Adult Education and Training Courses

Adult Education and Training Courses (AET) are flexible training paths, of variable duration, specifically aimed at adults, which enable the development of social, scientific and professional skills necessary for the exercise of a professional activity, whilst, simultaneously the basic or upper-secondary level of education is obtained (Ordinance No. 86/2022, of 4th February).

The duration of Adult Education and Training Courses varies according to the level of certification and these courses are organised into different types of training paths: basic education, upper-secondary education, double certification or paths related to the development of professional competences.

The curriculum structure of Adult Education and Training Courses may include the following training components:

  • Basic Training - organized into key competences areas according to the key competences standards for adult education and training (basic or upper-secondary level). It aims at the acquisition and development of knowledge, skills and attitudes for the empowerment of adults which are considered necessary to obtain a school qualification;
  • Technological Training - organised into Short-Term Training Units and or competence units. It aims at the acquisition and development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that respond to what is defined in the professional profile and in the competence standard associated with the corresponding qualification;
  • Work-based learning - it aims at the application and consolidation of the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired, through the performance of activities in a company or in the context of other employers.

For whom?

Adult Education and Training Courses may be the path indicated for those who are 18 years of age or older and wish to obtain basic education (4th, 6th or 9th year of schooling) or upper-secondary education (12th year of schooling) or want to obtain a professional certification.

These courses also allow to respond to the specific qualification needs of adults with low and very low qualifications, namely without basic education, illiterate or with very insufficient literacy levels.

What is the certification?

Completion of an Adult Education and Training Course enables the obtainment of a basic education certification (4th, 6th or 9th year of schooling) or an upper-secondary education certification (12th year of schooling), a professional certification or both (in this case, it is called a double certification), and it confers level 1, 2, 3 or 4 of qualification of the National Qualifications Framework – Ordinance No. 782/2009, of 23rd July.


Adult Education and Training Courses may function in:

  • Public or private basic and upper-secondary education establishments;
  •  Vocational training centres managed by the IEFP (directly or through protocols);
  • Other entities such as municipalities, companies or business associations, trade unions and associations at a local, regional or national level, provided they are part of the network of training entities of the National Qualifications System.

Consult the available courses and training entities here