RETHOS: New Governance System

A new governance system has been established for the National Curricula applied to higher health and welfare education in Norway.

 The new governance system comprises:

  • The Act relating to universities and university colleges
  • The National Regulation relating to a Common Curriculum for health and welfare education which includes 12 learning outcomes common to all study programmes, and quality provisions regarding clinical studies
  • National curricula for each study programme


This restructuring is a collaboration between four ministries: the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Children and Families, and the Ministry of Health and Care Services.


One of the new features in the restructuring is the establishment of programme groups for each programme of education, of which half of the members come from higher education insitutions, and half from the services. Each group also includes one student representative. These programme groups are tasked with preparing curricula and then later reviewing and if needed revising them. The intention is that the curricula will function dynamically and be amended as necessary.


The new governance system at present covers the national curricula leading to the following qualifications:  


  • Audiologist
  • Child welfare officer
  • Clinical Nutritionist
  • Dentist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental technician
  • General Nurse
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Paramedic
  • Pharmacist (both head pharmacist and dispensing pharmacist)
  • Physiotherapist
  • Physician
  • Prosthetist
  • Psychologist
  • Radiographer
  • Social educator
  • Social worker


The curricula include the learning outcomes, the structure of the programme and requirements regarding the practice-based parts of the studies.


The learning outcomes should be formulated in accordance with the National Qualifications Framework, and should define the minimum requirements relating to graduates' final competencies. The Norwegian National Qualifications Framework is self-certified to the Qualifications Framwork of the European Higher Education (QF-EHEA) and referenced to the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF). The National Curriculum should be phrased on a medium level of detail to allow leeway for possible local adaptations at the higher education institutions. All National Curricula Regulations are formulated in accordance with national and international regulations.


The task of developing curricula for health and welfare education programmes has been named RETHOS. RETHOS is organised under the Ministry of Research and Education.