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CEDEFOP (the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) is a European agency that serves as an objective reference centre for vocational education and training in the European Union. CEDEFOP was established in 1975 and was one of the first specialised and decentralised agencies set up to provide scientific and comparable information in specific fields and strengthen informative network of the European partners.

CEDEFOP has the following main tasks:

  • Compiling selected documentation and analyses of data;
  • Contributing to developing and coordinating research in the field of vocational education;
  • Exploiting and disseminating information to stakeholders and general public;
  • Encouraging joint approaches to vocational education challenges;
  • Ensuring a forum for debate and exchange of experience.


ReferNet is a reference and experience exchange network for vocational education, which was established by CEDEFOP in 2002 and in which European countries cooperate. Its aim is to meet the growing demand for comparable information across Europe in vocational education.

The network unites institutions and organizations having common interests in vocational education that at national level may be organized in the National ReferNet Consortia or Networks. The ReferNet network promotes the exchange of information and development of partnerships, as well as ensures opportunity for National Consortia or Networks’ members to widen their contacts with other international organizations in and outside Europe.

Since 2004, Latvia is one of 30 partners in the ReferNet network.


ReferNet Latvia coordinator is Academic Information Centre (AIC). AIC is a non-profit institution established in 1994 by the Ministry of Education and Science and University of Latvia, Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science. AIC implements the following functions: Latvian ENIC/NARIC (Latvian Centre for evaluation of foreign academic credentials), Information centre for professional qualifications and regulated professions, National Europass centre, National Coordination Point (for referencing Latvian Qualifications Framework to European Qualifications Framework), National Contact Point for Higher Education Export, as well as an institution providing vocational education research and vocational education information to EU and to national stakeholders.

ReferNet Latvia supporting the activities of CEDEFOP performs the following tasks:

  • Collecting and compiling information about vocational education in Latvia, including regular contribution to electronic library catalogue (Vet-Bib) set up by CEDEFOP;
  • Performing analysis of vocational education field and including the results of analysis in reports;
  • Disseminating and providing information about national and international developments in vocational education research and policy.