Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association

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Professional Qualification

The Estonian Association of Hotels and Restaurants is carrying out a record number of professional qualification examinations this winter. An increasing number of workers have started to value qualification certificates, which give the advantages on the labour market in Estonia and elsewhere in Europe. From the viewpoint of an employer, a qualification certificate is a sign of quality, as the professional qualification system in Estonia is competence-based and professional New season of professional qualification examinations has started.

Qualification examinations are carried out by representatives of employers, who are independent of educational institutions, with the assistance of trainers. The cooperation between EAHR and the Estonian Qualification Authority.


Professional qualification system in Estonia:

The professional qualification system is a part of the Estonian qualification system, which ties the education system to the labour market and contributes to lifelong learning and development, evaluation, recognition and comparison of professional competence.


The purpose of professional qualification system is:

  • supporting the competitiveness of Estonian workers – workers are competent, they have the knowledge, skills, experience and attitude required for success;
  • being a support structure for the education system – the content and quality of studies aimed at professional activities comply with labour market requirements;
  • contributing to the appreciation and recognition of people's competence irrespective of where and how they studies;
  • making professions comparable on the national and international levels.


General principles of the professional qualification system:

  • parties to the labour market – employers, employees, the state, trainers – are involved in all parts of the professional qualification system. Agreements are reached in cooperation between different parties;
  • Competence is the key word of the professional qualification system, i.e. the system is based on competence both conceptually and actually.


Parts of the professional qualification system:

  • professional qualification and cataloguing system, with a catalogue of professions as an output;
  • a system of professional standards, with professional standards as the output;
  • system for granting qualifications, with qualification certificates as the output.



The Estonian Qualification Authority was established in August 2001 to continue the creation of the professional qualification system started by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1997. The Estonian Qualification Authority was founded by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Estonian Employers Confederation, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Estonian Confederation of Employee Unions TALO and the Estonian Confederation of Trade Unions.

A representative of the Ministry of Education and Research also belongs to the council of the Estonian Qualification Authority in addition to the founders. The Estonian Qualification Authority operates in the basis of the administration contract entered into with the Ministry of Education and Research.

The Estonian Qualification Authority operates pursuant to the Professions Act (RT I 2008, 24, 156, entered into force on 1 September 2008). The Estonian Qualification Authority organises the preparation of professional standards and professional qualification examinations. The Estonian Qualification Authority offers employers, specialists and trainers a cooperation environment for this purpose.


The goals of the Estonian Qualification Authority are:

  • contributing to the creation and development of a common and streamlined professional qualification system;
  • creating preconditions for achieving comparability of the qualification of Estonian workers and their recognition by other countries.

Further information about the professional qualification system and the Estonian Qualification Authority is available at

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