Title Quality Assurance Tool for VET Institutions
Project Number 191182-2010-LLP-MT-LEONARDO-EQAVET
Project Type Other EU-Projects
Individual Participation Not possible
Country EU-Centralised Projects
Marketing Text The Leonardo project EQAVET focused on implementing EQAVET to a diverse group of VET institutions in Malta. The Project brought together stakeholders from both private and state VET providers in different sectors to develop one single framework which is flexible and can be used at national level in Malta.
Summary The National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) was the Coordinating Partner of the Maltese EQAVET Project Quality Assurance Tool for VET Institutions. The main aim of this Project was the development and publication of a Manual which all kinds of VET Institutions are able to use and follow to develop a Quality Assurance system in their Institution, which system is based on the EQAVET standards and indicators, or to align their existing Quality Assurance system to EQAVET standards and indicators found in the Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET, the latter being one of the results/tools of the Copenhagen Process towards the improvement of the performance, quality and attractiveness of VET in Europe.
The Manual, which was and is the most important deliverable of the whole project and which is up for use by any interested person or entity, is the culmination of discussions, research and a pilot implementation exercise. The Partners who worked on the EQAVET Project are of 2 different types; there were 3 main Maltese VET Providers and one private Maltese VET provider who all helped in the development of the Manual but who were also the ones to try and test the Manual for EQAVET Implementation, whereas the international Partners who where chosen to represent both European VET institutions as well as public structures in their home-countries shared their experience in Quality Assurance and gave a European perspective to the whole Project.
In the process towards the creation of the abovementioned Manual two very important reports were developed, the first report provides an overview of the different Quality Assurance Systems for each of the Maltese VET Institutions participating in the Project, whereas the second report was drawn up to review the current Quality Assurance Systems of the Partner VET Institutions participating in the Project and to identify the strengths and weaknesses which they have with respect to the 10 EQAVET indicators found in the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training. The information on which these reports were based was collected through a tool developed by the NCFHE. These reports generated the reflection and discussion which was needed to translate EQAVET into day-to-day realities. A process which is underway in many current Maltese VET providers.
The Partnership worked and is still working really hard to disseminate information about the EQAVET concept and its implementation through the European Quality Assurance Tool for VET and it has done this through the development of dissemination material and the organisation of Quality Assurance Conferences – these initiatives will be backed up by further activities which will continue informing people about the benefits of Quality Assurance.
The National Commission for Further and Higher Education as the coordinating Partner of the Project together with the other 7 Project Partners worked towards the development of a tool which has helped, and will continue helping Vocational Education and Training Institutions:-
- develop a Quality Assurance system in their Institute which is in line with the EQAVET recommendation, principles and indicators; OR
- align the existing Quality Assurance System in their Institute to the EQAVET recommendation, principles and indicators
This tool, which is in fact the most important deliverable of the whole Project, has taken the form of a Manual. This Manual has provided and will continue providing to public and private VET providers alike a step by step guidance to the creation or alignment of a Quality Assurance System based on and compliant to EQAVET.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Open and distance learning
Access for disadvantaged
This Quality Assurance Manual for VET Institutions first and foremost introduces the reader/VET institute to the concept of Quality Assurance and to its pertinence to the provision of quality education. The said Manual also informs the reader on the Copenhagen Process, the EQAVET Community and the journey to improve the performance, quality and attractiveness of VET in Europe.
The EQAVET Manual then takes the reader/VET Institute through a series of questions whihc need to be answered and depending on the answer given the reader/VET Institute has to take specific action. The very first question which is posed to the reader/VET Institute is “Do you have a policy or other document which states the institutional commitment to Quality Assurance?” If the answer is in the affirmative, the VET Institute has identify where the commitment to Quality Assurance is stated, while if the answer is in the negative the VET Institute needs to take action and formally commit itself to Quality Assurance –the very first step towards EQAVET.
Further on, the Manual keeps asking questions on the 10 EQAVET indicators and suggests practical solutions until the VET institute has all the necessary Quality Assurance mechanisms in place, which quality assurance mechanisms will need to adopt and reflect the EQAVET indicators and the 4-stage quality assurance cycle of planning, implementation, evaluation and review.
With each and every step of the Manual, the Manual will report examples of good practice from the four VET Institutes which were Partners in the Project and mainly the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) and Clear Dimension Ltd. (CDL). MCAST, ITS, ETC and CDL apart from helping in the creation of this Manual, were the first Institutes to self-administer the Manual, and their experiences and examples of good practices were reported in the Manual. Each and every Maltese VET Institute is able to relate to the Manual since MCAST, ITS. ETC and CDL are a mix of public and private VET providers, varying in size, set-up and fields of study.
In view of the fact that the EQAVET indicators at provider level are mostly academic and output indicators, the Partnership also discussed the possibility of establishing a set of non-academic Quality Assurance indicators which each and every VET Institute is required to have. The Partnership believes that for VET Institutes to provide quality training non-strictly-academic issues like library services, career guidance services, registrar services etc should also be kept in the picture.
This Manual is a tool which as we said can be self-administered by each and every VET Institute; in fact the Partnership was really attentive in producing a Manual which is user-friendly and to the point. It is not the scope of the Manual to check for results of Quality Assurance but to aid in creating Quality Assurance mechanisms.
One very good aspect of this Manual is that it has been published in soft and hard versions and is up for use by other foreign authorities and VET Institutions interested in utilising the Manual in their home-country.
Sine the coming into force of Legal Notice 296/2012 on the Licensing, Accreditation and Quality Assurance Regulations of Further and Higher Education Institutions in Malta, the NCFHE has been requiring VET institutes to self-administer the Manual for Quality Assurance before they actually apply for a licence from NCFHE to operate as Further and/or Higher Education Institution.