28 avril 2014

Learning outcomes are here to stay but a lot of work remains to be done - ECVET Magazine No 18

'Learning outcomes are here to stay but a lot of work remains to be done'. The latest issue of the magazine includes interesting articles on the ECVET network's life and on the latest developments on ECVET.
Edito - Question time - By Carlo Scatoli Policy Officer at the European Commission – Adult Education and Continuing VET.
Questions. For us who deal with ECVET and other European instruments on skills, credits, quality and qualifications, this is the season when question marks bloom.
Blooming started earlier for Europass, EQF and EQAVET, early enough for first answers to find their way to the public debate: the external evaluation reports are available on the Europa website (Cf. http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/more_info/evaluations/index_en.htm), as are the reports that the Commission submitted to the European Parliament and the Council (Cf. EQF http://ec.europa.eu/eqf/documentation_en.htm).
The first report on ECVET by an external evaluation team will soon be available, presenting findings, considerations, conclusions and recommendations. Five years after the adoption of its legal basis, it is the time for ECVET community to look back and reflect on itself. Is ECVET still relevant in the current policy context? Is there cooperation with other transparency tools? What is the benefit for learners and other stakeholders? Is ECVET supporting people in VET, is it helping them train abroad? Is it supporting their mobility? And many more – the terms of reference include 43 question marks.
Still, the report on ECVET that the Commission will submit in 2014 to the European legislative bodies will take advantage of further questions. This newsletter is released still within the four month span, from mid-De - cember 2013 to 15 April 2014, during which citizens and organisations are invited to participate in the open consultation on a European area of skills and qualifications (EA-SQ). I am sure many of you have contributed already and others will soon follow.
Just in case you have not yet received the invitation to participate in the open consultation on a European area of skills and qualifications, here is the link: http://ec.europa.eu/ dgs/education_culture/more_info/ consultations/skills_en.htm
The objective of the EA-SQ is to ensure that citizens who look for a job or further learning – anywhere in the European area – can trust that their skills and their qualifications will be appropriately understood, appreciated, recognised. This covers a great deal of situations – from recognition of foreign qualifications to good com - munication between jobseekers and employers. The purpose of ECVET is to allow people who develop skills in a training environment to have those skills recorded, assessed and certified as a credit that can be cumulated and transferred. This helps people by ma - king their learning opportunities more flexible, facilitating mobility across countries, transfer across sectors and institutions of education and training, compatibility with working life.
It looks very much like implementing ECVET in a satisfactory way does contribute to the objective of the EA-SQ, doesn’t it? If the knowledge, skills and competence you have developed are packed into “units of learning outcomes” – as we say in ECVET –, do they actually become easier to be understood, appreciated, recognised? What does the ECVET experience so far tell us about that? Such questions have been addressed in a special meeting of the ECVET Users’ Group on 13 March 2014. Representatives of countries and social partners have gone through the issues raised in the open consultation, focusing on what the ECVET experience could suggest. Their considerations will be gathered in a document that will be part of the response to the consultation.
The meeting on 13 March has been the first occasion to discuss such questions, others will follow: the Users Group meeting of 13-14 May will debate the final report of the external evaluation and the messages to convey to the European Parliament and the Council, which will also be tabled in the meeting of the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training of 3 June, on 17 June a dedicated conference will discuss the EA-SQ, and the ECVET Forum of 30-31 October will have its share of question marks on ECVET’s next steps, and a few steps beyond. That was a long introduction, now it is time for questions and answers. See more in ECVET Magazine No 18 (March 2014)...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:46 - - Permalien [#]


The NetECVET workshops - Workshop 5: Quality assurance

Special issue dedicated to the Joint ECVET conference held on 24-25 October 2013 in Brussels. Download ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.
Article by Sibilla Drews, National LLP Agency, Germany. The NetECVET workshops
Workshop 5: Quality assurance   

ECVET supports quality in mobility. However, to ensure continuous improvement, the use of ECVET for geographical mobility must also be underpinned by quality assurance (QA) procedures. This relates to the ECVET mobility of individual learners as well as to the ECVET partnership.
The four-step procedure of the EQAVET quality circle (planning – implementation – evaluation – review) can be applied to specific mobility experience and to ECVET partnerships.
The mobility project ‘F.A.N.T.E.’ demonstrated which quality assurance tools were used during the different phases at the two different levels (mobility of individual learners and the ECVET partnership). F.A.N.T.E. stands for ‘Fostering and Teaching Entrepreneurship’. It is a mobility project dedicated to young students in IVET within the age of 16-18 in the field of culinary arts and tourist services. The project has experimented with all ECVET components based on the EQAVET quality cycle.
Three bilateral Memoranda of Understanding were signed with intermediary partners. They state the responsibilities and roles of each partner involved along with experimentation and identification of the basic rules for the assessment and recognition of learning outcomes. However, it was dif ficult to involve the competent authorities in the partner countries, and even in Italy.
First, units of learning outcomes were identified based on local training standards and according to the needs of the labour markets. The method, validation and recognition process was shared and agreed with international part - ners and the competent body in Italy. Assessment was the most complicated component. F.A.N.T.E. translated the existing assessment system into ECVET by putting a new assessment grid on top of the existing one which had to be kept.
After the first year (50 mobilities) a review was carried out with the assistance of the Italian national group of experts and the regional administration. Few adjustments to the assessment questionnaire were needed. Mid and long term evaluations followed. One of the biggest problems encountered was the lack of cooperation of the competent authorities abroad. Also, the fact that mobility periods were one way and not exchanges turned out to be problematic. ECVET experimentation can hardly be successful without reciprocal exchange. Finally, the lack of finance proved to be another problem. ECVET has multiple effects on the organisation of mobility and generally VET providers are not economically strong enough to face that without additional resources. The problems were not easy to handle, but could be solved.
The project ‘FANTE’: Partners from Malta, Germany and Spain received students from Italy in compulsory education and training between 16 and 18 years old.
Contact: AFP COLLINE ASTIGIANE Scarl Reg. San Rocco 74 Tel +39 0141 954079
Contact person: Mr. Matteo Gazzarata E-mail: Matteo.gazzarata@virgilio.it. See more in ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:36 - - Permalien [#]

The NetECVET workshops

Special issue dedicated to the Joint ECVET conference held on 24-25 October 2013 in Brussels. Download ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.
Article by Sibilla Drews, National LLP Agency, Germany. The NetECVET workshops   
Behind the NetECVET network is a group of 14 National Agencies for the Lifelong Learning Programme (Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and the UK); coordinated by the German National Agency. The network promotes ECVET in the context of transnational mobility and supports the implementation process in the Member States through a bottom-up approach. It addresses VET practitioners and supports and guides them in the application of ECVET.
Over a period of two years, NetECVET carried out workshops across Europe to share experiences and collect good practice about how to work with ECVET in the context of learners’ mobility. This resulted in the development of the ECVET toolkit (see box). See more in ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:33 - - Permalien [#]

The activities of the national teams of ECVET experts

Special issue dedicated to the Joint ECVET conference held on 24-25 October 2013 in Brussels. Download ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.
Article by Anette Curth, (ICF GHK). The activities of the national teams of ECVET experts  
25 National Agencies of the Lifelong Learning Programme 1 have established National Teams of ECVET Experts in their respective country. The purpose of these Teams is to promote and further develop the adoption, the application and the use of ECVET in their countries. In doing so, they support the relevant actors involved in Vocational Education and Training on a national level to ensure the best use of ECVET tools. Nearly 150 out of 200 appointed ECVET experts were present at the conference, using the opportunity to share experiences and expand their network...
How the ECVET experts helped to address key issues with ECVET implementation
The conference showed that there is a need to further work on the interface between policy, projects and mainstream practice - gateways between these strands should be created; and this should happen in the context of a broader national strategy. This strategy should create a link between the European transparency instruments, and should focus on the quality of VET as such. The national experts contributed significantly to paving the way towards such strategies.
• They addressed a large variety of stakeholders on policy level: European, national and regional authorities; decision makers involved in education and training; VET ex perts; school authorities; non-governmental organisations working in the field of ECVET; employers and employers’ organisations; social partners; and last but not least the business sector;
• They provided target support to practitioners to empower them in using ECVET and embedding it deeper into com mon practice;
• They were working towards greater coherence between the European transparency instruments and national frameworks: The experts were specifically asked to en sure the coherency of all European instruments for transparency of learning outcomes (such as EQF, EQAVET, ECTS, Europass), and advise on how they are interconnected. Moreover, the experts were asked to promote the development and use of ECVET as part of a broader lifelong learning approach which is an element of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
• They helped to make the solutions developed more sustainable by acting as important links between policy and practice, and helping to ‘translate’ ideas from practice to policy - and the other way around.
• They helped to dissemination of information about ECVET and experiences with it by actively supporting the national efforts in the awareness-raising activities, the creation/ publication of information material (website, leaflets, etc.);
• In short, they helped to build up practical expertise on ECVET and the rest of the instruments. The high interest in the conference and the quality of the discussions shows that the ‘community of practice’ is growing, and the understanding of ECVET and its ‘sister’ instruments is advancing. There are more and more people with well- informed opinions and a wealth and diversity of experiences with ECVET. To a significant extent, this is an achievement of the National ECVET experts’ work to date. See more in ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:30 - - Permalien [#]

Different applications of ECVET: Synthesis of the results of ECVET pilot projects

Special issue dedicated to the Joint ECVET conference held on 24-25 October 2013 in Brussels. Download ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.
Article by Daniela Ulicná, Anette Curth (ICF GHK) and Karin Luomi-Messerer (3s). Different applications of ECVET: Synthesis of the results of ECVET pilot projects 
One of the main goals of the conference was to present the results of the ECVET pilot projects. This was done through five workshops. The examples for credit transfer and accumulation presented in these workshops varied from using ECVET to preventing early school leaving, recognising non-formal and informal learning, to improving the quality of international mobility.
One of the main topics discussed at the conference was: National implementation requires national authorities/organisations to make a strategic decision about what they want to use ECVET for. In other words: What needs do we have, and how can ECVET contribute to solving them?
Each of the eight projects funded under the 2010 call for proposals to test ECVET was designed by their promoters to address specific issues and to respond to different needs in the national context. The projects were also designed to fit very different regulatory and institutional contexts...
Conclusions and lessons learned
The pilot projects showed that ECVET can serve a variety of purposes and respond to different needs. It can offer solutions to a range of target groups - not all of which are described above. The projects’ experiences illustrate the diversity of situations that can be at least partially improved by the use of ECVET. Depending on the starting point of the system and the issues to be tackled, ECVET principles can be used with more or less adaptations. See more in ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:25 - - Permalien [#]


The European Credit Point System for Vocational Education and Training - Testing and development between 2009 and 2013

Special issue dedicated to the Joint ECVET conference held on 24-25 October 2013 in Brussels. Download ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.
Article by Anette Curth and Daniela Ulicná, (ICF GHK). The European Credit Point System for Vocational Education and Training - Testing and development between 2009 and 2013
Since the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Recommendation in June 2009 many activities have been launched to test and develop ECVET in practice. The Council and the European Parliament have placed a strong emphasis on the necessity to experiment and test ECVET, through, among others initiatives, the establishment of pilot projects. In 2008, the European Commission issued a call for proposals to finance international partnerships under the Lifelong Learning Programme, whose aim was to test the implementation of the ECVET process in the context of learners’ geographical mobility. As a result, eleven pilot projects were selected...
Reaching a milestone and taking stock of what was achieved
The conference marks a milestone in the journey regarding the implementation of ECVET. In 2014 – hence, five years after the adoption of the ECVET Recommendation – the Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the results of the testing and assessment of actions taken at Member State level. This may result in a review and adaptation of the Technical Specifications on ECVET as described in the Annexes to the Recommendation...
Conclusions and next steps
ECVET has a contribution to make to students’ mobility as well as to lifelong learning. It can improve the quality of students’ mobility and it can support lifelong learning by supporting people in transition between jobs, countries, educational levels and professions, through validation and recognition of prior learning. See more in ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:22 - - Permalien [#]

ECVET Magazine - Issue 17 (February 2014)

Special issue dedicated to the Joint ECVET conference held on 24-25 October 2013 in Brussels.

Main topics:
  • ECVET developments between 2009 and 2013 - key messages and next steps
  • Synthesis of the results from the ECVET pilot projects: ECVET is a tool with different applications
  • National teams of ECVET experts: aims and activities in promoting ECVET at national level
  • NetECVET: working with ECVET on transnational mobility and supporting its implementation in the Member States

Attachments

PDF EN
ECVET Magazine No 17 - February 2014 (PDF  1025.89 Kb 25/04/2014).

Posté par pcassuto à 12:15 - - Permalien [#]

ECVET Magazine No 18 (March 2014)

'Learning outcomes are here to stay but a lot of work remains to be done'

The latest issue of the magazine includes interesting articles on the ECVET network's life and on the latest developments on ECVET:
  • ECVET team new website
  • Thematic seminars on 'learning outcomes' and 'teachers and trainers'
  • Learning outcomes are here to stay but a lot of work remains to be done
  • ECVET in Polish VET
  • From VET to higher education
  • The ECVET Mobility Toolkid
  • ESCO - European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations
  • EASQ - European Area of Skills and Qualifications
  • ECVET team workprogram 2014

Attachments

PDF EN
ECVET Magazine No 18 (March 2014) (PDF  6236.17 Kb 25/04/2014).

Posté par pcassuto à 12:13 - - Permalien [#]

Apprenticeship conference to steer countries towards new partnerships

Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational TrainingCan countries developing new apprenticeship schemes learn from long-established systems? This is the question that Cedefop’s European apprenticeships conference hopes to answer.
The 7 and 8 May event is part of Cedefop’s support to the European alliance for apprenticeships (EAfA). The EAfA aims to increase the number and scope of apprenticeships and improve their quality and image. See more...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:11 - - Permalien [#]

Businesses as shareholders in the skills formation process

Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational TrainingAt an inaugural speech at a seminar organised by the Institute for Social and Economic Policy Education (ISWA) in Berlin, Cedefop Director James Calleja said that in today's economic climate, 'businesses should be considered as shareholders in vocational training and an integral part of the skills formation process.' See more...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:10 - - Permalien [#]