The work-based learning in the “School Network for Robotics” network is based on the alternance model – the approach has been designed and developed in a partnership between the companies and the VET providers. It includes:
- work in the companies (200 hours) during the term-time of the VET schools;
- time spent working in the companies (200 hours) outside schools’ term-time;
- special training in the school laboratories which use the same robotic equipment as the companies. This covers all the industrial processes from robotic planning and design to manufacturing. This is completed during the schools’ term-time.
To quality assure the VET provision the network has established a governance arrangement. This includes a requirement for all the VET providers to be registered schools or accredited regional agencies. Most of the schools in the Network have a Quality Certificate e.g. ISO 9001 or Integrated Management system ISO 9001: 2000 and the European norm OHSAS 18001.
The Network’s quality strategy requires the VET schools to:
- meet and, where possible, exceed students’ expectations in relation to levels of satisfaction;
- ensure consistent standards in all aspects of the curriculum’s delivery and content;
- guarantee the sustainability of provision in order to support the Network’s short and long term development;
- ensure the involvement, motivation and professional growth of all stakeholders.
The Turin Network for Robotics is a large network which operates through a regional Memorandum of Understanding. It includes a number of smaller networks such as the VET providers, including state and regional providers; the companies in the district; the governance institutions, led by the Turin Chamber; the social partners, headed by the Turin Industry Union; and finally the institutions in the region with a responsibility for VET including the regional and municipal authorities, the Regional Education Authority; the Ministry of Education and Turin Polytechnic.
Each networks has an interest in developing and promoting high quality work-based learning in the mechanical and robotics industry. Together, the networks have developed a new curriculum leading to EQF Level 3 or 4 qualifications, based on the national legislation, with explicit work-based learning outcomes. This developmental work led to a new model for school-work alternance and cooperation that has increased its quality and practical results.
Students’ achievement is assessed in line with the learning agreement established between the school and the company. The company tutor and the school tutor define jointly the learning outcomes of work based learning – this is then assessed by the company tutor according to the procedures agreed with the school. Each year about 400 learners overall participate in one form of work-based learning within this Network.
For the VET providers the following EQAVET indicative descriptors are covered:
- Explicit goals/objectives and targets are set and monitored;
- Ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders takes place every year to identify specific local/ individual needs;
- Responsibilities in quality management and development have been explicitly allocated; There is an early involvement of staff in planning, including with regard to quality development;
- Providers plan cooperative initiatives with other VET providers
- VET providers have an explicit and transparent quality assurance system in place
- Relevant and inclusive partnerships are explicitly supported to implement the actions planned
- Staff undertake regular training and develop cooperation with relevant external stakeholders to support capacity building and quality improvement, and to enhance performance
- Self-assessment/self-evaluation is periodically carried out under national and regional regulations/frameworks or at the initiative of VET providers
- Evaluation and review covers processes and results/outcomes of education including the assessment of learner satisfaction as well as staff performance and satisfaction
- Evaluation and review includes adequate and effective mechanisms to involve internal and external stakeholders
- Learners’ feedback is gathered on their individual learning experience and on the learning and teaching environment. Together with teachers’ feedback this is used to inform further actions
- Results/outcomes of the evaluation process are discussed with relevant stakeholders and appropriate action plans are put in place.
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