Pre-ALIVE is pre-project for a main project "Assessment for learning in vocational education and training" (ALIVE). In recent years different European research initiatives coordinated by German scholars, have been taken to develop models and tools for lar ge scale assessment for VET ("VET-PISA", KOMET). These instruments must be seen against a policy background that raise research issues that will be addressed in the main project ALIVE: To what extent do these assessment methods "tap" different types o f skills - domain-specific vocational skills, general vocational skills and generic skills? How could they be designed as assessment tools for learning, and in what way could they be integrated with or complementing other methods and practices in the VET- context - especially in the context of apprenticeship training? These questions are usually studied at the level of national and international educational policies with an empirical basis in documentary analysis. The ALIVE-project will reframe these ques tions by looking more closely at instructional contexts in the apprenticeship period, or to be more specific at formal and informal settings where assessment of competencies take place. Also our interest will be on the learning effects f assessment method s and practices. The concept "learning trajectories" is used as a perspective and platform for methodological preferences that favour an interactive longitudinal approach with the learner as the primary unit of analysis. This theoretical framework also po ints towards a design oriented research that seek to improve the learning potential of assessment tools and practices in VET. In line with these guidelines for the main project ALIVE, the pre-project Pre-ALIVE will have three main activities: A selective research synthesis, the construction of a methodological infrastructure for the main project and an explorative validation of assessment tools.