Participation in Cedefop’s reference network, ReferNet, offers many opportunities to exchange information and learn about the wide variety of VET systems in Europe and their different ways to address common challenges.
This can lead to ReferNet partnerships and joint project initiatives. The Erasmus+ European solution in quality assurance (ESQA 2014-16) project initiated by the Polish ReferNet team together with British, Estonian and Slovenian partners is such an initiative.
The aim of the project is to support schools and supervisors by creating a good practice catalogue on quality assurance in vocational education and training (VET) in the partner countries. The project will demonstrate the positive impact that the mechanisms and tools for quality assurance have on schools, their staff and students, and their surroundings.
National reports, drawn up in the first phase of the project, present national policies, systems and mechanisms that the partner countries apply at national, regional and school level. A comparative report points out similarities and differences in partner countries. It reveals the range of solutions in legal frameworks, implementation at VET provider level, and identifies the main challenges: for instance, some countries focus more on national accreditation and inspections, some more on internal evaluation of VET schools, others on participation in international projects and peer learning or closer cooperation with employers. The report shows that various approaches are possible and they may not be better or worse in general but fulfill their role in a particular country context.
Study visits that took place in all partner countries have helped to understand different approaches and select examples for the catalogue. The final output of the project - the good practice catalogue - is conceptualised as an on-line tool containing examples of various QA solutions applied by VET schools in Estonia, Poland, Slovenia and the UK It covers ten areas: meeting the needs of students, material resources of the school, cooperation with school environment/stakeholders, curriculum planning and assessment, learning and teaching methods, work-based learning, guidance and counselling, school development, staff development, and management. It should support and inspire VET schools across Europe to enrich their portfolio of QA methods and tools by adapting those that have been tested elsewhere to apply them in their own contexts.
More information: www.esqa.eu