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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice



Last update: 27 November 2023
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Ação Social Escolar (ASE) - School social support

Created to ensure equal opportunities, these measures focus on both school access and success. Their main objective is to provide underprivileged students in basic and upper-secondary education with support so they can successfully complete their studies, which includes contributing to their school costs.

Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior (A3ES) - Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education

Created by Decree-Law No 369/2007, 5 November, this independent body is responsible for assessing and accrediting higher education institutions and their study cycles, as part of a higher education quality assurance system.

Agrupamento de escolas - School cluster

An organisational unit comprised of schools of several education levels (from pre-primary to upper-secondary education). It shares a common pedagogical project with autonomous management and administration bodies. Other aims include a sequential and coordinated schooling path for students in compulsory education in a geographical area; avoiding establishment isolation while preventing school dropouts and social exclusion; improving pedagogical capacity within the cluster and the rational use of resources; applying the autonomy, administration and management regime common to the education and schools within the group. (Regulatory Decree No 12/2000, 29 August)

Ama - Childminder

A social service provided by a person duly licensed by the Institute for Social Security, I.P. (Instituto da Segurança Social, I. P. – ISS, I.P.), who is paid to take care of children up to three years of age at their place of residence. (Decree-Law No 115/2015, 22 June)

Aprendizagens Essenciais (AE) - Essential Learning

Key curriculum guidance documents for planning, implementing and assessing teaching and learning, as well as developing the competence areas that are part of the student exit profile. Essential learning is the common set of knowledge to be acquired by all students, meaning the common curriculum denominator and not the total of what can be learned. 

Atividades de Animação e de Apoio à Família (AAAF) - Out-of-hours provision

Compulsory provision that is designed to engage children before and/or after the daily period of activities, as well as during lunch breaks and holiday periods (supplying meals and extended timetables). The pre-primary school cluster is responsible for planning these (timetable and activities) according to families’ needs (Ordinance No 644-A/2015, 24 August).

Carta de Curso - Course certificate

A document requested by higher education students, which may be multilingual. It is accompanied by a diploma supplement and proves that the person has earned a first or second-cycle degree (undergraduate and master respectively).

Carta de Qualidade - Quality Charter

This document defines the organisational and operational indicators and quality standards for Qualifica centres.

Carta educativa - Education Charter

A municipal school-level planning tool for educational and training needs to ensure better use of educational resources according to the demographic and socio-economic development of each municipality.  

Centros de Formação de Associação de Escolas (CFAE) - School Association Training Centres

Training and management bodies for the continuous training of teachers in public, private and cooperative school clusters and non-clustered schools in the same geographical area.

Centros de Recursos de Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação para a Educação Especial (CRTIC) - ICT Resource Centres for Special Education

A national network of centres that provide support for the Ministry of Education and Science as part of the Support Product Allocation System (SAPA). The CRTIC team comprises at least two teachers, one of whom must be from the special education recruitment group or have specialist training in the area, with ICT and assistive technologies skills. The other members of the team may be part of another teaching group, provided they have ICT skills. (Order No 5291/2015, 21 May).

Centros Qualifica - Qualifica centres

Specialised adult education and training centres that provide services, counselling, guidance and referral regarding learning paths. This is based on real qualification needs in the different parts of the country and economic sectors. Direct beneficiaries are young people not attending education or training and not working (Garantia Jovem) and adults aged 18 or over, who need to acquire and consolidate knowledge and recognition of skills.(Ordinance No 232/2016, 29 August).

Cidadania e Desenvolvimento - Citizenship and development

A cross-curricular subject with an interdisciplinary approach, involving different training components, subject areas, disciplines or short-term training units. The citizenship and development discipline is part of the national curriculum and is taught in schools according to three complementary approaches: transdisciplinary in the 1st cycle of basic education, an autonomous subject in the 2nd and 3rd cycles and a part of the curriculum developed as cross-curricular with contributions from all subjects and training components in upper secondary education.

Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP) - Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries

An international organisation set up during the Heads of State and Government Summit on 17th July 1996 in Lisbon. Currently, in addition to Portugal, the members of the CPLP are Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, East Timor and Equatorial Guinea. The CPLP is a new political project based on the Portuguese language, a historical bond and the common heritage of the nine nations – which make up a geographically disperse area. The CPLP's general objectives are political alignment, as well as social, cultural and economic cooperation, while promoting the systematic coordination of activities undertaken by public institutions and private bodies involved in increasing cooperation between its Member States.

Comunidades Intermunicipais (CIM) /Áreas Metropolitanas (AM) - Intermunicipal communities (CIM) / Metropolitan areas (AM)

CIMs are public associations set up by municipalities that belong to geographic areas and whose designations are defined by law. There are currently 21 in existence and their powers focus on defining supra-municipal strategies, planning the work of relevant public bodies and coordinating respective investments.

Metropolitan areas (MA) are urban spaces defined according to the laws of municipal association, such as Law No 75/2013, 12 September. Portugal has two such areas: Lisbon Metropolitan Area and Porto Metropolitan Area. They enjoy powers regarding planning and regional development and the provision of essential public services, favouring coordination between municipalities and central administration.

Concurso Nacional de Acesso - National Access Application

An annual application procedure for public higher education organised by the Directorate-General for Higher Education. This occurs at the end of the academic year and is divided into three stages according to an annually approved schedule. 

The National Commission on Access to Higher Education is responsible for coordinating the process that assesses capacity to attend, as well as candidate selection and ranking criteria for enrolment and registration in higher education. 

Application requirements:

•    Successful completion of upper-secondary education, or legally equivalent qualification

•    Taking, or having taken in the last two years, the national entrance exams required for the different courses and institutions 

•    Completion of any prerequisites the institution requires for the course they are applying for

•    Not being covered by the international student statute (Decree-Law No 36/2014, 10 March; Decree-Law No 62/2018, 6 August.

Conselho Municipal de Educação - Municipal education board

A coordination and advisory body that oversees education policy at municipal level, coordinating the work of interested educational agents and social partners, analysing and monitoring the education system, as well as proposing measures to promote greater efficiency and effectiveness (Decree-Law No 7/2003, 15 January, Article 3).

Conselhos Sectoriais para a Qualificação (CSQ) - Sector Councils for Qualification

Consultation bodies that help the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education (ANQEP, IP) update the National Qualifications Catalogue (CNQ). Their main task is identifying strategic and essential qualifications for the different economic sectors as a response to job market challenges. They are regulated by Despatch No 6345/2020, 16 June. 

Contrato de autonomía - Autonomy contract

Contract signed by schools and central administration regarding the devolution of responsibilities.

Creche - Crèche

Socio-educational provision that cares for children up to the age of three, while parents or guardians are unable to look after them. (Ordinance No 262/2011, 31 August and Ordinance No 411/2012, 14 December)

Creche familiar - Family crèche

Social provision that consists of a group of no fewer than four childminders, who work within an institution like Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, private social solidarity institutions (IPSS) or legally equivalent institutions. These places are designed to care for children aged up to three years old (Ordinance No 232/2015, 6 August) 

Cursos Artísticos Especializados (CAE) - Specialised artistic courses

Initial training for young people - National Qualifications Framework (QNQ) level 2 or level 4 - geared towards both the job market and continued studies (dual certification) (Ordinance No 223-A/2018, 3 August; Ordinance No 229-A/2018, 14 August; Ordinance No 232-A/2018, 20 August). For more information, see

Cursos Científico-Humanísticos (CCH) - Science-humanities courses

Educational provision geared towards continued higher education studies (university or polytechnic) and designed for students who have completed the 9th grade of schooling or equivalent. These courses last for three school grades (10, 11 and 12). They confer an upper-secondary education completion diploma (grade 12), as well as a level-3 QNQ qualification (National Qualifications Framework).

Cursos com planos próprios (CPP) - Own-school-curriculum courses

The majority of these dual certification courses offer a solid scientific and technological component. Scientific courses are designed for continued studies and have a technological training component. Own-school-curriculum courses are created by ordinance, published for each school with respective course model and definition of organisation and operation. Decree-Law No 139/2012, 5 July establishes them (paragraph b), no. 1, article 6) alongside other upper-secondary education level provision.

Cursos de Aprendizagem (CA) - Apprenticeship courses

Initial training courses for young people that confer level-4 QNQ qualifications (National Qualifications Framework). These work-linked training courses are geared towards working, while facilitating further studies (dual certification). (Ordinance No 1497/2008, 19 December).

Cursos de Educação e Formação de Adultos (EFA) – Adult education and training courses (AET)

Initial training courses that confer level 2, 3 or 4 National Qualifications Framework (QNQ) qualification, designed for people aged 18 years or older. These individuals are unskilled or with inadequate qualifications that hinder entry, reintegration and success in the job market and who have not completed basic or upper secondary education. They can be initial or continuous training, school, vocational or dual certification (Ordinance 230/2008, 7 March; Ordinance 283/2011, 24 October). See more at:

Cursos de Educação e Formação de Jovens (CEF) - Education and training courses for young students

Initial training courses that confer level 2 or 4 QNQ qualifications (National Qualifications Framework), initial vocational training for young people who have left or are at risk of leaving the regular education system. These are geared towards working life while allowing participants to continue their studies (dual certification) (Joint Order No 453/2004, 27 July; Order No 9752-A/2012, 18 July).

Cursos de Especialização Tecnológica (CET)  - Specialised technological courses

Initial training courses that confer level 5 QNQ qualifications (National Qualifications Framework), based on specialised technical training (professional certification) (Decree-Law No 88/2006, 23 May).

Cursos Profissionais (CP) - Vocational courses

Initial training courses that confer level 4 QNQ qualifications (National Qualifications Framework), designed to facilitate young people’s ability to work and continue their studies (dual certification) (Ordinance No 235-A/2018, 23 August).

Cursos técnicos superiores profissionais (CteSP) - Vocational and technical higher education courses

Short-cycle higher education courses linked to a first cycle degree (licenciaturas). CTeSP last two academic years, comprise 120 ECTS and do not confer an academic degree. (Decree-Law No 74/2006, 24 March; Decree-Law No 65/2018, 16 August).

Diário da República (DR) - Portuguese Official Gazette

Disseminates the publication of legislation and administrative acts in general, which are only valid if they appear in it. Examples of these are constitutional laws, international conventions to which the Portuguese State is a signatory, laws and decree-laws, as well as decrees of the President of the Republic, national and regional parliamentary resolutions, the results of elections to sovereign bodies and a wide range of other items. (Porto Editora - Diário da República on Infopédia [online]. Porto: Porto Editora. [consult. 2022-01-28]. Available at$diario-da-republica)

Diploma de especialização tecnológica - Technological specialisation diploma

This is awarded for specialised technological courses (CET) after completing a training programme of 60 to 90 ECTS credits (according to the European credit transfer and accumulation system).

Educação e Acolhimento na Primeira Infância (EAPI) - Early childhood education and care (ECEC)

In Portugal, ECEC is divided into two phases, with different provision for younger (under three years old) and older children (three years old and over).  Provision for children under three focusses on childcare, while pre-primary education (designed for older children) emphasises educational preparation (ISCED 020).

Ensino particular e cooperativo - Private and cooperative education

Education provided in private and cooperative educational establishments, which are "institutions created by natural or legal persons (for or not-for-profit), where collective education is provided to more than five pupils, or where regular educational or training activities are undertaken". The Statute was approved by Decree-Law No 152/2013, 4 November, which revokes Decree-Law No 553/80, 21 November.

Ensino Superior Politécnico - Polytechnic higher education

This education level focusses on vocational and advanced technical training, concentrating on applied research and development. It is geared towards understanding and solving problems, while providing a solid technical and cultural training at a high level. It also develops students’ ability to innovate and critically analyse, teaching theoretical and practical scientific knowledge, and their vocational applications. Polytechnic education is taught at polytechnic institutes, and other institutions within polytechnic education. Despite the Portuguese higher education system’s binary character, polytechnic institutions can be integrated into universities without changing their institutional profile.

Equipas Locais de Intervenção (ELI) - Local intervention teams

Multidisciplinary teams that operate within the National Early Intervention System (SNIPI) and are responsible for this system: identifying children and families immediately eligible for the National Early Intervention System; overseeing children and families who are not yet eligible but demonstrate risk factors; referring ineligible children and families who need social support; devising and implementing an individual early intervention plan; identifying communities’ needs and resources in their sphere of intervention, organising formal and informal social support networks; coordinating with bodies working in child protection; ensuring suitable transition processes to other programmes, services or educational settings for every child, and coordinating with teachers from crèches and pre-primary schools attended by children involved with early childhood intervention. These teams comprise professionals from the fields of health, education, social service, therapists and psychologists, who work at municipal or parish level (pre-primary teachers, nurses, family doctors/paediatricians, social workers, psychologists, therapists, and others).

Estratégia Nacional de Educação para a Cidadania (ENEC) - National Strategy for Citizenship Education

Drafted and presented by the Education for Citizenship Working Group (cf. Despatch No 6173/2016, 10 May), ENEC is a reference document implemented in the 2017/2018 school year in public and public schools that are part the Autonomy and Curricular Flexibility Project, in conjunction with the exit profile of students leaving compulsory education and essential learning.

Formação em Contexto de Trabalho (FCT) - Training in a work context

One of the curriculum components approved for vocational courses. This is a set of vocational activities coordinated and monitored by the school that teaches and develops technical, relational and organisational skills relevant to the student’s course exit profile (Ordinance No 235-A/2018, 23 August). 

Formação modular certificada (FMC) - Certified modular training

Training divided into short-term training units (UFCD) and which facilitates access to qualifications through flexible, modular and credit-transferable paths, based on the National Qualifications Catalogue framework (Ordinance No 230/2008, 7 March and Ordinance No 283/2011, 24 October). FMC courses can vary between 25 and 600 hours, with each UFCD lasting 25 or 50 hours. This training aims to improve candidates' knowledge and skills and can also be used in refresher and vocational retraining processes.

Gabinete de Ação Social - Social support office

Department responsible for student social support at a higher education institution, overseeing and implementing school social action policies to guarantee equal opportunities for students (e.g. a student in private higher education may apply for a scholarship at the HEI they attend.

Gabinete de Relações Internacionais (GRI) - International relations department

 The HEI department that coordinates, monitors and supports the development of all initiatives related to internationalisation, in terms of academic cooperation and student/teacher mobility.

Instituições Particulares de Solidariedade Social (IPSS) - Private Social Solidarity Institutions

Not-for-profit institutions (non-state/non-local authority) set up by private individuals that express solidarity and justice between people, focussing on citizens’ education and vocational training, as well as support for children and young people, among others.

Intervenção precoce na infância (IPI) - Early childhood intervention

An integrated set of child and family-focussed support measures (including preventive and rehabilitative) in education, health and social work. See National Early Intervention System (SNIPI).

Leitor - Lecturer

Category of professional found in the University Teaching Career Statutes (ECDU) that, although not belonging to an academic teaching career, may be recruited by invitation. These professionals possess higher domestic or foreign qualifications, and with appropriate background to teach foreign languages.

Mediador pessoal e social - Personal and social mediator

Part of the adult education and training course’s technical-pedagogical team, the mediator participates in the trainee recruitment and selection process. Among other duties, the mediator monitors trainees and provides them with personal, social and pedagogical guidance. The position of mediator is held by trainers and other professionals, such as guidance professionals with higher education qualifications and specific training for that function or relevant experience in the field of adult education and training.

Nomenclatura das Unidades Territoriais para Fins Estatísticos (NUT/NUTS) - Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUT/NUTS)

Common statistical nomenclature, which allows the collection, organisation and dissemination of harmonised regional statistics in the European Community. The NUTS nomenclature subdivides the economic territory of the Member States into territorial units and attributes a name and specific codes to them. The NUTS nomenclature is hierarchical. It subdivides each Member State into NUTS 1 level territorial units, which are then subdivided into NUTS 2 territorial units, and then subdivided, once again, into NUTS 3 territorial units. (metadata – INE)

The statistical units in Portugal are:

- three at level I (Mainland Portugal, Região Autonóma dos Açores, Região Autonóma da Madeira);

- seven at level II (Norte, Centro, Área Metropolitana de Lisboa, Alentejo, Algarve, Região Autónoma dos Açores, Região Autonóma da Madeira);

- 25 at level III (23 on the Mainland, Região Autonóma dos Açores, Região Autonóma da Madeira).

Orientações Curriculares para a Educação Pré-Escolar (OCEPE) - Curriculum Guidelines for Pre-primary Education

A set of general pedagogical and organisational principles that supports pre-primary teachers in children’s education and act as a reference for pre-primary institutions developing their own curriculum. These guidelines were issued in 2016 by the Ministry of Education and included contributions from pre-primary teachers, initial training teachers, researchers, and other experts in this area.

Passaporte Qualifica - Qualifica Passport

A personal electronic, non-transferable and optional document that contains the individual record of competences acquired and training attended by citizens, throughout their life, which are referred to in the National Qualifications Catalogue. It also includes of vocational training courses not included in the National Qualifications Catalogue, which presupposes successful completion. It allows the holder to identify areas where they can acquire and/or refine competences that improve their qualification pathway, as well as offering employers a more immediate evaluation of a candidate’s suitability for a specific job.

Percursos Curriculares Alternativos (PCA) - Alternative curricular pathways

Alternative provision, as stipulated in Decree-Law No 55/2018, 6 July. As part of their pedagogical and curricular options, basic education schools can adopt different organisational solutions, if none of the existing educational and training provision is suitable for a group of students attending the same school grade. As part of schools’ autonomy and curricular flexibility Ordinance No 181/2019, 11 June defines the terms and conditions under which schools can manage over 25 % of the basic curriculum of basic education provision.

Perfil dos Alunos à Saída da Escolaridade Obrigatória - Exit Profile of Students Leaving Compulsory Education

A national reference framework with the areas of competence, vision, principles and values that all students must develop throughout compulsory schooling. This allows students to exercise active citizenship, meet the challenges of 21st-century society and, above all, ensure that they finish their academic path motivated for lifelong learning.

Pessoal de carreira (ensino superior) - Permanent/career staff (higher education)

Staff who have an indefinite employment contract with public duties, after successfully completing a trial period. Permanent staff are hired on a full-time basis (exclusive or non-exclusive).  

Pessoal fora da carreira (ensino superior) - Non-permanent staff (higher education)

Non-permanent staff have fixed-term employment contract with public duties. Non- permanent staff are hired on a part-time basis. They can be employed full-time for exceptional reasons and for a limited time.

Plano 21|23 Escola+ - 21|23 Escola+ Plan

Integrated remedial plan for improving student results in basic and upper secondary education. This focusses on three structural areas of intervention: - 1 - teaching and learning; 2 - supporting educational communities; 3 - knowing and assessing, introducing a set of measures based on educational policies proven to boost school autonomy and differentiated educational strategies. This is designed to promote school success and, above all, combat inequalities through education.

Plano de Ação Nacional da Garantia para a Infância - National Child Guarantee Action Plan

The National Child Guarantee Action Plan was approved by the Council of Ministers on 30 November 2022, via the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No 3/2023, 17 January. It aims to prevent and combat poverty and social exclusion, focussing primarily on children and young people, defending their rights and promoting equal opportunities. By doing so, it fulfils the principle of the 11th European Pillar of Social Rights and its action plan, which aims to reduce the number of children in this situation by at least 5 million by 2030.

Plano Individual de Transição (PIT) - Individual transition plan

Document that complements the individual educational programme for students attending school with significant curricular adaptations, implemented three years before the age limit for compulsory schooling. Organisation of the individual transition plan complies with what is defined in Article 25 of Decree-Law No 54/2018, 6 July. It is intended to promote the transition to post-school life and, whenever possible, to working life with adequate social, family or occupational integration.

Plano nacional para o alojamento no ensino superior (PNAES) - National Plan for Accommodation in Higher Education

Designed to provide an integrated, long-term response to the need for affordable accommodation for higher education students throughout Portugal, thus removing one of the major obstacles to access to higher education, the government launched a dedicated investment programme for student accommodation, which is organised and funded by the Recovery and Resilience Plan. The plan represents the largest ever investment in student accommodation and the largest investment in higher education buildings of recent decades. The initial allocation of €375 million was boosted by €72 million to build and refurbish accommodation containing over 18,000 beds, surpassing 26,000 beds for students by 2026. 

Plano Pessoal de Qualificação (PPQ) - Personal qualification plan

Document issued according to vocational competences yet to be acquired. As part of the school certification process, candidates are guided onto a pathway that allows them to acquire them.

Portefólio Reflexivo de Aprendizagens (PRA) - Reflective learning portfolio

Document that articulates and derives from competence assessment. The work done with RVCC professionals and the trainers helps highlight the acquired competences.

Português língua de acolhimento – Portuguese as host language

Learning provision created through Ordinance No 183/2020, 5 August, replacing the Portuguese for speakers of other languages courses. These courses are designed for adults (18 or over), whose mother tongue is not Portuguese, and/or who do not have basic, intermediate or advanced skills in the language, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). These courses may be taught by public schools, the network of directly managed and participated centres of the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training and the Qualifica Centres network.

Português Língua Não Materna (PLNM) - Portuguese as a foreign language

Provision aimed at students whose mother tongue is not Portuguese and/or who have not had Portuguese as a school language. According to their academic path and sociolinguistic profile, the school considers the most appropriate curricular provision.

Professor Adjunto - Assistant professor

A polytechnic higher education teaching career category. Recruitment is undertaken exclusively by submission of documentation. Among other things, these professionals are expected to collaborate with coordinating professors within a discipline or scientific area, including: conducting seminars, giving practical or theoretical-practical lectures; guiding and supporting interns, seminars, laboratory and fieldwork; conducting, developing and implementing scientific research activities, as well as experimental development, in accordance with principles and guidelines previously defined by superiors within the scope of specific discipline or scientific field.

Professor Associado - Associate professor

A university teaching career category. Recruitment is undertaken exclusively by submission of documentation and successful candidates are expected to assist full professors, give lectures on licenciatura (1st-cycle) and post-graduate courses, conduct seminars, give practical or theoretical-practical lectures, direct laboratory and fieldwork and conduct and supervise research work. 

Professor Auxiliar - Assistant professor

A university teaching career category (ECDU). Assistant professors are expected to give lectures (practical or theoretical-practical), take part in laboratory and fieldwork on Licenciatura (1st cycle) and post-graduate courses, as well as coordinate disciplines on these courses. If they have five years’ service as a university teacher, and conditions permitting, they may perform the same duties as associate professors.

Professor Catedrático - Full Professor

The most senior position in the university teaching career (ECDU). Recruitment is undertaken exclusively via submission of documentation. Various responsibilities include pedagogical and scientific co-ordination of a discipline, a group of disciplines or a department.

Professor Coordenador - Coordinating professor

A polytechnic higher education teaching career category (ECPDESP). Recruitment is undertaken exclusively by submission of documentation. Among other duties, this type of professor is responsible for the pedagogical, scientific and technical coordination of teaching and research activities regarding a discipline or scientific field. Other duties include conducting seminars, giving practical or theoretical-practical lectures, guiding studies of internships, seminars, laboratory and fieldwork, supervising assistant professors in their pedagogical, scientific and technical activities, conducting and developing scientific research activities, as well as experimental development in a specific discipline or scientific field.

Professor Coordenador Principal - Senior Coordinating Teacher

The most senior position in the polytechnic higher education teaching career (ECPDESP). In terms of remuneration, this category is similar to that of full professor. Among other duties, senior coordinating teachers are responsible for developing cross-sectoral coordination activities, pedagogical coordination, scientific and technical coordination of teaching and research activities regarding a discipline or scientific field. Other duties include conducting seminars, giving practical or theoretical-practical lectures, guiding studies of internships, seminars, laboratory and fieldwork, supervising assistant professors in their pedagogical, scientific and technical activities, conducting and developing scientific research activities, as well as experimental development in a specific discipline or scientific field.

Professor Jubilado - Professor Emeritus

A professor in university and polytechnic education who has retired after having reached the age limit (currently 70 years old).

Professor Visitante - Visiting professor

Professor from a foreign higher education institution or researcher from a foreign or international scientific institution whose scientific, pedagogic or professional CV is considered excellent. The collaboration of this professional is deemed of undeniable interest and necessity for the HEI in question.

Programa “Certificado de Competências Digitais” - The "Digital Skills Certificate" Programme

The strategic aim of the "Digital Skills Certificate" Programme is to help improve the Portuguese population’s digital skills, thus boosting social inclusion and employability by meeting the emerging needs of the digital economy and society. It is designed for citizens aged 18 or older that wish to obtain vocational training in digital skills, or the recognition, validation and certification of skills previously acquired in this area, or the certification of skills, in line with the proficiency levels of the Dynamic Reference Framework for Digital Competence.

The training pathways available are digital proficiency - basic level, digital proficiency - intermediate level and digital proficiency - advanced level. Each course lasts up to 200 hours, with autonomous certification.

Programa de formação em competências básicas - Basic skills training programme

Designed for adults to learn basic skills regarding reading, writing, arithmetic and ICT and their subsequent inclusion into basic education level adult education and training courses (EFA Courses) or basic level recognition, validation and certification of competences processes (RVCC), equivalent to ISCED 1.

Programa Educativo Individual (PEI) - Individual educational programme

Document for students with permanent special educational needs, as well as for all those involved in their educational process.  Designed to meet the specific needs of each student, this is a key operationalisation tool that ensures effective teaching and learning process. This procedure facilitates progression throughout schooling, allowing students to complete upper secondary education with greater levels of success.

Programa Escolas Bilingues em Inglês (PEBI) - Bilingual Schools Programme in English

Created from the 2016/17 school year as part of a partnership between the Ministry of Education (through the Directorate-General for Education) and British Council Portugal, which is monitored by the Directorate-General for Schools. 

Programa Formação Profissional e Qualificação - Vocational Training and Qualification Programme

The Vocational Training and Qualification Programme is the result of a cooperation agreement between social/solidarity bodies and the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) and the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education (ANQEP). This programme is made up of two initiatives - 'Valorizar Social' and 'Qualifica Social' - which foster institutions’ transformation and adaptation to current challenges, improving social responses by training employees, managers and social bodies, focussing on digital and management skills.

Programa Integrado de Educação e Formação (PIEF) - Integrated Education and Training Programme

A socio-educational and training measure geared towards inclusion - temporary and exceptional - created as part of the Elimination of Child Labour Plan (Plano de Eliminação da Exploração do Trabalho Infantil - PEETI). This programme was established to improve the response to cases of students leaving school because they were involved in child labour or other forms of exploitation of minors. This was done via social reintegration through school. It is designed for young people between 15 and 18 who are at risk and/or in danger of educational and social exclusion, conferring certification of competences for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education (Joint Order No 882/99, 28 September, revised by Joint Order No 948/2003, 25 August).

Programa Jovem + Digital - Young + Digital programme

Focussed on teaching digital skills, this programme seeks to improve the match between vocational training and the real needs of the job market, as well as boosting young adults’ vocational skills to improve their employability (Ordinance No 250-A/2020, 23 October).

Programa Nacional de Promoção do Sucesso Escolar (PNPSE) - National Programme for the Promotion of School Success

Created by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No 23/2016, 23 March, this is part of the strategic priorities of education policy designed to combat school failure and educational inequalities. The programme is based on the principle that educational communities are best positioned to appreciate their own contexts, difficulties and potential, and are thus better prepared to devise strategic action plans for schools to improve student learning. 

Programa Qualifica - Qualifica Programme

Government programme implemented in 2016 for better adult qualifications, contributing significantly to improving the general population’s qualification levels and employability. The Qualifica Programme is based on a qualification strategy that combines educational and training provision and various mechanisms that promote adult qualification, involving a broad network of operators.

Projeto educativo de escola - School educational project

The document that enshrines the educational focus of school clusters or non-clustered schools. It is drafted and approved by their own administration and management bodies for a three-year period, detailing the principles, values, standards and strategies to be implemented to fulfil their educational role (Decree-Law No 75/2008, 22 April).

Prova de Aptidão Artística (PAA)- Artistic aptitude test

Test that marks the end of a specialised artistic training course. It is a final-year project that focusses on themes and problems developed during the training. This project can be undertaken in a team, provided the individual contribution of each member is visible and assessable.

Prova de Aptidão Profissional (PAP) - Vocational aptitude test

Test done as part of a vocational course, which can be something physical (e.g., a new gadget), conceptual (e.g., creation of a company), intervention or a performance, depending on course type. The teachers help students choose the project, decide whether it is suitable for the panel of assessors and assist in the preparation of the presentation.

Prova de Avaliação Final (PAF) - Final assessment test

Test done as part of an apprenticeship course, provided the student obtains a classification equal to or higher than 10 points at the end of the third training period. It involves a set of practical activities before a panel of assessors.

Quadro de zona pedagógica - Teaching Zone Staff

Designed to meet non-permanent needs of educational establishments, substitution of permanent teachers, out-of-school education activities, support for schools that teach specific curricular areas or demonstrate special educational needs, as well as to ensure educational success (Article 27 of  Decree-Law No 139-A/90, 28 April).

Quadro Nacional de Qualificações (QNQ) - National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

Created in 2007 and regulated in 2009, it came into force in October 2010 (Ordinance No 782/2009, 23 July), guided by the principles of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) with regard to the description of national qualifications in terms of learning outcomes. The framework is a unique reference tool to classify all qualifications in the national educational and training system. The NQF is made up of eight qualification levels, each one defined by a set of indicators that specify the learning outcomes that match qualifications at that level regarding knowledge, skills and attitudes. The NQF adopts the qualification levels and respective descriptors of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Reconhecimento, Validação e Certificação de Competências (RVCC) - Recognition, validation and certification of competences

 The RVCC process is part of the National Qualifications System (Sistema Nacional de Qualificações - SNQ). This is based on a set of methodological assumptions (competences audit, autobiographical approach) that allow the identification, recognition, validation and certification of previously acquired competences by adults throughout life in formal, informal and non-formal contexts. The process involves a set of assessment tools and activities to build a portfolio (containing evidence and/or proof of competences adults possess in relation to a particular framework).

Rede de Universidades da Terceira Idade (RUTIS) - Senior Citizen University Network

 A private social solidarity and public utility institution that supports the community and senior citizens. It is domestic and international in scope, was created in 2005 and has its head office in Almeirim. The network currently boasts 236 senior citizen universities, 38,000 senior students and 4,500 volunteer teachers.

Referencial de Competências-Chave para a Educação e Formação de adultos - Key competences reference framework for adult education and training

Reference document for the operationalisation of competence recognition, validation and certification processes (RVCC) at basic and upper secondary level.

Key Competences for Adult Education and Training - Basic Level 

Key Competences for Adult Education and Training – Upper Secondary level: Operationalisation Guide

Regime Jurídico da Educação Inclusiva - Legal Framework for Inclusive Education

Decree-Law No 54/2018, 6 July establishes the principles and rules that ensure inclusion via a process that responds to the diversity of needs and potential of each student. This is done through increased participation in learning processes and the educational community, establishing an integrated and continuous approach to the school experience of every student, guaranteeing quality education throughout compulsory education. The abovementioned decree-law identifies the measures supporting learning and inclusion, the specific curricular areas, as well as the specific resources to be used to meet each child and young person’s educational needs throughout their schooling. This includes the different education and training provision available in the different educational establishments.

Relatório individual das provas de aferição (RIPA) - Individual Testing Report

The document that describes students’ performance in basic education, taking into account the relevant parameters of each subject area, subjects and areas assessed.

Relatório de escola das provas de aferição (REPA)- School Standardised Testing Report

Descriptive and qualitative document that is useful to schools, as it outlines pedagogical and didactic strategies that focus on overcoming issues diagnosed at class level.

Relatório Técnico-Pedagógico - Technical-pedagogical report

Document produced by the multidisciplinary inclusive education support team, which proposes selective and/or additional measures to support learning and inclusion. This report includes: (i) identifying factors that facilitate or hinder student's learning; (ii) identifying measures that can support learning and inclusion; (iii) the operationalisation of each measure, including objectives, targets and outcome indicators; (iv) identifying those responsible for implementing the measures and coordinator; (v) procedures assessing the effectiveness of measures; (vi) interim assessment of measures’ effectiveness; (vii) coordination of specific resources supporting inclusion defined in Art. 11 and (viii) express agreement of parents. (Decree-Law No 54/2018, 6 July) 

Segunda Oportunidade (Programa 2O)- Second Chance (Programme 2O)

Socio-educational response designed and developed by school clusters/non-clustered schools, in conjunction with other bodies and institutions. It aims to: a) combat young people dropping out of school without jobs or qualifications, providing them with training geared towards their needs, expectations and specific interests, while aligned with the local job market; b) closely monitor young people’s developing autonomy and socio-professional integration. Programme 2O’s target users are young people between the ages of 15 and 25, without vocational qualifications or employment, who dropped out of school at least a year ago.

Serviços especializados de apoio educativo - Specialised educational support services

 This includes psychology and guidance services, educational support units, other services offered by the school, such as school welfare, organising study rooms and complementary curricular activities.

Sistema de Atribuição de Produtos de Apoio (SAPA) - Support Products Allocation System

System that contributes to the implementation of a global, integrated and wide-ranging policy for people with disabilities or temporary incapacity, to compensate and mitigate limitation of activity and participation arising from such conditions. It comprises management, funding and prescribing bodies. (Decree No 93/2009, 16 April and subsequent legislation) 

Sistema de Diagnóstico de Necessidades de Qualificações (SANQ) - Qualification needs forecasting system

One of the National Qualifications System’s strategic tools that strengthens and complements other mechanisms and structures, such as the National Qualifications Catalogue (NQC) and the Centres for Qualifications and Vocational Education (CQEP). It is managed in conjunction with social partners, the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) and has the technical support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It is a dynamic system, which continuously updates information and support the decision-making of various NQC stakeholders.

Sistema de Informação e Gestão da Oferta Educativa e Formativa (SIGO) - Information and Management System of the Education and Training Provision

A computer platform accessible to system operators and coordinators that includes educational and vocational qualification provision divided between the different bodies of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security. This offers greater clarity regarding available provision, administrative simplification and the use of the platform to launch, supervise, monitor and manage provision.

Sistema Nacional de Créditos do Ensino e Formação Profissionais - National Credit System for Vocational Education and Training

System attributes credit to dual certification qualifications within the QNQ (part of the CNQ). It does the same with other certified training not included in the catalogue, provided it is registered with the Information and Management System of the Education and Training Provision (Sistema de Informação e Gestão da Oferta Educativa e Formativa – SIGO) and complies with the current quality assurance criteria. This system is in line with the principles of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET), by promoting mobility within Europe (Ordinance No 47/2017, 1 February).

Sistema Nacional de Intervenção Precoce na Infância (SNIPI) - National Early Intervention System

System created to guarantee the necessary development conditions for children up to six years of age with physical or functional issues that limit personal growth and participation in typical activities for their age or at serious risk of developmental delay. The SNIPI operates through the coordinated action of the Ministries of Labour and Social Solidarity, Health and Education, with the involvement of families and the community (Decree-law No 281/2009, 6 October).

Técnico de Orientação, Reconhecimento e Validação de Competências (TORVC) - Guidance, recognition and validation of competences professional

Professional responsible for reception, diagnosis, information and guidance, referral stages and for conducting recognition, validation and competence certification processes.

Territórios Educativos de Intervenção Prioritária (TEIP) - Priority Intervention Educational Areas

A government initiative, currently implemented in 136 school clusters/non-clustered schools - approximately 16% of Portuguese schools - in economically and socially disadvantaged areas that are characterised by poverty and social exclusion, where violence, indiscipline, school dropouts and failure are more prevalent. The programme’s main goals are preventing and reducing early school leaving and absenteeism, improving levels of indiscipline and educational success for all students. The TEIP 3 Programme was created by Legislative Order No 20/2012, 3 October. 

Título de agregado - Habilitation

An academic title awarded by Portuguese universities for academic, professional, scientific and pedagogical achievements, as well as research capacity and the ability to lead and undertake independent scientific work. The title is bestowed by an aggregation letter issued by the higher education institution that awarded it. In university education, this title is necessary to become a full professor, while in polytechnic education, this is compulsory for those who wish to become a principal coordinating professor (Decree-Law No 239/2007, 19 June).

Título de habilitado para o exercício de funções de coordenação científica - Qualified to undertake scientific coordination duties

 Title awarded by public institutions whose staff includes the categories of assistant researcher, principal researcher and principal co-ordinator researcher, through the successful completion of public examinations.

Short-term training units (UFCD)

See certified modular training

Vida Ativa - QUALIFICA+ - Active Life - QUALIFICA +

Strategy that includes training courses designed for unemployed adults enrolled at IEFP, IP job centres and a Qualifica Centre, with qualifications that may vary between grade four and unfinished grade six, or unemployed adults who have already completed grade six but have not finished grade nine.