Project Description

ISO 29993:2017

 — Service requirements for Learning services outside formal education

ISO 29993 is designed to improve transparency and credibility in the market by providing the minimum requirements for internationally agreed levels of quality learning services.

ISO 29993:2017 specifies requirements for learning services outside formal education, including all types of life-long learning (e.g. vocational training and in-company training, either outsourced or in-house). These include any learning services provided by a learning service provider (LSP) that are addressed to learners themselves, as well as to sponsors who are acquiring the services on behalf of the learners.

The key features of these kinds of services are that the goals of learning are defined and the services are evaluated, and that they involve interaction with the learner. The learning can be face-to-face, mediated by technology, or a blend of both.


Learning services outside formal education means learning services provided by private organizations or individuals other than established recognized formal systems of education. They include all types of lifelong  earning such as vocational training, in-company training (either outsourced or in-house). They also include  earning services addressed to learners themselves, as well as their sponsors who purchase the services on behalf of the learners.

In cases where the learning service provider is part of an organization that delivers products (i.e. goods and services) in addition to learning services, ISO 29993:2017 only applies to learning services.

ISO 29993:2017 is not aimed at schools, colleges and universities providing learning services as part of a formal education system, but it can be useful to them as a tool for reflection and self-evaluation.

Relations with other standards

ISO 2993:2017 is intended to provide a generic frame of reference for quality learning services outside formal education. The structure of this document reflects a typical sequence of experiences of learners and sponsors in a prototypical learning service, including advertising, information provided prior to acquisition of the service, needs analysis, design, assessment and evaluation.

The service requirements for a learning service provider contained in ISO 29990:2010 are addressed in ISO 29993:2017. The management system elements for an educational organization contained in ISO 29990:2010 are addressed in ISO 21001:2018.

Benefits from ISO 29993 certification

  • Enhance the credibility of learning services
  • Provide a model for improving learning services that can be shared within an organization
  • Provide an internationally recognized instrument that demonstrates the reliability and quality of learning services
  • Acknowledges the importance of the learner’s informed decision on the acquisition of learning services by specifying requirements on the information to be provided to learners (and/or their sponsors).
  • Help learners select learning services that are appropriate to their goals and purposes


Daniel Graf, chair of ISO/TC 232, the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, whose secretariat is held by DIN (a primary shareholder of DQS), ISO’s member for Germany, said: “Not only will learning providers benefit through improving quality and providing an internationally recognized standard that harmonizes many local, private and national standards, learners themselves benefit through having clearer information about what they can expect.

“ISO 29993 recognizes the importance of learners being able to make informed choices, by requiring the provider to give clear information about what they can expect to learn, and who the provider is.”