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Vocational Education with Finnish touch – Personalisation process as an example of best practice


Jani Siirilä

yliopettaja, vaikuttava ammatillinen pedagogiikka
principal lecturer, engaging vocational pedagogy
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Ruut Kaukinen

Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 19.11.2019

Haaga-Helia School of Vocational Teacher Education is the partner of Erasmus -project INAPPME WBL (Innovative and Applicative Methods in Work Based Learning). Other countries involved in the project are Romania, Turkey and Italy. The general objective of the project is to promote European VET School teachers the application of effective innovative teaching methods and tools in work-based learning contexts.

During one week training in Italy we also presented the best practices of Vocational Education in Finland. One example of best practice was personalisation process of a student (figure 1). It is unique way to study in Vocational Education in Finland were a Personal Competence Development Plan (PCDP) is drawn up for each student. We decided to introduce and share this example of best practice with other countries involved in the project. PCDP is a competence based and customer oriented way to do vocational education in practice. The plan charts and recognises for each student the skills previously acquired and outlines what kind of competences the student needs and how they will be acquired in different learning environments. Also vocational skills demonstrations necessary tutoring and support are taken into account. (Ministry of Education and Culture 2019.) The culture for vocational education in other project countries is not accustomed for such student and competence oriented approach.


Figure 1. Personalisation (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2018) 

In the training partners formed teams and planned the PCPD case for the student. Partners chose their roles so that one was acting student with real-life or fictional background. The second role was teacher who chose the qualification and the third role was the representative of working life. The aim was also to reflect the vocational competence requirements in the point of a fictional or true company (Figure 2).

Personal Competence Development Plan

Figure 2. Personal Competence Development Plan (PCDP) 

The aim for case work was that the skills of the student, the qualification requirements and the tasks of the workplace were defined. Partners presented their case and PCDP. Based on that the next step they did was to plan the first workplace visit for the student. The aim was to make work-based learning more concrete for partners through introducing best practices of Vocational Education in Finland. Parts of the personalisation process can also be implemented in this project through teacher training that takes place at the local level in every country.


Ministry of Education and Culture. (2018). Reform of vocational upper secondary education. 

Ministry of Education and Culture. (2019). Finnish VET in a Nutshell.