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Development of the European Business Advisor Training and Exchange (DEBATE)
Start date: Jan 31, 2005, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall objective of DEBATE is to build a support structure for European business advisors, in order to provide them with resources and qualifications to support their clients in the modern economy and society.Further objectives are to establish a professional profile for a European Business Advisor, to create a more positive image of this profession and to develop an educational structure and a model for an international exchange programme for business advisors. Achievements: The model for the management and coordination of Debate with 'Tool Kit' and virtual workspace ALLU were organised. Coordinating Team had 7 meetings, where financial and contractual management as well as dissemination/marketing and evaluation were discussed. The overall dissemination and marketing plan was processed and visual layout, website ( and materials (powerpoint, handout, brochure) for the operation were designed and distributed among Business Advisors (BA) and stakeholders. Press conferences and informational events were organised. Institutional, regional and international (4) newsletters were designed and distributed. Guided self-evaluation took place in all workshops and in coordinators team meeting. 4 self-evaluation rounds were implemented. The key competences and qualifications of the profession at the basic, professional and expert/specialist level ('Professional Profile') of a European BA were identified. The analysis of the results of the pre-survey was done and interpreted in the light of the objectives of DEBATE. The survey examining the image of and expectations posed on business advisers and collecting feedback on the professional profile was finalised and the report published. The professional profile, completed with the help of the results of the survey and feedback from BAs, authorities and other stakeholder groups, was disseminated and communicated in the regions, along with the results of the survey itself. The training programmes and courses were assessed and improved vis-á-vis the final professional profile. The guidelines for the process of certification of the profession of a BA were discussed and built, for each region to import and implement. RWSs acted as forums for the interaction and dialogue of business advisory, research and education. Best practices, methods and tools for BAs were presented, discussed and analysed. E-portal was completed with the finalisation of the tools and all the information categories. 13 BAs participated in the pilot exchange programme and shared their experiences, ideas and ways of working with the host regions and institutions. The legal establishment of the European Association for Business Advisers took place in Patras 10/2007. In each region teachers and other representatives of the educational institutions have had meetings and discussions with local Business Advisers elaborating the professional profile of BA and to develop the curricula. The personal learning plan model was completed. A framework of the training programme including the key contents and methods for tutoring system to be specified and detailed was made and evaluated. HU, IT, GR, FI and EE and LV were able to finalise their programmes/courses. In FI also the policy-level discussions were entered and the representatives of the LP participated actively in the process of development of the national educational structures for BAs in the future.
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