Introduction

These guidelines  set out what needs to be in place to support a quality assurance system that is compatible with the EQAVET Recommendation. Each of the guidelines contains a “call to action” and suggests what needs to be done (if it is not already in place) to create an EQAVET compliant quality assurance system. The guidelines  identify a series of case studies and associated “lessons learnt”. These case studies and lessons helped to frame  and validate the discussions and create a structure for a practical resource to help policy makers.

What the building blocks mean

 

1. Set clear rules for deciding who offers VET provision

Member States manage the supply of high quality training by having clear systems to decide which organisations can offer courses and/or qualifications.

2. Recognise and build on existing internal arrangements

The EQARF recommendation can be supported through the use of existing provider-based systems and VET quality assurance arrangements.

3. Set clear roles and responsibilities for different parts of the VET system

At both provider and system level (either nationally or regionally) it is important to be clear about what each organisation is expected to do.

4. Identify what information and data should be collected and used in VET system

There is extensive data on vocational training, the challenge is to identify and use a relevant core set of data consistently – with a focus on providers, inspectors, evaluators and government using the same definitions of the indicators and measures.

5. Define and implement a communications strategy

Whilst mainly relevant at the system level, there are clear needs for up-to-date, consistent and accurate information on the quality assurance process to be shared and understood.

6. Pilot initiatives and value success

Quality assurance can be achieved through recognising effective practice. Staged approaches which include pilot programmes, awards and funding can all play a part in recognising successful quality assurance systems.

7. Use feedback to improve VET

VET has to both meet employers’ and learners’ needs. Key to any quality assurance system is the way feedback is used to improve the national or regional system, and training providers systematically collect and use the experiences and feedback from learners and employers to modify and improve their provision.

8. Provide clarity over funding

Public and private sector funds are not limitless. The link between high quality provision and funding provides both an incentive as well as an accountability measure for quality assurance arrangements.

9. Ensure quality assurance covers all aspects of VET provision

Quality assurance covers both the content of training and the administrative and staff arrangements which support teaching and learning. The EQARF should be seen as all encompassing.

10. Ensure VET is founded on a strong involvement of external and internal partners and relevant stakeholders

VET is based on effective partnerships. These exist between government, social partners and national stakeholders; employers and training providers; and learners and society. They create the foundation stone of the VET system which gives it strength, relevance and acceptability.

Each of the ten building blocks is based on an analysis of the early lessons and experiences of developing quality assurance systems in Member States. The building blocks support and complement each other and build on the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET descriptors and indicators as set out in the EQAVET Recommendation:

Relationships between building blocks and the quality cycle

This approach to building a system is only way of developing quality assurance in VET. Some Member States have built their system by considering the indicative descriptors or the indicators in the Recommendation. Whichever approach is taken to build on existing arrangements, an approach which considers all four stages of the quality cycle is more likely to be successful.

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