Trust in qualifications plays a crucial role for people. Holders of a qualification who have completed a programme and passed the required exams must inspire confidence that they have actually acquired the learning outcomes associated with the qualification. In this case their qualification has value and they can use it for employment or further education. The certification process becomes particularly important in this context and quality assurance mechanisms that support it are essential to ensure that these processes effectively generate credibility and trust. Its importance is stressed by several European mobility and lifelong learning instruments (EQAVET, EQF, ECVET), however they do not explicitly express how to ensure the quality of the certification process. In the context of this workshop the term certification is used to encompass all three processes of ‘assessment’, ‘verification’ and ‘recognition’ that lead to the awarding of a qualification.
The workshop aims to draw lessons from Cedefop’s work in two different but closely related areas of the quality assurance in VET and on the use of learning outcomes to design and describe qualifications, including guidance for writing learning outcomes. It will bring together national experts (policy makers, researchers, social partners, practitioners) from different European countries and representatives of international organisations to:
- present and discuss developments, compare policies, standards, methods and processes that ensure the quality of certification process in IVET;
- discuss how these approaches are understood by different stakeholders and applied in countries;
- debate if and to which extent the use of learning outcomes influences quality assurance arrangements supporting certification;
- reflect to what extent and how the experiences from the certification process are taken into account when reviewing initial VET.
These insights and the conclusions drawn from the workshop will contribute to two Cedefop on going comparative studies on ‘The quality assurance of certification process’ and ‘The application of learning outcomes approaches across Europe’.