Costa Rica about to implement a dual system

How can training regulations and framework curricula be developed in a way which is tailored to the needs of companies? Experts from Costa Rica and Germany have been exchanging on these issues and on related topics.

Costa Rica introduced a Dual Vocational Education and Training Act in 2019 and is now completing the final stages leading to the implementation of the dual apprenticeship programmes. Although the first curricula, or training regulations, have already been developed, representatives from the planificación curricular department of the Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación Pública, MEP) approached GOVET to request more detailed specialist discussions on this topic. The principal emphasis was on the following questions.

  • Which stakeholders are involved in the development of training regulations?
  • How are the contents of the training regulations stipulated and decided?
  • How are companies integrated into this process?

These and further related aspects were discussed via a virtual expert exchange. Ms. Verena Schneider, expert on scientific and technical occupations from BIBB’s Training Regulation Department, contributed to the exchange with an input presentation.

Costa Rica, similar to Germany,   undertakes an extensive consultation process with the private sector and social partners. In Costa Rica, however, this process has been subject to very little standardisation so far, even though the representatives from the ministry speak of positive experiences with the current model. Dual training programmes need to be aligned in advance to the National Qualifications Framework (Marco Nacional de Cualificaciones, MNC), introduced in 2018, and must subsequently be scrutinised and confirmed by the competent bodies (Consejo Superior de Educación for levels 4–5 of the MNC and Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje for levels 1–3). In Germany, training regulations are the result of a consensus-based and institutionalised process of negotiation between employers, employees and the state. in the regulations are based on the respective specific requirements of trade and industry, society, and are the expression of VET structures which have evolved historically in Germany.

During the virtual event, participants also displayed an interest in the presented materials, which BIBB makes available to trainers. Implementation, explanatory films and online materials exist for many training occupations. As the dual system is about to be implemented, the Costa Rican Ministry of Education (MEP) is now turning its attention to company-based training staff. A further meeting was arranged so that the functions and services of the online portal foraus.de could be presented. The MEP is considering the platform as model of best practice and intends to Establish a similar offer for in-company trainers in the long-term as well.

GOVET has been working closely with the Ministry of Education in Costa Rica for a number of years. It has already acted as an important contact partner for the development of an act relating to dual technical training, which was introduced in 2019. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and GOVET have been supporting the inter-institutional Vocational Education and Training Commission since its inauguration in 2020 and also provide consultancy services on issues relating to the dual system.