EQAVET in practice
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
Rationale behind this proposal
The recent economic developments have shown the importance of having a highly skilled workforce. The Member States, in their recent Council conclusions on the role of education and training to economic recovery and growth, have highlighted the importance of strong vocational education and training (VET) systems in attaining a high level of skills relevant to the labour market. The Commission’s Communication ‘Rethinking Education’, adopted in November 2012, confirms this approach. It encourages Member to raise the quality of vocational education and the role of EQAVET framework as a tool of quality improvement is clearly emphasised in the Rethinking Education Communication.
However, according to a report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training 28 January 2014, it clearly states that:
“In general, VET providers tend to make less use of the descriptors than is evident at system level. VET providers often go through an accreditation and external or internal reviews process, but widespread use of the EQAVET cycle is not common. This shows that there is still room for improvement in reaching the VET provider level, notably through multipliers.”
And further it declares that:
“The EQAVET criteria, descriptors and indicators do not provide specific guidance on quality assurance”
And it concludes:
“The Commission plans to undertake, involving the relevant national authorities and stakeholders, the following action towards a more comprehensive implementation of EQAVET: – Develop descriptors, indicators and related guidelines to better address the quality and the appropriate level of outcomes acquired by learners in VET. This requires coordination with other quality assurance initiatives and transparency instruments, and cooperation with the relevant bodies and networks.”
By other words, what the Commission want to say is that the there is little awareness about EQAVET at provider level and those providers who want to use EQAVET find it difficult to apply the criteria, descriptors and indicator of EQAVET. The reason supposed to be lack of involvement of provider when EQAVET was developed.
Further this has been a problem for all the quality assurance project that were developing tools, methods and processes based on these criteria, descriptors and indicator and thereby preventing them to become mainstreamed. Although 39 projects among hundred were selected as best practice, almost no one of them has been spread beyond the partnership members or at best been practiced by some few providers in follow-up projects.
These shortcomings has been noticed by coordinators of 3 prior quality assurance projects developed on the basis of EQAVET. They conclusions were:
a) There is a need of and a necessity for a Common European Common Quality Assurance Framework if we want to implement European Credit Transfer in VET (ECEVET) and a Common European qualification Framework (EQF). These instrument requires that we have a transparent VET education and for accomplishing this transparency we must use a common quality framework.
b) The existing EQAVET is a very good step forward. However, if we strictly use the available description of EQAVETs criteria, descriptors and indicator we will find it difficult to apply it at provider level. The must be a flexibility to adapt them to existing national quality framework or/and quality models used by providers.
c) Additionally, both through these 3 projects but also the available reports and surveys show that awareness is very limited among VET providers.
The partnership of this proposal consist of partners from 3 projects among above 39 best practices, covering all 3 quality areas. We aim to develop guidelines for interpretation of EQAVET’s criteria to national framework at provider level. Thereby give EQAVET secretariat the needed input from providers for implementation of EQAVET at national level..
The objectives of the projects “EQAVET in Practice” are:
I. Develop web-based interactive guidelines for interpretation of EQAVET criteria, descriptors and indicators according to national VET context
II. Update existing tools, methodologies and quality procedures according to above guidelines
A. Report on usage of existing criteria, descriptors and indicators in quality assurance at provider level in participating countries as an input for implementation of EQAVET at national level.
B. Web-based interactive guidelines for adapting criteria, descriptors and indicators of EQAVET to national VET system
C. Update and mainstream the improved already elaborated products from these 3 prior projects as an integrated tool for self-assessment, quality management and improvement process. The functionality of the tool will enable VET providers to approach the quality cycle of EQAVET with consideration to national QA.
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