Tools: Developing occupational profiles and curricula based on skills needs assessments

Development of training regulations, including occupational profile, Germany

This tool provides information on a procedure for the development of training regulations which define the standards and minimum requirements for a training course. Experts from training practice develop the outlines of the new training regulations in collaboration with the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and harmonize them with the draft framework curricula for off-the-job training in schools. This procedure is well-established and well-respected and it involves those affected – employers’ organizations for the enterprises and workers’ organizations for employees – in all important decisions concerning the content, objectives, duration and requirements of training.


Handbook for developing curricula using occupational profiles, Switzerland

The relevance of curricula to labour market needs is key for apprenticeship systems. In Switzerland, the initiative for developing new qualifications or updating existing ones comes from the relevant professional associations (employers’ bodies). Based on an analysis of the current and future skills needs of companies in the relevant sectors, competence-oriented occupational profiles (“qualification profiles”) are drafted in a collaborative exercise which involves all relevant stakeholders (private sector, national authorities and local authorities responsible for VET schools). “Ordinances” setting out the skills requirements in target occupations and other relevant documents are then drafted based on these profiles and discussed with all relevant stakeholders before being implemented.

This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the topic, including information on essential aspects and processes of developing or modifying occupational qualifications and reference documents.

Source: Handbook for IVET curriculum development (in French):

Guide for developing curricula based on occupational standards, Jordan

This guide focuses on the processes involved in developing OSs based on the DACUM approach and offers guidance on developing curricula based on principles of competency-based training.

It describes the sequence of activities needed to develop competency-based curricula (CBC) (also called learning outcome-based curricula) based on OSs. The guide elaborates on the contents of OSs and how to systematically devise and review them, and it provides guidelines for the process of using the competencies and performance criteria established in an OS to specify the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the curriculum, and information on arranging these into modules.


Manual for developing qualification and occupational standards, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The manual is designed to explain and facilitate the development of multiple qualifications standards and OSs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It clarifies the role of occupational and qualifications standards and how to gain maximum benefit from them at the individual, institutional and country level. Among other things, the manual advises and supports higher education institutions in the development of innovative, high-quality study programmes.


A guide to developing and implementing qualifications that meet industry needs, VET Toolbox, British Council

This tool is a guide which sets out, in practical and comprehensive terms, how qualifications that meet industry needs can be designed and delivered.


Examples of occupational standards from the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Australia

The American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeships has grouped the standards for a range of occupations in the four countries into ten broad categories, detailing the OSs in each category.


A sample apprenticeship standard for a boatbuilder programme, England

In England, the apprenticeship standard is developed by an employer group under the auspices of a government agency – the Institute for Apprenticeships. In this example of the new boatbuilder programme, the apprenticeship standard sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of a qualified boatbuilder. A separate linked document then sets out how these are to be assessed at the end of the apprenticeship programme. Curricula are then developed locally, but must be consistent with the standards and the final assessment criteria.


A sample curriculum for the qualification of electrician (steel plant), India

The example given in this source shows the format used in India for the qualification standards for apprenticeship programmes. The details include the national skills qualification framework level, learning outcomes, assessment standards and methodology, a list of tools and equipment required for basic training, time allocation for practical training, theory, employability skills and other subjects, as well as a job profile description and career progression pathways in the sector. It also provides the names of the experts from industry and the training system who developed the standards and syllabus.


Transferable skills in vocational education and training, VET Toolbox, GIZ

The objective of this tool is to provide guidance to support the development of transferable skills to improve the employability of young labour market participants in countries where large-scale investment projects are expected to offer jobs and self-employment opportunities.

This manual offers guidance on the specific transferable skills to target, detailing why and when are they especially useful and clarifying the contexts in which these skills are most applicable.


Conceptual and programmatic framework for life skills and citizenship education in the Middle East and North Africa, UNICEF

This conceptual and programmatic framework reimagines life skills and citizenship education – while addressing both the conceptual and the programmatic gaps – with a view to achieving scale, sustainability and long-term change in quality learning. It is aimed at policy-makers, practitioners and experts and is meant to serve as a basis for guiding policies, strategies and programmes through a systems approach and in the context of national education reforms.