Country Reports

The Country Reports were the way to define our Status Quo of the project. We needed to better understand the state of the art in each country concerning their Health and social care system and National education and training systems. Therefore, partners were asked to fill in a set of data within a brief survey, concerning the subjects bellow:


  • Data overview of the country’s demographics
  • Organization of the NHS and Social Security System
  • Typical health/social care workers and associates included in direct care (both formal and informal)
  • Typical settings in care providing (both formal and informal)


  • Brief description / Schematic presentation of the National Education and Training System
  • Organization according with ISCED and/or EQF levels
  • Levels (ISCED / EQF) of training offers in areas related to the activities of caregivers
  • Types of training offers in areas related to the activities of caregivers
  • Types of entities that promote the courses


National Healthcare and Social Security systems are in all cases of a contributive nature (insurance or universally tax-financed systems), assuring different levels of care, from basic healthcare and specialized care, to medicine and medical devices co-funding. In all countries the public services are prevalent.

Data analysis points out to a considerable convergence in country’s national education and training systems organization. And also, in the levels providing formal training in the areas that are covered by the project.



The structural reform is in progress in Poland. Only the new structure is considered in the information below. This structure is being introduced gradually. It is starting in 2019/20 and it is to be completed in 2023/24.

The new reformed structure of upper secondary education includes the following types of schools:

  • 4-year general secondary school (liceum ogólnokształcące)
  • 5-year technical secondary school (technikum)
  • Stage I 3-year sectoral vocational school (szkoła branżowa I stopnia)
  • Stage II 2-year sectoral vocational school (szkoła branżowa II stopnia).

vocational schools

Students of vocational schools – sectoral vocational schools and technical upper secondary schools – may take exams confirming vocational qualifications in a given occupation during the course of study or upon completion of school to receive a diploma confirming their vocational qualifications.

Graduates of general upper secondary schools and technical upper secondary schools may take the external upper secondary school leaving examination (egzamin maturalny) to obtain the Matura certificate, which gives access to higher education. This possibility will be open also to graduates of the new stage II sectoral vocational school.

Post-secondary education

Post-secondary education is part of secondary education, catering to graduates of general upper secondary schools seeking a diploma to confirm their vocational qualifications.

First-Cycle Programs

The schools offer courses lasting from 1 to 2.5 years. The students of post-secondary schools and students of sectoral vocational schools and technical upper secondary schools take vocational exams of the same type. This type of school has not been subject to the structural reform and remains unchanged. There are two types of Higher Education Institutions:

  • university-type (uczelnia akademicka)
  • non-university-type (uczelnia zawodowa).

Both institutions provide first and second-cycle programs, along with long-cycle Master’s degree programs. Only university-type Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have the authority to offer third-cycle programs (doctoral studies) and award doctoral degrees.

Programs are structured as either full-time (studia stacjonarne) or part-time (studia niestacjonarne).

  • licencjat (equivalent of Bachelor’s degree) – 3-4 year programmes
  • inżynier (equivalent of Bachelor’s degree) – 3.5-4 year programmes.

Second-cycle programs

Holders of the Bachelor’s degree can enter second-cycle programmes, which take 1.5-2 years depending on the area of study.

Several fields of study exclusively provide long-cycle Master’s degree programs, spanning 4-6 years. First-cycle, second-cycle, and long-cycle Master’s programs conclude with a diploma examination, and successful students receive the corresponding degree.

Possession of a Master’s degree (magister or its equivalent) allows individuals to practice a specific profession and grants access to third-cycle studies. These studies are conducted in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or research and development institutions outside of HEIs, lasting for 3-4 years.


Adult education is open to adults who wish to complete school education on primary and secondary level or acquire new vocational qualifications and skills for professional or personal reasons.

The adult education (in school and non-school settings) is organized by:

  • continuing education institutions
  • practical training institutions
  • in-service training centres
  • HEIs as non-degree postgraduate programmes.

Training is offered also to the unemployed and to certain categories of people searching for a job.



The Portuguese education system comprises three phases:

  1. pre-school education (from the age of three until the start of basic education)
  2. basic education (six to 15 years old)
  3. upper secondary education (15 to 18 years old)

Upper secondary education

It lasts for three years, corresponding to grades 10, 11, and 12, and is organized into different types. Some types are oriented towards further studies, while others offer dual certification, combining academic and vocational aspects. The latter includes general, technical, and work placement training. The system guarantees permeability between different paths, ensuring access to higher education through national exams.

Post-secondary non-higher education

Post-secondary non-higher education consists of technological specialization courses (Cursos de Especialização Tecnológica – CET). These courses provide highly qualified technical training for the workforce or further studies. They are designed for individuals over 18 years old who have completed 12 years of compulsory schooling and typically last for one year.

Higher education

Higher education follows the principles of the Bologna Process, aiming to provide a robust scientific and cultural foundation along with technical training for professional and cultural development. The Portuguese higher education system is binary, comprising university and polytechnic systems. Universities emphasize solid scientific training, integrating teaching and research units. In contrast, polytechnics focus on vocationally oriented training and advanced technical education.

adult education

Various modes of adult education and training target specific aims and groups. These encompass a system of recognizing, validating, and certifying skills acquired throughout life. The “Qualifica” centers, part of the National Qualifications System/Catalogue, cover the entire country. They offer guidance for adults, coordinating a broad network of training bodies. These centers concentrate on obtaining both academic and vocational certification simultaneously, though in some cases, they may grant only one of these certifications.


Recurrent education is designed for adults who have not completed their primary or secondary education at the usual age. That is to say, It follows a study plan based on the official curriculum and leads to the attainment of a qualification and the award of a diploma or certificate, equivalent to those conferred by daytime education.



The Slovenian education system comprizes several levels:

Upper secondary education (srednješolsko izobraževanje) takes 2 to 5 years (typical age of students: 15-19). Educational programmes include vocational, professional and gimnazija (general) programmes.


Tertiary education (terciarno izobraževanje) includes short-cycle higher vocational education (višje strokovno izobraževanje) and higher education (visokošolsko izobraževanje) study programmes. At First cycle of higher education programmes encompass professional and academic study programmes (typical age of students: 19-22). Secondly, Short-cycle higher vocational education is provided by higher vocational colleges that offer two-year vocational education (typical age of students: 19-21). In summary, public or private universities, as well as individual higher education institutions, provide first, second, and third-cycle study programs.

Additionally, adult education (izobraževanje odraslih) is characterized by a significant diversity of programmes and institutions.



Compulsory secondary education, studied in secondary schools, between the ages of 12 and 16. At the end of this stage, students receive the first official certificate, the Lower Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate, which allows them to have access to upper secondary education or the world of work.

Upper secondary education is also provided in secondary schools. It lasts two academic years, usually studied between the ages of 16 and 18. It offers two possibilities: Bachillerato (general branch) and intermediate vocational training (professional branch). The latter is also provided in vocational training integrated institutions and in national reference institutions. The reforms of vocational training provision include:

  • creation of basic vocational training cycles:
    • can be taken by students aged 15-17
    • other entry requirements that have been established
  • development by the education authorities of dual vocational training in the education system.


Higher education comprises university and professional studies. In short, University education is provided in universities and advanced vocational training is provided in the same institutions as those offering intermediate vocational training.

Adult education and training covers different types of provision offered by the education and employment authorities, provided by institutions from different nature. However, Classroom-based education leading to the award of official degrees of the education system is provided in ordinary schools or specific schools for adults. Therefore, the Adult education and training is aimed at people over the age of 18. As an exception, workers aged over 16 who cannot attend school in ordinary regime or high performance athletes.