|History of the Vocational Qualifications Authority|
The long and toilsome process which ended up with the foundation of the Vocational Qualifications Authority (VQA), was started with the Employment and Education Project implemented between the years 1992-2000 with the fund support of the World Bank under the coordination of the Turkish Employment Agency. The Occupational Standarts Commission, which consists of three parties being the state, employer and worker, was established within the scope of the component ‘’Occupational Standarts Testing and Certification’’ by the signing of Occupational Standarts National Protocol in 1993 on a tri-partite basis.
As a result of the studies conducted by the Research Technical Services Unit in the period of 1995-2000 under the supervision of VQA, the education and business world was introduced to the concept of ‘’Occupational standard’’ and draft occupational standards and question banks were developed. When the Employment and Education Project was completed in 2000, the draft law of National Occupational Standards Authority, on which the parties came to an agreement, was prepared. The finalized draft was submitted to the Prime Ministry by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in 2004; however, it was not possible to turn it into a law draft yet.
Within the framework of the ‘’the Project of Strengthening the Vocational Education and Traning (MEGEP)’’, the draft was brought up again and updated.
Within the scope of the work conducted under the coordination of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the secreteriat of the Turkish Employment Agency, the draft law in question was submitted to the Council of Ministers in 2005. Upon the submission of the draft law, the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister in the first place, agreed on the need of the foundation of VQA. The VQA draft law was submitted to the Turkish Grand National Assembly and following the Commission meetings, it was passed by unanimous vote on the date of September 21, 2006 as the Vocational Qualifications Authority Law of 5544.
The study group, formed under the coordination of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security as prescribed by the provisional article in the VQA Law, conducted the necessary studies for the establishment of VQA and the General Board. At the first General Board meeting conducted on December 8, 2006, the members of the VQA Executive Board were selected. With the selection of the Executive Board Chairman and the Deputy Chairman from the members of the Board on December 26, 2006, VQA started to operate legally.
Some changes were required in the VQA law following its entry into force, due to the regulations that lay a responsibility on VQA such as the European Qualifications Framework, National Employment Strategy, Life-Long Learning Strategy and the Action Plan for Strengthening the Employment-Vocational Education Relationship, at the centers of which the employment-education relationship takes place. Accordingly, important changes were made in the VQA law of 5544 with the Decree Law of 665 of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security dated 11.10.2011.
With the law of Occupational Health and Safety of 6645 dated 4/4/2015, VQA has taken great responsibility in work-life. Within this context, it was made mandatory that the individuals working in high risk occupations in our country hold a VQA Vocational Qualification Certificate and that the whole vocational education and training be conducted according to the published national occupational standards; legal arrangements were also made for VQA testing and certification costs to be covered by the unemployment fund. Thanks to these arrangements, VQA became the Qualifications Authority of Turkey.