Kenniscentrum Handel is the Centre of Expertise on vocational education, training and the labour market for the trade sector.
Under mandate from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Kenniscentrum Handel performs a number of statutory tasks for the intermediate vocational education system in the Netherlands. KCH performs these tasks for the trade sector and for manufacturers, suppliers and traders in the Fashion, Interior, Carpets and Textile industry (known as the MITT sector).
Establishing qualifications for professions in Trade and MITT
One of the legal functions that KCH undertakes is establishing qualifications (diploma requirements) for professions in the Trade and MITT industry.
The basis for a qualification file is an occupational profile. This is a description of the professional practice of a fully qualified professional. Social partners are responsible for compiling an occupational profile and ensuring that the profile is up-to-date. The Centre of Expertise develops a qualification file based on an occupational profile. This is done jointly with representatives of the education sector, the business community, employers and employees. The qualification files in which the requirements for a starting professional practitioner have been established are assessed by an independent body who is authorised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
The board of the Centre of Expertise - which has representatives from both education and business sectors - provides their advice about the qualification files. These files are officially approved by the Ministry once they have been published in the Dutch Government Gazette. For following publication, these files can be used by the schools.
Quality assurance of professional work placement in the intermediate vocational education system
Professional work placement (Dutch: stage) is one of the most essential elements in the Dutch intermediate vocational education system. During work placement students learn how to practice their chosen professions. For this purpose, KCH has recruited companies that can contribute to the practical education of these students. KCH assesses these companies and offers them support in various ways to supervise the work placement student on the work floor.
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