Title Permeability in post-secondary VET: Creating the EQF - ECVET bridge: PERMEVET
Project Number 2009-1-NO1-LEO05-01047
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text PERMEVET – bridge between ECVET and EQF at levels 3-7 enhancing permeability
Lack of permeability - between sectors and levels - is one of the main challenges in vocational education and training (VET). Existing systems are mainly targeting a training perspective, whereas the industry itself requires relevant skills and competences in a flexible and changing business environment. The difference between applying learning objectives or learning outcomes when comparing is crucial to the understanding of how the individual's background and potential can be capitalised in employment.
The objective of the project is to elaborate vertical transparency between EQF (European Qualifications Framework) levels 3-7, crossing sectoral borders and secure a reciprocity in the understanding and accreditation of aggregated skills and competences, independent of formal or nonformal ways of acquiring them. The basic concept will be the ECVET principles (European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training), underlining the description and accreditation of learning outcomes as the "currency exchange basis".
The project builds on experiences gathered in the EU Leonardo projects VQTS and CREDIVOC, the German ANKOM project and the EU ECVET project SME Master, a transnational comparison of skills and competences required to obtain the certificate of a Master of Skilled Crafts (Brevet de Maîtrise - Meisterbrief - Mesterbrev).
The consortium is based upon the cooperation between stakeholders like competent bodies, training and certification providers, higher education institutions, authorities and social partners as well as research and development organisations within VET. The consortium represents experience from more than 100 EU financed projects in different VET sectors.
Building upon previous methods and experimental and/or implemented examples of reciprocal cooperation between higher education institutions and post secondary VET providers, the project will experiment new combinations where nationally or sectorally accredited certifications are valid when crossing previous barriers in systems. Crafts and crafts like vocations at post-secondary level will be selected (eg construction, electro(nics), car maintenance/repair or estethetics like floristry/hairdresser).
With functioning systems of crossover certifications, the skills and competences of individuals and in the workforce in general opens for flexibility in how human resources can be optimised and where individuals can run through alternative careers and training paths - as expressed in the Norwegian White Paper 2008:18, VET for the future.
The outcome of the project will be an ECVET based model where education and training providers and accrediting institutions can find a functioning tool for bridging over existing differences when training pathways are to be developed and accredited. For transnational mobility in training as well as for a mobile workforce, these are areas where the demands are often expressed - and where this type of solution should be most welcome.
Summarised, the project has met its objectives through a bridging between different strands of training based on the ECVET principles and with examples of transnational transitions through different EQF levels. The validation of this through a possible mobility approach has been documented through the virtual mobilities drafted and explored - and with real mobilities to be implemented after the project's closing.
More specified according to the application:
General objectives met:
LEO-SpObj-a: Increasing permeability through focusing on explicit learning outcomes, regardless of ways of acquiring skills, knowledge and qualifications documented through a validation system covering individually accrued vocational credit and personal benefit from previous and continuing learning, has been documented as part of a lifelong perspective (Res 1 & 2).
LEO-SpObj-b: Bridging between EQF levels and between VET and higher education as an innovative approach has been explored with new methodology and defined matrix structures to be implemented (Res 1, 3, 4 & 5).
LEO-SpObj-c: Options for more flexible systems as concerns validation and accreditation has been documented, giving options of transversality and transparency across previous barriers. In this context, vocational education and training should be more attractive as it is no longer a "dead-end" career path, but now opening for alternative pathways depending upon development of personal ambitions, vocational opportunities or structural changes in the respective industries (Res 5, 6, 7 & 10).
Operational objectives met:
LEO-OpObj-2: The extent of co-operation between institutions and organisations providing learning opportunities at different EQF levels, enterprises, social partners and other relevant bodies has been documented at a “micro-level” inside the project partnership. On a broader scale this will improve the quality and acceptance of VET as a sustainable and viable training pathway, open for candidates regardless of previous backgrounds (Res 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6).
LEO-OpObj-3: The development of the experimented modules and matrixes based on learning outcomes has documented the potential for transfers between EQF levels and between participating countries (Res 4, 5, 6 and 7).
LEO-OpObj-4: Validation of non-formal and informal learning has been integrated as a strong component in the recognition of qualifications and competences, realised in the learning outcomes matrixes (Res 2, 5 & 6).
The partnership was set up to have a broad coverage and with varied backgrounds to be a good basis for further developments of already acquired experiences from previous Leonardo projects. A total of 15 partners from 7 countries represented different levels of the education and training systems, a variety of VET traditions (school based, workplace based and real dual systems) as well as different positioning of VET in the more general hierarchy of social position. In this context Germany and Austria with their strong position of VET, and especially the Master of Skilled Craft, represent the higher levels, the Nordic countries represented by Denmark, Iceland and Norway also with well organised VET structures representing "the upper middle of VET", and Italy and Lithuania where the systems may be seen as more in transition and lacking some of the coherence found in other countries like Germany.
Recognition, transparency, certification
program or curricula
transparency and certification
The joint partnership has managed to :
A: Use common concepts, terminology and approach (learning outcome based) regardless of referring to VET or higher education, to obtain the necessary compatibility for an efficient interoperability between systems and levels.
B: Experiment a common approach, regardless of national legal barriers and constraints, in selected sectors/vocations (Automotive, Construction, Floristry and Electronics), to gain experience and enhance the attractiveness of VET. When national legislation and regulations posed a barrier to broader sector implementations, theoretical approaches were used.
C: Further develop and refine a collection of tools and methods to be used when exploring and developing compatible units or modules.
D: Establish an agreed and accepted platform to increase attention to and attractiveness of VET through a reduction of the former barriers between VET and Higher education, thereby increasing recruitment into more flexible training pathways across gender and age.
E: Establish the first steps of networking at consortium and national level to support sustainability of the permeability approach through a transnational validation and valorisation of learning outcomes matrixes.
F: Develop a common language with learning outcomes organised in matrixes as the “currency” which can document the competence and qualification levels in small and medium sized enterprises based on more flexible training pathways and corresponding accreditations.