Title Common Quality Assurance Framework-VET, a provider online model
Project Number 2011-1-SE1-LEO05-08379
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
CQAF-VET ONLINE MODEL ensures that the learner owns the process of learning; it enables
learning to be responsible and ‘just in time’, providing the learning is relevant to the learner, and allowing the learner to be active and to ‘do’ rather than to ‘receive’.
Summary In 2006, the Helsinki Communiqué underlined the need to further develop and implement common European tools specifically aimed at VET, with regards to Common Quality Assurance Framework (CQAF) in VET. The framework contributes to quality improvement in VET and to increased transparency of VET policy developments between Member States, thereby promoting mutual trust, mobility of workers and learners.(OJ C 311, 21.12.2007, p. 13.) Based on the above CQAF, this partnership, through an LdV -TOI developed a European-model based on CQAF for VET-providers. Starting point of the development was the ISO-model of Folksuniversitetet Sweden and the attention areas for (Adult)VET. The model focused on the common nominators for quality assurance at VET-providers level with regards to national peculiarities. The elaborated CQAF-model by this partnership consists of three major axes regarding outcome of learning processes. The first axe relates to essential themes regarding the content and learning methodologies. The second axe concerns vital organisational themes that are essential for the delivery of (A)VET, and the third one covers important themes that address issues of the learner. For each axe there are 4 themes attached, totally twelve themes. They were defined and indicators were distinguished that steer quality development of the whole VET- program on that specific theme. These enable organisations to give proof that they take a good care of that specific theme. The model can be used as a monitor and assurance instrument for assessment of Quality at EU level as well as for the development of organisations` own quality systems. The model incorporates 28 indicators to monitor and assess quality measures to be taken at a basic level (1) as well as at a more sophisticated level (level 4). The national Agencies for VET in partner countries expressed interest in the model and part of it had been tested by the Swedish YH-myndigheten. However, the 12 themes and 28 indicators of above elaborated model, needed to be tested at wider level by VET-providers and then it had to be developed to a user-friendly online instrument for VET providers. That was why there was a need that coordinating partner and YH-myndigheten would test the model at a wide range in order to have finalised the model before it was developed to an online-instrument. The partners tested the changes in the model in their own countries to make sure that they were applicable.
The aim of the project was to test and finalise already elaborated QA-model by this partnership and transfer the model to an online instrument for self-assessment and quality improvement for VET-providers.
The themes, indicators and levels in the model had to be tested at a wider range among different kinds of VET-providers in order to calibrate the model. The alterations and changes had to be tested by partners in respective country, so that the model would have a European application and justification. After the finalisation the model was made available online for VET-providers in 5 different languages, including advice and best practise for improvement of VET quality in their organisation.
Improving quality assurance systems in VET
Quality Assurance issues in vocational education and training (public, private education and training as well as the area adult education) were of importance for the development of common European standards concerning (A)VET. Transparency of QA would contribute to transparency of the (A)VET market, the mobility of learners and the promotion of Life Long Learning. However these standards were working at a national level. EU (A)VET providers still lacked a common European operational model for QA in (A)VET with common standards - an operational model at provider’s level that shared common standards and procedures. Until this project, providers across the European Union could only use various models, standards, criteria and procedures to establish quality in (A)VET. Those differences complicated transparency and created barriers for validation of (A)VET programs and for mobility of learners.
To solve that problem (A)VET providers had to elaborate an operational model that would bring into harmony EU policy, national context and policy, and providers own policy, input and effort on QA. This was the target this project set itself.
Product information The model specifically supports quality development and quality assurance for organisations that provide (adult) vocational education and training. The focus of the model is only on those themes (and their related underlying processes) that are considered important for education and training. The model emphasis themes recognized as being relevant by providers of education and training across Europe. Thus it is not meant to be a holistic model that has the pretence to cover every organizational process (i.e. like ISO or EFQM) or even replace these and similar models. However, since it is so specific for education and training, it is a useful extension of more general quality assurance models like ISO and EFQM, which often lack the specifics of this sector. The model can be used as a kind of self-assessment tool for QA. Organisations that take their customers and stakeholders seriously can use the self-assessment questionnaire to assess whether they are able to comply to level 2 of this model or not. From this questionnaire feedback at indicator level will provide them with information for further development of their QA policy. To ensure quality of vocational education and training the CQAF-(A)VET model distinguishes three major axes which contribute to a desired outcome of learning processes. The first axe relates to essential themes regarding the (determination of) content and learning methodologies used. The second axe relates to some vital organizational themes that are essential for the delivery of education and training. And the third axe covers important themes that address issues of the learner. (Within this model the following EU-definition of quality is used: Quality of any educational institute depends on the capacity to achieve prior set targets (Technical Working Group on Quality, Faurschau, CEDEFOP, 2003)