An instrument for improving the quality of VET systems
The European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET (the Framework) provides a European-wide system to help Member States and stakeholders to document, develop, monitor, evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their VET provision and quality management practices.
It can be applied at both system and VET provider levels and can therefore be used to assess the efficiency of VET provision. It is adaptable to the different national systems and it can be used in accordance with national legislation and practice.
The Framework complements the work on the quality assurance aspects of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit System for VET (ECVET). It builds on earlier European level work on quality assurance systems (such as the Common Quality Assurance Framework – CQAF and European Network for Quality Assurance in VET – ENQA-VET).
- includes the need for regular monitoring (involving internal and external evaluation mechanisms) and reporting on progress;
- uses common quality criteria and indicative descriptors to underpin the monitoring and reporting arrangements;
- stresses the importance of common indicators to support the evaluation, monitoring and quality assurance of VET systems and providers.
It is accompanied by a set of 10 indicators which may be used as a “tool box” by countries as they work on adapting and developing their VET systems. The indicators are not designed for benchmarking but rather to support a culture of quality assurance in VET.
Why a a European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET?
1. To increase transparency and mobility
By establishing a shared understanding among Member States of what constitutes quality, the Framework increases transparency, consistency, portabilityand recognition of qualifications and competencies received by learners accross European countries. It creates a common reference tool that enhances exchange and trust, thereby mobility of workers and learners.
2. To valorise permeability in a lifelong learning perspective
The Framework focuses on the improvement and evaluation of the outputs and outcomes of VET - in terms of three EU policy priories: increasing employability, improving the match between supply and demand for training, and promoting better access to lifelong training (especially for vulnerable groups). By emphasising ‘outcomes’ of VET, the Framework:
- facilitates the permeability of learning paths between VET, general education and higher education
- aims to support recognition of learning outcomes without extending learners’ education and training pathways
- contributes to overcoming current unemployment problems by addressing the gap between labour market needs and labour force qualifications
- allows more flexible pathways, enhancing the opportunities for lifelong learning
- facilitates the recognition of informal and non-formal learning
3. To make VET more attractive
By ensuring mutual recognition, thereby fostering international, national and sectoral mobility, VET providers can enrich training provision, raise the attractiveness of training programmes and enhance their pan-European reputation. The Framework, because it is based on outcomes of VET, facilitates cooperation between VET providers and companies. This means that VET providers can strengthen the link between education and training and the labour market. For more information about the subject, visit the report of the ENQA-VET thematic group (2008-2009): Making initial vocational education and training (IVET) more attractive for learners
The Framework Recommendation
The text of the Recommendation as adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council in 2009 can be found at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2009:155:0001:0010:EN:PDF