ISO - Construct - das Projekt

ISO CONSTRUCT – Validation of competences of unskilled workers in the construction sector applying ISO 17024 standards


Lifelong Learning Programme – LdV Transfer of Innovation


The construction sector is one of the largest business sectors of each national economy. The sector is responsible for a major contribution to the yearly GDP and employment of hundred thousands of workers – skilled and unskilled.

The construction sector is however characterized by a huge amount of workforce with only basic competences in construction skills that in many times have been acquired in a non formal or even informal way. The share of unskilled workers in the construction sector is comparably extremely high. In addition to this the construction sector lives of a high degree of workforce mobility that makes seasonal developments and reactions possible which are of crucial importance in the sector.

Workforce mobility is however often hindered by lack of transparent and comparable competence certification especially when it comes to professions that are below EQF level 3 or lower. On EQF level 1 and 2 in construction (brick layer assistants, carpenter assistant etc.) no such European wide accepted approaches for transparency and mutual recognition of professional competences are in place and vocational education and training systems do also not give priority to these levels.

This finally leads to the fact that thousands of workers in the construction sector in Europe do not have any certificate for the competences they own and are therefore clearly suffering from lacking possibilities for workforce mobility. Even more, in case of company closure their chances on the labour market with no competence certificate in hands are extremely poor.

economic need:

In the Leonardo da Vinci Project ISO – QUAM ( he approach of personal competence certification under the norm of ISO 17024 has been elaborated and tested for low skilled workers in the metal industry in Europe. The result of the project has been a ISO 17024 based competence certification scheme which leads to internationally transparent and accepted competence certificates for competences acquired in non formal or informal learning. Within the ISO-CONSTRUCT project this approach should undergo a sectoral transfer into the construction sector and contribute with a solution to the above mentioned problem.

the main aim:

To reach this overall project aim the following steps will be implemented in the project.
  • Field research in EQF 1 and 2 professions in the construction sector (brick layer helpers, carpenter helper, mason assistants etc.) about professional competences required in the sector (using EQF standard descriptors for competences)
  • Elaboration of a competence matrix for EQF 1 and 2 professions in the construction sector
  • Adaptation of the ISO 17024 competence certification scheme from ISO QUAM to the requirements and competences identified in the ISO CONSTRUCT project
  • Elaboration of the testing and assessment procedures for the ISO 17024 certification process
  • Test phase with participants in the partner countries to get feedback on the process and instruments in use including issuing of ISO 17024 based competence certificates for participants
  • Adaptation of certification scheme and instruments
  • Implementation of a number of dissemination and exploitation activities throughout the project

duration: 1st of October 2013 – 30th of September 2015

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.