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Mapping to ESCO

"Mapping" or "thesaurus alignment" refers to the process of creating a correspondence table between two classifications. As part of the process, which can be assisted by software tools, an expert identifies corresponding concepts in the two classifications and records a relationship (mapping) between them.

The resulting "mapping" or "correspondence table" indicates for each concept in one classification the corresponding concept(s) in the other classification. To do so, it can use SKOS relationships, such as "same as", "broader", or "narrower".

In order to further promote labour mobility, facilitate the exchange of job vacancies and job seeker profiles and ensure a high quality matching across languages and national contexts, Article 19 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/589 stipulates that the Commission develops a European classification for this purpose.

As foreseen by the Implementing Decision 2018/1020, such classification is made by the list of occupations, skills and concepts published on ESCO. Article 19 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/589 provides therefore for the legal obligation of Member States to adopt ESCO or to map their national classifications to ESCO, within 3 years from the entry into force of the Implementing Decisions.

In order to facilitate the process of mapping national classification to ESCO, the European Commission will provide Member States with technical assistance. To this end, the Commission:

  • Has published the ESCO Implementation Manual, a manual that explains the appropriate methodology for establishing accurate mapping relations between national occupation or skills concepts and ESCO concepts. The Manual details the criteria that Member States should take into consideration before deciding whether to map their national classifications to ESCO or replace them with ESCO, explains how to create mapping relations and suggests the step to take for an appropriate mapping.


To facilitate the mapping exercise, the Commission has released the ESCO mapping platform, an IT application designed to help establish and update inventories and mapping tables between national classifications and ESCO. In order to support Member States in using the mapping platform, the Commission has also published the ESCO mapping platform user manual, a document to guide the users in the navigation through the mapping platform and describe how to use its functionalities to create and manage mapping relations. Those member States who wish to use the mapping platform, should fill in the questionnaire on the set up of a mapping project and share it with the Commission services at least 20 days before the date from when their services wish to benefit from the mapping platform.

Moreover, the Commission provided specific Technical standards and formats necessary for the operation of the EURES Common IT Platform.

The Commission is also providing Member States with specific training sessions dedicated to mapping national classifications to ESCO. The training will take the form of webinars and will be organised by the European Commission throughout the 3 years period within which Member States need to adopt ESCO or map their national classifications to ESCO. Following the first training webinar, the European Commission also published a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Finally, the European Commission also organises country visits upon specific request of Member States to provide technical support in the implementation of ESCO .

Useful documents: