Standards for a European Portfolio Certificate

A European Portfolio Certificate certifies that a given portfolio work meets the EPC Standards and gives an overview of the portfolio content and its assessment. The certificate is issued by the school and certifies formal and non-formal portfolio work of the student.

A European Portfolio Certificate must comply with the following standards:

1. Frameworks for educational tasks set by the school are described by the school, teacher or tutor, including
  • whether the project was obligatory or voluntary
  • the particular emphasis of the project with respect to content, methods and pedagogical aims, including information on relevant knowledge, skills, attitudes and competences that could be acquired in the course of
    the project.
The schools give a description insofar as the framework is defined by the school. This may be nothing at all because the students set their own framework. It may be a very detailed description by the school, which may or may not include pedagogical aims.
2. The student gives a project description including (to the extent that he or she is capable):
  • Name and topic of the project
  • Where, when and for how long it took place
  • Student’s objectives, aims and goals with emphasis laid on the reasons for the particular choice made by the student.
  • the student’s aspirations and expectations with regard to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competences
Even in the case of detailed framework descriptions by the school given under 1. a particular student will always follow an individual learning biography, which will be affected by aspirations and expectations, points of view, areas of interest and lack of interest, etc. The project description should emphasise what actually happened within the individual learning biography.
3. The student self-assessment includes
  • Review: what did I plan, what actually happened?
  • Reflection: Analysis of initial expectations, plans and actions, preferably including different points of view.
Here the emphasis is on a review of the learning process itself, which leads to a reflection on the activity of the student.
4. The student gives an evaluation to the extent that he or she is capable. In particular, students leaving school after class 12 are encouraged to give the evaluation themselves. It must incorporate previous feedback of other evaluators (teacher, project leader etc.), with which the student may disagree. In all cases, each evaluator will make a statement, which may voice simple agreement, may add comments, may be an evaluation in its own right or a combination of the above. The other evaluator must assure the presence of a complete evaluation.

The evaluation includes

  • a description of the evidence upon which the evaluation is based
  • the criteria for judgement
  • a description of observed abilities
  • a description of competences insofar as the student agrees and participates in the process.
  • the student’s new resolves with conclusions about implications for future activities.
The evaluation should reflect on the quality of the student’s activities and achievements and be as reliable, comparable and transparent as possible. The evaluation process includes oral and written feedback aiming at a vivid and multidimensional picture, such as can be achieved by triangulation
5. Formal aspects:
  • student‘s complete name, date and place of birth, class
  • name of the school
  • school year and date
  • student’s signature under the assessment
  • signature of other evaluator (teacher or tutor) under the evaluation
  • school stamp and signature of school representative, who will only sign if all the above standards are met.
The teacher or tutor ensures the correct completion of the certificate in every detail and signs the evaluation. It is also signed by an official school representative who verifies the formal aspects of the document.

The general aim of the EPC project and the Comenius EPC Partnership in particular was to develop a pedagogical tool.