Unit 2.1. – 1,2,3…8 Key Competences

Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unshplash
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unshplash

Everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training, and lifelong learning that develops key competences and basic skills. Key competences and basic skills are needed by all for personal fulfillment and development, employability, social inclusion, and active citizenship. 

The approach of the Recommendation is to promote the development of key competences and basic skills by:

  • providing high-quality education, training, and lifelong learning for all;
  • supporting educational staff in implementing competence-based teaching and learning approaches;
  • promoting a variety of learning approaches and contexts from the perspective of lifelong learning;
  • exploring approaches to assessment and the validation of key competences.

The key competences are a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes.


Knowledge is composed of the concepts, facts and figures, ideas, and theories that are already established and support the understanding of a certain area or subject. 


Skills are defined as the abilities to carry out processes and use the existing knowledge to achieve results. 


Attitudes describe the disposition and mindset to act or react to ideas, persons, or situations. 

The key competences are developed throughout life, through formal, non-formal, and informal learning in different environments, including family, school, workplace, neighborhood, and other communities.

Glossary in pills 

Formal education is the institutionalized, chronologically graded, and hierarchically structured “education system”, which extends from the first school education to the higher studies of the university.

Glossary in pills 

Informal education is the lifelong process by which the individual acquires knowledge, skills, attitudes, and perceptions from everyday experiences and exposure to the environment – at home, at work, while playing, traveling, reading books, by the examples and attitudes of family and friends, etc. In general, non-formal education is disorganized and often unsystematic.

Glossary in pills 

Non-formal education is somewhere in the middle between the two, as it differs from the formal one mainly due to its non-teacher-centric approach and the non-formal one due to the fact that it is supported by trained staff and its organized structure. In other words, it is a more experiential way of acquiring knowledge and skills, based on voluntary participation and focused on the learner and not on the information itself. (e.g. vocational training courses, sports activities). What makes non-formal learning stand out is the targeted cultivation of personal skills (such as initiative, entrepreneurship) and social skills (such as collaboration, communication), which give learning a more realistic character and thus stimulate the learner’s interest. , making him take the reins of his learning path.

Photo by United Societies of Balkans
Photo by United Societies of Balkans

The eight key competences

  • Literacy competence 
  • Multilingual competence 
  • Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology, and engineering 
  • Digital competence 
  • Personal, social, and learning to learn competence 
  • Citizenship competence 
  • Entrepreneurship competence 
  • Cultural awareness and expression competence

All key competences are considered equally important and aspects essential to one domain will support competence development in another. For example, skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork, communication, creativity, negotiation, analytical and intercultural skills are embedded throughout the key competences.

The most useful tool connected to the 8 key competences is the Youthpass certification for which we will talk about in the next Units. 

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The GOONJOB team is composed by 6 people representing the project partners: CREOLABS, BLUEBOOK srl, ADEL, USB.