FINAL REPORT ON EVALUATIONMETHODOLOGIES FOR TRAINING INEUROPE
22
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe present report has been prepared within the framework of the JAKIN II project -Transfer and full devel...
This project has been funded with support from the EuropeanCommission under the Lifelong Learning. Programme. This publica...
TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTORY NOTE................................................................................... 7Int...
6
INTRODUCTORY NOTEIntroduction to JAKI II project and report on evaluationmethodologies in EuropeNowadays companies do not ...
8capacity to generate intellectual capital (human capital, structural capital and relationalcapital). The main objective o...
AUSTRIAN NATIONAL REPORTI. INTRODUCTIONIn this national report we aim to outline the results of the desk and field researc...
10tendencies and standards are presented. A comprehensive study on regional training needsassessment conducted by the Aust...
Adult Education Centres (Volkshochschulen)Additional courses for pupils with special educational needs at lower secondarys...
12implementation and progress can be found on the Austrian platform of adult education5.2.2 Informal training implementati...
Up-to-date there are no legal regulations of informal education in Austria. Since 2007, aworking group on informal learnin...
14Group work (workshops, open space)Dialogue techniques (structured, semi-structured and open interviews with learnersand ...
Module 1: Formulating needs assumptionsThe following questions should be answered for each assumption:-What are the aims o...
162.4 Innovating experiences: quality plans, models of excellence, newtechnologies, value sensitive design of evaluation, ...
of the most renowned is the “Austrian Quality Award”. This award is presented to bothprofit and non-profit organizations a...
18E-Learning whereas only a minority of small and medium sized enterprises draw on thistechnological tool for training pur...
one company additionally draws on external evaluation. It is striking that all intervieweesemphasized the importance of in...
202.5 Challenges to respond toIn our interviews with the general managers of SMEs the interviewees named severalchallenges...
2.6 New indicators to considerWhen targeting SMEs, we should consider the special needs and requirements of thesecompanies...
22Target group (groups ofemployees)Young entrepreneurs, owners and employees ofsmall and medium sized enterprises, trainer...
Best practice Nr.: 214Country: AustriaPromoting enterprise andcollaborators (anonymous) ACT (Austrian Clean Technology)Tit...
24Best practice Nr.: 315Country: AustriaPromoting enterprise andcollaborators (anonymous)Commissioned by the Austrian Econ...
IV. CONCLUSIONSDuring our desk and field research we were able to gain valuable insights into knowledgemanagement and trai...
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BELGIAN NATIONAL REPORTI. INTRODUCTIONThis national report provides an analysis of training evaluation methodologies in Be...
28approach was preferred to gain a better insight on the evaluation impact and applicability, aswell as to approach and ge...
The next level down is still occupied by the provinces. Before the state reform of 1993, theprovinces were only under the ...
30Bruxelles Formation (in French) is responsible for the vocational training ofFrench speakers in the Brussels-Capital Reg...
c) Quality assurance mechanism: a team of inspectors monitor the quality ofschools. The system of school reviews is curren...
32provided to the Ministers proposing an increasing use of Europass in connection with theEQF process.Several common measu...
The agenda maps the needs for competence development and makes policyrecommendations to tackle the skills gaps. During rou...
34by one year in the event of failure during the promotion examinations or at the end of thetraining).The company manager ...
The course business administration takes 1 year and leads to the certificate(getuigschrift) business administration basics...
36abstract of a job-description, then the actual teaching programme (Lehrprogramm) andfinally a table with the distributio...
Based on the CVTS’ results, latest trends of the Belgian enterprises’ investment in trainingactivities are as follows:Out ...
38KM experts as well as employers wishing to ameliorate and strengthen their skills andcompetencies at work.One of the lat...
Improving workplace skills: within the department of Education and Training, anew unit was established: the Project Strate...
40people aged 50 and over, are significantly under-represented in the group of those peoplewho make use of training vouche...
SMEs managers recognise more and more that the employees’ knowledge is valuable, andthat investing in knowledge management...
42To develop the training agenda, the government is relying on the forthcoming negotiationsamong social partners on a new ...
Planning and implementation of training evaluation mechanisms.The most controversial area, and definitely the one that nee...
44the role of new technologies in your organisation?” majority answered that there is “roughand hasty use of new technolog...
Evidence from the JAKIN II research shows that measurement of intellectual capital in SMEsis still based on criteria such ...
46III. GOOD PRACTICESThe desk research on good practices practices in the field of knowledge management andtraining evalua...
However, the survey clearly shows that much more needs to be done to bridge the gapbetween theory and reality.To conclude ...
48[6] Organisation of the education system in the French Community of Belgium 2009 - 2010.EURYDICE - Information on Educat...
CZECH NATIONAL REPORTI. INTRODUCTORY NOTENational report, describing the situation in the field of institutional education...
50Fortunately, this gap is spanned by a large range of educational courses, which aresupported by European Social Funds. T...
NQS Levels – classify NSQ vertically while respecting levels defined by the Czech educationalsystems and are related to th...
52relationship with learning outcomes. Focus on learning outcomes represents a fundamentalprinciple, surely in the Europea...
The main strategic aims of Sector Boards are:to become respected sources of information on trends in sector development,on...
54Both training and development programmes may be part of either the formal or informalframework. An ordinary training sem...
Proyecto, JAKIN II: Transferencia y desarrollo de la herramienta para la evaluación de la formación
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Proyecto, JAKIN II: Transferencia y desarrollo de la herramienta para la evaluación de la formación
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Proyecto, JAKIN II: Transferencia y desarrollo de la herramienta para la evaluación de la formación

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El proyecto, JAKIN II: Transferencia y desarrollo de la herramienta para la evaluación de la formación, persigue desarrollar una herramienta adaptada a las PYMES, permitiendo no solo calcular el impacto de la formación para la competitividad, sino proporcionando una guía y orientación para la planificación de los futuros programas de formación.

Está financiado por la Comisión Europea en el marco del programa Leonardo da Vinci Transferencia de Innovación.

Los objetivos específicos del proyecto son:

- Adaptar la herramienta JAKIN, incluyendo nuevos indicadores e instrumentos, respondiendo a las tendencias más innovadores de gestión y a las necesidades de las empresas pequeñas y medianas empresas.
- Incorporar en la herramienta JAKIN buenas prácticas, experiencias y paradigmas de las empresas europeas, con un énfasis especial en la innovación, la planificación de la calidad y las nuevas tecnologías.
- Convertir JAKIN en una herramienta completa de evaluación de formación, combinando las técnicas científicas, así como no científicas, desde una perspectiva multidisplinaria.
- Generar y transferir a todo tipo de empresas una herramienta completa e innovadora, empíricamente validada y ajustada a la evaluación cualitativa y cuantitativa de la formación formal e informal.
- Proporcionar una dimensión europea a la evaluación de formación, desarrollando una herramienta efectiva y útil para múltiples sectores y territorios.

Más información: http://www.cebek.es/formacion/jakin/

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Proyecto, JAKIN II: Transferencia y desarrollo de la herramienta para la evaluación de la formación

  1. 1. FINAL REPORT ON EVALUATIONMETHODOLOGIES FOR TRAINING INEUROPE
  2. 2. 22
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe present report has been prepared within the framework of the JAKIN II project -Transfer and full development of the formal and non formal training assessment tool, withinnew trends and needs of business, ref. 2010-1-ES1-LEO05-21048 in collaboration with:
  4. 4. This project has been funded with support from the EuropeanCommission under the Lifelong Learning. Programme. This publicationreflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot beheld responsible for any use which may be made of the informationcontained thereinThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy ofthis license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street,Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.”4
  5. 5. TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTORY NOTE................................................................................... 7Introduction to JAKI II project and report on evaluation methodologies inEurope......................................................................................................... 7AUSTRIAN NATIONAL REPORT................................................................... 9BELGIAN NATIONAL REPORT ................................................................... 27CZECH NATIONAL REPORT ....................................................................... 49GREEK NATIONAL REPORT ....................................................................... 75SPANISH NATIONAL REPORT ................................................................... 99PORTUGUESE NATIONAL REPORT.......................................................... 121CONCLUSION REMARKS AND LESSONS LEARNT ....................................... 138ANNEX I: Interview guidelines A............................................................ 140ANNEX II: Interview guidelines B .......................................................... 143ANNEX III: Questionnaire C ................................................................... 146
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. INTRODUCTORY NOTEIntroduction to JAKI II project and report on evaluationmethodologies in EuropeNowadays companies do not compete in goods and services, but in strategies, which aredefined by more globalised markets. From this premise, the centre of value of companies,switches from the productive processes to the knowledge management, towards a usefulinformation generation, which allows them to obtain knowledge as intellectual capital. AsNorton& Ran (1991) put it, “greater investment in human resources promises to give a“workforce for the 21st century”, highly skilled, productive and capable of restoringcompetitiveness, growth and equity”1. Thereby, employment training is one of the mostimportant bases for the development of the companies’ strategies, which allows them toaccess – even to anticipate them – to the foreseen scene. Besides, “faced with maturingmarkets and global competition, corporate leadership has become extremely critical in itsanalysis of existing business processes and procedures”2. Therefore, training actions, formaland non formal (learning about the working position), are not a short term cost but a longterm investment. On the other hand, technological progress and structural labour – marketchange demand not only anticipating new skill needs, as well as continuously to renew andadapt knowledge, skills and competences for an ageing labour force As underlined in theCEDEFOD research paper nº2 (2010) “Employer – provided vocation training in Europe:evaluation and interpretation of the third continuing vocational training survey”, “continuingvocational training provided by enterprises is at the heart of this process, helping at thesame time to raise productivity, modernize work practices and facilitate innovation”(Cedefop, 2008b)3”. This is why companies have to discover to what training give incentiveto and evaluate it from the perspective of the knowledge management or of other innovativeparadigms.JAKIN tool was a pioneer by introducing qualitative and quantitative training assessmentindicators, which were, at the same time, evaluators of the strategic management and of the1W.Norton Grubb, Paul Ryan, The roles of evaluation for vocational education and training, ILO: 19992ASTD “Info-Line to Training Evaluation: Tips, tools and intelligence for trainers”, ASTD Press: 19993See: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/5502_en.pdf
  8. 8. 8capacity to generate intellectual capital (human capital, structural capital and relationalcapital). The main objective of the current project (JAKIN II, ref. 2010-1-ES1-LEO05-21048)is to redesign JAKIN tool in order to incorporate every kind of stages associated to theassessment of the formal and non formal training, to add indicators associated to the newtrends, and finally, to become a management tool for all sorts of companies; specially thesmallest ones and those linked to innovation processes.The project consortium consists of 7 partners with different expertise coming from 5countries: CEBEK – project promoter and coordinator (Spain), INVESLAN (Spain), BEST(Austria), EEDE (Greece), CULS (Czech Republic), CONECT (BELGIUM) and SPI (Portugal).More information about the project can be found at: www.jakin2.euThe present report “Evaluation methodologies in Europe” has been developed within theframework of work package 2 “Analysis of evaluation methodologies in Europe” (henceforth,WP2), that aimed at obtaining an overview of different methodologies intended to evaluatetraining activities and coordinated by INVESLAN (ES). As follows, the report introducesdifferent assessment systems used in Europe for detection of skills and needs anddevelopment of suitable training offer in each system. To more precise, the report presentsAustrian, Belgian, Czech, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese national cases studies respectfully.
  9. 9. AUSTRIAN NATIONAL REPORTI. INTRODUCTIONIn this national report we aim to outline the results of the desk and field research conductedby BEST Institut für berufsbezogene Weiterbildung und Personaltraining GmbH ("BESTInstitute of Continuous Vocational Qualification Training and Personnel Training Ltd") forJAKIN II.BEST is a private institute that has been providing its customers with effective support inpersonnel-related matters for more than 20 years now, with special emphasis on "Training &Continuous Training" as well as on "Training & Coaching". In cooperation with more than150 different European organisations we have developed innovative solutions for adulteducation and vocational training and provided BEST practice methods in more than 60international projects so far. In these projects, BEST operates as initiator, coordinator andproject partner. Our international project work is designed to improve our offer for differenttarget groups and delivers new models of personal and vocational education and training.In our field research for JAKIN II we interviewed 10 participants from small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in different branches in Austria in May 2011 following semi-structured interviews. Two interviewees were responsible for Human Resources, three weregeneral managers, one of them also was the owner of the company. Five respondents wereinterviewed as a focus group of trainers, teachers or guidance counsellors as well as HRcounsellors. The results of the interviews are outlined in chapter II.6. The questionnaires areincluded in the annex of this document.In our desk research we found several interesting documents and reports on training needsassessment and quality assessment in Austria which are going to be presented in this report.First of all we are going to provide a brief overview of the Austrian educational system andelaborate on formal, non-formal and informal learning in Austria. Moreover, evaluation
  10. 10. 10tendencies and standards are presented. A comprehensive study on regional training needsassessment conducted by the Austrian Federal Ministry Agriculture, Forestry, Environmentand Water in 2009 is going to be introduced in this context. Additionally we are going tooutline best practice examples of training needs assessment and knowledge management inAustrian enterprises and in vocational education and training (VET) and present the findingsof the field research. Our findings are summarized in the conclusion.II. MAIN FINDINGS2.1 National training system and European qualification standardIn this chapter the main structure of the educational system in Austria is explained. TheAustrian education system can be divided into three main categories: formal, non-formal andinformal learning.2.1.1 Formal educationThe Austrian educational system comprises the following schools: Primary schools(Volksschulen, grades 1-4), secondary schools (Hauptschulen, grades 5 to 8), special schools(Sonderschulen, grade 1 to 8), the pre-vocational year (Polytechnische Schulen, grade 9),secondary academic schools (Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schulen, grades 5 to 12), part-timevocational schools (Berufsschulen, starting in grade 9, combined with apprenticeshiptraining), as well as technical and vocational schools and colleges (Berufsbildende mittlereund höhere Schulen, grades 9 to 12 or 13)4.2.1.2 Non-formal educationAll kinds of trainings and further education apart from the state educational system arereferred to as non-formal education. The most important key actors in this field are theVolkshochschulen (adult education centres) in Austria. Lifelong learning is being consideredas a main issue in the educational policy. There is a wide range of continued trainingproviders in Austria:4http://www.arbeiterkammer.at/www-192-IP-2264.html
  11. 11. Adult Education Centres (Volkshochschulen)Additional courses for pupils with special educational needs at lower secondaryschool level; courses for subsequent secondary school certificates (offered byprivate or public institutions, e.g. BFI)Training and qualification institutes ofChamber of Commerce, Industry BoardTraining institutions of the Trade UnionsPrivate and public institutions working for the labour market administration forimplementation of the active labour market policy, for vocational education andtraining, vocational guidance and for integration into the labour market. Theactual number varies depending on the volume of courses which, in turn,depends on the respective budget. From our (BEST) experience over the last 15years, we can state that there is a core group of approximately 150 to 250institutes, companies and non-profit organisations.2.1.3 National qualification framework in AustriaIn 2008, the European Union agreed on establishing the European Qualifications Framework(EQF) which acts as a translation device to facilitate the comparison of national qualificationsacross Europe which shall lead to greater mobility of workers and learners betweencountries and support lifelong learning. European countries were encouraged to relate theirnational qualification systems to the EQF. Austria decided to follow this invitation and beganto develop a national qualification framework (NQR). Already in 2007, the Austrian FederalMinistry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) and the Austrian Federal Ministry forScience and Research (BMWF) introduced a consultation paper which contained more than270 statements of stakeholders of the Austrian educational system. In 2008, revisedrecommendations for implementing the NQR were presented. In 2010, pilot projects wereconducted, which exemplified the classification of qualifications according to the NQR. In2006, a NQR project group was established as contact point for all institutions andstakeholders involved. Since 2007, there is a special national committee which consists ofthe most important representatives of the Austrian education system. In 2011, a handbookfor training providers is going to elaborated and further implementation strategies will bepresented. Until 2013, the entire education system shall be classified according to the eightlevels of the NQR. Detailed information on the Austrian qualification framework, its
  12. 12. 12implementation and progress can be found on the Austrian platform of adult education5.2.2 Informal training implementationIn the 1970s, planners and economists of the World Bank started making a distinctionbetween non- formal and informal learning and formal education as a response to the formaleducation system being considered too slow to adapt to the socio-economic changes of thattime. Implementation of informal training in Austria shall be considered in this section. Thenotions of formal, non-formal and informal learning/training and the diverseinterpretations of them lead to the research of informal training implementation in Austria.Informal learning is defined as follows:Being not or lessorganized and structured (than formal or non-formal ones) related to learningobjective(s) and duration, being not necessarily intentional from the learner’s perspectiveand not leading to a qualification.Some examples of places / situations in Austria, where informal learning takes place are:Youth & leisure centres: Youth and leisure centres provide a wide range ofpossibilities for young people to spend their free time. They can e.g. play games,watch movies, use computers and the internet, make parties, do sports, or live outtheir creativity. All these things can be done together with other young peoplesharing their interests.Public places: People getting in touch with knowledge at places where they spendtheir leisure time, during holidays, e.g. in parks or public baths.Holidays abroad: A lot of organisations are offering holidays abroad, where youngpeople as well as adults have the possibility to combine fun and learning within anew, mostly very motivating environment.Magazines: Reading magazines and newspapers contributes to learning in aninformal way. Some Austrian magazines publish articles e.g. in different languages,targeting at evoking the readers’ interest.5http://erwachsenenbildung.at/themen/nqr
  13. 13. Up-to-date there are no legal regulations of informal education in Austria. Since 2007, aworking group on informal learning exists which publishes annual reports on the situation ofinformal learning in Austria. An emphasis is laid on the validation of informally acquiredcompetences. The reports can be downloaded online (in German).62.3 Evaluation tendencies and standards (assessment tools usedand prevailing evaluation methodologies and techniques)Evaluation tendencies and standards considered in the Austrian research tried to cover bothaspects, formal/ non-formal, as well as informal training. Informal learning outcomes may bevalidated and certified in the framework of recognition within other learning. However, forinformal training assessment there were no descriptions of practices found. Therefore, thefollowing section covers evaluation trends and standards in formal and non-formaleducation.Training needs assessment is an instrument to assess the qualification needs of employeesin a structured manner. The target situation (“what should be”) and the current situation(“what is”) are analyzed. Then, improvement and development strategies are developed.The comparison of existing qualifications and competences of employees with (new)institutional requirements of enterprises helps to identify individual training needs ofemployees and workers. In the context of more globalized markets, awareness of theimportance of training needs assessment is growing. One comprehensive study on trainingneeds assessment was provided by the Austrian Institute for Adult Education and theFederal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water (Lebensministerium) inDezember 2009. Both institutions organized a conference on “Regional training needsassessment – contexts and methods for application”. Training needs assessment wasintroduced as an instrument of systematized research on initial positions, educational needsand barriers of inhabitants and organizations of a certain region. A detailed handbook on thetopic was elaborated in the context of the program “learning regions”. This programcombines the idea of lifelong learning with independent regional development and wasinitiated by the Lebensministerium in the framework of the European regional developmentprogram 2007-2013. On 118 pages, the handbook provides extensive information aboutdifferent methods of training needs assessment, including:6http://erwachsenenbildung.at/service/publikationen/publikationen_bmukk.php#nqr
  14. 14. 14Group work (workshops, open space)Dialogue techniques (structured, semi-structured and open interviews with learnersand experts, group discussions and focus groups)Other instruments of analysis (analysis of documents, vacancies, positionrequirements, etc.)The authors of the report opt for an combination of methods.The report outlines that the most difficult element within training needs assessmentprocesses are the latent training needs which are difficult to identify. In order to succeed inmaking hidden needs transparent, it is crucial to involve the addressees of the measuresdirectly in the planning process. Additionally, the training needs assessment should beconducted rather permanently than punctually.In seven modules, the structure of a regional training needs assessment analysis is outlined.The following table gives an overview of the modules, which are explained in detail in thereport.77http://www.oieb.at/upload/3567_handbuch-regionale-bildungsbedarfserhebung.pdf, page 55.
  15. 15. Module 1: Formulating needs assumptionsThe following questions should be answered for each assumption:-What are the aims of the training?-Who formulates the training needs? Whose aims have to be met?-Who can provide more information on training needs? (find contact persons)Module 2 Communicating with relevant stakeholders-Find out about stakeholders’ aims-Define target groups-What kind of training needs exist (reactive, proactive, strategic)Module 3 The target competences: What should beStakeholders, experts and learners identify the target competences ina collective discussion process.Module 4 Identifying of actual performances, educational barriers andvation-What competences do learners already have in a given field? What basis isthere to draw on?-What are potential educational barriers (financial, time, lack of appropriatetraining offers, lack of motivation and self-esteem, etc.)-How can learners be motivated? How can the learners’ interest in learning andtraining can be fostered?Module 5 Analyzing the variance-Which competences have to be developed?-How could concrete measures look like given that it is possible to draw onexisting competences?-Are there similar measures and approaches already existing? If yes, whycouldn’t they meet the training needs?Module 6 Detailed planning of training needs within a measureTrainers and learners discuss the specific adjustments of the topic.Module 7 Evaluating the measure (short-term, long-term)and assessment of assumptions-Could the target groups be reached?-Were the participants content?-Did the educational measures lead to the planned results? Are thestakeholders content?
  16. 16. 162.4 Innovating experiences: quality plans, models of excellence, newtechnologies, value sensitive design of evaluation, expectedinnovative proceduresQuality management systems originally were developed within the industrial and businesssectors, yet in the 21st.century this topic has become ever more subjective within theeducational framework in order to ensure sustainability of training provisions. Especially invocational education and training the discussions concerning how quality assurance can befurther implemented have been relevant since the Copenhagen congress where improvingand developing educational objectives and training systems in Europe was discussed. On acommon level, Austria is seen to implement many different measures to ensure qualitycontrol and sustainability awareness in VET; this however is not only in education but alsoon a broader nationwide level.2.4.1 Examples of quality plans in vocational education and training (VET)in AustriaThe “Austrian Reference Point for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education andTraining” (ARQA-VET) is an information channel for educational institutions, social partnersand operations within further VET which provides information regarding the Europeaneducation network. It is also in charge of developing certain measures to support qualityassurance and quality development within Austrian VET policies.QIBB is a comprehensive quality assurance model launched by the BMUKK that followssimilar principles of the European recognized quality assurance models “Common EuropeanQuality Assurance Framework” (CQAF) and the “European Quality Assurance ReferenceFramework” (EQARF). The key process is the implementation of a comprehensive qualitymanagement system in Austrian VET as well as further implementing the CQAF, which wasdeveloped on a European level in conjunction with the Copenhagen process. QIBB is closelyrelated to the “Quality in Schools” (QIS) initiative which was set up by the “AustrianMinistry of Education” to support schools that monitor and develop continuous training andself-development.The mechanisms which are implemented in Austria include awards which are presented at anational level to ensure and enhance the quality provided by VET institutions in Austria. One
  17. 17. of the most renowned is the “Austrian Quality Award”. This award is presented to bothprofit and non-profit organizations and is a symbol which demonstrates good care has beentaken of customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders with society- and this over manyyears. To be nominated for this award the VET organization must prepare a reportdescribing their current situation based on the EFQM Model.2.4.2 Models of excellence and new technologiesMany good practices in regard to training needs assessment and further education in Austriadraw on new technologies. An easy way for enterprises to conduct training needsassessment online is e.g. provided by virtual education centre, a project supported by TirolerBildungszentrum and ESF. The website contains a “qualification matrix” in order to supportcompanies in identifying existing competences as well as training needs of their employees.8The methods outlined in the study “training needs assessment for the Austrian environmentand energy technology sector” which was conducted in 2009 by Florian Brence of ACT(Austrian Clean Technology) are strongly based on new technologies: Online questionnairesare an important component of the training needs assessment.9In general it can be stated that new technologies as instruments for learning and knowledgemanagement have found their way in Austrian companies and VET providers and are nowintegral components of every business. E-Learning in the form of online learning platformssuch as Moodle or Fronter are getting more and more popular especially in VET contexts.Knowledge Management Systems (KM Systems) as well as Business Intelligence (BI)became indispensable in daily work flows. Also mobile learning i.e. learning with mobiletelephones and corresponding applications is tested in pilot projects in Austria. At a school inGraz, Styria, a respective pilot project takes place at the moment which is supported by theAustrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. The German InternationalTechnology Learning Centre published a useful handbook on implementing and using E-Learning in companies.10Several Austrian universities deal with the successfulimplementation and evaluation of E-Learning in companies, e.g. the Johann KeplerUniversity of Linz in their E-Learning Blog. It is outlined that 97% of big companies use8http://content.tibs.at/advotrain/index.php?menu=1146&con_id=174339http://www.act-center.at/de/servicebox/ACT_090530_Auswertung_BefragungBildungsbedarfsanalyse.pdf10http://www.infofarm.de/datenbank/medien/314/eLearning_leitfaden.pdf
  18. 18. 18E-Learning whereas only a minority of small and medium sized enterprises draw on thistechnological tool for training purposes.112.4.3 New business paradigms (management styles)In our field research, we conducted interviews with general managers of SMEs, knowledgeexperts, HR specialists as well as with teachers and trainers. One interview took place in afocus group of five teachers, trainers, guidance counsellors and HR counsellors. It can bestated that all interviewees acknowledged the importance of knowledge management andhuman capital and were aware of the necessity of continuous training implementation.We interviewed three general managers of SMEs. All three companies were founded in the1990s. One company operates in the education sector, whereas two companies are involvedin other service activities. In regard to management styles and new business paradigms theinterviews showed the following results: Two of the general managers stated that theirmanagement style was integrative, whereas one general manager described hismanagement style as directive. All interviewees claimed that the organizational chart of theircompany was flat. The quality management indicators implemented in the respectivecompanies range from audits and reviews to standards set by official bodies and regularfeedback sessions and polls among customers. All companies have carried out trainingactions during the last three years. The number of workers who took part in these trainingactions ranged from less than 20% to over 60%. However, the difference can be explainedwith the total number of workers employed in the respective companies. Whereas 20% ofworkers participated in training actions in a company with more than 250 employees in total,over 60% employees attended training actions in a company with a overall number of onlynine employees (or less). All interviewees stated that continuous training was part of thestrategic management of the company; two general managers added that training actionswere also initiated on demand by workers. One interviewee outlined that training actionswere also dependent on the job profile and e.g. necessary certificates. All companiesconduct some sort of training needs assessment before implementing training measures,however, the methods and approaches used in order to assess the training needs in detailwasn’t specified by the interviewees. All training actions are financed by own funds andorganized internally. None of the companies engaged an external training provider forcarrying out the training. Two companies evaluate the training actions internally, whereas11http://elearn.jku.at/wiki/index.php/Einsatz_von_E-Learning_in_Unternehmen
  19. 19. one company additionally draws on external evaluation. It is striking that all intervieweesemphasized the importance of informal learning in their company. Informal learning takesplace in regular brainstorming sessions outdoors, after work but also during breaks. In onecompany mixed teams from different competence areas meet for social, cultural and know-how exchange; regular fetes are organized to meet and exchange news. We also asked theinterviewees about their strategies to create and innovate knowledge and received a widerange of answers on this point. The answers include going to trainings, meeting otherpeople in the same area of work, work rotation, regular staff meetings and discussions onnext steps and procedures and the fact that all employees of the company are involved in allactivities.Our interviews with the focus group of teachers, trainers and guidance counsellors as well aswith an expert in knowledge management showed that training actions were as importantfor SMEs as for large companies as it was important to keep knowledge up-to-date andanswer business need. Another important component highlighted was the motivating factorof training actions for employees. Thus, training always includes a social and a economicalaspect. Training is a strategic element of knowledge management (KM). KM can be definedas managing knowledge (save, store, share, provide, transfer, create new). The pre-designof training actions should include diagnostics, the selection of appropriate contents as wellas methods, media and info sections. The criteria for selection should range from theappropriateness of the methods, the contents, the trainer, costs and duration (for in-housetrainings). Is the training held by an external course provider the distance is an additionalcriterion for selection. Quality indicators to evaluate training actions depend on the type oftraining and the situation; however they should include integrity, professionalism, businessethics and diversity management in all cases. During the training satisfaction, userfriendliness and the achievement of learning objectives are important evaluation indicators.In order to measure the impact and profitability of the training, the focus group mentionedthe following methods: 5s, Norton, Kirkpatrick evaluation model, assessments and ROIcalculations. The KM expert also outlined ROI as one of the most important parameters tomeasure the impact of training actions and knowledge management in SMEs. In order toidentify workers achievements it is important to allot activities to outcomes; a system ofbuddies or mentoring is of advantage to coach and support.What benefits does a company have through the application of knowledge management?The KM expert named four: innovation, customer-orientation, satisfaction and retention.However, these benefits only apply if knowledge management is carried out in anappropriate way.
  20. 20. 202.5 Challenges to respond toIn our interviews with the general managers of SMEs the interviewees named severalchallenges to respond to when organizing training actions for the staff. Among the mostfrequently mentioned were time constraints (trainings take time which is not always easilyaffordable) and financial challenges. All general managers finance training measures withown funds; they don’t receive financial support from external sources. In one case, 1% ofthe annual profit was spent on the implementation of training actions, in another case theamount was 3% of profit. The costs of training measures may be one of the reasons whytrainings are organized internally without consulting an external expert or training provider.The evaluation of the training actions’ costs were thus considered definitely or veryimportant by the interviewees. Also the evaluation of the impact and the knowledge transferwere highlighted as crucial. Summing up, it can be stated that time constraints and financialissues are the most important challenges mentioned by our interviewees.Our desk research showed that knowledge management is an integral aspect of Austrianbusinesses; however, compared to SMEs big companies have more possibilities and a widerscope of action. When it comes to knowledge management and new technologies (although– as mentioned by the expert on knowledge management- there isn’t necessarily a relationbetween KM and new technologies), especially small enterprises tend to struggle with theimplementation of innovative technologies such as E-Learning or mobile learning. When itcomes to training needs assessment, more and more Austrian companies acknowledge itsimportance; however, there are not many reports and studies available which could serve asbest practices for SMEs. Austria seems to have some catching up to do. There is oneinteresting project dealing with business skills development for small enterprises and start-ups. It aims at conducting comprehensive research on the special situation of SMEs andalready provides some important information and checklists for general managers of SMEsonline (only in German)12.12http://www.ooe.wifi.at/detailbild.aspx?newsID=474&groupID=
  21. 21. 2.6 New indicators to considerWhen targeting SMEs, we should consider the special needs and requirements of thesecompanies. Financial possibilities are limited and time constraints represent a serious barrierin organizing training actions. The hierarchical structure of SMEs tends to be flat; so manypeople should be involved in knowledge management and the planning and carrying out oftraining measures. The original JAKIN tool was mainly focused on evaluating completeContinuous Training programs, that is, programs that have included diverse training actionsaimed at impacting in all the elements of a company’s performance and functioning ingeneral. In our findings we gained the impression that SMEs tend to be more attracted toflexible and easily applicable ways of assessing training needs and organizing trainingactions than to wide-ranged, cost intensive and time-consuming measures. We recommendto take this into consideration for JAKIN II. When it comes to knowledge management andnew technologies, it should be considered that tools like E-Learning are often not verysuitable or attractive for small enterprises. However, as there lies great potential in thesetools, possibilities could be considered to make these new technologies more attractive toSMEs.III. SELECTED BEST PRACTICESThe relevant best practices found in Austria related to the project’s topic are the following:Best practice Nr.: 113Country: AustriaPromoting enterprise andcollaborators (anonymous)Institute for Business Formation andDevelopment (Institut fürUnternehmensgründung undUnternehmensentwicklung) of the JohannesKepler University Linz;WIFI Unternehmer-Akademie;Economic Chamber of Upper AustriaTitle of the programme/initiative (if any)“Betriebliche Kompetenzentwicklung für Klein-und Jungunternehmen” (EN: „Business skillsdevelopment for small enterprises and start-ups”Description of the trainingcourse (when, hours, trainingprovider etc) n/a13http://www.ooe.wifi.at/detailbild.aspx?newsID=476&groupID=
  22. 22. 22Target group (groups ofemployees)Young entrepreneurs, owners and employees ofsmall and medium sized enterprises, trainersand guidance counselors involved in humanresourcesObjectives reached, throughevaluation activitiesDevelop innovative methods of training needsassessment for SMEs, develop checklists forgeneral managers of SMEsMethodological instrumentsused for evaluation processStructured and non-structured interviews,participant observation, moderated discussionsEvaluated contents and stagesof evaluationThe training needs assessment is structuredaround the following questions:(1) What is the field of activity of the targetgroup?(2) Does this field of activity change in thefuture (e.g. because of new businessobjectives, new technologies, etc.)?(3) What skills and competences are necessaryin this context (professional know-how,practical knowledge, methodologicalcompetences, social and communicativecompetences)?(4) Which competences already exist, which aremissing, which should be developed?Results obtained (throughevaluation practices - impact) n/aBudget assigned and sources offinancing n/aPossibilities to "export" to othercontextsThis project is very useful for JAKIN II as italso targets SMEs.Special features of theevaluation methods (innovationdimension)The methods of training need assessmentdeveloped in this project are specificallytargeted at SMEs and their needs.OTHER OBSERVATIONS:Be aware of copyright issues! It is stated at theproject website that the contents cannot beused by others.
  23. 23. Best practice Nr.: 214Country: AustriaPromoting enterprise andcollaborators (anonymous) ACT (Austrian Clean Technology)Title of the programme/initiative (if any)Training needs assessment for the Austrianenvironment and energy technology sectorDescription of the trainingcourse (when, hours, trainingprovider etc) n/aTarget group (groups ofemployees)Enterprises in the Austrian environment andenergy sectorObjectives reached, throughevaluation activitiesThe aim of the study was to identify futurecompetences and skills which are important inthe environment and energy technology sectorMethodological instrumentsused for evaluation processScreening of job descriptions, expert interviews,background research on the Austrian labourmarket, online questionnaires, round tablediscussions and analysis of ACT formationprogramsEvaluated contents and stagesof evaluation n/aResults obtained (throughevaluation practices - impact) n/aBudget assigned and sourcesof financing n/aPossibilities to "export" toother contexts n/aSpecial features of theevaluation methods(innovation dimension) n/aOTHER OBSERVATIONS: n/a14http://www.act-center.at/de/servicebox/ACT_090530_Auswertung_BefragungBildungsbedarfsanalyse.pdf
  24. 24. 24Best practice Nr.: 315Country: AustriaPromoting enterprise andcollaborators (anonymous)Commissioned by the Austrian EconomicChamberConducted by Helmut Dornmayer of ibw –Institut für Bildungsforschung in der Wirtschaft(Institute for Educational Research in theEconomy)Title of the programme/initiative (if any)“Bildungsbedarfserhebung im Fachverband UBIT(Unternehmensberatung und IT)” (EN: “Trainingneeds assessment in the professional associationUBIT - management consultancy and IT“)Description of the trainingcourse (when, hours, trainingprovider etc) n/aTarget group (groups ofemployees)The study focuses on three occupational groupswhich are organized in the professionalassociation UBIT: information technology,management consultancy, accountancyObjectives reached, throughevaluation activitiesIdentifying the educational background, trainingneeds and educational awareness of employeesin the above mentioned sectorsMethodological instrumentsused for evaluation processSocio-economical analysis, online survey ofemployees (questionnaires sent by e-mail)Evaluated contents and stagesof evaluation n/aResults obtained (throughevaluation practices - impact)The study concludes that the training needs varygreatly depending on the occupational group,e.g. in the field of management consultancy“process skills” are more important than“professional know-how.”Budget assigned and sourcesof financing n/aPossibilities to "export" toother contexts n/aSpecial features of theevaluation methods(innovation dimension) n/a15http://www.ibw.at/html/buw/bw36.pdf
  25. 25. IV. CONCLUSIONSDuring our desk and field research we were able to gain valuable insights into knowledgemanagement and training needs assessment in Austria. There is already a lot of knowledgeon different methods and approaches available, but only a few projects and studies focus onSMEs in particular. A tool which systematizes and gathers all knowledge on the topic alreadyavailable and adds new dimension in regard to changing business paradigms (such as JAKINII) seems to be of great for SMEs in Austria. Our literature review showed that it isimportant to involve the addresses of training measures in the planning process. This isespecially true for SMEs which tend to have a flat organizational chart. The generalmanagers interviewed suggested that they didn’t want to “control” their employees and thatmany decisions were taken jointly. In SMEs there is also great potential for informal learningas our interviewees reported of good atmospheres during work, in lunch breaks and afterwork when employees spend time together learning from each other in an informal way.Last but not least every KM and TNA measure should be aware of cost and time restrictionsSMEs have to deal with in order to offer customized and easily applicable solutions forexisting training needs.
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. BELGIAN NATIONAL REPORTI. INTRODUCTIONThis national report provides an analysis of training evaluation methodologies in Belgium. Itgives an overview of the new paradigms in the business management, as well as newchallenges and practices of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Main subjectsoutlined and analysed in this report are:1. Current methodologies and trends of the training evaluation within the national context ofBelgium.2. Identification of good practices.3. Innovating experiences: quality plans, models of excellence, new technologies.4. New business paradigms: knowledge management, human capital.The analysis of evaluation methodologies has been based on a twofold method: qualitativemethodology and desk-research.In order to gain and investigate the background knowledge of the subject and to extract thebest practices on the evaluation methodologies, a literature review and bibliographicresearch has been conducted.The method of expert interviews has been chosen in order to look at the evaluationmethodologies in details and to assess their impact on companies and employees, as well asto identify good practices on evaluation techniques. The interviews, supported by semi-structured questionnaires, took place between May and June 2011. Responses’ reviewallowed to collect comprehensive information and to get spontaneous feedback from expertsactive in the following fields: human resources managers (2); Training/evaluation experts(2); Knowledge management experts (1).In addition, online questionnaires has been designed and distributed via email to directorsand managers of selected SMEs (around 120) from the different Belgium’s communities. This
  28. 28. 28approach was preferred to gain a better insight on the evaluation impact and applicability, aswell as to approach and get closer to the target group of the project – the SMEs.Regrettably, the SMEs contacted by email didn’t react or reacted only partially to the requestof filling the questionnaire. Despite the attempt to make the questionnaire more user-friendly (translations, briefing notes, website), only a limited number of managers filled inand sent back the questionnaire. The narrow amount of responses received via email doesnot allow making a quality analysis in terms of representativeness. For this reason it hasbeen decided to focus this report primarily on the findings from the desk research and theexpert interviews.II. MAIN FINDINGS2.1 National training systems and European qualification standardsIn order to fully understand the training and education system in Belgium, it is fundamentalto provide some general knowledge on its complex political and socio-economic context.Belgium, which became a unitary State in 1831, is a parliamentary democracy in the form ofa constitutional monarchy and, following successive amendments to the Constitution (1970,1980, 1988-89, and 1993 and 2001), Belgium has become a federal State.Under the reform of the state, the pyramid of the unitarian state made way for a morecomplex three-level structure [1]. The leadership of the country is now in the hands ofvarious partners, who independently exercise their authority within their domains. Forinstance, the communities became responsible for education, while the regions areresponsible for some aspects of vocational training, such as social advancement,redeployment and retraining.At the top level, there are the Federal State, the Communities and the Regions, allthree of which are equal from the legal viewpoint. They are on an equal footing but havepowers and responsibilities for different fields.
  29. 29. The next level down is still occupied by the provinces. Before the state reform of 1993, theprovinces were only under the supervision of the central state. Now they are supervised byall the higher government authorities, in the context of the federal, community or regionalpowers.At the bottom of the pyramid, we find the communes, which is the level of administrationthat is closest to the people. Like the provinces, they are under the supervision of the higherauthorities. Depending on the powers exercised, they are supervised by the Federal State,the Community or the Region. In general, they are financed and audited by the Regions.2.1.1 National training systemsA comprehensive Lifelong Learning (LLL) strategy has been developed and implemented inBelgium in the latest years. Several policy briefs, notes and action plans have beenproduced, such as the skills and competences agenda in Flanders and the Marshall plan inWallonia. The aim is to meet the twin challenges of efficiency and equity by involving all keystakeholders: public authorities as well as social partners, education and training providersand the public employment service. As from 2002, agreements (covenants) were alsoconcluded between the Minister of Employment and the social partners of different sectorsof economic activity (both industry and services). In these agreements, arrangements aremade concerning the improvement of the connection between education, the labour marketand the LLL strategy in different sectors of economic activity.Vocational placement and vocational training are organised by regional or Communityorganisations. These public services provide information on all types of training available.Here are the public services operating in each region [1]:FOREM (in French): is the public service for employment and vocational training inWallonia [2]. Among other activities, the FOREM provides small and medium enterprises(SMEs) with professional support in order to: identify and improve the right skills andcompetences at work; organise training activities for the employees; make companiesbenefit from the support mechanisms for recruitment; and give strategic advice on humanresource management.
  30. 30. 30Bruxelles Formation (in French) is responsible for the vocational training ofFrench speakers in the Brussels-Capital Region [3]. As far as SMEs are concerned, BruxellesFormation offers different options for workers to upgrade their skills particularly in the fieldof new technologies, communication, human recourses management and labour legislation.In addition, specific training can be arranged upon request of one or more enterprises.VDAB (in Dutch) provides services in Flanders as well as for Dutch speakers living inBrussels [4]. It offers training courses, counselling and support to the enterprises in severalsectors.The Employment Agency (Arbeitsamt) (in German) is responsible for the areasof employment, vocational guidance and vocational training in the German-speakingCommunity [5]. Its role is two-fold: on one hand job seekers and employers in developingtheir career (through job placement, vocational guidance, vocational education and training,temporary work) and support other companies in managing their staff (such as processing ofvacancies, training and employment support and training of personnel).2.1.2 European qualification frameworks and other developmentsIn the field of European tools, latest developments in Belgium [6] include:a) The application of the European qualification framework to simplify andmake the various European qualifications understandable. In Belgium, Flanders is in theapplication phase (Decree of 30 April 2009 on the Flemish Qualification framework), whereasWallonia is in the design phase and should be completed by the end of 2011.b) Implementation of a National Qualifications Framework (NQF): there isneed for information on the qualifications and competences regarding career guidancecounsellors. The Flemish qualification structure has been developed as a common tool foreducation, training and work. At this moment there is a growing need for professional skillsand the risk of skill mismatching and how to respond to this situation; - environmentalchange, new energy sources, green jobs are high on the competence and qualificationagenda. The future relation of the Qualifications Structure to the EQF will facilitatetransnational mobility. Six pilot projects were started to gain experience with the process ofdeveloping qualifications and relating them to a particular level of the structure. At the sametime, the developmental process towards a qualifications databank was initiated. 
  31. 31. c) Quality assurance mechanism: a team of inspectors monitor the quality ofschools. The system of school reviews is currently being scrutinised with the objective toimprove their efficiency and impact. High quality assurance stands also for high equality andaccess for anyone to start developing its talents in any school. A framework for general andautomatic recognition of degrees and qualifications based on recognition of the qualityassurance system could be found in the Decrees on the Structure of Higher Education.Another important measure was the authorization of the accreditation body to recognizeforeign accreditations and quality judgements provided that they comply with the BergenStandards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. In 2007-2008, in the French-speaking Community, several pilot projects were launched todevelop a Qualification Framework. One of the objectives of these projects is to matcheducation offer and skill needs of the professional sectors. The creation of a newQualification Agency is decided mainly to cope with the connection between education andvocational training; and its main goal is to create more flexible pathways for the citizen.Validation process is based on an orientation memorandum by the social partners andemployment services, who are deciding for which jobs; validation would create added valuefor the employers. All higher education programmes were transformed into the Bachelor-Master structure.d) Geographical mobility in Vocational Education and Training (VET): inBelgium, there are three official languages. Therefore, Belgium has three National EuropassCentres (NEC). Each NEC is responsible for the promotion in its specific languagecommunity.In Flanders, the Europass Diploma Supplement is compulsory for higher education from2007 (although it has no reference to Europass on it). Until 2008, Flanders had no EuropassCertificate Supplement. Europass Certificate Supplements have an added value foremployers if they contain relevant information (demand-driven manner and useful for theemployer).The French-speaking Community is making efforts to promote Europass to educationalactors (schools, adult education, higher education) by integration in learning programmes,especially those who participate in the Lifelong Learning Programme. A report has been
  32. 32. 32provided to the Ministers proposing an increasing use of Europass in connection with theEQF process.Several common measures were adopted: the organisation of language modules; languageexchanges for trainees; trans-regional training courses; and cooperation on ad hoc eventssuch as job fairs and recruitment following collective redundancies. In 2008 and 2009 theRegions and Communities continued the development of competence profiles, defining theset of skills (qualifications) required for each occupation. This was used as the frame ofreference for drafting module type of training paths. All projects are EQF conform.Furthermore, the Public Employment Services cooperate to ensure that these skill sets arecomparable in order to promote inter-regional mobility.2.2 Informal training implementationThe lifelong learning strategies in Belgium are covering all levels of education and trainingwhether formal, informal or non-formal.In order to encourage job growth, more and better training opportunities have beenprovided. In fact, only those who manage to develop their knowledge satisfactorily can keepand improve their chances in the job market. To finance this part of the programme, it isnecessary not only for workers but also employers and the authorities to contribute. Withthis in view, the regions and the communities offer training vouchers. Employers for theirpart have committed themselves to contributing 1.9% of the total wage bill to the training oftheir workers.Addressing participation of low-skilled people and immigrants in continuous learning iscritical to enhance their employability. As part of the Skills Agenda, a comprehensiveapproach towards early school leavers is being developed. A better cooperation betweeneducational partners and the VDAB is foreseen as part of the competency Agenda in order toimprove qualifications of this vulnerable group of youngsters.
  33. 33. The agenda maps the needs for competence development and makes policyrecommendations to tackle the skills gaps. During round tables the different stakeholderscommunicate their points of view. The Walloon Marshall plan and the Skills Agenda are toenhance employability and to increase the employment rate and economic growth.Moreover, an action programme for competence development of individuals and enterpriseshas been drafted, which will strengthen workers as well as enterprises to cope withtransitions towards and changes in the labour market.The designing of an overarching qualifications framework with effective integration ofsystems of recognition of informal and non-formal learning is another challenge, via theexperience certificate, recognition of prior competencies via sector covenants, acquisition ofa professional title.2.2.1 French-speaking community [6]:Since 2003, two main entities are in charge of the implementation of training activities forsmall and medium enterprises: one covering the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region, theother of the Walloon Region:1) the SME Training Department (Service Formation PME or SFPME), under the tutelage ofthe Brussels-Capital Region; and2) the Walloon Institute of dual education and training for small and medium enterprises(Institut wallon de formation en alternance des indépendants et des petites et moyennesentreprises, IFAPME), under the tutelage of the Walloon Government.A structure called the ‘Continuing Training Institute’ (Institut de formation permanente) alsoexists, retaining the tasks related to the issuance of apprenticeship certificates and companymanager training diplomas.Continuing training for the self-employed and for small and medium-sized enterprisesincludes:Basic training that enables the acquisition of the skills required to exercise anindependent profession. It comes in different forms, depending on the learners’ age andcompetencies. The apprenticeship contract, for which the duration is generally 3 years (thiscan be reduced based on previous knowledge acquired by the youngster or even extended
  34. 34. 34by one year in the event of failure during the promotion examinations or at the end of thetraining).The company manager training, which lasts for 2 or 3 years depending upon theprofession, is organised for one part, as 8 hours of theoretical courses per week most oftensplit over two evenings and, for the other part, as 4 days a week of practical training in acompany. It is centred on the management of a company and the acquisition of professionalknowledge. During this training, the candidate receives a progressive training allowancewhich varies according to level of qualification at the start of the agreement and need tofollow a preparatory year or not.Extended training: further training consisting of a regular adaptation to newproblems arising in a company; recycling, aimed at in-depth training of new and complextechniques. This can also be an update of knowledge for someone who has progressivelybeen able to start learning about the problems covered in further training.Reconversion: to allow a company manager to acquire, through appropriate training,the skills necessary to exercise another self-employed profession.Assistance in the creation of a company offers everybody that wishes to undertakean independent activity a framework in the process.2.2.2 Dutch-speaking community [7]:Through its entrepreneurial training, SYNTRA Flanders seeks to organise high-quality andspecific vocational training for youngsters and adults who intend to become self-employed orwho are seeking a career in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector and thereforefoster entrepreneurship as an essential factor of socio-economical development. At variouslevels, these vocational-training programmes are organised in a modular fashion where workalternates with training so that participants can compile the package most suited to them.SYNTRA Flanders organises various types of entrepreneurial training:Apprenticeships;Entrepreneurial training takes 1 to 3 years and comprises theoretical training(vocational technical training and business administration) which may be combinedwith an internship of no less than 6 months in which the course participant receiveshis practical training in a company, either on a full-time or part-time basis.
  35. 35. The course business administration takes 1 year and leads to the certificate(getuigschrift) business administration basics, a prerequisite for anyone seekingto obtain a business licence; the course business management for SMEs isaimed at managers and people in senior positions and requires a higher level ofprior education.Certified advanced training programmes which lead to a specific Flemishgovernment diploma or certificate (getuigschrift).There are well over 350 different uncertified advanced training programmes,aimed at the self-employed, SME managers and their senior staff.Tailor-made training programmes where training consultants develop an overalltraining plan on a step-by-step basis which dovetails as closely as possible withthe personal needs and ambitions of the (head of) the company.Moreover, employees working in the private sector can avail of paid educational leave andtraining vouchers. For training and advice, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises andthe liberal professions) can avail of “SME-portfolio support" (KMO-portefeuille-steun).Companies cover 50% of the service provision themselves.2.2.3 German-speaking community [8]:In the German community the ZAWMs (Centres for initial and continuing training in themiddle-class and in SMEs) provide general education and profession-related technicalqualification courses. For both there are 180 hours scheduled in the 1st year and 160 hourseach in the 2nd and in the 3rd year of apprenticeship. General education subjects are:German, French, arithmetic/mathematics, economics, rights/legislation, civics, SMEs. Thecore subjects for the technical qualification courses vary from one profession to the other.The practical portion of the training is provided in a company that has been accredited fortraining of apprentices. The master craftman coaching an apprentice engages himselfcontractually with the ZAWM Centre to impart a certain amount of profession-relatedminimum standards.The concerned professional organisations take part in decision-making as to the content ofthe applicable curricula. The latter are submitted by IAWM for the ministers approval andafterwards transmitted to the ZAWMs for application. Curricula bring as an introduction an
  36. 36. 36abstract of a job-description, then the actual teaching programme (Lehrprogramm) andfinally a table with the distribution of number of lessons and points for the apprenticeshipperiod.2. 3 Evaluation tendencies and standards2.3.1 Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS)One of the most comprehensive and reliable tool on the prevailing evaluation methodologiesof training activities in the Belgian SMEs is the Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS)[9], which is part of a European project aiming at taking stock of the training efforts ofEuropean companies.The survey, implemented since 2005 on a five-year basis, is conducted by the DirectorateGeneral Statistics and Economic Information (FPS Economy). It addresses Belgianenterprises employing at least 10 employees and working in most sectors present in Belgium(excluding public sector). It is also an important tool for policy makers in Belgium to assessthe training efforts of Belgian companies to meet a number of concrete objectives.The method of data collection is a mixed (mail survey or online survey) sampling Method,i.e. a stratified random sample by region, firm size and sector.The most recent available data relate to the year 2005. The next reference year is 2010,which means that data have been collected in 2011 and the final figures will be madeavailable in fall 2012.One of the key instruments adopted to evaluate the efforts of private sector’s companiesinto continuing training and education is the Social Audit. The data provided by thisassessment are used to calculate various indicators [9]:Financial effort as percentage of payrollParticipation rate of workersHours spent in training activities as a percentage of hours workedDuration of training per participantHourly cost of training activities
  37. 37. Based on the CVTS’ results, latest trends of the Belgian enterprises’ investment in trainingactivities are as follows:Out of all Belgian companies with at least 10 employees, 62.5% organise traininginitiatives for its employees. The bigger is the company, the more likely it is that it providestraining.Four out of ten employees participate in further training. To this end, companiesinvest an average of 1.6% of their payroll in training activities. Figures increase accordinglyto the size of the company.Areas where investment in staff training are the most important, and whereemployees have the greatest chance of participating in training activities, are the financialsector, post and telecommunications, and the chemistry industry. In contrast, the woodindustry, construction, textile, hotel and catering industry as well as the retail sectors are, inrelation to these training indicators, those with the lowest scores.The men benefit from five more hours of training in respect to women.The age groups for which the need for training is probably the most keenly felt are,paradoxically, those who receive the least. Indeed, young people and over 55 have lessopportunity to undergo further training.Compared with previous years, companies now opt for more in-service training ratherthan external.2.3.2 Assessment tools for Knowledge managementMany assessment tools and techniques have been produced in the latest years to helpBelgian enterprises evaluating the knowledge management processes and the trainingimpact.The Personnel and Organisation Unit of the Federal Public Service’s Directorate General forInternal Communication and Knowledge Management [10] (see also section 5 in this report),offers a series of methodological tools for knowledge management (KM). These tools are theresult of extensive discussions led by federal experts in knowledge management, enrichedwith experience and projects implemented on the ground.Originally addressed to managers and staff of the Belgian federal government, theKnowledge Management tools are available online [11] to all managers, human recourses /
  38. 38. 38KM experts as well as employers wishing to ameliorate and strengthen their skills andcompetencies at work.One of the latest publications of this series is the “Assessment tool Knowledge managementin team work. Analytical framework and improvement plan” (May 2010) [12].This tool provides an analytical framework to be completed by team members who regularlycollaborate. The analysis focuses on knowledge management on a daily basis; the sharing ofexpertise between colleagues, document management, mentoring of new staff members,etc.Overall goal is to help the team make a diagnosis on how it manages its knowledge, toidentify possible areas for improvement and define an action plan. The tool comes in theform of a booklet supported by an IT application online: the brochure explains themethodology for step by step in the performance analysis and planning; the IT applicationcan automatically calculate and display the results graphically in a readable and attractiveway.The team managers are encouraged to use this tool during the planning meetings and teamfunctioning, e.g. as part of the development circles (see also section 5 in this report).2.4 Innovating experiencesThe national LLL strategies in Belgium are implemented through the following initiatives[13]:A new educational pathway called “higher professional education” willenable early school leavers to obtain an official diploma of secondary education while theyare studying to obtain a qualification at EQF-level 5. As part of the Skills Agenda, acomprehensive approach towards early school leavers is being developed, for instance, itfocuses on a better co-operation between educational partners and the VDAB (the FlemishExternal Autonomous Agency for Employment and Vocational Training) in order to improvequalifications of this vulnerable group of youngsters.
  39. 39. Improving workplace skills: within the department of Education and Training, anew unit was established: the Project Strategic Education and Training Policy. It deals withthe implementation of the LLL policy and involves several policy domains and the main goalis to implement policy priority 1: “better linkages between education and the labour market”.Improving workplace skills amongst pupils, students and the labour force is a majorobjective.An umbrella training databank is accessible on the website www.wordwatjewil.be.This is a joint initiative between Education, the VDAB, the Flemish Agency forEntrepreneurial Training or SYNTRA Flanders and social/cultural work. An expansion toinclude private training providers is included. Via the Strategic Plans “Activitiescreation” in Wallonia, an enhanced cooperation is created between the stakeholders andmany actions are taking place, but communication to the citizen still has to be improved.Encouraging entrepreneurship in order to achieve a more flexible labour market.The average Belgian has not yet sufficiently developed the reflex to create his own job bybecoming self-employed. European employment policy is increasingly concentrated onsupply side solutions (like training, counselling and “flexicurity”) for helping the labour forceadapt to a rapidly changing environment created by globalisation and an ageing population.Encouraging Entrepreneurship starts already at school. Accordingly, this has been givenextra attention in education over the last years.Training for in-demand jobs: Brussels focused its efforts to offer training on in-demand jobs; the employers’ federations and other organisations were regularly consultedfor their input. Flanders introduced a bonus to encourage training for in-demand jobs andWallonia developed a plan to better fill indemand jobs. This plan consists of the analysis ofthose jobs for which the supply of workers is inadequate; the improvement of the detectionof such jobs; the screening of jobseekers for their skills; and the development of specifictraining courses. The aim is too achieve the best individual match between supply anddemand.Operational plan enhancing literacy in the three communities: the use oftraining vouchers is enjoying growing success in the three Regions. For instance, Brusselsexpanded the use of training vouchers for jobseekers going back to work, from languagetraining to other areas, such as ICT. Wallonia increased the options for training vouchers,both for companies and for workers; it boosted its offering by establishing a special‘language cheque’ and by increasing the number of vouchers that a business can order. Viathe wide objective of the training vouchers, enhancing literacy (language, digital, etc.) couldbe increased. Flanders is working on adjusting the system in various ways, including on thebasis of the conclusion that certain less-favoured groups, such as unskilled individuals and
  40. 40. 40people aged 50 and over, are significantly under-represented in the group of those peoplewho make use of training vouchers. Brussels enhanced the synergies between theemployment service and the organisations that offer training, especially those concentratingon specialist centres and based on a modular approach (as this approach is the mosteffective to enhance the chances on the labour market). In Wallonia, a few new ICT centreswere opened and the surrounding network was strengthened. Wallonia also developed aproject whereby an introductory course for jobseekers in ICT and Internet was organised atthe skill centres. For jobseekers, training combined with work experience leads more easilyto a job. That is why Flanders and Wallonia increased the number of work experienceplaces. Flanders is also running experiments in cooperating with private firms (viadeployment measures) and temporary work agencies to increase the efficiency and targetgroup reach of work experience programmes. Brussels simplified the associatedadministrative procedure.Service cheques – more jobs in neighbourhood and local services: the aimof the service cheques is to encourage employability of the low skilled for certainprofessions. It is one of the first steps of labour market integration and training. Employersrecruiting with service cheques can receive a financial benefit of the (local) authorities.More equal opportunities in education and recognition of skills: within theframework of the open method of coordination for ‘Education and Training 2010’, theCommunities pursued their efforts to guarantee equal access to education and to upgradetechnical and vocational education. The French Community worked on implementing itssizeable reform plan that runs until 2013 by bolstering the Community foundation insecondary education. The Dutch – speaking Community introduced a bonus system in orderto put pressure on the cost of expensive courses of study.2.6 New business paradigmsIn Belgium, it is widely acknowledged that performance management and skills improvementhas to be directed towards delivering the operational imperatives of an organisation andcontribute to the strategic goals. In fact, several empirical studies [14] show that morehuman capital and human resource practices (e.g. training, commitment to employees)improve performance.
  41. 41. SMEs managers recognise more and more that the employees’ knowledge is valuable, andthat investing in knowledge management (KM) is fundamental to ensure that the capitalrequired is readily available and be preserved, shared and developed.The Directorate General for Internal communication and knowledge management (DGCOMM-KM) of the Federal Public Service [10] provides supports to Belgian organisations todevelop a strategy and implement knowledge management projects. To achieve this goal, itdevelops relevant methodological tools, it implements IT applications and also coordinatesthe federal network of knowledge managers (KMnet).A valuable evaluation methodology used in the Federal Public Service and now increasinglyadopted in small and medium enterprises is based on the so-called “development circles”.This technique is based on communication and consists of several meetings between theemployee / the team and the general manager. The exchanges and the agreements reachedhelp the employee, the team as well as the manager to improve their performance, developtheir skills and achieve the work plan objectives. It is hence not just an evaluation system,but a management tool pursuing two objectives: on one side the development of skills ofstaff and on the other side the company’s objectives.In practice, concrete guidelines for development circles exist in two versions: one for themanagers and one for the employees. These are guiding documents that provide adescription of each service and prepare on managing internal communication and assuming/ sharing responsibility.In line with the above background, many organisations have implemented a KM service inthe latest years and began the construction of knowledge management.2.7 Challenges to respond toApart from incentives for companies to increase the provision of training places, there is noclear approach to increase participation and investment in training. Measures have beentaken for the recognition of competencies.
  42. 42. 42To develop the training agenda, the government is relying on the forthcoming negotiationsamong social partners on a new multi-sector agreement. Important reforms were launchedrecently, such as improving the image and the quality of technical education, but they aretoo recent to show results.The research implemented in the frame of the JAKIN II project provides an overview of thelatest trends and approaches on training activities in the Belgian small and mediumenterprises (SMEs).In particular, the analysis of the responses given by the experts interviewed in the frame ofthe JAKIN II project shows that companies’ managers are increasingly aware of the strategicimportance of knowledge management and training for improving the performance of theirbusiness. Still, some challenges shall be addressed:Understanding of knowledge and knowledge management.The experts interviewed have a similar understanding of the notion of knowledge, commonlydefined by most of them as “the ability to identify and use the right data and information inorder to solve a question, a problem”. An interesting remark made by one of the managersinterviewed concerns the necessity to make a distinction between knowledge of data andKnowledge of information: the first one concerns theory and training activities, the secondone is more directly related to programme updates and specific technical, practice courses.Whereas the concept of knowledge seems to be understandable to all, opinions are quitedifferent when talking about knowledge management. Some of the interviewed admitted notto have a very clear (if not at all) idea of what knowledge management is. Others gavedissimilar definitions, such as the following:“Knowledge is not innate. It is made of practice, interest and training on the topic.Knowledge management (selection, study and exercises) can reinforce the basis formaintaining and improving different types of knowledge”.And another one:“Knowledge management refers to all the processes put in place to: a) monitor the state ofknowledge (data and information) at the sector level; b) keep track of employeesknowledge; c) undertake the necessary updates and training actions”.
  43. 43. Planning and implementation of training evaluation mechanisms.The most controversial area, and definitely the one that needs more coordinatedactions and developments, is the actual planning and implementation of trainingevaluation mechanisms in the SMEs.All the experts interviewed agreed that there is a gap between needs and objectives on oneside and real achievements and actions on the other side. Managers recognise thesignificance of continuous training form them and for their employees, but in most cases realimplementation fails due to financial, structural and time constrains.This picture visibly emerges from the responses given when asked to describe howentrepreneurial training has developed in their company in the last years. Trends confirmthat some progress has been made to ameliorate the information and managementmechanisms.As one of the interviewed managers said, “company’s training programmes have beendeveloped over the last 4 years. Paper procedures were quickly abandoned in favour ofinformal discussions and brief reports by e-mail. Writing of longer texts (on paper or byemail) is time-consuming while the informal exchanges can better tailor information. Duringthese exchanges, the hierarchical structure is almost annulled, as everyone can give his /her opinion in a more democratic way. The minutes and the final decisions remain under theresponsibility of the management. The actual experience is very important as the sameinformation have sometimes to be used differently according to the situation”.In other cases, formal evaluation programmes are still lacking. Yet the enterprisedemonstrate a commitment to move towards more systematic approaches, as described bya human resources expert working for a health care company: “currently, each unit hasmore autonomy in its training policy. Still, a committee has been established since two yearswith the aim of developing a more cross-cutting training strategy, which also means awillingness to intervene at the level of business culture”.Unluckily, it is worth noting that despite global developments in the field of new technologiesin Belgium, the use of IT tools in the SMEs is far beyond successful. To the question “what is
  44. 44. 44the role of new technologies in your organisation?” majority answered that there is “roughand hasty use of new technologies” and that “training activities on new technologiesdemonstrated to be not really effective and dumped eventually”.Informal training.According to the JAKIN II study, informal training takes place in many organisations as anormal part of day-to-day work.Informal training is seen as a valid approach to improving employee skills and knowledge. Itis in general fostered by managers through live discussion and exchanges in team, verbalexchange of information (while the more important information is put into written form),active participation in meetings, conferences, internal seminars and through access to thelibrary / other resources.Nevertheless, a challenge to face is the improvement / development of valuable methods tomeasure informal learning / training in the SMEs. According to the experts’ responses, inmany cases there are no valid assessment tools for that. Most of the time the monitoringand evaluation are made via informal discussions and exchange of mails (for more technicalinformation), and briefing notes to provide feedback and share the lessons learnt.2.8 New indicators to considerManagers and human resources experts agree that any business activity needs to becontrolled and evaluated in order to improve overall business performance. As seen in theprevious chapters of this report, business efficiency includes also knowledge managementand continuous training assessment.Measuring intellectual capital and training impact is quite a complex process and requires asystematic approach to put into practice a methodical assessment of worker’ skills,competencies and expectations.
  45. 45. Evidence from the JAKIN II research shows that measurement of intellectual capital in SMEsis still based on criteria such as the simple evaluation of the training and qualificationsachieved by the employee.Asked about useful indicators to measure intellectual capital in a company, the expertsinterviewed pointed out the following:training contents, especially the relevance to the sectorindividual satisfaction of participantscosts (per employee) / benefits analysismonitoring and management of the lessons learnt at the training, concreteapplication on the groundcustomers’ feedback and satisfactiontiredness, lack of timeAmong the techniques and methods to implement the training assessment:• Post-Evaluation Questionnaires• Monitoring by daily top-down check of each employee’s work• Check of invoices and expenses by an outside company• Knowledge management: daily follow-up and tracking of sales andmanagement. If the information has been correctly transmitted andimplemented, the result is visible in statistics and turnover. It is moreimportant to check the application of the information received rather than itstransmission flow.• Asking for direct feedback from the workers during meetings
  46. 46. 46III. GOOD PRACTICESThe desk research on good practices practices in the field of knowledge management andtraining evaluation in Belgian SMEs turned out to be unproductive. Today, little or no muchinformation is available in the literature regarding the situation in Belgium.Moreover, none of the managers and experts interviewed provided examples of goodpractices in this field.An explanation for this lack of information may be found in this managers’ justification to thequestion “would you share any good practices/ examples, concerning the KnowledgeManagement implementation/or Training Evaluation implementation in SMEs?”:“... Yes and no. Yes, because exchanging good practices is rewarding and necessary. In mycompany the board and the direction are represented by the same persons, this bringssometimes to a lack of objectivity. Since our company’s policy doesn’t include outsidedirectors, it becomes important to have a confrontation with other companies’ reality. No,because our enterprise is definitely much more ahead than other companies active in thesame sector (healthcare / pharmaceutical) so it would definitely be counterproductive toshare confidential information or give innovative ideas to our competitors…”IV. CONCLUSIONSThis report highlighted the achievements and challenges in the implementation of effectiveand valuable evaluation methodologies of training activities in the small and mediumenterprises in Belgium.Overall, it gives a positive picture of a range of policies, tools and initiatives that have beenput in place by different organisations in different situations, all aimed at improving thebusiness performance management as well as the workers competencies and skills.
  47. 47. However, the survey clearly shows that much more needs to be done to bridge the gapbetween theory and reality.To conclude in a nutshell, no words can better express the situation than the eloquentdescription of one of the managers interviewed for this study, who stated:“A small enterprise is like a small boat that one must be able to handle very quickly. Themore difficult aspect to manage is to find the force to guide a small business, the decision-making process is slower and not easy to implement, against the big companies. To copewith these challenges, we, the managers, must and can often do a 180 ° turn very rapidly.To achieve that, everyone in the company must be aware of everything going on. That’swhy it is important that information, as well as the management strategy and the outcomesare transparent and clear to all. Everyone should be able to take the place of each other inthe company. Everyone must be very flexible, versatile.We are four people in the company. Ideally, we should be six, but the high work costs donot permit that. Consequently, there is sometimes work overload for one or the other…For that, we introduced the “pairs” approach at work. There is always one of us who is theback-up for another one and who knows exactly what the other is doing (current projects,tasks, vacation, sick leaves...).As for me, being the general manager I can obviously take the place of anyone. This isessential and it is the strength of any entrepreneur. This allows me to train and directlyaddress each of my in-house employees.”REFERENCES[1] Official Belgium Portal, www.belgium.be[2] FOREM, Walloon public service for employment and vocational training, www.leforem.be[3] Bruxelles Formation, official body for training for French-speaking job seekers andemployees in the Brussels-Capital, www.bruxellesformation.be[4] VDAB, public service for employment and vocational training in the Dutch-speakingcommunity, ww.vdab.be/[5] Employment Agency (Arbeitsamt) for the German-speaking community, www.dglive.be
  48. 48. 48[6] Organisation of the education system in the French Community of Belgium 2009 - 2010.EURYDICE - Information on Education Systems and Policies in Europe, Executive Agency forEducation, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA),http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/index_en.php[7] Educational Structures and Education Systems for Vocational Training and AdultEducation in Europe. Belgium, Flemish Community 2009. EURYDICE - Information onEducation Systems and Policies in Europe, Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual andCulture (EACEA), http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/index_en.php[8] Structures of Education and Training Systems in Europe. Belgium, German-speakingCommunity 2009/10. EURYDICE - Information on Education Systems and Policies in Europe,Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA),http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/index_en.php[10] Evaluation des efforts de formation professionnelle continue en faveur des groupes àrisque et des travailleurs du secteur privé, Conseil Centrale de l’Economie (CCE), MarieMonville, August 2007, http://www.trainingineurope.com/[9] Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS), Statistic Belgium webpage,http://statbel.fgov.be/fr/statistiques/collecte_donnees/enquetes/cvts/[10] FedWeb, Official Portal of Belgian Federal Personnel, http://www.fedweb.belgium.be[11] KM tools can be downloaded at www.fedweb.belgium.be (under “About theorganization” / “Knowledge Management”)[12] Knowledge management in team work. Analytical framework and improvement plan.Federal Public Service, Personnel and Organisation, May 2010,http://www.fedweb.belgium.be[13] Reinald Van Weydeveldt, BELGIUM. VET in Europe – Country Report 2010. PublicExternally Autonomous Agency for Employment, Vocational Training and Guidance (VDAB ),Brussels. Available also in the CEDEFOP website at:http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Information-services/vet-in-europe-country-reports.aspx[14] Zoltan and Audretsch, 1990; Deichmann et al., 2004; Muse et al., 2005; Sels et al.,2006.
  49. 49. CZECH NATIONAL REPORTI. INTRODUCTORY NOTENational report, describing the situation in the field of institutional education and differentmethodologies intended to evaluate training activities in the Czech Republic, is based on thefollowing sources:1. Managed interviews, which were conducted with the experts of six companies - withthree large firms and with three SMEs. The interviews were conducted from the beginning ofthe April to the end of May. The interviews were focused on the experience of the practicalapplications in the areas a) human resource management, b) business education training,c) knowledge management.2. The survey provided by questionnaires which were in the same time like theinterviews. The survey conducted 30 small and medium-sized enterprises, operating mainlyin regions where there are less educational opportunities.3. Analysis of the final reports and documents relating to the area of interest. Mainly,they were sources from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Labour andSocial Affairs.Results of the analysis of gained information confirmed that there is a remarkable gapbetween institutional education and training in big companies and SMEs in the CzechRepublic.Large enterprises, usually with international participation, apply all aspects of businesseducation at the highest professional level. On the other hand, in small businesses the areaof business education pays minor attention. Small businesses are concentrated on theireveryday problems of production, poor morale payments of customers and widespreadcompetition. They are not adequately interested in the long-term strategies of developmentin which education of staff can play a significant role.
  50. 50. 50Fortunately, this gap is spanned by a large range of educational courses, which aresupported by European Social Funds. The courses, tailored to individual needs of smallbusinesses, are accessible and also affordable for many SMEs in the Czech Republic now.Data and information used in the national report were processed for the period 2005 - 2010.II. MAIN FINDINGS2.1 National training systems and European qualification standards2.1.1 The Czech National Qualification System (NQS)The Czech Republic has its own functional qualification system. The National QualificationSystem (NQS) implements mechanisms which support:comparability of learning outcomes acquired by various forms of learning andeducationachieving full qualification by combining partial qualificationstransfer of employment market requirements in the area of educationpublic awareness of nationwide recognised qualificationsadjustment of qualification levels in Czech Republic and EUThe NQS is designed with the following sections:NQS Units – distinguished through two types of qualifications:Complete qualification – the capacity to duly perform a specificprofessional occupation (or several occupations)Partial qualification – the capacity to duly perform a certain workactivity or a set of work activities enabling professional occupationNQS Standards – they assess qualifications in a standard way in two ways:Qualification standards – systematic description of requirements fora relevant qualificationEvaluation standards – a set of and criteria and methods forassessment of the requirements for qualification
  51. 51. NQS Levels – classify NSQ vertically while respecting levels defined by the Czech educationalsystems and are related to the levels defined in the EQF.Qualification area (groups of occupations) – classifies NQS horizontally (according to area ofoccupation) while respecting area classification as applied in the Czech educational system.The Czech NQS is fully harmonised with the European Qualification System.2.1.2 Legal base of the Czech NQSAct 179/2006 Coll. on Verification and Recognition of Further Education Results in andAmendments of Some Other Acts as amended by Act 110/2007 Coll., which has come intoforce 1 August 2007 establishes a universal system of assessment of education acquired outof the educational system and introduces a unified, transparent and objective way ofverification of knowledge and skills. It enables the applicant to acquire a certificate andrecognition of so called partial qualification, i.e. skills acquired by non formal or informallearning, which lead to success in the labour market.In the initial provisions it is stipulated that the Act amends:a) the system of verification and recognition of further education results;b) qualifications;c) qualification standards for partial qualifications;d) assessment standards for partial qualifications;e) the National Register of Qualifications;f) rules for granting, extending validity and withdrawing authorisation for the verificationof further education results;g) rights and duties of participants of further education;h) the scope of competencies of bodies executing state administration with regard toverifying and recognizing further education results.2.1.3 Qualification and learning standardsBasic elements of the NQS are qualifications described according to a simple set of criteriaoriented on learning outcomes expressed independently form place and means of acquisitionor attainment. The NQS represents a basic systematic framework for initial and furthereducation and recognition of learning outcomes. Its conceptual platform is learningoutcomes. The standards of the NQS work with knowledge, skills and competencies in close
  52. 52. 52relationship with learning outcomes. Focus on learning outcomes represents a fundamentalprinciple, surely in the European context and increasingly in that of the Czech Republic.The NQS is legally endorsed by the Czech Act on Verification and Recognition of FurtherEducation Results. The Act is formulated in such a way as to motivate adults in the CzechRepublic to pursue further education, to broaden their individual qualifications, to acquirenew qualification for getting a better occupation. The Act encourages systematicharmonisation of the educational systems offer with the demands of the labour market.The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MSMT) of the Czech Republic has beenworking since 2005 on two important System Projects that are meant for the developmentand partial implementation of a national qualification system:(a) Project aimed at developing a national qualification system (project NQS). In broadcooperation with the employers this system focuses mainly:Conception and overall architecture of NQS.Implementation of NQS for the lower qualification level – secondary high schooleducation level with certificate of professional competency, ISCED 3 C.ITS system for NQS.(b) Projected aimed at developing recognition of outcomes of non-formal and informallearning in school networks providing educational services for adults (project UNIV). One ofthe goals of this project is to propose, design and implement as a pilot project a system forrecognising outcomes of non-formal and informal education within the legal dispositionsconcerning recognition of further education.2.1.4 Sector BoardsThe Ministry established a Sector Boards for coordination of all activities concerning the NQSand a National Occupation System. Within the context of the Czech Republic Sector Boardsmay have several other functions and they may impact on many other areas. At present oneof expected areas for the implementation of Sector Boards is in authorisation andrecognition of learning outcomes in accord with the Act on Verification and Recognition ofFurther Education Results.
  53. 53. The main strategic aims of Sector Boards are:to become respected sources of information on trends in sector development,on human resources and the requirements of employers in various sectorsto become important partners to state and government agencies in theeducational sectorto set up rules for functioning and interrelated systems providing basicinformation in the matters of further education and ensuring the update andproper function of these systemsto become key actors in designing an opportune environment for labourforces in the sector and to promote innovative actions in the qualificationcontents and cooperate with schools and other educational institutions.The creating of an NQS is from the start understood in the Czech Republic as means ofachieving a state wherein the NQS will not only bridge the gap between initial andsubsequent education but also between the world of labour and education. It is beingcreated with the aim of interconnecting job related requirements with adequate feedbackfrom the educational sector.The creation of an NQS implies many organisational measures and requires importantfinancial means. This is mainly due to the fact that the NQS design and implementationrequires active cooperation of many partners.2.2 Informal training implementation2.2.1 Difference between formal and informal learningThe difference between formal and informal learning is described by Act (1997). The formallearning framework is organised and performed by an employer. Typical examples are notonly courses and seminars organised by an employer but also formal mentoring programmesor planned programmes of rotation of managers. Activities under the formal learningprogramme usually have a clearly stated goal and content.Informal learning is less structured and often it is an employee’s own activity. It includeslearning through experience at workplace, self-study by an employee, and exchange ofexperience among colleagues.
  54. 54. 54Both training and development programmes may be part of either the formal or informalframework. An ordinary training seminar is an example of a formal training programme.Formal training programmes may use a wide range of methods. Formal training programmeshave been extended in the past years to include programmes that make use of computers(e-learning), active learning and team training. Active learning highlights the importance ofactive participation of a participant and in particular his/her own exploration of the field. Agreat emphasis is put on the meaning of mistakes for the learning. During team training theteam members not only learn together but they also learn how to manage specialrequirements of teamwork. One of the benefits of team training is cross training, duringwhich team members learn to manage the roles and activities of other members byacquiring shared mental models.2.2.2 Inadequate learningThere are at least two reasons for an inadequate use of training. The first is that even thebest managers are only humans. In free market conditions a company must adapt to thesituation to do well. It is often concluded that this fact leads managers of the company tooptimise the use of resources when achieving results. However, optimisation is oftenreplaced by satisfying. Satisfying means finding such a procedure or solution which issatisfactory. After having found it, the search for the optimum procedure or solutiondiscontinues and the company may also use procedures that are far from suitable anddesirable.The second reason lies in the specifics of human nature. People are often described, forexample by economists, as irrational. Psychologists usually describe people as human beingslooking for satisfaction and pleasure. Experts from other fields may highlight otherpeculiarities, for example the desire for power or playfulness.Some important concepts discussed in the part above of this section are related to thespecifics of the Czech Republic and a largely based on current legislation.2.2.3 Qualification in the concept of NQSThe key term “qualification” is defined in Czech legislation by Act 179/2006 Coll. as follows:Complete qualification shall mean professional qualifications of natural persons toduly perform all work activities pertaining to a relevant profession.

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