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Glossary of terms - Common terms

Accompanying person

A person who accompanies participants (learners, staff, young people or youth workers) in a mobility activity in order to ensure their safety, provide support and assistance, as well as assist with the participant’s effective learning during the mobility experience. In individual activities, an accompanying person may accompany participants with fewer opportunities or minors and youngsters with little experience outside their own country. In case of group activities in the field of education and training, qualified education staff must accompany the group to facilitate the learning process.


Process to ensure that the organisations wishing to receive funding under an Action of the Erasmus+ Programme comply with a set of qualitative standards or pre-requisites laid down by the European Commission for that Action. 

Affiliated entity

The following can be considered Affiliated Entities (in accordance with Article 187 of the Financial Regulation):

  • legal entities having a legal or capital link with beneficiaries; this link is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation;
  • several entities which satisfy the criteria for being awarded a grant and together form one entity which may be treated as the sole beneficiary, including where the entity is specifically established for the purpose of implementing the action.

The Affiliated Entities must comply with the eligibility and non-exclusion criteria, and where applicable also with the selection criteria applying to applicants.


Any participating organisation or informal group of young people that submits a grant application. Applicants may apply either individually or on behalf of other organisations involved in the project. In the latter case, the applicant is also defined as coordinator.

Application deadline

Final date for submission of the application to the National or Executive Agency to be considered admissible.

Associated partners

These are partners from the public or private sector that contribute to the implementation of specific project tasks/activities or support the promotion and sustainability of the project, but that for contractual management aspects are not considered to be beneficiaries, and do not receive any funding from the Programme as part of the project (they do not have the right to charge costs or claim contributions.).

Basic skills

Literacy, mathematics, science and technology; these skills are included in the key competences.


When a project is approved for an Erasmus+ grant, the applicant organisation becomes a beneficiary by signing a contract with the National or Executive Agency that has selected the project. If the application was made on behalf of other participating organisations, the partners may become co-beneficiaries of the grant. 

Blended mobility

Combination of physical mobility and a virtual component, facilitating collaborative online learning exchange/teamwork.

Call for proposals

Invitation published by or on behalf of the Commission to present, within a given deadline, a proposal for action that corresponds to the objectives pursued and meets the required conditions. Calls for proposals are published in the Official Journal of the European Union (C series) and/or on relevant websites of the Commission, National or Executive Agency.

Certificate of participation

In the context of Erasmus+, a document issued to any person who has completed a learning activity in the field of education, training and youth, where applicable. It certifies the attendance and, where applicable, the learning outcomes of the participant in the activity.

Clerical error

A minor mistake or inadvertence unintentionally made in a document that changes its meaning, such as a typographical error or the unintentional addition or omission of a word, phrase, or figure.


The principle under which part of the costs of a project supported by the EU must be born by the beneficiary, or covered through external contributions other than the EU grant. 


Legal persons established under civil or commercial law, including cooperative societies, and other legal persons governed by public or private law, except those which are non-profit-making.


Two or more participating organisations teaming up to prepare, implement and follow up a project or an activity within a project. A consortium may be national (i.e. involving organisations established in the same country) or international (involving participating organisations from different countries).

Coordinator/Coordinating organisation

A participating organisation applying for an Erasmus+ grant on behalf of a consortium of partner organisations.

The coordinator has special obligations foreseen in the grant agreement.

Courses and training activities

Activities aiming to develop professional competences of a teacher, trainer or other staff member through a structured learning programme with documented learning outcomes at individual level and executed by professional trainers or other qualified experts. Activities can take various forms such as classroom learning, workshops, field-learning, etc.

Digital competence

Involves the confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society. It includes information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital well-being and competences related to cybersecurity), intellectual property related questions, problem solving and critical thinking.


Any undertaking engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its size, legal form or of the economic sector in which it operates.

European Qualifications Framework (EQF)

A common reference framework of eight levels of qualifications, expressed as learning outcomes with increasing levels of proficiency. They serve as a translation device between different qualifications systems and their levels. The purpose of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) is to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of people's qualifications  (OJ 2017/C 189/03)

ESCO (multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations)

Identifies and categorises skills and competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training, in 25 European languages. The system provides occupational profiles showing the relationships between occupations, skills, competences and qualifications. ESCO has been developed in an open IT format and can be used by anyone free of charge.


Relates to an organisation or body fulfilling certain national conditions (registration, statement, publication, etc.) that allow such organisation or body to be formally recognized by its national authority. In case of an informal group of young people, the legal residence of its legal representative is considered as having the equivalent effects for the purposes of eligibility to an Erasmus+ grant.

European Union Member States and third countries associated to the Programme

EU and non-EU countries that have established a National Agency which participates fully in the Erasmus+ Programme. The list of EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme is provided in Part A of this Guide, section "Who can participate in the Erasmus+ Programme?".


The Europass online platform, an action of the European Skills Agenda, provides individuals and organisations with web-based tools and information on learning opportunities, qualifications frameworks and qualifications, guidance, skills intelligence, self-assessment tools and documentation of skills and qualifications, and connectivity with learning and employment opportunities. 

The Europass platform also offers tools and software to support digitally-signed credentials, as announced in the Digital Education Action Plan through the European Digital Credentials for Learning. The platform interconnects with national data sources for learning opportunities and national qualifications databases or registers. 

European NGO

For the purpose of this programme, these are NGOs that operate through a formally recognised structure composed of a European body/secretariat legally established for at least one year in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme and of national organisations/branches in at least nine EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme. These national organisations/branches must:

  • have a proven statutory link1 with the European body/secretariat;
  • be active in the field of education, training or youth.

First time applicant

Any participating organisation that has not previously received support as a project coordinator (applicant) under a given type of action supported by this Programme or its predecessor programme in the last seven years.

Force majeure

An unforeseeable exceptional situation or event beyond the participant's control and not attributable to error or negligence on his/her part.

Green skills

Fundamental skills to the transition to a low-carbon economy, which can be general such as sustainable agriculture, soil protection, energy use and waste reduction, or more technical such as knowledge on renewable energy. 

Green travel

Travel that uses low-emissions means of transport for the main part of the travel, such as bus, train or car-pooling.

Informal learning

Learning resulting from daily activities and experiences which is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support; it may be unintentional from the learner’s perspective.


In the context of Erasmus+, relates to any action involving at least one EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme and at least one third country not associated to the Programme.

Job shadowing (practical learning experience)

A stay at a partner organisation in another country with the aim of receiving training by following practitioners in their daily work in the receiving organisation, exchanging good practices, acquiring skills and knowledge and/or building long-term partnerships through participative observation.

Key competences

The basic set of knowledge, skills and attitudes which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, employability, social inclusion, sustainable lifestyle, successful life in peaceful societies, health-conscious life management and active citizenship, as described in the Council Recommendation 2018/C 189/01 of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning.

Learning mobility

Moving physically to a country other than the country of residence, possibly combined with a period of virtual participation, in order to undertake study, training or non-formal or informal learning. It may take the form of traineeships, apprenticeships, youth exchanges, teaching or participation in a professional development activity, and may include preparatory activities, such as training in the host language, as well as sending, receiving and follow-up activities.

Learning outcomes

Statements of what a participant knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process, which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence.

Legal entity

A natural person or a legal person created and recognised as such under national law, Union law or international law which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity which does not have legal personality as referred to in point (c) of Article 197(2) of the Financial Regulation.

Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR)

For action managed by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency, parallel to the validation of an organisation in the Participant Register, its legal representative(s) must nominate a Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR). The LEAR role, is key: once validated by the Commission, the LEAR will be authorised to:

  • manage the legal and financial information about the organisation
  • manage access rights of persons in the organisation (but not at the project level)
  • appoint representatives of the organisation to electronically sign grant agreements ('Legal Signatories' - LSIGN) or financial statements ('Financial Signatories' - FSIGN) via the Funding & Tenders Portal.

All the steps for the LEAR validation are clarified in the Funding & Tenders Portal.

Less experienced organisation

Any participating organisation that has not received support in a given type of action supported by this Programme or its predecessor programme more than twice in the last seven years. This category includes the category of “first-time applicants”, as defined above. 

Life-long learning

Learning in all its forms, whether formal, non-formal or informal, taking place at all stages in life and resulting in an improvement or update in knowledge, skills, competences and attitudes or participation in society from a personal, civic, cultural, social or employment-related perspective, including the provision of counselling and guidance services; it includes early childhood education and care, general education, vocational education and training, higher education, adult education, youth work and other learning settings outside formal education and training and it typically promotes cross-sectoral cooperation and flexible learning pathways. 


A micro-credential is a recognised proof of the learning outcomes that a learner has achieved following a short learning experience, according to transparent standards and requirements and upon assessment. 

The proof is contained in a certified document that lists the name of the holder, the achieved learning outcomes, the assessment method, the awarding body and, where applicable, the qualifications framework level and the credits gained. Micro-credentials are owned by the learner, are shareable, portable and may be combined into larger credentials or qualifications.

Mobility/Learning agreement

An agreement between the sending and receiving organisation and the participating individuals, defining the aims and content of the mobility period in order to ensure its relevance and quality. It can also be used as a basis for recognition of the period abroad by the receiving organisation.


In the context of the Erasmus+ Programme and for the purpose of calculating the grants, a month is equal to 30 days. 


Stands for "Massive Open Online Course," a type of course that is completely delivered online, is open to be accessed by anyone without cost, entry qualifications or other restrictions;participant numbers are often high. These courses can have in-person components, e.g. encouraging local participant meetings, and formal assessment, but tend to use peer review, self-assessment and automated grading. There are many variations of MOOCs, focused on specific sectors, target groups (e.g. vocational focus, teachers, etc.) or teaching methods. MOOCs funded under Erasmus+ have to be open to all and both the participation and a certificate or badge of completion are free of charge for participants. The open access requirement for educational resources applies also to MOOCs and other complete courses.

National Agency

A body in charge of managing the implementation of the Programme at national level in a Member State or in a third country associated to the Programme. One or more National Agencies may exist in each country.

National Authority

An authority in charge, at national level, of monitoring and supervising the management of the Programme in a Member State or in a third country associated to the Programme. One or more National Authorities may exist in each country.

Newcomer organisation

Any organisation or institution that has not previously received support in a given type of action supported by this Programme or its predecessor programme either as a coordinator or a partner.

Non-formal learning

Learning which takes place through planned learning activities where some form of learning support is present, but which is not part of the formal education and training system.

Occupational profile

The set of skills, competences, knowledge and qualifications that is usually relevant for a specific occupation.


The Organisation ID (OID) uniquely identifies your organisation among all organisations participating in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps actions managed by National Agencies. You can use your organisation’s OID when applying for an accreditation or grant under the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps actions managed by National Agencies

Open Access

A general concept of publishing materials of a specific kind openly, i.e. designed to be accessible and usable by the broadest possible user group and the greatest number of use cases. Erasmus+ has an Open Access Requirement for educational resources and encourages Open Access of research results and data.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Educational materials of any kind (e.g. textbooks, worksheets, lesson plans, instructional videos, entire online courses, educational games) which can be freely used, adapted and shared. OERs have either been released under an open licence or are in the public domain (i.e. copyright protection has expired). Cost-free materials that cannot be adapted and shared by the public are not OERs.

Open licence

A way for copyright holders (creators or other rightsholders) to grant the general public the legal permission to freely use their work. Under the Erasmus+ Open Access Requirement, any such open license must permit at least use, adaptation and distribution. The open license should be indicated on the work itself or wherever the work is distributed. Educational materials with an open license are called Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Participant in Erasmus+ project activities

Individual who is fully involved in a project and who may receive European Union funding intended to cover the costs of participation (notably travel and subsistence).

Participating organisation

An organisation or informal group of young people involved in a Erasmus+ project, as either coordinator or partner.

Partner organisation

a partner organisations is an organisation formally involved in the project (co-beneficiaries) but not taking the role of coordinator.


An agreement between a group of institutions or organisations to carry out joint activities and projects.

Participant with fewer opportunities

People with fewer opportunities means people who, for economic, social, cultural, geographical or health reasons, a migrant background, or for reasons such as disability and educational difficulties or for any other reasons, including those that can give rise to discrimination under article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental rights of the European Union, face obstacles that prevent them from having effective access to opportunities under the programme.

Peer Learning

A reciprocal learning activity, which is mutually beneficial and involves the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience between the participants. Peer learning practices enable to interact with other participants, their peers, and participate in activities where they can learn from each other and meet educational, professional and/or personal development goals.

Preparatory Visit

Visits to the country of the receiving organisation prior to the start of mobility activities to prepare and ensure high quality of those activities. Examples include tasks to facilitate administrative arrangements and build trust and understanding between organisations involved. 

Professional development

Process of enhancing the professional capabilities of participants (learners and staff) by developing competences and expertise and acquiring new skills, which are normally identified in a development needs analysis. Professional development encompasses all types of learning opportunities, ranging from structured trainings and seminars to informal learning opportunities.

Profit-making body active in Corporate Social Responsibility

A private company that a) carries out its business in compliance with ethical standards and/or b) on top of its business activities, carries out some actions that have social value.


A coherent set of activities which are designed and organised in order to achieve defined objectives and results.


A formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards.

Receiving organisation

A participating organisation receiving participants and organising activities of an Erasmus+ project.


An institution providing general, vocational or technical education, at any level from pre-school to upper secondary education, including early childhood education and care. To verify eligibility under the field of ‘school education’, please consult the definition of eligible schools in each country on the website of the relevant National Agency. 

School pupil

A person enrolled in a learning capacity at an institution providing general education at any level from early childhood education and care to upper secondary education, or a person schooled outside an institutional setting considered by the competent authorities as eligible to participate in the Programme in their respective territories.

Sending organisation

A participating organisation sending one or more participants to an activity of an Erasmus+ project.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Enterprises (see definition above) which employ fewer than 250 people and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million EUR, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million EUR.

Social enterprise

An undertaking, irrespective of its legal form, which is not listed on a regulated market within the meaning of Article 4(21) of Directive 2014/65/EU, and which: 1) in accordance with its articles of association, statutes or any other statutory document establishing the business, has as its primary objective the achievement of measurable, positive social impacts rather than generating profit for its owners, members and stakeholders, where the undertaking: a) provides innovative services or goods which generate a social return and/or b) employs an innovative method of production of goods or services and that method of production embodies its social objective; 2) reinvests its profits first and foremost to achieve its primary objective and has in place predefined procedures and rules for any circumstances in which profits are distributed to shareholders and owners, in order to ensure that any distribution of profits does not undermine the primary objective; 3) is managed in an entrepreneurial, accountable and transparent way, in particular by involving workers, customers and/or stakeholders affected by its business activities.


A person who, on either a professional or a voluntary basis, is involved in education, training or non-formal learning at all levels. Includes professors, teachers (including pre-school teachers), trainers, school leaders, youth workers, sport staff, early childhood education and care staff, non-educational staff and other practitioners involved on a regular basis in promoting learning.

Statutory link

This notion implies that the cooperation between the organisations concerned is based on a formalised/documented relation, which is neither limited to the project they apply for, nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation. This link can cover many forms, from a very integrated one (e.g. one “mother organisation" with its national branches/affiliated entities with or without proper legal entity) to a looser one (e.g. a network functioning through a clearly defined membership modality requiring for instance: the payment of a fee, the signature of a membership contract/agreement, the definition of rights and obligations from the two parties, etc.)

Study visit

A  trip where the participant gets to know and study another organisation or institution, its practices and systems. It enables the participant to have a learning experience based on direct contact and on observation of the host organisation’s methods and practices.

Third countries not associated to the Programme

Countries which do not participate fully in the Erasmus+ Programme, but which may take part (as partners or applicants) in certain Actions of the Programme. The list of third countries not associated to the Programme is set out in Part A of this Guide, in the section "Who can participate in the Erasmus+ Programme?".

Traineeship (work placement)

Time spent in an enterprise or organisation in another country, with a view to acquiring specific competences that are needed by the labour market, gaining work experience and acquiring more understanding of the economic and social culture of that country.


In the context of Erasmus+, relates, unless otherwise indicated, to any activity involving at least two EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme.

Transversal (soft; life) skills

Include the ability to think critically, be curious and creative, to take initiative, to solve problems and work collaboratively, to be able to communicate efficiently in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment, to be able to adapt to context and to cope with stress and uncertainty. These skills are part of the key competences.

Union transparency and recognition tools

Instruments to help stakeholders understand, appreciate and, where appropriate, recognise learning outcomes and qualifications throughout the European Union.

Validation of non-formal and informal learning

A process of confirmation by an authorised body that an individual has acquired learning outcomes measured against a relevant standard and consists of the following four distinct phases:

1.    Identification through dialogue of particular experiences of an individual; 2.    Documentation to make visible the individual's experiences; 3.    A formal assessment of these experiences; and 4.    Certification of the results of the assessment which may lead to a partial or full qualification

Virtual cooperation

Any form of cooperation using information and communication technology tools to facilitate and support any relevant Programme actions.

Virtual learning

Acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences through the use of information and communication technology tools that allow participants to have a meaningful transnational or international learning experience.

Work Package

A component of the project work breakdown. It represents a group of project activities targeting common specific objectives.

Young people

In the context of the Erasmus+ Programme, individuals aged between 13 and 30.

  • 1 Defined under the term “statutory link” in this Glossary.