COLOR is one out of seven 2nd generation ECVET pilot projects funded by the EACEA in 2011. The COLOR project pursues a two-fold objective: setting up a sustainable network of Regional Authorities, stakeholders and practitioners; and pilot testing ECVET procedures for the evaluation, recognition and transfer of Learning Outcomes (LOs).

To meet these objectives the COLOR partnership brings together competent authorities from Italy, Malta, Romania and the UK. The Italian and transnational partners work side by side and have complementary roles: the former concentrate on the pilot testing of 11 qualifications; the latter, being more advanced in referencing their systems to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) processes, play an all-important advisory role.

COLOR addresses five Italian regions (Campania, Latium, Piedmont and Tuscany, as well as Basilicata as and associated partner). Their authorities responsible for assessment and recognition of qualifications are committed to test ECVET-oriented mechanisms in the construction and healthcare sectors. COLOR also assists selected non-participating regional authorities interested in transferring the COLOR working method to their own systems. Finally, local stakeholders and practitioners requiring successfully tested tools are targeted. In so doing, COLOR addresses the needs of disadvantaged workers, who typically have poor qualification records.

In the first year of implementation, the project achieved two main results: 1) the successful launch of a substantive multi-actor learning and networking process via a range of web-based solutions and meetings at local and (trans)national level; this contributed to making ECVET a renewed policy priority on the Campania Region’s agenda and prompted the Calabria Region to officially join the partnership; 2) the national partners and selected stakeholders have begun building capacity by launching the process of adapting their qualifications to ECVET.

In the second half of the project COLOR will concentrate on identifying common mechanisms for recognition of LOs and then test recognition processes in the regions, including the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding. To assure lasting results, the project will continue delivering its multi-strand dissemination strategy coupled with a dedicated valorisation strategy. The Tuscany Region’s commitment to maintaining and customising the project web site after 2013 is a tangible step in that direction.

Ultimately the target groups are expected to accrue the following benefits: the Italian regions will be able to innovate their policies and practices, to varying degrees. Local stakeholders and practitioners will have ready access to a set of transferable tools for their end-users. Finally, workers may have their work experience formally recognised, thus bettering their chances of being properly employed.

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