Questions and answers about NVQs

If you cannot find the answer to your question or need further clarification, you can contact us at or give us a call using the number (01) 58 64 263 or (01) 58 64 200 (Secretariat of the Institute for Vocational Education and Training).

The NVQ certificate can be obtained from NVQ verification and certification providers. Providers are your first step when deciding on an NVQ, and they will be happy to answer any questions about the possibility of obtaining a certificate. The list of NVQ catalogues also includes the address and telephone number of the provider offering a particular NVQ next to each NVQ catalogue. The provider also offers advice and assistance throughout the entire process of obtaining your NVQ certificate.

A total of around 175 NVQ catalogues that enable NVQ certification are currently available in various professional fields. It makes sense to focus on the NVQ catalogues or professional areas which correspond to your pre-existing work experience and knowledge, as an NVQ is mainly intended for adults who have gained work experience, knowledge, and professional competences and wish them to be evaluated and publicly recognised in accordance with the NVQ catalogue.

  1. In the list of NVQ catalogues, find an NVQ that suits you. It makes sense to focus on the NVQ catalogues or professional areas which correspond to your pre-existing work experience and knowledge.
  2. The list of NVQ catalogues also includes providers next to the NVQ catalogues, i.e. the organisations that can advise you and help you to obtain the selected NVQ. Call them and ask about deadlines for obtaining the desired NVQ certificate. If the deadline has already been announced, this will also be reflected in the list of NVQ catalogues or providers.
  3. With the help of the provider, submit a formal application for the acquisition of an NVQ.
  4. If your application meets the entry requirements for obtaining the NVQ (you will determine this when you fill in the application for obtaining the NVQ), you can start to prepare a portfolio or to collect evidence of your work experience and skills with the help of your consultant, depending on the content of the selected NVQ.
  5. If you lack certain skills required by the NVQ, you have the option to acquire these missing skills with the help of the provider through a short training programme, provided that the lack of these skills is neither too great nor involving skills of particular significance. However, this training is not mandatory (!), nor is it a condition for obtaining an NVQ. It is also almost always payable.
  6. At the end of the NVQ acquisition process, your portfolio is evaluated by the NVQ verification and validation commission. If the commission, based on clearly defined criteria for the evaluation of evidence in the portfolio, assesses that the portfolio is appropriate, it confirms it and you will receive an NVQ certificate. If it assesses that your documentation is incomplete, it shall also examine you in person by asking you certain questions or asking you to demonstrate your knowledge on a practical case, etc. If you are successful, you will receive an NVQ certificate.
    How to get an NVQ

  1. One important limitation for obtaining an NVQ certificate may be the entry conditions (also called special conditions), which are recorded in each individual NVQ catalogue, namely on the first page of the catalogue in point 2.2. These entry conditions vary widely between different NPQs. Typically, however, these entry conditions may be:
    • prior education (usually this is related to the level of complexity of the NVQ work – usually this is e.g. primary or secondary education);
    • work experience (in the field of the NVQ);
    • other (for some NPQs, entry conditions may also be various previously completed training, certain products or services, a medical certificate, etc.)

    However, there are quite a few NPQs where no entry conditions are recorded.

    The provider can also assist you in interpreting the entry conditions for the desired NVQ.

  2. A limitation may also involve a lack of work experience and skills in the field of the NVQ. However, it is sometimes possible to obtain an NVQ certificate if the lack of these skills is not too great or if it is not a lack of more demanding skills.

The prices of the NVQ verification and validation process itself vary. In the event that it is only a validation of a candidate’s portfolio, the price could be approximately EUR 180. However, if, in addition to the validation of the portfolio, there is a direct verification of the candidate in person, this price can rise to around EUR 220. The prices of the process therefore depend on the method of assessment and are recorded in the Methodology for Establishing a Price for the Acquisition of an NVQ. However, some providers may also offer a variety of remunerative preparations for the NVQ verification and validation process (shorter training sessions to acquire missing skills according to NVQ requirements). It should be stressed that these training sessions are optional, are not part of official NVQ procurement procedures, and are not a condition for obtaining an NVQ certification.

A certificate of a National Vocational Qualification obtained in accordance with the National Vocational Qualifications Act is a public document and can be used as such in a procedure for the recognition of a professional qualification abroad, but it does not imply an automatic recognition and is not a permit to perform a job/profession. In the event that a profession is not regulated in the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, the recognition of professional qualifications is the responsibility of the State (depending on national legislation) or the employer; however, in the case of a regulated profession, the certificate may be used as one of the documents in the recognition procedure in accordance with Directive 2005/36 on the recognition of professional qualifications.

According to the information of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, candidates must submit the application for obtaining a National Vocational Qualification in the Slovenian language, and the same goes for the portfolio. Notwithstanding the foregoing, parties and other participants in the proceedings who do not know the language in which the proceedings are conducted may be accompanied by an interpreter. The costs of the interpreter shall be borne by the candidate in the proceedings. However, it is also necessary to take into account exceptions, as there may be (or will be) NVQ catalogues that have different rules regarding the possibility of monitoring the procedure with the help of an interpreter.

With the NVQ certificate, individuals demonstrate professional competence at a certain level of complexity, but do not receive a level of education. In some cases, an individual may also acquire NVQ at a higher level of complexity than the individual’s level of education.

An NVQ certificate may be the basis for a remuneration by the employer. However, a higher salary, as a result of the acquisition of the NVQ, depends primarily on the bargaining opportunities of the NVQ holder and, on the other hand, on the employer’s willingness. In some industries, certain employers have also included NVQ certificates in collective employment agreements.

It should be pointed out that with an NVQ certificate, an individual on the labour market can prove his or her competence for a particular professional qualification and can be more competitive, but employment opportunities are mainly dictated by the needs of employers, which are related to the current labour market situation and not the ‘piece of paper’ an individual has obtained. It should be reiterated that neither an NVQ certificate nor school certificates and diplomas constitute automatic employment.

The greatest interest in NVQs is in areas where NVQs are prescribed by law as a condition for performing a certain activity or as a condition for performing a certain profession (e.g. Private Security Act, Transport of Dangerous Goods Act, etc.). There has also been an increased interest in areas where NVQs can, for example, help in obtaining state subsidies or registering supplementary or craft activities (in some cases where education does not meet the tender conditions for obtaining a state subsidy or the needs for the registration of activities, the NVQ certificate of appropriate professional competence is sufficient).

Below we present 10 NVQs and their professional areas that on average record a high interest of candidates for obtaining the NVQ certificate:

  1. “Security guard” (area: private security)
  2. “Traditional maker of bread, pastries, and pasta” (area: food sector and food production)
  3. “Masseur” (area: cosmetics)
  4. “Croupier” (tourism)
  5. “Concrete works provider and NVQ provider of masonry and plastering” (area: construction)
  6. “Operator of CNC machine” (field: mechanical engineering)
  7. “Beekeeper” (area: agriculture)
  8. “Reflex therapist” (area: healthcare)
  9. “Social caretaker at home” (area: social services)
  10. “Website creator and NVQ website designer” (area: computing)

(Source: NRP SLO portal analysis)

Below we present the 15 most sought-after NPQs that employers listed amongst the conditions of employment in 2019.

  1. Security guard
  2. Social caretaker at home
  3. High-rise construction contractor
  4. Bricklayer, restoration worker
  5. Forestry cutter
  6. Safety technician
  7. MIG/MAG welder
  8. Forklift operator
  9. Forestry tractorist
  10. Paramedic
  11. Real estate broker
  12. Assistant cook
  13. Security supervisor
  14. Low-rise construction contractor
  15. Masseur

(Source: Data from the Employment Service of the Republic of Slovenia)

Individuals wishing to register a sole proprietorship or a private limited company must provide the code of the activity they would like to practise upon registration. The activity codes are derived from the Standard Classification of Activities  – SKD 2008. The type of activity then determines whether the individual needs to prove their qualifications and obtain a craft licence or whether they do not need a craft licence at all and do not need to prove their qualifications.

For performing so-called craft activities – these are activities listed in the Decree of Craft Activities (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No 63/13), it is necessary to obtain a craft permit. The craft permit is issued by the Chamber of Craft and Small Business in the region where the company has its registered office, provided that the qualification requirement is met. What qualifications are required for obtaining a craft permit can be found in the document: ·List of relevant secondary educational programmes and National Vocational Qualifications to perform specific craft activities. The document can be found on the website of the Chamber of Craft and Small Business – List of relevant secondary educational programmes and National Vocational Qualifications to perform specific craft activities

The qualification requirement for obtaining a craft permit is different for each activity, but the appropriate professional education or Master’s exam in the required field is a condition.

Activities in which individual National Professional Qualifications can also fulfil the requirement for demonstrating adequate professional competence (instead of appropriate education) include the following:

10.710 – Production of bread, fresh pastries, and confectionery –  NVQ traditional maker of bread, pastries, and pasta

10.720 – Production of toast and biscuits  – NVQ traditional maker of bread, pastries, and pasta

22.110 – Production and refurbishment of rubber treads and tyres for vehicles – NVQ tyre maintainer and vulcaniser

24.510 – Casting of iron – NVQ ironworker

33.120 – Repair of machinery for wine making – NVQ administrator of process equipment  – mechatronics – applies only to certain subclasses – not all

43.990  – Other specialised construction activities

  • construction of foundations – NVQ concrete works contractor
  • drilling and digging of shafts – NVQ operator of geodrilling machines
  • concreting – NVQ concrete work contractor
  • installation of chimneys and furnaces – NVQ refractory material installer
  • services with lifts and other construction machinery – NVQ operator of mobile lifts

45.200 – Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles

– repair, installation, and replacement of tyres and treads, wheel balancing – NVQ tyre maintainer

96.022 – Cosmetic and pedicure activity

– pedicure – NVQ pedicurist

However, if the party registers activities that are on the list of activities performed in the manner of a craft in accordance with Article 5 of the Small Business Act with an explanation, the qualification requirement does not need to be fulfilled. A list of these activities can also be found on the pages of the Chamber of Craft and Small Business, i.e.:  List of relevant secondary educational programmes and National Vocational Qualifications to perform specific craft activities.

Source: Response prepared by the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia. For further information, we suggest that you contact +386 1 58 30 829, e-mail:

The main tool for evaluating skills acquired through work experience and non-formal learning is a candidate’s portfolio, in which you collect evidence of your work experience and skills that can be taken into account when obtaining the NVQ certificate with the help of an NVQ consultant. Your portfolio then serves as a tool for the NVQ verification and validation commission to piece together an image of your work experience, education, or training. The commission makes an expert assessment of each certificate and of the overall portfolio on the basis of the prescribed criteria. If the evidence is sufficient, good, and covers the entire content of the NVQ, the commission immediately issues you an NVQ certificate. However, if the evidence is lacking, you will receive an invitation to a direct verification, where you will meet the commission in person to convince them of the skills that you have not sufficiently demonstrated with your certificates in the portfolio.

Evidence that you are putting in your portfolio can comprise various employer certificates of work-related training, work experience certificates, licences, certificates of participation in seminars and courses, school certificates for completed formal education programmes, certificates of participation or completion of non-formal education programmes, reference letters, statements, products, professional articles, various authorships, acknowledgements, commendations, and other similar evidence. Certificates on skills acquired by working in a home environment, by volunteering, by pursuing hobbies, by performing holiday or student work, by performing leisure activities, by travelling, by meeting new people, by using different media, etc. can also be used.

As you can see, there are hardly any limitations in proving your work experience and skills! All you have to do is browse through your memory, open your home drawers, or apply for a certificate from an institution or a former employer where you have worked in the past or completed some training or education. When selecting evidence according to the selected NVQ, providers also provide an NVQ consultant, who will advise you on the selection of the various pieces of evidence to be put into your portfolio.

  • It enables the rapid establishment of a basis for the formal recognition of professional competences. Many professions (which are also changing or emerging) are learned by individuals independently on the labour market or by working in a company. NPQs enable such individuals to obtain a formal document or official certificate of their competences for these professions relatively easily;
  • It offers the possibility of overcoming staffing constraints in employment due to the lack of public documents, as it helps companies to obtain formal bases for employment or job retention or promotions in the event of inadequate education, etc;
  • In the NVQ, competences, skills, and knowledge are clearly recorded, which increases the transparency of all employee knowledge and skills, ensuring greater transparency of staffing, easier coordination of workers and jobs, and thus a better use of knowledge and higher productivity in the company;
  • It contributes to a more effective planning of education and training of employees;
  • It reduces the personnel costs of employees, as companies can leave the verification of candidates to NVQ identification and validation process operators;
  • It helps recruit new workers, as NPQs can replace or facilitate internal vetting procedures for job seekers;
  • It enables companies to adequately evaluate and increase employee motivation and their own competitiveness in the market.

The NVQ has an important advantage over internal qualifications of companies, as it allows for greater externality and quality of qualification procedures. NVQ verification and validation process providers and members of NVQ verification and validation committees are accredited by a national institution – the Slovenian National Examinations Centre (RIC). The conditions for providers and members of commissions are set out in a catalogue for each individual NVQ and are also prepared in cooperation with companies. The National Examinations Centre also takes care of the task bank for individual NPQs and appoints members of commissions for each individual examination. The role of company representatives in NVQ verification and validation committees is to ensure the quality of personnel entering the labour market from NVQ with their professional, ethical, and independent approach to NVQ verification and validation.

The NVQ, together with other professional qualifications at the national level, is part of the Slovenian Qualifications Framework (SOK), which is also linked to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). Any employer in the European Union can use the EQF’s online database to check the skills and competences of an individual who has obtained a specific qualification, which provides the possibility of a mutual recognition of qualifications and employment in different EU countries.

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