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Self-Assessment as a Basis for Accreditation and Certification in the Educational Sector

This project sought to assist partner countries move to EQARF through transferring an online assessment tool, developed on a previous project to meet the needs of EFQM and ISO 9000, and adapting it to the requirements of national and other quality frameworks in use in these countries. By extending an already existing TQM model based on the requirements of both EFQM and EQARF, the ACES solution helps to allow a better approach to benchmarking in the VET sector across the EU. After the piloting of the solutionnacross the partner countries,a number of case studies were written up based on the findings of the testers.Quality in Vocational Education and Training (VET) is one of the central issues of the Copenhagen Process towards more trust-based transparency and quality in VET and in the labour market. Due to its discourse-based total quality conception, the EFQM Excellence Model is one of the favoured quality schemes in the pedagogic field, after an initial rush for ISO in the 90ies.The Leonardo Project SAETO (LI-05-B-F-PP-164510) developed a software-supported system for self-assessment in educational and training organisations (ETO) that translated the EFQM model to the educational sector and linked it with ISO 9000 using a single assessment tool, which is at the same time fully compatible with EQARF in VET.This work, does however not guarantee by itself that the solution also fulfils the national and/or most common quality frameworks in each country. At present these would be validated separately. ACES therefore has 2 goals a) to validate SAETO for three new regions, namely UK, DA and CZ and b) to extend the existing solution to include other assessment needs of educational institutions, such as PAS 1037:2004 or the existing external quality arrangements for Scotland's colleges (HMIe). This will allow a single assessment process generate the data needed for a wide range of quality standards. To support these goals, the proposed project aims to pilot the new solution in four regions, namely UK, DE, DK and CZ with at least 24 test cases. The partnership for this project consists of one ETO from each of the target regions.As a result, SAETO will be enriched, updated, adapted and validated for 4 European regions and its implementation will help to strengthen the deployment of EQARF across the EU.To further this, the project will implement the following dissemination actions:- The core results will be available through a website with a free entry version of the solution.- The partners will organise ACES workshops and attend at least 3 big international events as speakers.- The solution will be written up in at least in 3 magazines and presented at 3 international exhibitions.- A minimum of 1.000 CDs with an introduction to the project’s results and the free tools will be distributed. - A handbook presenting the results and giving an overview of the case studies will be published

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