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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of post-secondary non-tertiary education

Portugal

6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.7Organisation of post-secondary non-tertiary education

Last update: 24 January 2024

Types of institutions

Specialised technological courses

Specialised technological courses (CET) can operate in:

  • Public, private and cooperative schools.
  • Vocational training centres of the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP, IP).
  • Technological schools created according to the joint order of the Ministers for Industry and Energy and Education, published in the Diário da República, 2nd series, 18 November 1991, and the joint order of the Ministers for Industry and Energy, Education and Employment and Social Security, published in the Diário da República, 2nd series, 7 October 1995.
  • The Instituto do Turismo de Portugal, I. P. network of hospitality and tourism schools.
  • Training bodies certified by the Directorate-General for Employment and Labour Relations

Statistical data on students enrolled in CET by type of institution:

Table 1 - Post-secondary non-tertiary education – students enrolled/registered, by type of institution, 2020/2021

Type of Provision

 

Type of Institution

Total Public Private
Total 4 888 4 855 31

Source: DGEEC, Education Statistics 2020/2021

 

In terms of CET provision overseen by IEFP, I.P., the following data is available:

Table 2 - Youth Qualifications – Number of students, 2020/21

Type of Programme Total of students
Specialised technological courses (CET) 1 904

Source: IEFP, I.P.Physical and financial performance: monthly report. December 2021.

Apprenticeship+ courses

Apprenticeship+ courses can operate in:

  • IEFP's directly and partially managed centres.
  • where training bodies are certified by the Directorate-General for Employment and Labour Relations.
  • Places where other bodies, due to their legal status and areas of competence, do not require certification as a training body, if their founding documentation includes the possibility of training activity, with the exception of public, private or cooperative schools, including vocational schools covered by Decree-Law No 92/2014, 20 June, in its current wording.

Geographical accessibility

There is no legislation regarding geographical accessibility of specialised technological courses or the Apprenticeship+ courses.

These courses are available throughout Portugal.

Admission requirements and choice of school

Specialised technological courses 

Specialised technological courses (CET) are designed for people aged 18 or above when the training begins and who fulfil one of the following requirements:

  • Having successfully completed an upper secondary education course or a legally equivalent qualification and who intends to obtain a professional qualification or retraining.
  • Having successfully completed basic education, is attending one of the education or training courses or an RVCC process, at upper secondary level.
  • Having successfully completed QNQ level 5 diploma or certificate, a specialised technology diploma or a higher education degree or diploma and who intends to undertake professional retraining.

Exceptionally, and with the authorisation of the Directorate-General for Schools, candidates covered by compulsory education and who are under 18 when the training course starts, may be admitted to CET, provided they meet one of the requirements set out above.

Apprenticeship+ courses

Apprenticeship+ courses are designed for adults between 18 and 29 years old (inclusive), who meet one of the following requirements:

  • To have completed a secondary education course or legally equivalent qualification.
  • To have concluded basic education and attending an education or training course or a recognition, validation and certification of competences process, at upper secondary level (on an exceptional basis, candidates covered by compulsory education and who have not yet reached the age of 18 at the start of the training, may be admitted).
  • To have successfully completed QNQ level 5 diploma or certificate, a specialised technology diploma or a higher education degree or diploma and who intends to undertake professional retraining.

Age levels and grouping of students

Specialised technological courses

Students attending specialised technological courses are 18 or older.

Training groups (classes) consist of a minimum number of 15 (only applicable to publicly funded training) and a maximum number of 30 trainees. When duly justified, training groups may consist of a greater or smaller numbers, provided that the right pedagogical conditions ensure the quality, efficacy and efficiency of the training process, and subject to the authorisation of the members of the Government responsible for the governmental area of education, vocational training or economy.

Apprenticeship+ courses

Apprenticeship+ courses are designed for adults between 18 and 29 years old (inclusive).

Training groups consist of a minimum number of 15 and a maximum number of 30 trainees. In exceptional circumstances, duly justified, training groups may consist of a greater or smaller numbers, provided that the right pedagogical conditions ensure the quality, efficacy and efficiency of the training process, and subject to IEFP authorisation.

Organisation of the school year

There is no legislation regarding organisation of the school year. In general, courses run throughout the year, with different start and end dates, and with traditional breaks at Christmas and Easter (frequently shorter than in general education). The training centres usually close in August. Not every CET is provided every school year.

The opening of a CET in a given academic year presupposes a minimum number of participants, to be defined by the responsible body.

Organisation of the school day and week

Specialised technological courses

CET last between a year and 18 months, which corresponds to between 60 and 90 credits (ECTS).

The CET training plan includes general and scientific training, technological training and work-based training.

The general and scientific training, as well as the technological training components, last between 840 and 1 020 hours, each being allocated 15 % and 85 % of the total length of the course, respectively.

The technological training component, involving practical, laboratory, workshop and/or project activities, must be allocated at least 75% of classroom sessions.

Work-based training may last between 360 and 720 hours.

Apprenticeship+ courses

The weekly workload for Apprenticeship+ courses must be established between 30 and 35 hours, not exceeding 6 or 7 hours daily respectively.

For more information on CET and/or  Apprenticeship+ courses, see DGEEC, ANQEP I.P. , IEFP and IAPMEI I.P. websites.