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Overview of Vocational Competency Assessment

In December 1981, National Technical Qualifications Act was amended, so the responsible ministry related to technical qualifications was changed from the Ministry of Science and Technology to the Ministry of Labor, and HRD Korea, founded in 1982, was given the responsibility of implementing the national qualifications system. From 2008, HRD Korea began integrated management of 21 national professional qualifications, which were made possible by the relevant law to create a foundation to leap into a hub organization for national qualifications.

In 2010, for the stable performance of national qualifications tests, question publication center equipped with strict security, pension, and printing facilities was built in Busan.

In 2012, the 12 national technical qualifications, which were give tests on a regular basis, was commissioned to Korea Testing Institute of Technical Qualification (established as a non-profit private organization, then designated as non-classified public institution in 2017), so there was a change in the functions and roles of HRD Korea, which had solely performed national technical qualifications business up to that time.

National qualification business of HRD Korea is roughly divided into operation and restructuring of national qualifications system, making questions and performing national technical qualifications (479 qualifications) and national professional qualification (39 qualifications), operation and evaluation of course evaluation-type qualification, external evaluation of Work-Learning Dual System, management of qualification information, and commissioning and acceptance of consignment of national technical qualifications.

HRD Korea had been developing NCS from the early 2000s. As NCS was included in the core national agenda of Park Geun-hye administration, HRD Korea made efforts to develop early to develop 847 NCSs by 2015, and in July 2016 attained legal status through the finalized notification by the Minister of Employment and Labor in July 2016. Currently, HRD Korea is aiming for the dissemination of NCS utilization and quality management of NCS with the goal of promoting competence-centered recruitment by the enterprises, and strengthening on-site practicality of education, training, and qualifications.

HRD Korea is implementing restructuring of national qualifications system, design and operation of course evaluation-type qualification system, and external evaluation of Work-Learning Dual System based on NCS. To realize competence-centered society based on individual vocational competency rather than merely improving ones resume such as academic clique, HRD Korea is developing, improving and disseminating NCS, and also trying to build NQF (National Qualification Framework) so that individual competency would be improved and recognized through various routes.

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