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Quality developments in VET An overview of the work of the European Forum on Quality in VET.

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Presentation on theme: "Quality developments in VET An overview of the work of the European Forum on Quality in VET."— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality developments in VET An overview of the work of the European Forum on Quality in VET

2 p.2 Quality developments in VET European Forum on Quality in VET Institutional frame EU Commission DGEAC (Directorate B): coordination and overall responsibility Advisory Committee on VET : adopted the Commissions note on the the role and mandate of the European Forum on the Quality in VET. The Commission was reporting regularly on the results of the work. DGVT meetings: to which the Commission was reporting regularly. Forum: composed of around 30 representatives of the Member States, the European social partners and the European Economic Area. The ETF was also participating. Cedefop : technical and scientific assistance to the Commission and setting up of the Technical Group of experts

3 p.3 Quality developments in VET Aims of the Forum Aims to improve knowledge and understanding of the diverse and complex quality practices in the Member States to promote the exchange of information, experience and good practices to promote discussion and reflection to contribute to the three policy objectives: employability, coherence between offer and demand and improved access to training (with special attention to the vulnerable groups in the labour market) During its mandate, the Forum served as a platform for cooperation and to exchange of information between the Commission, the Member States, the social partners and Cedefop

4 p.4 Quality developments in VET Work programme Four thematic fields Quality management approaches (at system level) Self-assessment as a quality approach (at VET institution level) Quality of mechanisms for the assessment and certification of learning outcomes (at individual level) Indicators for a European strategy on quality in VET (at system level)

5 p.5 Quality developments in VET Work structure Forum: general meetings –May 2001 –November 2001 –May 2002 –September 2002, European Conference Split in four subgroups on the four thematic fields assisted by the Technical Group monitored by Cedefop and the EU Commission

6 p.6 Quality developments in VET The Forums quality frame and its logic I The Forum concluded that the quality approach underlying the "quality circle" is the best to use at European and national levels because it addresses all important interrelated issues to be taken into consideration when defining a policy for promoting quality in initial and continuing vocational education and training. The logic underlying the "quality circle" can be followed independently of the specific quality management model in any Member State. In principle, the quality circle can apply to any process system or approach.

7 p.7 Quality developments in VET The Forums quality frame and its logic Key actors Feedback mechanisms and procedures for change Definition of VET goals and standards Degree of complexity Purpose Assessment and evaluation Implementation

8 p.8 Quality developments in VET The Forums quality frame and its logic Purpose Definition of VET goals and standards Key actors Degree of complexity Implementation Assessment and evaluation Feedback mechanisms and procedures for change

9 p.9 Quality developments in VET The Forums quality frame and its logic II Purpose: There is a wide range of strategic purposes ranging from accreditation and control to the improvement of performance and results. The question for policy-makers is how to achieve the right balance between the two. Definition of VET goals and standards: Any strategic purpose should be translated into clear goals. Closely linked to goals are standards, certificates and accreditation. All these are defined by various actors who may represent different interests. It is therefore important to decide who takes decisions and how they are implemented. Goals may be decided at central level or at a local one, depending on the traditions in each country, sector, etc. Goals can be very specific and concrete or broadly defined. Key actors: A wide range of key actors may be involved in any policy on quality in VET: the state, region, local authorities and institutions, the social partners/professional bodies, students, parents, firms, etc. They all assume different roles and responsibilities and represent varying interests. Generally speaking it is important that the key actors participate in the design and in the control procedure of the system. The existence of good feedback mechanisms and open communication channels between actors can guarantee their effective participation.

10 p.10 Quality developments in VET The Forums quality frame and its logic II Degree of complexity: Quality management approach differ according to their degree of technicality, design and difficulty. The use of indicators, and especially a combination of soft and hard ones, makes the use of information within the system less complex, but it represents a major challenge in terms of the reliability and validity of measurements. Implementation: Decisions on the previous points should be followed by implementation. Generally speaking there are three methods to make things happen: the "hard" way - forcing people to adopt quality; the "soft" way - gradually motivating people through awareness building, coaching and training and the "indirect" way - by providing incentives. The leading and exemplary role of the management and its capacity to motivate people is of paramount importance for a successful implementation of any quality approach which aims, inter alia, to make changes.

11 p.11 Quality developments in VET The Forums quality frame and its logic II Assessment and evaluation: Activities in the training/education systems are related to the goals through assessment and evaluation, ranging from self-assessment to centralised control. Concerning QMAs in VET, assessment looks at the effects/outcomes, the efficiency and effectiveness of their use. With regards to assessment, important questions relate to responsibility, methodology, frequency, form and actors. Even in the case of extensive use of self-assessment, as in the UK, Finland and the Netherlands, it is combined with inspections/control. Feedback mechanisms and procedures for change: To secure quality, the assessment results should be both analysed and acted upon with concrete measures. Feedback relies on the communication of aims, processes, results/valid exchange of information among the parties involved. The procedures for an effective feedback should be planned with the rest of the QMAs and constitute an organic part of it. Although the most important step to ensure change, feedback is generally the most difficult activity to implement.

12 p.12 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forum s work 1. Reports 2. Development of supporting instruments 3. Development of information instruments (activities in progress)

13 p.13 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forum s work 1. Reports: Intermediary report Quality developments in VET Thematic reports Quality management approaches in VET Self-assessment as a quality approach in VET institutions Quality of mechanisms for the assessment and certification of learning outcomes Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET (in the process of finalisation)

14 p.14 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forum's work: reports Intermediary report : was drawn up on the basis of the most important outcomes of the four thematic reports and with a view to answering the key issues concerning the definition of policies to enhance quality in VET. It therefore contains proposals addressed to European actors, to the national training systems and to VET institutions. Quality management approaches in VET : this report provides an overview of the wide variety material gathered which is presented under the heading of quality management approach, the Member States and the typology of financing and regulations. QMAs at all levels of VET, and both in the public and private sectors and initial and continuing VET, are covered. The report formulates a series of recommendations for the key strategic decisions underlying the different QMAs analysed.

15 p.15 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forum's work: reports Self-assessment as a quality approach in VET institutions: This report focuses on the possible uses of self-assessment as a quality management tool to be developed by a VET institution. It provides arguments for and a general frame to describe national/regional or local self-assessment practices. It contains also analysis of the systemic conditions for organising a coherent management of VET institutions by means of self-assessment. Self-assessment forms an integral part of quality management systems, that is why there was a separate working group on this theme. The group defined the conditions for the implementation of self-assessment and went on to analyse methodologies that combine self- assessment and external evaluation or other forms of assessment. Self-assessment is often introduced or encouraged by national/regional authorities to promote quality within the VET institutions in a more or less compulsory way. It may also be adopted freely by the VET institutions to evaluate and ameliorate their performance in relation to the context they operate or their market position.

16 p.16 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forum's work: reports Quality of mechanisms for the assessment and certification of learning outcomes: This report presents an overview of the existing quality dimensions so that each Member State can analyse its own practices. It refers to the acquisition of learning in formal systems, and in non-formal and informal situations. It identifies the main quality dimensions for the enhancement of the efficiency and legitimacy of the assessment and certification systems of learning. It also identifies the main questions to address on this subject. Indicators for a European strategy on quality in VET: Following analysis of more than 200 indicators, together with the examples provided by the members of the Forum, the report identifies the indicators capable of supporting the three European policy objectives. It contains also proposals for European cooperation on the development of indicators to support the improvement of quality in VET. Finally, a separate document has been prepared listing the dimensions criteria and the above mentioned quality indicators, defined by the four subgroups of the Forum and contained in the respective four thematic reports. This report has been sent electronically to you by the Commission.

17 p.17 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET The work on indicators In our work we concluded that indicators should be related to the quality cycle and follow its logic. Despite the raise of awareness concerning the importance of indicators as instruments for guidance and quality promotion in VET, only a restricted number of Member States uses a coherent set of indicators to this effect. The subgroup of the Forum on indicators proceeded first to the translation of the European political objectives (employability, coherence between training offer and demand and access to training of the most vulnerable groups) into measurable objectives. The Forum defined a set of indicators following the examination of quality indicators in use either in the Member States or by the OECD, Unesco, Eurostat, Eurydice and other institutions. It then defined a coherent set of indicators consisting of indicators related to context, input, process, output and results. Some of these indicators are based on quantitative data (hard indicators) whereas others on qualitative information (soft indicators).

18 p.18 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET The work on indicators: steps Translation of the three European policy priorities into concrete objectives Definition of a coherent frame of indicators Identification of a limited number of indicators based on good practices

19 p.19 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Employability Competences and attitudes (acquisition of) Completion of VET/dropping-out (avoidance of) Transition to employment Quality of employment/employment in new sectors Translation of the European policy priorities into concrete objectives

20 p.20 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Matching supply and demand Information/awareness Responsiveness to demand Adaptability Innovation Translation of European policy priorities into concrete objectives

21 p.21 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Access to VET Broader access to everyone who can benefit Basic competences for all Provide opportunities for vulnerable groups: setting-up of special schemes/services Assure the permeability of the VET system to vulnerable groups Translation of European policy priorities into concrete objectives

22 p.22 Context indicators applicable to all policy priorities Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities

23 p.23 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Objective 1: competences (basic, ICT, social, personal, technical) Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Employability

24 p.24 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Objective 2:completion of VET/avoidance of dropping out Objective 3:transition to employment Employability

25 p.25 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Objective 4: quality of employment (stability, income, desired working time)/ employment in new sectors Employability

26 p.26 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Matching offer and demand Objective 1: information (knowledge about demand acquired and transmitted) Objective 2: responsiveness (reaction to knowledge about recognised demand)

27 p.27 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Matching offer and demand Objective 3: adaptation/innovation

28 p.28 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Better access Objective 1: broadening access (everyone who can benefit)

29 p.29 Quality developments in VET Indicators for a European strategy for quality in VET Objective 2: opportunities for vulnerable groups Objective 3 : permeability Proposals for indicators for each of the objectives of the three policy priorities Better access

30 p.30 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forums work 2. Development of supporting instruments Synergies with the Leonardo da Vinci programme: The 2nd call for tender ( ) takes more specific account of the quality dimension in VET. A close relation has been established with the Study visits programme run by Cedefop on behalf on the European Commission and a synthesis note on the outcomes of the 7 study visits on quality in VET has been drawn up by one of the experts of the Technical Group. Setting up of networks or national fora on quality in VET : Some of the Member States have set up mini-fora or networks to discuss and collect material on quality in VET and to diffuse the Forums results in their own countries. In general, these light structures of cooperation comprise the relevant ministers, the social partners and the representatives of the VET sector.

31 p.31 Quality developments in VET Main results of the Forums work 3. Development of information instruments Web site (http://www.trainingvillage.gr/etv/quality) Glossary ReportQuality in initial and continuing training: aspects and challenges in certain member countries (Cedefop) Inventory of quality indicators (activities in progress)

32 p.32 Quality developments in VET Key concepts 1 Quality Fulfilment of goals Relation between experience and expectations

33 p.33 Quality developments in VET Key concepts 2 Quality management approach Any integrated set of policies, procedures, rules, criteria, tools and verification instruments and mechanisms that together ensure and enhance the quality of the training offer.

34 p.34 Quality developments in VET Key concepts 3 Self-assessment A dynamic and progressive process of assessment adopted by a VET institution, under its own control and responsibility, to improve its performance in relation to fixed training goals (mostly national).

35 p.35 Quality developments in VET Key concepts 4 Assessment and certification mechanisms Can be defined as all systematic procedures regularly used by Member States in order to control learning results in relation to identified goals. Learning may be assessed and certified through diplomas, attendance sheets, official documents, etc. It can take place in a formal/non-formal context learning, or can be the result of personal experience (informal learning). Assessment mechanisms help to make learning visible, to enhance qualifications and to capitalise on them. Certification mechanisms allow learning to be valued in order to obtain a job, to engage in professional activity, to enter training or to realise other personal plans.Certification mechanisms derive from assessment practices.

36 p.36 Quality developments in VET Key concepts 5 Indicators Characteristics or attributes that can be measured to assess a certain action such as: the achievement of an objective, the mobilisation of resources, the attainment of an effect, the attainment of quality or the impact of a context variable. Indicators can be either quantitative or qualitative.

37 p.37 Quality developments in VET Key concepts 6 Quality standards Technical specifications which are measurable and have been drawn up by consensus and approved by an organisation recognised at regional, national or international level. The purpose of quality standards is optimisation of the inputs and/or outputs of learning.


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