Title engAGEnt - Development and validation of a curriculum for vocational AAL education
Project Number DE/12/LLP-LdV/TOI/147536
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text In this project, a harmonized European curriculum was developed and validated based on the principles of ECVET. It qualifies the student for the professional duty of an AAL-Consultant. These AAL consultants have the knowledge, skills and competencies to analyze the individual needs and living situation of an elderly person. They are able to develop strategies and lead the people to a significant improvement of the living situation. People who have completed the curriculum are enabled to discuss and implement solutions to meet very individual needs (including technical expertise and social skills).
Reason for the project
Concepts of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) comprise assistence systems, methods and other solutions for elderly and handicapped people to live self-determined in comfort in their environment. Due to the demographic change, which is affecting all European countries similarly, the AAL sector is growing rapidly, creating new jobs for qualified employees Europewide. Thus joint European strategies are needed in order to qualify people for these jobs.
Well-trained employees in the field were rare as holistic education programs were not yet available within the EU. Single trainings varied extensively in quality, duration, compatability with market needs and did not facilitate transparent and comparable training at European level. Thus the engAGEnt AAL curriculum was developed, allowing mobility and recognition between EU countries, as it is EQF related and ECVET based.
Aims and objectives
In this project a harmonised European curriculum based on the principles of ECVET has been developed and validated, which is qualifying people for the job role of an AAL specialist or consultant. Those AAL consultants have the knowledge, skills and competences for analyzing the living situation of an elderly subject, developing strategies and finally guiding people towards distinct improvements. People who have finished the curriculum are able to discuss and implement solutions in order to meet very individualized needs (including technical knowhow as well as social skills).
All project partners had a long track record with European projects, many of them in the field of ECVET and EQF, so that the partnership disposed of the necessary expertise in developing qualifications in line with the principles of ECVET and EQF.
1. European curriculum for vocational AAL expert education in compliance with the principles of ECVET (i.e. description by learning units, learning outcomes and attribution of ECVET credit points).
2. Memorandum of Understanding between competent bodies in the VET sector of the participating countries that agree upon common assessment, validation and recognition procedures in line with ECVET.
3. Multicentric validation of the developed curriculum by pilot trainings
* Higher transparency and thus better quality of vocational education in the AAL field.
* Improvement of the mutual recognition of qualifications and partial qualifications achieved abroad
* Enhancement of mobility of trainees and professionals in the area of AAL
The consequences of the demographic change represent an exceptional challenge for the European Union and its public health and elderly care systems. In order to face the upcoming challanges various technologies and concepts of Ambient Assistant Living (AAL) have been developed and are under the most promising strategies for successfully coping with the problems the demographic change is bringing about.
However, as comprehensive AAL concepts involve a number of different professional disciplines (e.g. engineers, programmers, nurses, medical staff, facility managers, computer scientists, social workers etc,), a lack of qualified employees having transdisciplinary competences that meet the requirements of AAL can be observed.
Current projects are working on the identification of the skills needed to excel in AAL related professions and on the description of these in AAL specialist competence profiles (e.g. LdV LMP project 'COMPAAL').
Until today professional AAL education programs have been rare and have differed between countries within the EU. Typically the focus of education related to AAL is on social issues or on technical issues - but there were no inter- or transdisciplinary approaches available.
There is a high need of standardized curricula for educating expert staff which is familiar with a wide range of possibilities of assistance in the field of AAL, including mobility, technical assistance systems, strategies for improving potential social isolation, financial issues, quality of life, improvements of the home environment, etc. The lack of transparency and comparability of the so far available AAL training offers and the uncertainty about the quality of training programs, however, have been the major barriers for making use of further vocational training programmes (Dr. Regina Buhr: "Die Fachkräftesituation in AAL-Tätigkeitsfeldern", AAL-Kongress Berlin, 2009; Survey with 1500 companies and stakeholders).
The project has closed the gap between job market needs and the current training offers available in the field of AAL by creating and validating a harmonised European curriculum based on the principles of ECVET which qualifies professionals for job roles relating to AAL technologies and concepts. This AAL qualification trains the professionals to design, plan and implement solutions that meet the individual needs of the elderly. They are enabled to analyse the living situation of an elderly subject, develop appropriate strategies for the particular needs and finally set up suitable AAL solutions.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Utilization and distribution of results
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Other Service Activities
program or curricula
transparency and certification
material for open learning
The development and implementation of the curriculum with European scope and in line with ECVET has made qualification in this field more transparent and comparable at European level. This will improve the employability of professionals in the field of AAL. Moreover, processes for assessing, validating and recognising of learning outcomes acquired abroad have been jointly developed and agreed in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding signed among different countries involved into the project so that professional mobility is facilitated and thus fostered at European level.
Finally the developed curriculum as well as the whole assessment and recognition process has been validated in several pilot trainings in different countries, thus demonstrating the feasibility of the AAL Consultant training programme on the basis of the developed curriculum.