The proposition by the Commission of European credit system for vocational education and training is directly linked to the development of ECTS, to its impact on mobility and on transformation of educational approaches in higher education institutions. On the basis of the conclusions of the report on the "ECTS extension feasibility project", the Commission indicated what could be the next step for credit-based systems. "A new European credit system would increase the transparency of national systems, encourage flexibility in the development of personalised study courses and of joint curricula and facilitate agreements for the mobility of learners, not only between educational sectors in the same country, but also between those of different countries. Credit systems are powerful enabling devices, which aid mobility between various forms of education and training. The application of ECTS to different systems and types of education will facilitate the recognition of learning gained both nationally and internationally" (Erasmus, ECTS extension feasibility project).
In the Copenhagen Declaration of 30 November 2002, the Ministers responsible for Vocational education and training stated that "investigating how transparency, comparability, transferability and recognition of competences and/or qualifications, between different countries and at different levels, could be promoted by developing reference levels, common principles for certification, and common measures, including a credit transfer system for vocational education and training".
This was confirmed by the Maastricht Communiqué on 14 December 2004. The Ministers responsible for vocational education and training (VET) from 32 European countries, together with social partners and the European Commission, agreed on the "development and implementation of the European credit transfer system for VET (ECVET) in order to allow learners to build upon the achievements resulting from their learning pathways when moving between learning systems. ECVET will be based on competences and learning outcomes, taking account of their definition at national or sectoral levels. It will take into account the experience of ECTS in the field of higher education and the Europass framework. The practical implementation should include the development of voluntary agreements between VET providers throughout Europe. The system will be broad-based and flexible to enable its progressive implementation at the national level, with priority given initially to the formal learning system."
And finally the Joint interim report from the Education Council and the Commission on "Education & Training 2010" implementation, stressed the new impetus given by the Copenhagen declaration to European cooperation on vocational education and training and underlined the foundations laid by Ministers responsible for VET of a European credit transfer system for VET.