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22 March 2024

Launch of PISA-VET framework sets roadmap for implementation by 2030

The OECD, in collaboration with over one hundred experts, employers, and international partners including WorldSkills, has launched its groundbreaking international large-scale assessment of vocational education and training.

During an insightful webinar with leading experts in skills development, the OECD launched the framework that will guide the development, pilot, and implementation of the first internationally standardized assessment for Vocational Education and Training (VET).

The PISA-VET framework is a joint effort between 13 countries as well as more than one hundred experts, employers, and international partners, including WorldSkills.

The programme builds on the OECD’s experience with its PISA initiative, which has for decades been providing comparative data on the performance of school-level students to help countries drive educational reform.

Existing information on VET only covers enrolment, qualification, and labour market outcomes. Despite VET's key role in ensuring that young people and adults have the skills required by societies and labour markets, the lack of comparative data makes it difficult to understand why some VET systems are more successful in fuelling economic growth.

PISA-VET will compare skills levels in programmes across countries, helping teachers and policymakers to improve their systems and make them more relevant, inclusive, and attractive.

The framework of the assessment is intended to guide the work of those involved in the further development of PISA-VET, help policymakers understand the purpose and the appropriate use of the assessment results, and inform researchers and educators about methodological choices.

During his opening remarks at the launching webinar on 19 March 2024, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD Yoshiki Takeuchi recognised the need for collaboration in professional skills measurement.

“I would like to particularly highlight the contribution of WorldSkills to the initiative,” said Mr Takeuchi, as he also acknowledged the important role of businesses as partners, and as employers for vocational programmes. “Employers' understanding of skills needs, the expectation of graduates, and their experience of training VET learners will provide crucial information to design a relevant and credible assessment.”

Following opening remarks, a panel of leading experts provided a comprehensive understanding of how the landscape of vocational skills and education can be redefined collectively.

Participants included:

  • El Iza Mohamedou, Head of OECD Centre for Skills
  • David Hoey, CEO, WorldSkills International
  • Hanni Rosenbaum, Executive Director of Business at OECD
  • Markus Schwertel, Director for HP Global Policy & Strategy team
  • Olga Mironenko Stampfer, Vice President, International Relations at United Health Group

During his presentation, Mr Hoey stressed the common goals and direction shared by WorldSkills and the OECD’s PISA-VET programme, as well as the potential for mutual learning and lasting partnership.

“As the OECD brings its more extensive and scientific approach to assessment on the outcomes of VET systems, we will gain from that while also sharing the wisdom of our hundreds of Experts from around the world,” he said.

To ensure PISA-VET takes place in a realistic work-place environment, the framework has taken the German ASCOT and ASCOT+ and WorldSkills International assessment methods as models. It will use knowledge assessment, interactive simulations of workplace tasks, and demonstration tasks to efficiently generate insights about learners’ practical skills.

Considering WorldSkills' extensive experience in assessing the professional and transversal skills of young people in VET programme, Mr Hoey was questioned about the challenges to achieve the right balance between assessing knowledge and mastery of skills.

“We turn to industry, to employers to ask them what competencies young people must possess at the level of mastery. And that’s where WorldSkills Competition is all about hands-on demonstration. And that’s why we are proud to share this experience to support the scaling up into PISA-VET programme,” he said, while adding that VET is diverse across nations and for benchmarking to be of value there needs to be global agreement on the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that define each occupation.

Five sectors have been initially selected for the assessment based on their importance in VET and in the labour market, the adequate representation of both male and female learners, the prevalence of these areas across several countries, and their importance in relation to the digital and green transition, amongst other reasons.

The PISA-VET development phase will continue until 2026, progressing its methodology and data analysis. The pilot phase will be then implemented over four years until 2030 in 10 to 15 countries, with the final Large Scale Assessment phase planned for 2030 to 2034.

Watch the full recording of the Launch of the PISA-VET Framework: A Global Milestone in Future-Ready Professional Skills for an in-depth view of the core of this innovative approach.