CECOA is a public vocational training centre that was created by a protocol signed in 1986 between IEFP – Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (public body depending on the Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security and responsible for the implementation of the national policies in terms of employment and VET) and CCP – the Portuguese Commerce and Services Confederation (social partner representing the commerce and services sector).

The aim of CECOA is to promote educational activities and vocational training, including the apprenticeship in the commerce and services sectors. With a national scope, CECOA has its head office in Lisbon and branches in Porto and Coimbra. CECOA has 33 years of experience, with 38 full time employees and more than 300 external VET trainers/consultants and until 2019 there are more than 122,600 students trained in the institution.

CECOA works in different training modalities and for different target groups: initial VET for Young People and Adults; continuing training for employees and people already in the labour market (catalogue and tailor-made training organised in order to fit the needs and demands of a company or organization) distance learning, training of trainers, support services/consultancy for companies and organisations and finally CECOA is a center dedicated to guidance, validation, assessment and certification of (formal, non-formal and informal) skills and competences (VNFIL).

CECOA is an entity recognised under the national system of assessment and accreditation of VET Providers, and since 2005 Cecoa´s Quality Management System (QMS) is recognised under ISO:9001.

CECOA has more than 25 years of experience in the development of national and international projects of R&D and innovation, namely in the framework of European projects in the VET field and/or for the commerce and services sectors.

CECOA is member of several national networks:

– National network of vocational and training centers from the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training.

– National network of centres dedicated to guidance, validation, assessment and certification of (formal, non-formal and informal) skills and competences of Youth and Adults.

– National network of knowledge resources centers, a network of centres dedicated to endow training centres and VET professionals with technical, pedagogical and informative support and resources from different knowledge areas.

– National network Rede RSO PT, The network mission is to work at different dimensions of CSR by creating and treating indicators, conducting research and disseminating new practices, promoting training, information and awareness campaigns.

– Sector Council for Qualifications for the commerce sector that is leaded by ANQEP – the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training.

CECOA is member of several international networks:

– Refernet, a European network of institutions created by CEDEFOP to provide information on national VET systems and policies in the EU Member States, going from activities of documentation research and provision to policy analysis.

– NETINVET, a network promoting European mobility for learners completing vocational training in international trade and transports & logistics

– European Skills Council Commerce

Contact person:

Cristina Dimas: cristina.dimas@cecoa.pt