Title COMPASS – Definition and Documentation of Intercultural-Competencies aquired in European Mobility Projects
Project Number DE/08/LLP-LdV/TOI/147166
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The underlying philosophy of the COMPASS Method is to present and document the professional skills and intercultural competences acquired within the scope of a work placement abroad in a well-structured manner. In 5 steps, the partners involved in a mobility project (sending organisation, mobility participants and hosting organisation) can align the curricula and learning objectives in a dialogue and visualise the progress of competence gained abroad.
Gaining international experience is evermore important not only to enhance job opportunities on the labour market but also for the professional advancement. Stays abroad for work and internship measures are in turn increasingly popular. They provide a good basis to broaden professional qualifications, improve skills in foreign languages and to develop personal abilities in an intercultural environment.
However, one problem was how to agree content and individual learning objectives of an internship and to document the learning achievements gained abroad: Upon their return, the participants account of mainly positive results in view of personality development. Beside this, the gained professional experiences were often not explicitly stated. In turn it was not always clear, where is the professional advantage of an internship abroad?
The procedure, developed within the COMPASS-project, intends to improve this communication process among the different actors in a trans-national mobility-project. COMPASS intends to support as well the agreement on learning objectives as the documentation of learning achievements in terms of professional skills, personal and social competences acquired during an internship abroad.
The project started with the development of the „COMPASS-Competence-Map“ as trans-nationally adjusted framework helping to describe learning achievements with regards to job specific, as well as inter-cultural capacity gains. In order to facilitate the application of this definition and documentation framework parallel the COMPASS- online database was set up. This internet-based tool helps to organize an interactive communication process among the actors within a trans-national mobility project for the establishment of individual competence profiles, the agreement on learning objectives and the documentation of learning outcomes, achieved during the internship abroad.
The test of the COMPASS-tools in different trans-national mobility projects proofed the functionality of the concept. Nevertheless it was also established, that the implementation oft he COMPASS-procedure in working routines for the preparation of trans-national mobility projects needs comprehensive preparatory measures. In accordance a training-concept for interested users was developed and published in an English and German version. Furthermore userguides for mobility students and project-administrators were produced and published in the 8 European languages.
The added value of the COMPASS-procedure is, that during the whole cycle of a mobility project it is possible to organize among the participating parties a constant dialogue, starting with the assesment of future project-participants and ending with the documentation and visualisation of learning outcomes. The participating mobility-students were mainly very positive towards the the COMPASS-procedure. The liked the opportunity to set up their personal competence profiles and to compare their self-assesment before and after their internship abroad. In a result they and had a better understanding on own expectations towards their stay abroad they took much more responsibilty for the learning process.
Open and distance learning
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Other Service Activities
transparency and certification
program or curricula
The additional benefit of the COMPASS method is the possibility to point out the interaction between the interpersonal, social, intercultural competences and professional skills acquired abroad in order to incorporate also achievements of informal and non-formal learning into the assessment of the internship abroad. The developed tools help:
• Sending organisations to visualise the competence profile of the mobility participants and to align leaning objectives and thus to facilitate the selection of the appropriate company for the placement.
• Hosting organisations to gather in time information regarding the professional qualifications, language skills, personal and social skills of a mobility participant and his/her expectations to the work placement.
• Mobility participants to take active part in the alignment of their learning objectives abroad and the visualisation of their achievements and will have a transparent proof of the competence progress made.
With the „E-portfolio“, generated by the COMPASS-database, the mobility participants receive a tool helping them to describe experiences and learning achievements individually. In accordance with sending and hosting organisations they are also actively involved in the documentation of their learning achievements. In form of a „Double Competence-Radar“, established after finishing a second self-assessment, the positive results of competence development can be visualized, confirmed by the COMPASS-certificate, as a supplement to the EuropassMobility.