Erasmus+ Glossary of Terms

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In this piece, we provide you with a list of Erasmus+ terms, so when you embark on your international mobility, and read the literature, you understand what the terms mean and why they’re used.

  1. Accompanying Person - A person who accompanies participants (learners, staff, young people or youth workers) on a mobility activity in order to ensure their safety, provide support and assistance, as well as help with the participants’ effective learning during their experience. In individual activities, an Accompanying Person may accompany participants with fewer opportunities or minors and youngsters with little experience outside their own country. In the case of group activities in the field of education and training, qualified education staff must accompany the group to facilitate the learning process.

  2. Accreditation – The process that ensures that the organisations wishing to receive funding under an Action of the Erasmus+ Programme comply with a set of qualitative standards or prerequisites laid down by the European Commission for that Action.

  3. Applicant - Any participating organisation or informal group of young people that submits a grant application. Applicants may apply either individually or on behalf of other organisations involved in the project. Latterly, the applicant is also defined as a co-ordinator.

  4. Application Deadline - The final date for submission of the application to the National or Executive Agency to be considered admissible.

  5. Associated Partners - These are partners from the public or private sector that contribute to the implementation of specific project tasks/activities or support the promotion and sustainability of the project. However, because of contractual management aspects, they are not considered as beneficiaries and do not receive any funding from the Erasmus+ Programme.

  6. Basic Skills - Literacy, mathematics, science and technology; these skills are included in the key competencies.

  7. Beneficiary - When a project is approved for an Erasmus+ grant, the applicant organisation becomes a beneficiary by signing a contract with the National or Executive Agency that has selected the project. If the application was made on behalf of other participating organisations, the partners may become co-beneficiaries of the grant.

  8. Blended Mobility - A combination of physical mobility and a virtual component facilitating collaborative online learning exchange/teamwork.

  9. Call for Proposals – An invitation published by or on behalf of the Commission to present (within a given deadline), a proposal for action that corresponds to the objectives pursued and meets the required conditions.

  10. Certificate of Participation – A document issued to any person who has completed a learning activity in the field of education, training and youth, where applicable. The certificate certifies the attendance and where applicable, the learning outcomes of the participant in the activity.

  11. Clerical Error - A minor mistake or inadvertence unintentionally made in a document that changes its meaning, such as a typographical error or the unintentional addition or omission of a word, phrase, or figure.

  12. Co-Financing - The principle under which part of the costs of a project supported by the EU must be borne by the beneficiary or covered through external contributions other than the EU grant.

  13. Company – The legal persons established under civil or commercial law, including co-operative societies and other legal persons governed by public or private law (except those which are non-profit-making).

  14. Consortium - Two or more participating organisations teaming up to prepare, implement and follow up a project or an activity within a project. A consortium may be national or international.

  15. Co-ordinator/Co-ordinating Organisation - A participating organisation applying for an Erasmus+ grant on behalf of a consortium of partner organisations.

  16. Courses and Training Activities - Activities aiming to develop professional competencies of a teacher, trainer or other staff member through a structured learning programme with documented learning outcomes at individual level and executed by professional trainers or other qualified experts. Activities can take various forms such as classroom learning, workshops and field-learning, etc.

  17. Digital Competence - Involves the confident, critical and responsible use of and engagement with digital technologies for learning, at work and for participation in society. This includes information and data literacy, communication, collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital wellbeing and competencies related to cybersecurity), intellectual property-related questions, problem solving and critical thinking.

  18. Enterprise - Any undertaking engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its size, legal form or of the economic sector in which it operates.

  19. European Qualifications Framework (EQF) - A common reference framework of eight levels of qualifications expressed as learning outcomes with increasing levels of proficiency. These serve as a translation device between different qualifications systems and their levels. The purpose of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) is to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of people's qualifications (OJ 2017/C 189/03)

  20. ESCO (multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) - Identifies and categorises skills and competencies, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training. Available in 25 European languages, the system provides occupational profiles showing the relationships between occupations, skills, competencies and qualifications. ESCO has been developed in an open IT format and can be used by anyone free of charge.

  21. Europass - The Europass online platform, an action of the European Skills’ Agenda, provides individuals and organisations with web-based tools and information on learning opportunities, qualifications frameworks and qualifications. Furthermore, it also helps with information on guidance, skills’ intelligence, self-assessment tools, documentation of skills and qualifications as well as connectivity with learning and employment opportunities.

  22. European NGO - NGOs that operate through a formally recognised structure composing of a European body/secretariat legally established for at least one year in an EU Member State (or third country associated to the Programme and of national organisations/branches in at least nine EU Member States and third countries associated to Erasmus+ Programme).

  23. Force Majeure - An unforeseeable exceptional situation or event beyond the participant's control and not attributable to error or negligence on his/her part.

  24. Green Skills - Fundamental skills to the transition to a low-carbon economy. These can be general such as sustainable agriculture, soil protection, energy use and waste reduction, or more technical such as knowledge on renewable energy.

  25. Green Travel - Travel that uses low-emissions means of transport for the main part of the travel, such as taking a bus, train or using car-pooling.

  26. Informal Learning - Learning resulting from daily activities and experiences (which is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support). This type of learning may even be unintentional from the learner’s perspective.

  27. Job Shadowing (practical learning experience) - A stay at a partner organisation in another country with the aim of receiving training by following practitioners in their daily work at the receiving organisation. This also refers to exchange of good work practices, acquiring skills and knowledge and/or building long-term partnerships through participative observation.

  28. Key Competencies - The basic set of knowledge, skills and attitudes which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, employability, social inclusion, sustainable lifestyle, successful life in peaceful societies, health-conscious life management and active citizenship (as described in the Council Recommendation 2018/C 189/01 of 22 May 2018 on key competencies for lifelong learning).

  29. Learning Mobility - Moving physically to a country other than the participant’s country of residence (possibly combined with a period of virtual participation), in order to undertake study, training or non-formal or informal learning. The mobility may take the form of a traineeship, apprenticeship, youth exchange, teaching or participation in a professional development activity, and may include preparatory activities, such as training in the host language, as well as sending, receiving and follow-up activities.

  30. Learning Outcomes - Statements of what a participant knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process (defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competency).

  31. Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) - For action managed by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency, in parallel to the validation of an organisation in the Participant Register, its legal representative(s) must nominate a Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR).
  1. Less Experienced Organisation - Any participating organisation that has not received support in a given type of action supported by the Erasmus+ Programme or its predecessor Programme more than twice in the last seven years. This category includes the category of “first-time applicants,” as defined above.

  2. Lifelong Learning - Learning in all its forms. This can be formal, informal, taking place at all stages in life and resulting in an improvement or update in knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes, or participation in society from a personal, civil, cultural, social or employment-related perspective. This includes the provision of counselling and guidance services; it also includes early childhood education and care, general education, vocational education and training, higher education, adult education, youth work and other learning settings outside of formal education and training. Lifelong learning typically promotes cross-sectoral co-operation and flexible learning pathways.

  3. Micro-Credential - A micro-credential is a recognised proof of the learning outcomes that a learner has achieved following a short learning experience, according to transparent standards and requirements as well as upon assessment.

  4. Mobility/Learning Agreement - An agreement between the sending and receiving organisation and the participating individuals, defining the aims and content of the mobility period in order to ensure its relevance and quality. It can also be used as a basis for recognition of the period abroad by the receiving organisation.

  5. MOOC - This stands for "Massive Open Online Course," a course that is completely delivered online. The course is accessible to anyone without cost, entry qualifications or other restriction but participant numbers are often high. These courses can have in-person components, e.g. encouraging local participant meetings, and formal assessment but tend to use peer review, self-assessment and automated grading. There are many variations of MOOCs, focused on specific sectors, target groups (e.g. vocational focus, teachers, etc.) or teaching methods. MOOCs funded under Erasmus+ have to be open to all and both the participation and a certificate or badge of completion are free of charge for participants. The open access requirement for educational resources also applies to MOOCs and other complete courses.

  6. National Agency - A body in charge of managing the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme at national level in a Member State or in a third country associated to the Programme. One or more National Agencies may exist in each country.

  7. Newcomer Organisation - Any organisation or institution that has not previously received support in a given type of action supported by the Erasmus+ Programme or its predecessor programme either as a co-ordinator or a partner.

  8. Non-Formal Learning - Learning that takes place through planned learning activities where some form of learning support is present, but which is not part of the formal education and training system.

  9. Occupational Profile - The set of skills, competencies, knowledge and qualifications that is usually relevant for a specific occupation.

  10. OID - The Organisation ID (OID) uniquely identifies your organisation among all organisations participating in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps actions managed by National Agencies. You can use your organisation’s OID when applying for an accreditation or grant under the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps actions, managed by National Agencies.

  11. Open Access - A general concept of publishing materials of a specific kind openly, e.g. designed to be accessible and usable by the broadest possible user group and the greatest number of user cases. Erasmus+ has an Open Access Requirement for educational resources and encourages open access of research results and data.

  12. Open Educational Resources (OER) - Educational materials of any kind (e.g. textbooks, worksheets, lesson plans, instructional videos, entire online courses, educational games) that can be freely used, adapted and shared. OERs have either been released under an open license or are in the public domain (e.g. copyright protection has expired). Cost-free materials that cannot be adapted and shared by the public are not OERs.

  13. Participating Organisation - An organisation or informal group of young people involved in an Erasmus+ project, as either coordinator or partner.

  14. Partner Organisation - a partner organisation is an organisation formally involved in the Erasmus+ Project (co-beneficiary) but not taking the role of coordinator.

  15. Partnership - An agreement between a group of institutions or organisations to carry out joint activities and projects.

  16. Participant with Fewer Opportunities - People with fewer opportunities means people who, for economic, social, cultural, geographical or health reasons, a migrant background, or for reasons such as disability and educational difficulties or for any other reasons including those that can give rise to discrimination under article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental rights of the European Union, face obstacles that prevent them from having effective access to opportunities under the Erasmus+ Programme.

  17. Peer Learning - A reciprocal learning activity, which is mutually beneficial and involves the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience between the participants. Peer learning practices enable interaction with other participants, their peers, and participation in activities where those involved can learn from each other and meet educational, professional and/or personal development goals.

  18. Preparatory Visit - Visits to the country of the receiving organisation prior to the start of mobility activities to prepare and ensure high quality of the activities planned. Examples include tasks to facilitate administrative arrangements and build trust and understanding between organisations involved.

  19. Professional Development – The process of enhancing the professional capabilities of participants (learners and staff) by developing competencies and expertise and acquiring new skills, which are normally identified in a development needs analysis. Professional development encompasses all types of learning opportunities, ranging from structured trainings and seminars to informal learning opportunities.

  20. Profit-Making Body Active in Corporate Social Responsibility - A private company that a) carries out its business in compliance with ethical standards and/or b) on top of its business activities, carries out some actions that have social value.

  21. Project - A coherent set of activities designed and organised to achieve defined objectives and results.

  22. Qualification - A formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards.

  23. Receiving Organisation - A participating organisation receiving participants and organising the activities of an Erasmus+ project.

  24. Sending Organisation - A participating organisation sending one or more participants to an Erasmus+ project activity.

  25. Staff - A person or people who, on either a professional or a voluntary basis, are involved in education, training or non-formal learning at all levels. Staff include professors, teachers (including pre-school teachers), trainers, school leaders, youth workers, sport staff, early childhood education and care staff, non-educational staff and other practitioners involved on a regular basis in promoting learning.

  26. Study Visit - A trip where the participant gets to know and study at another organisation or institution and learns about its practices and systems. A trip enables the participant to have a learning experience based on direct contact and on observation of the host organisation’s methods and practices.

  27. Third Countries Not Associated With the Programme - Countries that do not participate fully in the Erasmus+ Programme but may take part (as partners or applicants) in certain Actions of the Programme. The list of third countries not associated to the Programme is set out in Part A of this Guide, in the section "Who can participate in the Erasmus+ Programme?".

  28. Traineeship (Work Placement) - Time spent at an enterprise or organisation in another country, with a view to acquiring specific competences needed by the labour market, gaining work experience and acquiring more understanding of the economic and social culture of that country.

  29. Transnational - In the context of Erasmus+, relates to (unless otherwise indicated) any activity involving at least two EU Member States and third countries associated with the Programme.

  30. Transversal (Soft and Life) Skills – These include the ability to think critically, be curious and creative, to take initiative, to solve problems and work collaboratively, to be able to communicate efficiently in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment, to be able to adapt to context and to cope with stress and uncertainty. These skills are part of the key competencies.

  31. Virtual Co-operation – This relates to any form of co-operation using information and communication technology tools to facilitate and support any relevant Erasmus+ Programme actions.

  32. Virtual Learning - Acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies through the use of information and communication technology tools that allow participants to have a meaningful transnational or international learning experience.

  33. Work Package - A component of the project work breakdown. This represents a group of project activities targeting common specific objectives.

  34. Young People - In the context of the Erasmus+ Programme, individuals aged between 13 and 30.

For further information on Erasmus+, please get in touch with our team.