The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a mechanism that increases the transparency of studies, courses, and certifications within the European Union by using a widely recognized standard. All of EXIN's certifications find an exact correspondence with this framework based on the effort and study level. The ECTS facilitates candidates' and students' recognition of their study accomplishments and certifications.
The ECTS is a measurement of learning achievements and of the workload of a course of study, and it follows the following equation:
1 ECTS = 28 points, representing 28 hours of effort.
According to this standard, a 3-year University Bachelor Degree equals 3 x 60 = 180 ECTS.
The benefits of the ECTS are many and vast:
Find out more about ECTS via the European Commission’s website.
The European Union has established a 3-Cycle System to frame the different steps in the Higher Education Area (EHEA) at the Bologna Declaration’s primary objectives in June 1999. 29 EU nations gathered there and established a uniform framework for clearly understandable and comparable degrees across European higher education. For this reason, all participating nations converted their national systems to a two-cycle structure with a first (undergraduate) and second (graduate) cycle.
Short cycle activities promote practical application and give the students key skills to assist their passage into the workplace. Around 120 ECTS are typically included within short-cycle certifications.
The First Cycle
After completing a study program with 180–240 ECTS credits, the first cycle culminates in a qualification (referred to as a “Bachelor” in many countries). First-cycle programs generally last three years.
The Second Cycle
After accomplishing a study program with 60–120 ECTS credits, the second cycle leads to a qualification (defined as a “Master” in many countries).
The Third Cycle
The Ministerial Conference Berlin 2003 classified the third and final cycle as doctoral programs – however, it has not been officially given any credits or a range of credits.
No, ECTS credits can not formally be validated. It is up to the awarding institution – although any governing body or other stakeholders can ask the awarding institution to justify the ECTS credits they have specified.
EQF: The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool that helps understand and compare qualifications awarded in different countries and in different education and training systems. Eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences.
E-CF: The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) provides a reference of 41 competences as applied at the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) workplace, using a common language for competences, skills, knowledge, and proficiency/autonomy levels.
Bloom’s Taxonomy: a model used to classify educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity
For example, an EXIN Certification (Foundation level) = EQF level 5, e-CF level 2-3, Bloom level 1-2, 2 ECTS.
For a comprehensive comparison between ECTS and EXIN certifications, check out the last section of this page!
Essentials/Citizen level certifications equal 1 ECTS (28 hours of study effort). Training (7 hours) is recommended/mandatory.
Below are some examples of 1 ECTS equivalent certifications:
VeriSM™ Essentials acts as an introduction to the Service Management mindset for professionals who are encountering Service Management for the first time.
EXIN Privacy & Data Protection Essentials has been created specifically to test candidates on their basic understanding of data protection in the context of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including the definitions, the requirements to process data and the rights of data subjects. The exam also covers how to organize data protection and the practice of data protection.
Foundation-level certifications equal 2 ECTS (56 hours of study effort). Training (14 hours) is recommended/mandatory.
Below are some examples of 2 ECTS equivalent certifications:
Get the latest EXIN Kanban certification. Explore its benefits, improve efficiency and productivity by utilizing continuous improvement.
EXIN SIAM™ Foundation tests a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the terminology and the core principles of SIAM. This certification covers subjects including the potential benefits, challenges, and risks of implementing Service Integration and Management.
The EXIN LSSA Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification validates a professional’s knowledge and understanding of the Lean Six Sigma principles, methodology, and the most important Lean Six Sigma instruments. It builds a strong foundation to support an organization’s vision and strategy regarding continuous improvement. The focus of the exam lies in understanding the theory of Lean Six Sigma.
This certification level equals 3 ECTS (84 hours of study effort). Training (14 – 21 hours) is recommended/mandatory.
Below are some examples of 3 ECTS equivalent certifications:
This EXIN DevOps Professional certification has been designed to test IT professionals on their background knowledge and understanding of essential DevOps practices. Created as a stepping-stone to the EXIN DevOps Master certification, this certification looks at the Three Ways, the good habits of change control, and maintaining security compliance.
EXIN LSSA Lean Six Sigma Green Belt covers the understanding of Lean principles and the skills in Six Sigma techniques to discover issues, analyze them and improve processes using a DMAIC approach. With this certification a professional is prepared to start a project on EXIN LSSA Green Belt level. Green Belts generally work within the scope of a department or a single process. However, the impact and savings within their organization can be significant.
Advanced-level certifications equal 4 ECTS (112 hours of study effort). Training (21 hours) is recommended/mandatory.
Below are some examples of 4 ECTS equivalent certifications:
EXIN SIAM™ Professional tests a candidate’s knowledge of the application of SIAM™ to situations and the candidate’s ability to further analyze the SIAM concepts. The certification looks at managing multiple service providers and integrating them seamlessly to provide a single business-facing IT organization. It also looks at the knowledge and skills required to navigate the 4 stages of the SIAM roadmap.
The EXIN Agile Scrum Master is a unique certification that combines understanding of agile principles and applying scrum practices. It tests the competences required to facilitate, coach and enable a cross-functional team as a Scrum Master.
The EXIN Agile Business Professional certification covers the knowledge and skills needed for applying the Agile principles and mindset across the business. EXIN Agile Business Professional certified staff members promote Agile ways of thinking and working across all areas of the organization, including production, operation and supporting processes.
Expert-level certifications equal 6 ECTS (168 hours of study effort). Training is recommended/mandatory.
Below are some examples of 6 ECTS equivalent certifications:
The EXIN Agile Coach certification independently confirms the professional maturity of the candidate in their Agile coaching competencies. The certificate provides them with professional recognition in the Agile community and with proof of their competencies. Candidates are assessed on their competencies in Agile coaching practices when guiding an organization through the transition towards Agile practices. By using a rigorous assessment process with trained assessors and strict guidelines, EXIN maintains a high-quality and high-value assessment.
With the EXIN LSSA Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification, a professional is prepared to start a project for the EXIN LSSA Black Belt certification. The candidate will be awarded the EXIN LSSA Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Theory certification once successfully passed. Individuals with a EXIN LSSA Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification are considered expert specialists in Lean Six Sigma projects, providing the right balance of expertise, statistical analysis, and structured methodology. As a program manager they are responsible for managing complex breakthrough projects and supporting improvement teams with tools and techniques. Very often Lean Six Sigma Black Belts are assigned full-time to work on improvement programs.
The EXIN LSSA Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification is for specialists in executing Lean Six Sigma projects. With the right combination of expertise, statistical analysis, and structured Lean Six Sigma methodology, the Green Belt can achieve significant improvements in performance and quality. Green Belts generally work within the scope of a department.