Steps and tips: Developing occupational profiles and curricula based on skills needs assessments

Developing an occupational standard

  • As discussed in section "Establishing an institutional framework for social dialogue", apprenticeship stakeholders, including the responsible TVET agency or other competent body, should convene a working group to prepare a proposal for a new or revised OS. Box 3.3 gives an example of the components required in an OS in Jordan.
  • The working group may choose an appropriate methodology for developing OSs, such as Developing a Curriculum (DACUM), job analysis, functional analysis (refer to tool "Guide for developing curricula based on occupational standards" for more details) or SFIVET’s situation-based approach.

Box 3.3 Content of an occupational standard, Jordan

OS format in Jordan includes the following components:

  • Cover page: occupation title, occupational level, ASCO code, ISCO code, names of the OS development team, endorsement and approval authorities, approval and review dates.
  • Occupational summary: occupational definition, main knowledge, skills and attitudes required, occupational hazards, work environment, possible jobs, career pathways, future trends and concerns, special legal provisions.
  • Employability competencies.
  • Occupational/technical competencies.
  • Performance criteria.
  • Equipment, tools and materials list.

Source: Tool "Guide for developing curricula based on occupational standards".

  • The main steps involved in developing an OS are:
    • identification and definition of the occupation
    • identification and training of key stakeholders and experts
    • identification of key groups of tasks, functions and skills relevant to the occupation
    • identification and analysis of learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and attitudes) for each key group of tasks
    • drafting of the complete OS using the established format
    • verification of the OS by sector experts and recommendations for further improvement.
  • Once consensus has been reached, the TVET agency, or other competent body, should publish the OS.

Establishing a curriculum

  • Based on the OS, a responsible entity (which may be the working group that has developed the OS or some other body, such as the TVET agency) develops the curriculum. The steps involved are illustrated in figure 3.3.
  • The curriculum should reflect details of on-the-job learning in the workplace and off-the-job learning via the TVET provider. It may require, as in Germany, the development of two separate but coordinated curricula for on- and off-the job learning, respectively (refer to section 9.3 of Toolkit 1 for the processes of developing training regulations in Germany and curricula in Ireland). In some cases, training may also take place at an intermediary organization, which should be specified in the curriculum.

Figure 3.3 Developing curricula based on occupational standards

Source: Adapted from E-TVET Council, 2015.


  • Curricula should offer flexibility to enable enterprises to integrate enterprise-specific content. An appropriate percentage could be set to specify the degree of flexibility allowed.
  • The occupational profiles must reflect not only the immediate skills needs of enterprises, but they must also correspond to the long-term needs of the younger generation entering the labour market. Therefore, the occupational profiles must be sufficiently broad and go beyond immediate occupational requirements to support development of the core skills for employability that underpin lifelong learning.