European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network Database, ELGPN Database



Key competences


The sum of skills (basic skills and new basic skills) needed to live in contemporary society. In its recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning, the European Commission sets out the eight key competences: communication in the mother tongue; communication in foreign languages; competence in maths and basic competences in science and technology; digital competence; learning to learn; social and civic competences; sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; and cultural awareness and expression.


Note that the term is also used to describe the competences required for a particular job or those competences which are seen as most critical for job performance.


Cedefop (2008a). European Training Thesaurus. Luxembourg: Publications Office. Available from Internet:

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ELGPN Glossary, competences, skills