The SiQuCAE partnership has developed and tested quality assurance systems in order to: increase the quality of and access to validation of non-formal and informal learning, qualify the training and work systems in partner countries, improve the effectiveness of investment in validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Recession that characterized the last years of the European economy has had an enormous effect on the labour market. Studies show positive signals for employment by 2020, but only if policies and instruments able to facilitate the mobility of workers from one sector to another are put in place and only if we manage to validate and recognize learning outcomes achieved in a non/ informal context. In this direction, it becomes urgent: optimizing access to all levels of education, improving flexibility in the recognition of learning outcomes and how they lead to achievement of qualifications.
This project aims at developing an awareness raising campaign for the validation of learning outcomes of non-formal and informal learning as a tool to further improve adults’ career perspectives and stimulate their further education and training.
I greatly enjoyed the DISCUSS project conference in Munich last week at which I spoke together with Steve Wheeler. After the morning speeches, there was a cafe type session in the afternoon looking at four key challenges the project has identified for education in Europe. All were interesting and given the venue tended to be reflected through the lens of the present refugee crisis.
One of the issues was the recognition of prior learning. Interestingly, this seems to have been the subject of more European funded projects in education and training than any other subject. Needless to say there was considerable discussion and some divergence of opinion on ways forward on which I will report my view tomorrow.
But Randolph Preisinger Kleine has dug out something I wrote on a previous project, which seems to make some sense of why we have such misunderstandings. (Mind, you can tell how old it is when I say that the UK has a comprehensive system of careers guidance!).
The focus of the project is the question whether it is possible to adapt successful mechanisms of open innovation to open organizations. In open organizations people from outside the organization are not asked for cooperation because of their individual knowledge but are integrated as a person with all the competences they have. To do so it is not only important to have open organizations. You also need open persons. It is important to know a lot about the competences needed in one organization and the competences that are offered by an individual. And it is important for managers to be open, act as an open person and to act in an open organization. The competences they need for this shall be trained by a serious game application.
The main goal of the VTeCOACH project is to develop an assessment tool based on a 360º evaluation system so that VET learners can later be provided with the necessary feedback to carry out an action plan in order to work on and hopefully improve their SOFT skills.
By achieving this goal, the project consortium tries to cover the existing gap in this kind of ICT-based methodologies for assessing the so called “wicked” competences or soft skills.
The formula of economic growth has been constantly evolving over the last years. Up until now, this economic growth has been directly linked to productivity. Nowadays, however, the importance of productivity is gradually being shrouded by other factors such as competitiveness, quality and innovation, which are deemed as clear pathways towards long term organizational success.
This paradigm shift has generated the necessity of adjusting the perspective of qualification, or, -how much we know in order to produce-to the perspective of competence, or, -how well we perform and interact with others-. Whereas the “how much we know” can be directly related to the acquisition of HARD skills (or occupational skills), the “how well we perform” would go hand in hand with SOFT skills (or personal attributes).
Europe’s ageing population has a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be harnessed to benefit future generations; however this is at risk of being lost as older people face social exclusion. Part of Europe’s 2020 Strategy seeks to address this issue by focusing on the sustainability of knowledge and experience. This strategy is relevant to all sectors of our society.
Research across Europe has revealed that many people over the age of 50 are socially isolated and don’t participate in cultural activities or in the civic life of their community. Since 2011 (European Year of Volunteering), volunteering has been promoted as a solution for social inclusion and intergenerational cohesion, however there are still barriers that prevent over-50s from taking part.
Many experienced, knowledgeable and competent adult educators have no formal teaching qualification. If this situation applies to you, then the Toolkit will help you get recognition for what you have learned so far as an adult educator, by universities, colleges and employers. The resources can also be used to help you make plans for your professional development, with a view to achieving excellence in the practice of adult education.
Adult education is very diverse. It operates across the public, private and non-profit sectors, with educators and learners coming from all walks of life. The resources on this site are geared specifically towards those for whom the education of adults takes up the bulk of their job. If your role is concerned more with the management of adult education, please refer to the Flexi-path project which developed a Recognition of Prior Learning toolkit for adult education organisers and managers.
The objectives of the VOW+IPLM project are to exchange best practice in the validation of informal learning, to develop transferable competence standards to be used when validating individuals against job standards, and to develop an innovative tool "E-evaluation Platform" for the validation of competences acquired at work place and give to each beneficiary the possibility to build an individual further career by lifelong learning.
THE AIMS OF THE PROJECT:
Exchange of best practice in the recognition and validation of informal learning contexts; improving the quality of validation of non-formal and informal learning process by transferring the innovative model for recognizing competencies acquired in the work place, developed by the pilot project "The Value of Work (VOW)"; raising attractiveness of VET in participating countries by giving to each person a complete overview of his skills which can have a good impact on them and their decision to continuing to learn and training.
Many disadvantaged young people have acquired competencies that may be relevant for VET through processes of non-formal and informal learning but that cannot be used systematically, because these competences are invisible.
Making these competences visible should enable disadvantaged youth to better understand their own competencies and to learn how to use them for VET, should give educators a better understanding of pupils` competences acquired outside schools and should enable teachers to systematically use these competences in preparing for VET, should give disadvantaged youth better access to training and employment in companies, should enable companies or training institutions to systematically use these competences in VET.
The purpose of the validation tool is to make visible competencies that have been acquired by young people in various areas of activities outside formal learning. Making these competencies visible helps the young person to better understand what abilities she or he has and how these abilities can be applied in further learning, in vocational training, in a job but also in private life. Making competencies visible also helps educators (teachers, trainers, social workers) to better link education and training to what competencies the young person has already acquired and helps prospective employers to learn more about the abilities of applicants that are not shown in the certificates that they are able to present.
Young people acquire competencies not only at school, vocational education and training and other formal learning settings. They also acquire competencies when they take up responsibilities within their family, when they are meeting their friends, when they work in jobs, when they engage in sports or music, when they do volunteer work.
It is the purpose of the ICOVET validation tool, to make visible competencies that have been acquired by young people in various areas of activities outside formal learning. Making these competencies visible should be useful for a number of reasons: