The national occupational qualification is a formally recognized competence required for practising the occupation on the basis of the national occupational standard.
In Slovenia, the national occupational qualification can be acquired in the following ways:
- by completing the vocational or professional education programmes or by completing modules as parts of the educational programme;
- by assessment and accreditation of NOQ.
Educational programmes are drawn up and implemented in accordance with the Vocational and Professional Education Act (1996) falling within the sphere of responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Sport in cooperation with the social partners. The educational programme tentatively defines the path towards the acquisition of NOQ (subjects, number of lessons, theory-practice ratio, implementation regulations and standards).
The main stress is increasingly shifting towards learning achievements that are tested by way of a final examination or a secondary vocational school leaving examination (poklicna matura). The traditionally established school path leading to the acquisition of occupational qualifications is intended for the youth, but also for the adults. School certificates, however, are losing the role of the only guarantee that confirms the occupational competence of its holder. Certification models are being developed throughout Europe, above all as assessment and accreditation systems of informally acquired knowledge. While looking for methods to measure competence, the focus is increasingly moving towards the ability to mobilize knowledge, skills, habits and actions in order to perform work tasks in various circumstances.