This guide is a part of the ETF, ILO and Cedefop series of guides on skills anticipation and matching. All the guides follow a common structure, although they vary in level of detail, technical content and case studies. The ETF, Cedefop and the ILO worked closely together to develop the guides, usually with one agency/organisation taking the lead and the others providing inputs, case studies, comments and reviews. All guides have undergone extensive validation and peer review; they were also discussed in detail in international expert seminars in which academic representatives, anticipation and matching experts, and potential end-users from across the world provided comments and feedback on content and usability. Experts and staff of the three organisations also peer reviewed the guides before their publication.
This volume covers the development and carrying out of tracer studies and aims to contribute to the improvement of education in TVET and higher education through high-quality graduate surveys or tracer studies. The key objective of such studies is to identify the relevance of education/training for transition to a job and further vocational career in the first years after graduating.
Many countries are experiencing growing demand for tracer studies due to the requirements of accreditation and quality management. Education institutions are often forced by law to implement regular tracer studies and there is demand from donor agencies for empirical evidence about the relevance of the education/training they sponsor.
The main audience for this guide is those in education institutions who are going to organise and implement their own tracer studies (institutional tracer studies). It is also targeted at users in various categories: policy- and decision-makers; research centres and expert networks involved/engaged in carrying out tracer studies for clients; and associations and networks with interest in evidence offered by tracer studies. The reader will obtain detailed guidance on how to design a tracer study, develop a questionnaire and carry out data analysis, without being an expert in survey methodology.