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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Distribution of responsibilities


8.Adult education and training

8.1Distribution of responsibilities

Last update: 27 November 2023

On 1 January 2013 responsibility for managing adult general secondary education (VAVO) reverted directly to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Before this date, responsibility had been devolved to the municipalities. These local authorities still remain responsible for providing courses in Dutch as a second language (Nt2) and skills training in Dutch and numeracy.

After the new legislation was introduced, adult education (besides adult general secondary education) was delegated via the municipalities to the regional training centres (ROCs). 1 January 2015 the Special-Purpose Grants (Adult Education) Act entered into force. This law gives local authorities greater freedom in budgeting for higher education courses. Over a three-year period, the obligation for regional training centres to spend their entire budget on adult education was phased out. They are now no longer obliged to provide adult education. The legislation enables the Minister of Education to outsource adult education provision to suitable 'contact municipalities', which coordinate the supply of adult education courses at regional level and allocate available resources.

Adult education institutions are responsible for the quality of their own teaching. The Education Inspectorate monitors the quality of the formal provision. Meanwhile, municipalities are responsible for monitoring the quality of non-formal provision.

Monitoring of vocational education and adult education

The Education Inspectorate monitors the quality of teaching and examining in the formal provision of study programmes. Based on attainment targets, which are fixed by ministerial order, education providers can apply for accreditation to issue adult education qualifications. This means that people who successfully complete courses at these educational institutions obtain a recognized certificate. Regional training centers that are no longer legally required to provide adult education should still apply for accreditation to issue certificates. Education providers can obtain this accreditation from the Education Executive Agency (DUO). Once an education provider has been accredited to issue certificates, the Education Inspectorate will monitor its teaching in order to ensure that the final qualification meets the quality requirements. It will also inspect the quality of one or more of the examinations (as a whole or in part) that lead to the qualifying certificate.

The supervisory framework (only in Dutch available) for adult general secondary education (VAVO) is from 2017. The supervisory burden was relaxed compared to the previous framework for schools that perform well but stepped up in cases where quality is at risk.

Publication of school inspection results

The Education Inspectorate not only monitors the quality of schools that provide vocational education and adult education. It also encourages schools to deliver the best possible quality by publishing the results of its inspections.

The school inspection results can be found on the website of the Education Inspectorate.