l01234TCAD.026baArs.016a.tys1 iEa01elLc0orsH-0lit8r2see0m m09s&a2A/ba3n0e0 ne8dFn12t@ 5thr16(F ap8&B0rtnr1ua2ai cn8eEn9ai.c5st3rvn)it88a/lsm1..ls2u4ag0an6mt19i1o-2.n59 8i7n1X 8H 5(i8ognhleirn eE)ducation The articles in this special section originate in three symposia on the assessment of vocational competence, that were organised at the 2007 and 2009 conferences of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) and the 2008 International Congress of Psychology. This special section aims to bring together different views on vocational competence and the assessment of competence in different European countries. Contributors are from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, countries that are all striving towards competencebased education but define and operationalise this in different ways. Therefore, we asked all contributors to explicitly specify the definition of competence used in their study. This special section enables us to compare different definitions of vocational competence and different ways of assessing vocational competence throughout four different countries in Europe – even if the definition of competences might differ between several authors within each country. Furthermore, the papers present projects in their countries which are the direct or indirect consequence of the ongoing higher education reform in Europe: the Bologna Process.