The occupations pillar is one of the two pillars of ESCO. It organises the occupation concepts in ESCO. It uses hierarchical relationships between them, metadata as well as mappings to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) in order to structure the occupations.
The ESCO skills pillar distinguishes between i) skill/competence concepts and ii) knowledge concepts by indicating the skill type. There is however no distinction between skills and competences. Each of these concepts comes with one preferred term and a number of non-preferred terms in each of the 27 ESCO languages. Every concept also includes an explanation in the form of description.
Qualifications are the 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. Information on qualifications at European level is now displayed in Europass, and comes from databases of national qualifications reflecting the National Qualifications Frameworks that are owned and managed by the European Member States.