Title ConCert - Forest Contractors Certificate of Competence - Certificat de compétence pour les entrepreneurs forestiers
Project Number 2009-1-FR1-LEO05-06968
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Tomorrow’s forestry entrepreneurs will benefit from a European training programme leading to competence certification identical in all European Union member states.
ConCert is a European programme that aims to train forestry contractors in Europe (updating or adapting existing training schemes, creating them where they do not exist), and to prepare a system of European certification to be enacted, accredited and encouraged by the profession within the ENFE (European Network of Forest Entrepreneurs).
The certificate of competence (diploma) will be written in all of the main languages of the European Union, making it easy to read everywhere. It will be issued by training centres accredited at the national and European level.
This certification will enable forest owners and manufacturers to choose competent enterprises on the basis of reliable criteria and to promote the mobility of these enterprises.
The results of the ConCert programme has been presented at the 3rd international conference of forestry training centres in June 2011 in Austria.
The mission statement of the European Network of Forest Entrepreneurs summarises the rationale for the recently launched project ConCert, which aims at the development of curricula for entrepreneurial competences of forestry contractors and at the certification of competence according to European standards.
Today, more than 50,000 mainly small or micro enterprises are responsible for carrying out the majority of forest operations in Europe. These forestry contractors are on the move to
becoming a highly professional sector. Further development is crucially required to ensure the
further availability of a workforce which is needed both in number and competence to provide
forest owners and the forest based industry with services in forest operations and management. To this end forestry work has to become more attractive to workers, and the business has to be profitable to attract keen and competent people to run and maintain forest service enterprises. A key to success is qualification and training. While there are numerous training schemes for workers in most European countries, ConCert focuses on contractors and on attendants of vocational education who consider to become contractors.
Under leadership of the Centre Forestier de la région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (France)ConCert has drawn together a project group consisting of the Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und
Forsttechnik (KWF, Germany), Tampere College (Finland) and the European Network of Forest
Entrepreneurs (ENFE).The requirements for the quality of services are steadily increasing, and the forest operation and logistics processes become more and more complex. Legal requirements for employment and social security have to be met, and certification of forest management goes along with a full range of requirements for the quality of performance, and with demands particularly for the protection of stands and biodiversity. Until now there are virtually no training measures available which are addressed at the training demand for contractors´ management skills. Education and training is assigned to impart technical skills to operators and workers. Higher academic level training still seems to relate to the knowledge and skills for managing a forest property, but rather rarely to manage a service enterprise. So there is an obvious gap in training in most European countries. An obstacle to further education of contractors is that time and resources allocated to training are rather limited due to the high economic pressure contractors face in their day to day business. Many contractors who already are in business have a keen practical knowledge of their
operations and a high level of technical skills, either obtained in vocational training or in training on the job, but they rarely achieved training or education for managerial tasks. The competence requirements need to be met with training offers on vocational training level,and in further education schemes which need to be designed in a way that they really meet the actual training needs of contractors who are already in business. The prove of competences of contractors and forestry workers more and more becomes a requirement in the technical specifications of tenders for forest operations, and it is one of the
core requirements in the criteria of the major forest management certification schemes. The
ConCert training and certification shall be designed in a way, that a certificate for the
successful attendance in ConCert training can deliver this evidence. The reasons are obvious, that the training standards and the training content must be developed and certified on European level. Free movement of services within the European Union already is
the order of the day, particularly when one observes the high number of enterprises which work outside their own country when a storm has hit a forest area, and at the latest in 2014 the free movement of workers will be reality for all citizens of the European Union. It needs to be ensured, that a certificate obtained in one country will be understood and acknowledged in the second country. Therefore, ConCert aims at a training curriculum which will be implemented in all European countries, and which will be certified according to European standards
ConCert will deliver a curriculum for managerial tasks in small and medium forest enterprises that will be based on the knowledge of good practice in forest operations which has been compiled in the “Guide to Good Practice in Forest Contracting”2. This guide offers a wide range
of examples for enterprise and competence development which can be used as learning content in ConCert training. However, we start the process with defining the competences of contractors which are required to cope with the future demands for managing an enterprise successfully. A lot of work has already been done in the past with developing tools for skills assessment, both of contractors and workers, staring in our project ENQuaFor3 and further refined in COMFOR4. The skills assessment tool will be used to achieve a solid knowledge about education needs for contractors.
Based on this knowledge, a curriculum has been designed, and tested in five different training centres to ensure its practical applicability. The project ConCert has a duration of just two years, since October 2011 the curriculum is available to be provided to all European countries via the ENFE and its membership, and by the wider Eduforest Network.
Of course any certificate that attempts to be credible and reliable needs to be managed and
governed competently. The ideal body for this purpose will be the European Forestry and
Environmental Skills Council (EFESC) which has been found during those past two years. EFESC is an entity that will be established to manage the European Chainsaw Standard (ECS) which equally is in the process of development and supported by a Leonardo da Vinci grant5. EFESC is the initiative of experts from forestry training centres and industry and shall become the umbrella organisation which manages European forestry and environmental skills certificates.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
program or curricula
transparency and certification
Product information L'ensemble du projet est publié sur le site eduforest en français, anglais et allemand.