Catalogue Of Requirements

Bulgaria

Pathway

In accordance with the Vocational Education and Training Act (VETA), the Bulgarian system makes a distinction between vocational education and training and vocational training. Vocational education and training refers to the acquisition of the general education minimum for secondary education as well as the acquisition of a qualification for a profession (VET qualification). In comparison, vocational training refers to the acquisition of qualification for a profession or part of a profession. This includes also the improvement of the professional qualification given that there are several degrees of VET qualification.

Vocational training includes theoretical training and practical training (called also work-based learning), whereby the latter can be organised as educational practice and practical activity or as training through work (dual education).

Work-based learning can be carried out in:

  1. educational and production facilities of the schools;
  2. educational and production facilities of similar schools or centres for vocational training in the country or abroad;
  3. enterprises of natural and legal persons
  4. educational and production facilities within the enterprises (VETA, Art. 30).

Depending on the place of practical training one can differentiate between

school-based VET [cases a. and b.] and

dual VET [cases c. and d.].

Given that dual education has been recently introduced in the Bulgarian VET system (2015) and is currently being piloted, the country overview focuses on work-based learning in general.

Context of Assessment

Regulations are set nationally (centrally); they do not vary by sector, region or organisation.

For example, in accordance with the Vocational Education and Training Act (VETA), VET is completed by:

  • State matriculation exams[1]for the completion of secondary education in accordance with the Level of Education, General Education Minimum and Curriculum Act;
  • State exam on theory and practice of the profession[2] for the acquisition of VETqualifications. These are national examination programmes in accordance with VET standards for acquiring qualifications in the relevant professions, which are approved by the Minister of Education and Science. The exams take place at the end of the VET programme (final assessment).

Does the VET system organise assessments cumulatively throughout the programme (on a unitised basis) or through a single final assessment?

Assessments can be organised cumulatively (unitised basis) depending on the VET programme (see below), but at the end there is always a final assessment e.g. state exam on theory and practice of the profession.

Types of assessment

In relation to work-based learning there are two types of assessment e.g. summative, which is carried out by the mentor supervising the student during the process of training (A mentor is an employee in the enterprise, who has 3 years of working experience in the same specialty, and has successfully passed special training provided by their employer (Ordinance on work-based learning, Art. 21).). The summative assessment is done in accordance with the assessment criteria set out in the training curriculum. The mentor documents the nresults of the ongoing assessment in a so-called diary of practical training. Based on these results the mentor and a teacher at the VET school determine the annual assessment of the practical training (Ordinance on work-based training, Art. 23, available in Bulgarian at http://www.navet.government.bg/bg/media/Naredba_1_dualno_obuchenie_08_09_2015.pdf). The annual assessment does not influence the results of the final assessment (see below); however they are taken into consideration regarding the certificate for completed secondary education.

The formative assessment of work-based learning refers to the practical part of the state final exam. It is conducted by an Examination Committee consisting of a mentor (at least 4-yearexperience in the profession); a teacherand a representative of an employers’ organisation. In both cases (summative and formative assessment) the form of assessment used is practical demonstration.

In relation to classroom learning, again, there are two types of assessment e.g. formative, carried out by the teacher during the process of learning and summative, which relates to the theoretical part of the state final exam.

Roles in assessment

The state final exam is conducted by an Examination Committee including a mentor (at least 4-year experience in the profession), teacher or a representative of an employers' organisation. In both cases (summative and formative assessment) the form of assessment used is written examination.

Organisations / bodies involved in the process

External assessment relates to the inclusion of an employer representative within the Examination Committee.

Regulations surrounding roles or organisations

In relation to the State final exam on theory and practice of the profession, the requirements are stipulated in the Vocational Education and Training Act. According to it, Examination Commissions are appointed by the head of the educating institution. They include representatives of the educating institution (e.g.teachers or other persons carrying out vocational training), the employers (representatives shall have qualification in the respective professional sphere) and the employees (qualification and time of service not less than four years in the respective profession). “If the organisations of employers or of employees, do not propose their representatives for inclusion in the examination commissions, the head of the educating institution shall complete the commission by members appointed by him” (Art. 35, VETA).[3]


In relation to work-based learning, the requirements are set by the Minister of Education and Science through ordinances concerning the State Educational Standards by professions and through a specific ordinance on the work-based training (e.g. it defines the role of the “mentor”).

In relation to classroom learning, the requirements are set by the Minister of Education and Science through ordinances concerning the State Educational Standards by professions.[4] Each state education standard includes requirements for teachers/trainers; however holding a specific qualification in assessment is not specified.

Assessment requirements do not refer to specific training of assessors (mentors, teachers, other representatives of the Examination Committee). Furthermore, no state budget is allocated for such training. The Ordinance on work-based learning regulates that mentors should complete a special training, which is however financed by employers. At this stage it is not yet clear which institution will be authorised to conduct the training and what the content and duration of this training will be (Ordinance on work-based learning, Art. 21).

Within the pilot Domino project: “Swiss Support for the Introduction of Dual-Track Principles in the Bulgarian Vocational Education System” (2015-2019)[5] training for teachers was carried out in 2016 by trainers from the the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. Bulgarian teachers received methodological guidelines, which aimed tobring the process of teaching to the Swiss model of dual training. A leading approach in it is the permanent link between theory and practice and the active role of the student. There is no further information whether the training included assessment components.


[1] This applies to vocational education and training.

[2] This applies to both vocational educational and training and vocational training.

[3] The Vocational Education and Training Act is available in Bulgarian at http://www.navet.government.bg/bg/media/ZPOO_2016.pdf

[4]These are available in Bulgarian at: http://www.navet.government.bg/bg/darzhavni-obrazovatelni-iziskvaniya/doi-publikuvani-v-darzhaven-vestnik-i-p; http://www.navet.government.bg/bg/darzhavni-obrazovatelni-iziskvaniya/doi-proekti/

[5] The project is a part of a Bulgarian-Swiss cooperation programme, with a total budget of CHF 3.530,000, of which 15% is the Bulgarian contribution.