Continuing Vocational Training (trng_cvts)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4.Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Dissemination format
11. Accessibility of documentation
12. Quality management
13. Relevance
14. Accuracy
15. Timeliness and punctuality
16. Comparability
17. Coherence
18. Cost and Burden
19. Data revision
20. Statistical processing
21. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unit F5: Education, health and social protection
1.5. Contact mail address 2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 07/01/2010
2.2. Metadata last posted 07/01/2010
2.3. Metadata last update 10/01/2013

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

CVTS2, CVTS3 and CVTS4 data were collected with reference year 1999, 2005 and 2010 in order to provide harmonised, reliable and relevant statistical information on continuing vocational training in enterprises.

  • CVT stands for continuing vocational training i.e. education and training occurring during paid working time or paid at least partially by employers (if training activities are organised outside paid working time).

CVTS 2, 3 and 4 provide statistics on incidence of training in enterprises, participation of employees and volume of CVT courses, CVT costs as well as CVT strategies of enterprises including on Initial vocational training (IVT, i.e. apprenticeship).

The section "past series on lifelong learning" presents tables which are no longer available in the same format or at the same level of precision as CVTS 4.

The CVTS1 was the first survey on continuing vocational training in enterprises carried out on the EU level in a co-ordinated form (outline questionnaire, common definitions, and common recommendations with the respect to the fieldwork). The survey was of pioneering nature, and is not any longer disseminated due to lack of comparability with the following waves.

3.2. Classification system

CVTS statistics are integral part of the European Statistical System. Therefore, classifications proper to the CVT statistics are fully harmonised with the classifications used in other fields of the European Statistical System. The classification of the economic activities is in accordance to NACE Rev.1.1 for CVTS 2 and CVTS 3 and to NACE Rev 2 for CVTS 4 (see Ramon, Eurostat's classification server).

3.3. Coverage - sector

CVTS cover enterprises with 10 or more employees belonging to the following sectors:

- For CVTS 4: to the NACE Rev 2 categories B, C (10-12, 13-15, 17-18, 19-23, 24-25, 26-28 and 33, 29-30, 16+31-32), D-E, F, G(45, 46, 47), I, H, J, K(64,65), K(66), L+M+N+R+S.

- For CVTS 2 and 3: to the NACE Rev 1.1 categories C, D (15-16, 17-19, 21-22, 23-26, 27-28, 29-33, 34-35, 20+36+37), E, F, G (50, 51, 52), H, I (60-63, 64), J (65-66, 67), K+O.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

This collection provides comparable statistical data on:

  • continuing vocational training, on skills supply and demand, on training needs
  • measurement of the forms, contents and volume of continuing training
  • the enterprises own training resources and the use of external training providers
  • the costs of continuing training
  • initial vocational training (i.e. apprenticeship, only for CVTS3 and CVTS4).

Detailed information on the CVTS can be found on the CVTS webpage

3.5. Statistical unit


3.6. Statistical population

Enterprises with 10 or more persons employed belonging to certain NACE categories (see sector coverage above).

3.7. Reference area

CVTS 4 covers EU-27 Member States as well as Croatia and Norway. CVTS 3 covers the same countries as CVTS 4 with the exception of Croatia.

CVTS2 covers the same countries as CVTS 4 with the exception of Croatia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia. For Poland, only the Pomorskie region was covered. 

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data are available for years 1999 (CVTS2), 2005 (CVTS3) and 2010 (CVTS4).

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

Percentages, PPS and numbers. In some tables the information is given per thousand

5. Reference Period Top

For CVTS4, the reference period is the calendar year 2010; ; for CVTS3 it is the calendar year 2005; For CVTS2, it is the calendar year 1999

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

CVTS4 is based on the Commission Regulation No 822/2010 of 17 September 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 198/2006 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1552/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistics relating to vocational training in enterprises, as regards the data to be collected, the sampling, precision and quality requirements.

CVTS3 is based on the Commission regulation No 198/2006 of 3 February 2006 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1552/2005 of the European Parliament and the Council on statistics relating to vocational training in enterprises.

CVTS2 data were collected on a gentlemen's agreement basis through common questionnaires.

All EU legal acts related to CVTS and lifelong learning statistics are available on the CVTS webpage

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Data disseminated in aggregated form and in percentages. for confidentiality issues breakdowns are based or in three size groups of the enterprises. Concerning the economic activity of the enterprise only NACE groups are calculated

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not available

8.2. Release calendar access

Not available

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the European Union legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Every 5-6 years (every five years from 2005).

10. Dissemination format Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release
News releases on-line
10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

The relevant publications are available on the CVTS webpage.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not available

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Internet address:

11. Accessibility of documentation Top
11.1. Documentation on methodology

Detailed methodological information can be found on the CVTS webpage

11.2. Quality management - documentation

An EU Quality Report is available for CVTS3 on the CVTS webpage. An EU quality report on CVTS4 is under preparation.

12. Quality management Top
12.1. Quality assurance

Not available

12.2. Quality management - assessment

The implementation of CVTS3 was based for the first time on the European Parliament / Council Regulation (EC) No 1552 / 2005. This regulation suggests a legal framework and a series of guidelines to be adopted by participating countries. On overall data are considered to be of good quality.

13. Relevance Top
13.1. Relevance - User Needs

CVTS data are used to evaluate and better understand training practices across Europe and allow policy-decision making on vocational training.

CVTS data are widely used across the EU in particular for the monitoring and evaluation of EU policies in the field of vocational training. Other main users of CVTS statistics may be classified into the following categories:

 - Government institutions, Ministries of Education, Labour and other Ministries

 - Universities, Research institutions, Vocational institutions, Students

 - Enterprises, Training companies, Management consultants

 - Social partners (e.g. trade unions), Media, Multi-national organizations.

13.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

A user satisfaction survey was conducted in 2011 for CVTS 3 in the framework of a rolling review of EU education statistics. More information on this process is available on the dedicated section on the evaluation of statistical domains on Eurostat's website.

13.3. Completeness

Not available

14. Accuracy Top
14.1. Accuracy - overall

On overall the accuracy of CVTS data is good. Some particular problems are encountered with regard to specific indicators (e.g. IVT indicators) and relatively low answer rates in some countries. Efforts are made by all countries to identify the sources of the errors and eliminate them in view of further improvement of accuracy.

14.2. Sampling error

Average sampling rate for countries implementing a sample survey is 20%. The coefficient of variation calculated for 14 derivate indicators indicates particular problems for the IVT related variables and the cost of CVT courses. Other than that, the coefficient of variation is on average estimated to be around 5%.

14.3. Non-sampling error

Coverage errors mainly emerge as a result of misclassification of enterprises. This is mainly due to the fact that registers are not regularly updated with latest changes on enterprises' size classes. 

The existence of measurement errors is mainly attributed to the shortcomings of the CVTS3 model questionnaire. These have been identified and are currently under revision/improvement.

No significant processing errors are reported.

On average the unit response rate at European level is 63.3%.

15. Timeliness and punctuality Top
15.1. Timeliness

National CVTS results are disseminated within 6 to 10 months after the deadline for data transmission to Eurostat (end June 2012 for 2010 data).

15.2. Punctuality

According to the Regulation No. 1552/2005 countries are asked to transmit data no later than 18 months after the end of the reference year. 11 out of the 25 countries met the deadline for the 2010 data. For the rest of the countries, delays vary from 1 to 8 months.

16. Comparability Top
16.1. Comparability - geographical

The introduction of the Regulation No. 1552/2005 for the implementation of CVTS3 resulted in the limitation of comparability problems between countries, which was a serious problem in CVTS2.

Most countries conducted their surveys in line with the Regulation. Slight deviations are reported in an effort to efficiently adapt the Regulation at national level (e.g. slight changes in the questionnaire - wording, sequence of questions, etc., use of administrative data for the completion of specific items of the questionnaire).

16.2. Comparability - over time

When comparing CVTS2 to CVTS3 and CVTS 4, changes have been made with respect to definitions and the questionnaire. Modifications have actually been made in view of improving the overall quality of CVTS and are not considered to have a serious impact on the comparability between CVTS2, CVTS3 and CVTS 4. Specific breaks in series are signalled with flags in the tables presenting the CVTS results on Eurostat's website.

17. Coherence Top
17.1. Coherence - cross domain

CVTS3 data has been compared with SBS 2005 data with regard to number of persons employed. For almost half of the countries relative differences do not exceed 5%, while for the rest relative differences vary from 12% to 25%.

However, full comparability is not possible due to differences in NACE classes and size groups.

17.2. Coherence - internal

Not available. 

18. Cost and Burden Top

CVTS is considered by many respondents (enterprises) a burdensome and time-consuming task. Complains have been expressed mainly about the excessive length of the questionnaire. Response time varies upon the extent of the enterprise’s training activities, the size of the enterprise and the availability of information required to complete the questionnaire. Response time varies from 15 minutes to 1 hour in small enterprises and from 2 hours up to 8 hours in large enterprises with training activities.

19. Data revision Top
19.1. Data revision - policy

Countries have the possibility to revise data anytime. Upon revisions, countries need to re-send to Eurostat the complete dataset.

19.2. Data revision - practice

Revisions are rarely made by Member States due to specific survey or data revision/harmonisation projects.

20. Statistical processing Top
20.1. Source data

CVTS data are produced by the National Statistical Institutes. The sampling frame used is the National Statistical Business Register, which is in most cases of good quality (coverage, regular updates, etc.). Countries implement stratified sampling and within the stratum they implement either random sampling or census depending on the size of the enterprise. The sample is stratified by NACE and size category into 60 strata (20 NACE classes x 3 Size classes, x6 Size classes in large countries for CVTS4).

20.2. Frequency of data collection

Every five to six years since 1999

20.3. Data collection

Multi-mode data collection methods are implemented to ensure participation of the enterprises in the survey. The most common modes are: postal questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, web-based questionnaires.

A detailed description of techniques of data collection for CVTS can be found at: on the CVTS webpage

(EU quality report)

20.4. Data validation

A detailed description of the methodology used for the validation of CVTS data can be found on the CVTS webpage

20.5. Data compilation

Participating countries send micro-data files via secured protocols (Edamis) to Eurostat; Eurostat calculates national results and  EU averages for all the indicators. A list of indicators is included in the document  annex 3.

20.6. Adjustment

No adjustments of data are performed in a systematic way.

21. Comment Top

See the CVTS webpage.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top