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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Assessment in vocational upper secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.9Assessment in vocational upper secondary education

Last update: 21 February 2024

Pupil/Students assessment

The evaluation of students' learning in basic vocational training cycles must be carried out by areas and projects in a continuous, formative and inclusive manner, taking into account the global nature of the cycle from the perspective of new learning methodologies.

On the other hand, in intermediate vocational training cycles, this assessment is carried out by vocational modules, always taking into account the whole cycle in its entirety.

With regard to pupils with special educational support needs, the most appropriate measures must be established to ensure that the requirements for carrying out the processes associated to the educational assessment are adapted to their needs.

The Government, through the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD), in consultation with the autonomous communities, is responsible for designing the basic aspects of the curriculum in relation to, among others, the assessment criteria for each stage, in order to ensure a common education throughout the national territory.

The evaluation criteria are the specific referent to assess the learning process of the students. They describe whatever needs to be valued and what the student must achieve, both in terms of knowledge and competences. They respond to what must be achieved. Whereas the learning outcomes are a concrete expression of the proposed objectives.

They are completed and specified by the education authorities in their respective administrative scopes. The educational institutions also do so in their programmes, while the teachers’ assemblies are responsible for setting the criteria for pupil’s assessment.

Each teacher can adopt the evaluation techniques and instruments that he/she deems most appropriate in each context.

Assessment in vocational training has these characteristics:

  • It is carried out by vocational modules, taking as a reference the objectives, expressed in learning outcomes, and the assessment criteria of each of the modules, as well as the general objectives of the training cycle.  In the cases of curricular organisations other than the vocational modules (some areas of basic vocational training), the teaching team conducts the assessment with reference to all the learning outcomes and the professional, personal and social competences included in them.
  • The marks of the different vocational modules are decided by the teaching staff.
  • For the assessment of the workplace training module, the person in charge of tutoring the student in the company during the period of the student's placement collaborates with the teaching staff responsible for tutoring the student at the school.
  • The rest of decisions on the evaluation process are agreed by consensus among all teachers.
  • Form teachers in each group and teachers of the different vocational modules are in constant communication with students regarding the assessment of the learning process so that they can make the necessary clarifications.
  • Completion of an intermediate training cycle requires a Pass grade in all the vocational modules comprised in the training cycle.
  • Each vocational module can be assessed in four assessment periods (in basic VT, two assessment periods in each of the 4 years in which students may be studying these courses). In the workplace training module in companies, there are only two assessment periods.
  • The education authorities may exceptionally establish extraordinary calls for those people who have exhausted the four allowed due to illness, disability or other reasons that condition or prevent the ordinary development of their studies.
  • Progression to the following year depends on the result of the evaluation.

Basic vocational training has these additional characteristics:

  • The group of teachers who teach each student, coordinated by the person in charge of their tutoring, act in a collegiate manner throughout the assessment process and in the adoption of the decisions resulting from it. To this end, it is necessary to take into account the pedagogical criteria of these cycles, the organisation of the curriculum from an applied perspective, the role assigned to the tutor and the educational and vocational guidance, providing personalised socio-educational follow-up.
  • In the continuous assessment process, as soon as difficulties are identified in the student's learning process, tutoring has a special relevance, carrying out specific socio-educational supervision in order to establish any individualised support that may be required. In addition, this applies automatically in the following cases:
    • when the pupil's progress is not adequate;
    • when students have special educational needs.
  • The assessment of the learning process and the grading of students in the subjects of communication and society and applied sciences is based on their global nature and the achievement of the competences contained in each one of them.

The results of vocational modules evaluation are expressed in numbers from 1 to 10, without using decimal points. A grade of 5 or over is considered a Pass. At the end of each academic year, in the final evaluation session, the final mark of the different vocational modules is given. The final mark of an intermediate training cycle is the arithmetic mean of the marks in all the vocational modules expressed with two decimal points. For its part, the evaluation of the in-company training module is graded as pass or fail and is not taken into account when calculating the average mark for the academic transcript.

The documents of the evaluation process for vocational training programmes are as follows:

  • each students' academic record;
  • the assessment minutes;
  • individual assessment reports.

Each autonomous community regulates the exact contents to be included in each of them.

Individualised assessment reports and academic certificates are the basic documents that guarantee student mobility. The latter, the academic certificates, must contain at least the following information:

  • personal data;
  • specific information about the training cycle;
  • information about the educational institution where the programme has been carried out;
  • last grade obtained in each vocational module, specifying the year and the order of the official call for examinations;
  • final mark in case studies have been completed;
  • admission requirements.

With regard to complaints about the decisions and grades obtained in the assessments, these are regulated by the autonomous communities.

Exemption from the in-company training period

The possibility of recognising professional competences acquired through work experience makes it possible for professional experience to lead to total or partial exemption from the in-company training period, taking into account the professional tasks carried out by the trainee and their degree of coincidence with the learning outcomes assigned to the in-company period. The exemption is regulated by article 131 of Royal Decree 659/2023.

Progression of pupils/students

As a result of the evaluation process, at the end of each year, the teaching team makes the corresponding decisions on the progression of students.

The education authorities establish the requirements for progression to the 2nd year in their respective areas of management. They feature the following general characteristics:

  • In basic vocational training:
    • having passed all the vocational modules and subjects of the 1st year;
    • when the vocational modules associated with pending competence units do not exceed 20 per cent of the weekly timetable. However, it is necessary to enrol for what is pending from the first year;
    • if students progress to the 2nd year with failed vocational modules, they will have to participate in the activities planned for them to retake them, and they will have to be informed about their schedule, timing and the date of the evaluation.
  • In intermediate vocational training:
    • having passed all the vocational modules of the 1st year;
    • when, having one or more modules pending, even after the extraordinary call, these modules do not exceed the established teaching load percentage;
    • students who progress to the 2nd year with failed vocational module have to be informed about the activities planned for them to retake them, as well as their schedule and timing and the date of the evaluation.

In order to enable students to resit the vocational modules they have failed, the education authorities determine the conditions for educational institutions to organise the corresponding supplementary examinations for each year.

Students who have to repeat the year join the group of those starting the training cycle, and must carry out all the activities of the vocational modules they have failed. If it is the case, they are evaluated during the periods established for the rest of the group.

Before the final ordinary examination is held and prior to the relevant decision, students, or their parents or guardians if they are minors, are informed about the decisions adopted and can complain about them. Educational institutions establish in their school development plan the procedure for students, or their parents or legal guardians, to complain.



Basic vocational training


  • Students who successfully complete a basic vocational training cycle are awarded the corresponding Technician certificate. In addition, they also receive the Compulsory Secondary Education Graduate diploma.
  • Students who conclude their studies without having obtained the diploma receive an academic certification for the vocational modules they have passed. This certification has academic and partial accreditation effects that can be accumulated regarding the professional competences acquired according to the National System of Qualifications and Vocational Training (SNCyFP). These certifications express the qualifications obtained, both positive and negative, stating the specific ordinary or extraordinary call and the academic year, up to the date of issue of the certification.

Intermediate vocational training


  • Students who successfully complete intermediate vocational training, either classroom-based or distance, are awarded the Technician certificate for the corresponding occupational family. 
  • This certificate can also be obtained by passing the specific tests organised for that purpose, which are held at least once a year.
  • It accredits training equal to that obtained through secondary education and is equivalent to Level 2, according to the National Catalogue of Vocational Qualifications (CNCP). 
  • The certificate is official and academically and professionally valid nationally and it accredits the relevant vocational qualifications and competence units as well as the corresponding training. 
  • Those who do not pass each of the training cycles in its entirety are awarded an academic certificate for the vocational module passed. This certificate has the corresponding academic effect as well as the effect of partial cumulative accreditation of the professional competences acquired regarding the National System of Qualifications and Vocational Training (SNCyFP). These certificates include the grades, both positive and negative, obtained up to the date of issue of the certificate, the specific exam session (ordinary or extraordinary) and the academic year.

Basic and intermediate vocational training certificates are issued, on behalf of the King, by the head of the Ministry of Education or the relevant body in the corresponding autonomous community.

The following details must be included on the back:

  • an explicit mention of the fact that the certificate is issued, on behalf of the King, by the head of the Ministry of Education or the corresponding education authority in each autonomous community;
  • mention of the fact that it is issued on successful completion of the corresponding studies leading to the award of this certificate;
  • name and surnames, place and date of birth and nationality of the student;
  • name and location of the educational institution where the studies were completed, month and year of completion;
  • name and location of the institution where the corresponding qualification was requested, indicating month and year;
  • place and date of issue of the certificate;
  • codes identifying the official nature of the diploma;
  • three signatures: in the case of the autonomous communities, the signatures of the competent body, the relevant authority of the executive body responsible for controlling the issuing of certificates in the autonomous community and the interested party. As for the certificates issued by the Ministry of Education the signatures of the Minister, the Director-General responsible for issuing certificates and the interested party;
  • the national and regional regulations guaranteeing the official nature of the studies.