Sectoral Councils as an Institutional Mechanism for Policy on Professional Qualifications

Tetyana Semigina


Transformations of the labour market and education have led to changes in the national system of professional qualifications, in particular, the search for new institutional mechanisms for public policy on qualifications. Based on the analysis of the relevant legal framework and own reflections, the article considers the activities of sectoral (sectoral-professional) councils that regulate professional qualifications and standards and serve as an institutional basis for reconciling the interests of various stakeholders in qualifications policy.

Differences in the regulation of sectoral councils in the EU and Ukraine have been identified. In most European countries, sectoral councils, which develop professional standards and analyze the needs for professional qualifications, operate under a central executive body responsible for education policy or a main body that administers professional qualifications and coordinates sectoral councils. These councils have a clear structure and state funding. In Ukraine, branch councils are created by employers’ organizations that do not have clear legal regulations and state funding (they are essentially self-governing and self-regulatory). At the same time, sectoral councils play an essential role in developing professional standards as requirements for the competence of employees (80% of approved professional standards in Ukraine were developed by sectoral councils).

Legislative initiatives on sectoral councils to develop professional standards, which are designed to preserve the self-governing nature of councils and give them vast powers in the field of professional qualifications, are assessed. The author’s vision of the functioning of sectoral councils for the development of professional qualifications as collegial bodies of the National Qualifications Agency, which are based on the principles of social partnership, includes representatives of various subjects of qualifications policy. This will allow expanding the institutional policy mechanism for professional qualifications.


sectoral council; qualifications policy; vocational standard; National Qualifications Agency

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