Module 1 - Beginning the alignment process
Although it may be to your advantage, ultimately, to align your current QA approach with EQAVET, as a decision maker or provider you may not be ready to implement it. Before such an exercise takes place, it is important to assess your readiness for change. Readiness is defined as a “developmental point at which a person, organisation, or system has the capacity and willingness to engage in a particular activity” (Fixsen, Blase, Horner & Sugai, 2009). Motivation is likely to be strongest and most enduring if based on a clear understanding of the concerns behind the planned change at all levels of the VET system.
OUTLINING PHASE 1- Objectives, Tasks, Outputs
Phase 1 of the process of aligning national/regional or VET provider approaches with the EQAVET Framework can be download here: Table - Outline PHASE 1
The left-hand column of the template contains a general description of the phase and the right-hand columns are for you to fill with information you consider relevant in your context either at national/regional or VET provider level. Other specific guidance tools are referenced in the outline.
TASK 1 - MAPPING STAKEHOLDER INTERESTS, INFLUENCE AND IMPORTANCE
The purpose of a stakeholder analysis is to help National Reference Points ( NRPs) identify which stakeholders will have an interest in the alignment exercise and what actions will need to be taken to persuade them to participate in the process.
A possible way to get the necessary information is to assess stakeholder interests, influence and importance, e.g. Ministries/ Ministerial departments with a stake in quality VET, social partner organisations, VET providers, learner organisations. You may need to set up a meeting with them to obtain their views. An example of such a table is shown here: Table - Illustration of a stakeholder matrix.
TASK 2 - ANALYSING STAKEHOLDER READINESS FOR ALIGNMENT
Organisational readiness for change is considered to be a critical factor in the successful implementation of complex changes in human services, particularly in education and training. Stakeholders may have specific reasons for not wanting to align their current QA approach with EQAVET, even though they agree that such alignment is necessary. The key issue is to be committed to change. It seems, therefore, that the key question is: regardless of individual reasons, do stakeholders collectively value the alignment of the existing QA approach with EQAVET enough to commit themselves to its implementation?
Breiner, Brian, J. ( 2009). A theory of organisation readiness for change. Implementation Science 2009, available here.
Measuring receptivity to change may indicate how successful the alignment will be as well as assessing likely resistance. Readiness requires both the capability to make changes and the motivation to change, which may be determined, in part, by external factors. Motivation is likely to be strongest and most enduring if based on a clear understanding of the concerns behind the planned change at all levels of the VET system.
To achieve an effective readiness assessment, you need to
- Determine the current state of your QA approach;
- Identify the issues in your current QA approach that could prevent it from aligning with the EQAVET Framework;
- Assess and rank the challenges that confront your approach;
- Document the challenges and barriers before you.
Answering a few specific questions and documenting responses can help understand the stakeholders’ level of readiness to initiate the alignment exercise and identify any actions needed to bring it about. You may find it helpful to answer the questions with a larger group e.g. identified key stakeholders, in order to ensure that you have covered all necessary steps. Download - Table - Illustration of a readiness assessment matrix
TASK 3 - EXPLORING HOW TO INITIATE THE ALIGNMENT INITIATIVE
Now that you have the information you need about a) stakeholder interests, influence and importance and b) stakeholder readiness for alignment, you can start exploring how to implement the alignment of your current QA approach at national/regional or VET provider level with the EQAVET Framework.
The tool can be used to assess current stage activities, particularly to identify the alignment elements that need to be prioritised, the actions needed to overcome potential barriers or ways to generate a sense of urgency. It can also be used to anticipate the upcoming stage and to prepare for activities at each stage.
Download Table - Illustration of planning tool