In order for higher vocational education programmes to result in a certificate/diploma on graduation, it must have a minimum duration of one year. Most programmes are between 1-3 years long.
The duration of the programmes are specified through HVE-credits (YH-poäng), where five credits correspond to one week of full-time studies. 200 HVE-credits corresponds to one year of full-time studies while 400 HVE-credits corresponds to two years of full-time studies. It is possible for education providers to develop programmes with varying credits on a full- or part-time basis. HVE-credits are not equal to university or ECTS credits and students can not automatically transfer credits from a higher vocational education programme into further studies at University.
A general requirement for all evaluation forms of knowledge is that it is carried out according to acknowledged methods and requirements. The assessment of the student's knowledge, skills and competencies must, therefore, follow the syllabus description. Examples of methods for assessment can be practical tests, observation or written tests. Knowledge control and clear criteria for every grade level must be specified and connected to the course goals. The three-grade scale of fail, pass and pass with distinction is to be used. If grades are not set, the education provider should instead issue a certificate in which the student's knowledge is documented. The certificate must state which part or course of the course the student has completed. The assessment is done by the teacher in each course. Within higher vocational education the teachers are practioners within the profession.
When a course is finished the education provider/teacher assesses if the student has reached the goals of the course and grades the student according to the grade criteria. The grade sets the quality of the student's goal fulfilment and has to be set on a fully carried out course. Therefore the syllabus has to specify what is required for the education provider to assess that the student has fulfilled the course goals and set a grade. A student that passes all courses has the right to get a diploma. If there are courses that the student hasn’t passed the student has the right to get a course certificate containing information regarding the passed courses. Each university does have the right to decide whether HVE-credits can be transferred or not.
The student's progress and outcomes are recognized by the award or diploma which validates their skills for employment. The following two awards exist within higher vocational education:
- Higher Vocational Education Diploma (yrkeshögskoleexamen)
Requires that the education programme consists of at least 200 HVE-credits (YH-poäng) or 1 year of full-time studies, and that a degree project is included.
- Advanced Higher Vocational Education Diploma (kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen)
Requires that the education programme consists of at least 400 HVE-credits (YH-poäng) or 2 years of full-time studies, and that a degree project is included. A minimum of 25 percent of the time has to be work placed learning (lärande i arbete, LIA). There programme also has to have a steering comittee at the level of advanced higher vocational education diploma.
The education programmes steering committee issues the certificates/diplomas.
Which award a programme leads to also affected by which level it is placed at in the Swedish qualification framework SeQF (Sveriges referensram för kvalifikationer, SeQF).
SeQF is built on the common European framework for qualifications (EQF). With SeQF all results of learning in the form of knowledge, skills, competence are made visible regardless of how it has been acquired. In this way it is easier to compare qualifications from studies and work life both nationally and internationally. There are 8 SeQF levels and HVE programmes can be placed on either level 5 for the Higher Vocational Education Diploma or level 6 for the Advanced Higher Vocational Education Diploma . As a comparison Upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan) is placed at level 4 and awards from higher education and universities are placed at levels 6, 7 and 8.