The Third International Congress on technical and vocational education and training (TVET), held in Shanghai in 2012, called for profound transformations in the conceptualization, governance, funding and organization of technical and vocational education and training. During the congress, a special session held on the normative instruments1 relevant to TVET confirmed that the 2001 Revised Recommendation concerning TVE (UNESCO, 2001) would benefit from revision and updating to ensure a stronger focus on lifelong learning and to become responsive to challenges many countries currently face, such as rapid demographic and technological changes, youth unemployment, social inequalities and sustainable development. Monitoring the implementation of standard-setting instruments is part of UNESCO’s mandate and is one of the key areas of work outlined in UNESCO’s Strategy for TVET (UNESCO, 2009). It is UNESCO’s view that a revised instrument can help to further advance the level of policy interest around the world and improve the quality and relevance of TVET for all. Evidence-based inputs and concrete ideas founded on practical experiences of TVET policies and programmes can strengthen the quality of the new version of the Revised Recommendation and increase its overall credibility and relevance.