Is it better to develop voluntary arrangements or use legislation?
How can “early adopters” be identified among training providers?
Is it better to phase the introduction of quality assurance systems?
- What is the best way to support training providers to develop their own quality assurance systems?
- How can all providers learn lessons from the best?
Austria has built its system on existing institutional arrangements in the VET school system, and has started using internal self-evaluation on a voluntary basis.
Romania is building a culture of quality assurance in institutions through supporting IVET school networks. Portugal has set up similar centres of vocational excellence.
In a voluntary system, changing training providers’ approaches to quality assurance takes time. In Estonia providers have the autonomy to use the quality assurance model of their choice. Fewer than 10 per cent use an European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET model, though over 60 per cent of initial VET providers are using another quality assurance model.
In Slovenia there has been a staged introduction to the use and monitoring of indicators based on the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET. With a range of pilot projects since 2000, developments have been staged which has helped to ensure lessons are leant and good practice shared.
System-wide reform is complex and takes time. Changes are more likely to be successful if the training providers build on their experiences and take ownership of any new arrangements.
Success is more likely if training providers are encouraged to see that quality assurance processes can help them to improve practice and develop a culture of quality.
Change is incremental and small steps which build on existing practice will help training providers to build quality assurance systems that cover all four stages of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET cycle.
Using existing systems as the basis for developing European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET compliant arrangements is likely to be a winning strategy.