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Globalisation has provided an impetus to the borrowing of policies and ‘best practices’ between countries. This article looks specifically at such borrowing in the field of Continuing Vocational Training (CVT). Using case study data drawn from a wider evaluation of a European programme, the FORCE programme, it illustrates some of the barriers encountered when attempting to transfer training principles, practices and delivery systems from one country to another, focusing on structural and institutional factors rather than cultural ones. While acknowledging the importance of ‘learning’ at a broader level, the article argues that ET systems are embedded within a wider societal, institutional and cultural context that limits the success of transfer.