VET-CERT, a Leonardo da Vinci/EQAVET project, has been launched in Austria to further promote the competence development of persons responsible for quality management (QM) within vocational education and training (VET).

VET has been acknowledged to be one of the most essential areas in assuring the competitiveness of the EU and its Member States on the global markets. The importance of quality assurance in VET has been recognized as an important factor in the further development of the Austrian VET system.

The main goals of VET-CERT are:

    - to ensure that those who are responsible for quality management in VET institutions have the required competences, and

    - to make these competences transparent through a certification process.

In close cooperation with various stakeholders and partners within the field of IVET and CVET in Austria and in Europe the following products will be developed:

    - modularised competence profiles for quality personnel in IVET and CVET;

    - proposals for a curricular framework including proposals for training contents and training methods;

    - a certification concept whereby previously acquired competences of the quality personnel will be made transparent and recognised, and

    - proposals for the implementation of the results of VET-CERT both in Austria and in the partner countries.

VET-CERT will support the ongoing professional implementation of the Austrian VET Quality Initiative (QIBB) in IVET and the implementation of a certification framework in CVET (Ö-Cert), as well as the implementation of the EQAVET framework in both sectors. Professionally-qualified and certified persons (principals, school quality process managers, school inspectors, regional quality process managers, quality managers in adult education) will get a better insight into the opportunities of quality management tools and instruments and the possibilities they offer. These target groups will also improve their usage of these tools (e.g. self evaluation tools, external evaluation tools). By getting a certificate the status of the certified persons will rise as well as the image of quality management within VET.

In the long term, VET-CERT could help to bring together the EQF/NQF, ECVET, and EQAVET framework implementation at national level. Well trained and certified persons holding quality management functions in VET will improve the implementation of quality management in VET. This will finally lead to better results of the whole VET system, and mutual trust and transparency will increase at national and European level.

The project consortium consists of five national and three international partners (from Germany, Ireland and Slovenia). It is coordinated by ARQA-VET (the Austrian Reference Point for Quality Assurance in VET). The VET-CERT project started on 1 February 2011 and will continue until 31 January 2013.