Programme: Erasmus+, Strategic Partneship, Vocational Education and Training
Participating countries: Hungary, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland
Project duration: September 2014 – August 2017
Project ID: 2014-1-HU01-KA242-002356
Coordinator: iTStudy Hungary Ltd.
One of the burning issues today is how to improve the quality of learning/teaching in schools. Thousands of studies and scientific research have attempted to identify requirements and best practice in order to effect the transfer of theoretical conclusions into the daily practices of our schools. Particular focus has been given to European Vocational Educational (VET) schools and training centres as the current economical crisis is forcing them to respond to specifically identified demands: “increasing attractiveness, embedding stronger work based learning, enhancing labour market relevance, developing stronger career and education guidance, implementing teachers and trainers professional development, and improving recognition and transparency of VET learning outcomes between countries and across different education pathway”.
EQAVET (European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training) brings together the EU Member States, the Social Partners and the European Commission to develop and improve quality assurance in European VET systems within the context of the implementation of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework. EQAVET is designed to spread a quality culture in VET institutes, claimed as an essential condition for such improvement – “Participating countries should – by the end of 2015 – establish at national level a common quality assurance framework for VET providers, which also applies to associated workplace learning and which is compatible with the EQAVET framework.” (Bruges Communiqué, EU Commission, 2010).
- The implementation of EQAVET is difficult. The lack of a quality culture; the reluctance of staff, the lack of human resources are all commonly encountered. Methods and approaches must be improved, and use simplified, to improve the process. These difficulties hinder the implementation of a Quality Assurance (QA) system at all levels of education. The public consultation on the European Area for Skills and Qualifications (EASQ, Athen, 2014) identified measures that could increase the effectiveness of EQAVET: to simplify, explain and communicate existing instruments rather than increase the number of indicators;
- to strengthen the QA culture by convincing, motivating and training teachers, trainers and managers;
- to relate QA tools to the assessment process, based on learning outcomes;
- to focus the quality cycle on responding to the needs of learners and employers.
The OpenQAsS project vision is to utilise the potential of today’s networking technology in all areas of the implementation of the EQAVET Reference Framework principles, and so make the resulting tools part of the daily practice of institutional Quality Assurance in our VET schools.