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Europass Diploma & Certificate Supplements

Thinking of working in Europe?  Ensure your qualifications will be better understood by presenting the Europass Diploma Supplement and/or Certificate Supplement

The Europass Portfolio was developed to help people find work or study in other European countries by making qualifications, skills and other attributes more easily recognised and understood by employers or education institutions.

Developed by the European Commission, Europass comprises five documents that can be used separately, or alongside one another. The documents are:

1.    The Curriculum Vitae (CV),

2.    The Language Passport,

3.    Europass Mobility,

4.    The Diploma Supplement,

5.    The Certificate Supplement.

The use of these five documents is completely free of charge.

This is the second in a series of three articles that will examine how the Europass Portfolio can help individuals promote themselves to employers and/or educational institutions either within the UK or in Europe. The first article concentrated on the CV and Language Passport.

The Diploma Supplement

The Diploma Supplement is a supplement to your graduation certificate and is issued by your university. It is specific to the individual and was designed to help with recognition of qualifications between member states.

The Diploma supplement provides information on:

- the course content and what the individual student studied (what modules were chosen for example);

- the level of the qualification within the National Qualifications Framework;

- how the grading system works;

- the education system in which it was issued;

- the institution that issued the qualification.

The Certificate Supplement

The Certificate Supplement is similar to the Diploma Supplement, but it is issued for Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications by VET awarding bodies.  Unlike the Diploma Supplement it is specific to the qualification rather than the individual and may be issued in paper format or made available to download from a website.

The Certificate Supplement provides information on:

- Course content. It provides information on all the potential modules and learning outcomes available to the student;

- the level of the qualification within the National Qualifications Framework;

- how the grading system works;

- the education system in which it was issued;

- the awarding organisation that issued the qualification.

What do the supplements do?

The supplements, despite their subtle differences, essentially perform very similar roles:

For individuals:

- They provide important contextual information to employers when presented in relation to a job application;

- They may be requested by an education institution when ascertaining whether you meet entry requirements for postgraduate or further study;

- They will help in recognition of qualifications when applying for visas or residency in other countries.

For employers:

- Requesting the Diploma Supplement or Certificate Supplement when considering applications for jobs will give you a better idea of the content and level of the candidate’s qualification. It will also provide information on the qualification framework in the country in which it was issued and therefore aid in selecting the best candidate for a particular position.

Both the Diploma Supplement and Certificate Supplement are widely issued in the UK and across Europe. Some universities and awarding organisations issue them automatically, whilst others do so only on request and others not at all. Ask your university registry or awarding organisation to issue one to you when you graduate, as you never know when you might need it.

Written by Frazer Wallace

UK National Europass Centre Coordinator @ UK NARIC

For more information on all of the Europass documents, please visit: www.uknec.org.uk or contact a member of the team at info@europass.org.uk