Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text In the Project “Certi.MenTu – Certification for Mentors and Tutors“, a programme for certifying mentors and tutors for workplace learning according to the International Standard EN ISO 17024:2003, was developed. Based on a European Competence Matrix for Mentors and Tutors according to EQF on level 5, and transferring innovative products from previous projects, a seminar programme, the criteria for admission to certification, recognizing formal and non-formal knowledge, as well as the whole certification process, were elaborated.
In Certi.MenTu, the focus was on the field of workplace learning in the vocational sector. The main purpose was to transfer the very positive experiences and results from the previous project “IWOLTE”, where a learning system for vocational teachers in training institutions and supervisors in companies had been developed. A similar approach had been developed in the project “EOF-European Outplacment Framework”, which had also adressed the same target group, identifying vocational teachers as “tutors” and supervisors as “mentors”. Working together in Certi.MenTu, the project partnership was able to create a common picture of tutoring and mentoring in the context of workplace learning and to define the roles and scope of activities of tutors and mentors (Project goal: “Common definition of the functions of tutors and mentors in the context of an active labour market policy”).
Based on this, a competence matrix according to EQR level 5 was developed for mentors as well as for tutors, describing knowledge, skills and competencies needed to live up to the role and tasks of a mentor or tutor. Unifying the various approaches of mentoring and tutoring in the vocational context was the groundwork for the development of a certification programme. The certification programme, including a series of seminars, is the first of its kind to enable certification of mentors and tutors based on an international standard. This certification process was a transfer of innovation from the previous project ISO-QUAM, which focused on certification processes on the basis of the ISO 17024:2003 Personnel Certification.
In Certi.MenTu, the approaches from ISO-QUAM were adapted to the requirements and conditions in the vocational sector, the resulting certification programme, based on ISO 17024:2003, was tested during a pilot test phase by all partners (Project goals: “Transfer and further development of a series of seminars forming the basis for certification exams” and “Transfer of the certification process developed within the framework of the ISO-QUAM project”)
The main outputs of the project Certi.MenTu are:
• Transnational definition of the role and scope of activities of mentors and tutors
• Competence matrices for mentors and tutors according to EQF on level 5
• Certification programme for the certification of mentors and tutors according to EN ISO 17024:2003
• Implementation of the certification programme in all partner countries
In the project IWOLTE, a seminar programme for mentors and tutors, consisting of six modules, was developed and tested. Absolving the training course should enhance the competences of the target group and enable real workplace learning. The modules were created taking into account new pedagogical as well as technological knowledge.
In the project EOF a three-day training course for trainers (tutors) and HR-Managers (mentors), based on the idea that not only qualification itself, but also guidance in job search was an important measure for job acquisition after qualification, was developed. During the pilot phase of this training, mentors and tutors worked together in some modules. According to the feedback of the participants, this close cooperation led to a better understanding for the specific problems in both areas and to an approach of the vocational sector and the economy sector in the respective countries.
One of the main ideas of Certi.MenTu was to transfer the results of IWOLTE and combine them with the results of the EOF concept in order to optimize the supportive processes for learning and job search. By thorough research on challenges and trends in the mentoring and tutoring sectors in all partner countries, the roles of mentors and tutors as well as the competences needed were clearly defined and agreed. According to the results, the respective competence matrices for mentors and tutors were developed. They give a clear picture of the demands on mentors and tutors in workbased learning programmes and are the fundamental basis for the seminar programme and the whole certification process. The matrices should be evaluated in the future on a regular basis and adapted to changes in general conditions in order to identify new learning needs for mentors and tutors.
The certification process developed in Certi.MenTu is the second transfer of innovation from a preceeding project, the project ISO-QUAM. The competence certification scheme was adapted and is now a possiblity for competence recognition according to the standard of ISO 17024:2003 for vocational sector. Organisations and bodies are now able to plan and implement person certification schemes for tutors and mentors in training centres and companies, creating a competitive advantage for themselves and the training institutions.
By elaborating the certification programme the following objectives were met:
• Provision of a certification scheme referenced to EQF level 5 that develops and confirms the competence of certificate-holders to act as mentors or tutors for learners in the workplace.
• Development of transparent, competence-oriented standards as guidelines for quality criteria for mentoring/tutoring as a form of consulting.
• Application of the competence basis formulated in ISO 17024, development of a competecy landscape as programme basis.
• Creation of an educational programme which teaches the application of specific tools, stimulates self-experience and imparts knowledge about the wide range of approaches in relationship formation (overarching approach combining different schools of thought).
• Development of a modular concept which guarantees programme homogeneity and designs the individual modules in such a way that they meet individual requirements for further education.
• Use of recertification as provided for in ISO 17024 as an element of quality enhancement and a step towards lifelong learning.
• Providing a means to acquire certification for this target group.
• Uniform, transparent definition of capabilities / competencies according to the EQF (level 5).
program or curricula
transparency and certification
description of new occupation profiles
The main products of Certi.MenTu are:
• European Report about the Tutoring and Mentoring Sector – Challenges and Trends
The report presents the definitions of the participating countries in terms of mentoring and tutoring as well as the various professions in which these roles exist. The report aims to compare the different definitions so as to set the framework for the development of Certi.MenTu materials and certification. What is more, the current report presents the existing developments in the field in terms of formal and non-formal learning and the impact the project is expected to have in the participating countries. It presents the results of the national reports, as well as the comparison between the countries. The European report on mentors and tutors has guided the implementation of the project as it identified how the project's deliverables could be piloted in different countries. After the project it is still an instrument for identifying the right target groups promoting the Certi.MenTu Seminar Programme for Mentors and Tutors and the Certification for Mentors and Tutors according to ISO 17024.
• European Competence Matrix for Mentors and Tutors on EQR-level 5
The Matrices are the results of the systematic elaboration of competences as products of learning processes, based on the chart of descriptors of the European Qualifications Framework on level 5. They contain a description of required knowledge, skills and competences of mentors and tutors in work-based learning programmes and form a solid basis for the development of a training programme for mentors and tutors as well as for establishing criteria for gaining a certification according to ISO 17024, which is recognised throughout Europe. Furthermore the matrices are a basis for a learning needs analysis in order to be able to individualise the training programme and/or the admission for certification, taking into account previous knowledge acquired from non-formal and informal learning.
• Seminar programme for the training of mentors and tutors
For the seminar programme, six modules were developed according to the core competences required from mentors and tutors in the field of workbased learning. The modular design allows adapting duration and contents of the training according to prior experience of participants evaluated by a learning needs analysis. Most of the units are equally designed for tutors and mentors in order to enhance cooperation and exchange of ideas. There is a clear focus on practical implementation of theoretical inputs in all training sessions.The goal is to acquire all necessary competences for working successfully as a mentor or tutor in the context of workbased learning.The seminar programme is an essential part of the certification process for Mentors and Tutors according to ISO 17024.
• Competence Certification Scheme ISO 17024 certified Mentor or Tutor
The certification scheme is an important and easy to use tool for the confirmation and certification of competences of mentors and tutors achieved in formal and also in informal and non-formal learning. It is referenced to EQF level 5 and develops and confirms the competence of certificate-holders to act as mentors or tutors for learners in the workplace. The products mentioned above are the basis (European Report, Competence Matrices) or are part (Seminar Programme) of the certification programme. Recertification as provided for in ISO 17024 is used as an element of quality enhancement and a step towards lifelong learning.
The programme is designed for people acting as mentors or tutors to learners in work-based programmes and employment placements. Mentors will normally be employed in the same organisation the learner is working or placed in, although it is possible for the mentor to be an experienced practitioner in the same area of work but in another organisation. Mentoring takes place in many other situations that do not involve a specific programme of learning, for instance to support the general induction of new employees or those moving into a new role, improve performance at work, and support career development or career change. These are outside the scope of the programme.
Tutors usually work for an education or training body, or in an education, training or work placement role within another organisation. The term tutor is used in a much wider range of contexts than those described above, e.g. to mean teachers, lecturers and trainers in general, or staff or senior students providing tu-torials in a school, college or university. These are outside the scope of the programme.
The occupational area relating to the mentor’s or tutor’s role in workplace learning may be at any level, e.g. from an introduction to work at a basic skill level through to postgraduate professional training.