all the curricular subjects.

The participation in the national standardised tests and in the compulsory traineeship activities is not a requirement for the admission to the exam.

The Ministry of education published the final text of the Ordinances on 14 March 2022.