Continuing Vocational Training Survey

Updated: 16 June 2022

Next update: Not yet determined

Share of enterprises providing external courses for their employees
Share of enterprises providing external courses for their employees

About the statistics

Statistics Norway carries out the survey Continuing vocational training survey (CVTS) every fifth year. The purpose of the survey is to give insight into the extent of courses and other forms of continuing vocational training among Norwegian businesses. Additionally, the enterprises receive questions tied to skill needs, training strategies as well as factors limiting the provision of vocational training.


In the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007) an enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of juridical units that produces goods and services, and that to a certain extent has independent decision making powers. In this statistic one juridical unit is treated as one enterprise.


The results from 2005 uses firms as its statistical unit. Where enterprises are the smallest juridical and economical unit, firm refers to a local branch unit. This is a production unit categorized by the kind of economic activity that the firm undertakes.


Enterprises are grouped after the most important activity in the enterprises. Enterprises can be grouped at different levels of detail. This statistic shows results by section of industry.


In this survey we define training activities as planned activities that are mainly with the purpose of attaining new skills, or further development of existing skills. In order to be counted as a training activity it has to be an actual activity that is separate from the ordinary work in the enterprise.


Course activities are usually training activities that are clearly separate from the day to day work situation for the participants and are, as a rule, organised for a larger group of participants. In this statistic we differentiate between internal courses, that are organised by employees of the enterprises, and external courses¸ that are organised by persons outside the enterprise.

Industry classification follows the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007).

Continuing vocational training survey

Not yet determined

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Results from the survey are solely published at national level.

Results from the survey are published each fifth year.

The 2022 publication concerns results for 2020. The survey was carried out in the period from May to July in 2021.

Statistics Norway delivers micro data from the survey to Eurostat.

Statistics Norway stores files with raw data with results from questionnaires as well as encrypted files with statistics that have been prepared with the use of programs for joining and recoding data. Statistics Norway send anonymized micro data to Eurostat.

The purpose of the survey is to map the extent of vocational training in enterprises, and how the enterprises plan, execute and evaluate training for their employees.

This survey is the Norwegian part of the European survey Continuing Vocationl Training Survey that has been carried out since 1994. Norway has participated in the survey every fifth year since 2000. The survey is part of a larger effort to study adult learning.

Results from the survey give relevant authorities and other interested parties information about training efforts and skill needs in enterprises. In this way the statistic contributes to foundational knowledge for the shaping of policy, both in Norway and in Europe.

Some important users are among others the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills, International organisations, employers organisations, trade unions, scientists and the media.

No external users have access to statistics before they are published concurrently for all at 08:00 at, at least three months after it has been notified in the statistics calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring equal treatment of users.

CVTS is a part of Statistics Norway’s work to examine adult learning. For data from surveys which concern adult learning from the perspective of the individual we refer to the statistics Lifelong learning and Adult education. The term “learning” in this statistic is, however, not directly comparable with its usage in these two other surveys. In contrast to these, CVTS does not differentiate between formal education and non-formal education.

Results from the survey are also utilized in the Labour costs statistic.

The Statistics Law (LOV-2019-06-21-32) §1, §10.

The CVTS survey is regulated under the Regulation (EU) 1552/2005 on statistics relating to vocational training in enterprises. and is implemented after the Commission Regulation (EU) No 198/2006 and 1153/2014.

The survey is sent to a sample of enterprises in both private and public sectors. The criteria for being in the sampling population is that it must be an enterprise with at least 10 employees belonging to one of the following industries:

  • Mining and quarrying
  • Manufacturing
  • Electricity and gas supply
  • Water supply, sewerage, waste
  • Construction
  • Domestic trade, car repair shop
  • Transportation and storage
  • Accommodation, food service
  • Information and communication
  • Financial and insurance activities
  • Real estate activities
  • Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • Administrative and support service activities
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Other service activities

Results for CVTS are collected through a survey based on a representative sample

The survey for 2020 was based on a sample of 3 127 enterprises. The final number of valid responses from the enterprises was 2 283.

The survey for 2015 was based on a sample of 3 539 enterprises. The final number of valid responses from the enterprises was 2 332.

Responses to the survey are collected with the help of a web questionnaire. Enterprises that did not respond, or no longer is part of the sample population, are not replaced by other enterprises in the sample.

Automated routines for preventing wrong answers and/or wrong registering of answers are implemented in the web questionnaire. For CVTS the data are also controlled with special made tools from Eurostat that test for valid values on specific variables, logical consistency between variables and unusually low or high values on different indicators.

Statistics Norway calculates weights for estimating population totals. The weights are calculated based on the number of responses to the survey and the total number of enterprises in the population. The weights are then adjusted by calibrating these to known population totals for industry groups and size groups. This is done so that the estimated population totals for enterprises match the known population totals for each of the different industry and size groups.

Not relevant.

As stated in § 7 in The Statistics Law, Statistics Norway has a duty to ensure that statistics are conveyed in such a way that it is impossible to identify a statistical unit, either directly or indirectly, and in that way uncover details about that unit.

Therefore, Statistics Norway publish data only for aggregated industry groups and size groups.

The results from 2005 are not directly comparable with later rounds of the survey due to changes in the statistical unit from, firm to enterprise, between the survey for 2005 and the survey for 2010. An enterprise can consist of several firms and results for enterprises are thus not comparable with results for firms.

Starting with 2020 enterprises from the banking sector were included in the sampling frame for the survey. These banks were omitted in previous rounds of the survey. This means that the results for industry group “K”, which the banking sector is part of, not is completely comparable with previous rounds as there is a more diverse group of enterprises in the sampling frame for that industry group than previously.

To ensure that results are comparable between countries, the participating countries implements the survey based on the same guidelines made by Eurostat.

Eurostat publish international results from all participating countries. These are available in Eurostat’s Data Browser.

In the 2020 survey there were 3 127 enterprises in the sample for the survey. The sample is the group of enterprises that receive the survey questionnaire. During the time the survey was in the field we received 2 283 valid responses to the survey which gave a response rate of 73 percent.

In the 2015 survey there were 3 539 enterprises in the sample for the survey. The sample is the group of enterprises that receive the survey questionnaire. During the time the survey was in the field we received 2 332 valid responses to the survey which gave a response rate of 66 percent.

A high rate of survey non-response could be a possible source of errors if it leads to a skewed distribution in responses. For example, skewness could entail a large difference in the distribution of a known trait, such as industry classification, between the response data set and the sample frame. Skewness entails that the results are not fully representative for the target population.

Not relevant.

A quality report for the survey will be accessible on Eurostat’s web page at a later date.