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THERM Création d’une certification européenne d’agent thermal

In Europe, the hydrotherapy sector has an important role to play both socially and economically. Bulgaria andRomania are facing the challenges raised by the transition from a planned economy to a market economy and theirintegration in Europe. The development of tourism, and of seaside tourism in particular, is of strategic significance forthese two countries. France, a major tourist destination, has a wealth of resources in the field of hydrotherapy.All three countries share a common challenge: the ongoing shift from hydrotherapy as a health treatment tohydrotherapy as a source of relaxation implies a change in the professional profile of hydrotherapists. Although theyare in permanent contact with clients, there is currently no official qualification for hydrotherapists. In none of thepartner countries (Bulgaria, Romania, France, and indeed Europe) is there a recognised qualification for this rapidlydeveloping career.The aim of the project is to create, at European level, a qualification that is validated by all three countries, in order torecognise the skills involved.This qualification will be based on three frames of reference: experience, qualification and training. These frames ofreference will be established according to the Skills-Based Approach. This new qualification will be included in theEuropean Qualifications Framework (EQF). It will be placed on one of the eight levels of the European metaframework.It will be allocated a credit number (ECSVET). It will be broken down into certificated units. A standardprocedure will be established to allow for the validation of knowledge and skills acquired through informal learning.In each partner country, this qualification will be the subject of a request for inclusion in each of the nationalqualification registers.Since hydrotherapy jobs (generic label) are essentially seasonal, an effort will be made to create bridges with thesimilar qualification of nursing auxiliary. These two types of work are in the same area of professional mobility. Theoptimisation of training pathways, by including the core subjects that are common to these two trainings and thevalidation of knowledge and skills acquired through experience, will promote the acquisition of a dual qualification,which is an important factor in the "flexicurity" of the vocational pathways of seasonal workers.The consortium led by the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA includes three types of members in each of thepartner countries: employers' organisations representing hydrotherapy establishments, universities with expertise inbalneology, and training bodies with expertise in training design.

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