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Qualifications for veterinary assistants
Qualifications for veterinary assistants vary from country to country in the FOCUS study, due to their different educational systems. For comparisons to be made, the levels of recognised qualification are expressed according to international EURYDICE norms.
Eurydice is part of the Socrates education programme, put into place by the European Union in 1995. Eurydice is a network of institutions which gathers, updates, analyses and distributes reliable and comparable information on educational policies and systems throughout Europe.
International standards are expressed in ISCED (International Standard Classification for EDucation). There are 6 internationally recognised ISCED levels (NB: for further information, see the following links: portal.unesco.org and www.eurydice.org/Documents/Glo1bis/en/FrameSet.htm)
Analysis of the differing qualifications in different countries shows that some countries have several levels of qualification (4 in France, 2 in the United Kingdom, Finland and Romania) others only one level of qualification (Portugal, Slovakia, Denmark and Slovenia) whilst Spain has no official qualification and Hungary none at all.
In all the countries with official qualifications, these are recognised according to international norms (ISCED) as level 3, which is the recognised secondary school-leavers level, except for Portugal where the veterinary nursing qualification gives access to an intermediary level between secondary and further education at ISCED 4 according to European standards.
The form of qualifications varies widely, although there is a certain harmonisation of levels according to international standards (ISCED).