To ensure portability of qualificationsClarifying learning pathwaysProviding credit transferCreating routes to qualificationsRecognising non-formal and informal learningMonitoring the qualifications systemOptimising stakeholder involvement in qualifications systemEnsuring qualifications are portableImproving co-ordination in the qualifications systemOptimising quality assurance
Framework is a tool/structure to create environment conducive to reform, it is a pre-curser to meet the objectives and not an objective in itself. It must be embedded into institutional and cultural settings, reflect the nature of qualification,s curricula and standards.
Natalia Cuddy<br />Bogotá, 28 July 2011<br />European and EU partners’ experience in qualification frameworks<br />
Presentation outline<br />Answering three questions: what, why, how?<br />Qualification framework - global phenomenon?<br />Qualification frameworks’ typology and objectives.<br />Qualification frameworks in the education and training reform.<br />The development stages of the National Qualification Framework.<br />Conclusions.<br />
similar but varied goals<br />QF is a tool that responds to changing labour and educational needs in demographically changing societies. QFs are developed on the basis of negotiation and consensus between stakeholders.<br />to develop flexible pathways between education and training sectors and the labour market<br />to improve understanding of learning pathways and qualifications and their relations<br />to enhance quality and quality assurance<br />to improve access to education and training opportunities and progression<br />to create incentives for participation in E&T<br />to increase the scope for recognition of non-formal and informal learning <br />to optimise stakeholder engagement<br />
National qualifications frameworks<br />Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) England<br />Some EU MS <br />Regional/Transnational qualifications frameworks<br /><ul><li>Transnational Qualifications Framework for the Small States of the Commonwealth
European Qualification Framework (EQF)</li></li></ul><li>
From frameworks to systems<br />Beyond qualifications frameworks, qualifications systems are about <br />how stakeholders coordinate and manage qualifications<br />how qualifications are developed and maintained <br />how they are delivered <br />how they are assessed and awarded (certificated)<br /> Capacities, <br /> Resources, <br /> Communication and <br /> Quality assurance <br />for progress<br />Adopted from A.Deij<br />
QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK<br />BOARD OF QUALIFICATIONS<br />QUALIFICATIONS SERVICE<br />ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE LEGAL BASIS<br />ASSESSMENT / RECOGNITION OF QUALIFICATIONS<br />DESIGNING OF QUALIFICATIONS<br />MANAGEMENT<br />RESEARCH OF ACTIVITIES<br />ASSESSMENT REGULATIONS<br />STANDARD SETTING INSTITUTIONS<br />ASSESSMENT METHODS<br />NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS AND QUALIFICATIONS<br />ASSESSMENT AND RECOGNITION INSTITUTIONS<br />ACQUISITION OF QUALIFICATIONS<br />CURRICULA OF FORMAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (VET, HIGHER EDUCATION)<br />INFORMAL AND EXPERIENTAL LEARNING<br />QUALIFICATIONS PROVISION INSTITUTIONS<br />
starting point, process and desired outcomes <br />Contexts for VET reforms differ between countries<br />socio-economic and cultural factors play an important role<br /><ul><li>In applying QFs countries have different cultural backgrounds, reference systems and values (role of government Georgia and Belarus e.g. on LM regulation, Market of Qualifications (England) or National Consensus France, holistic occupational (Germany, Austria, Denmark) vs skills (UK & Ireland) approaches.
QFs and the reform of qualifications systems are part of wider education and training reforms.
Capacity building and policy learning: How to ensure NQFs that are embedded in local contexts.</li></ul>Adapted from A. Deji<br />
FRAMEWORK BUILDING<br />10 Bologna steps in developing a <br />national qualifications framework:<br />Decision to start - taken by national body responsible for HE<br />Setting the agenda - the purpose of NQF<br />Organising the process: Identifying stakeholders - setting up a committee<br />Design Profile - level structure, level descriptors (learning outcomes), credit ranges<br />Consultation – national discussions and acceptance of design by stakeholders<br />Approval by Minister/Government/legislation<br />Administrative set-up – implementation by HEI and QA bodies, etc.<br />Implementation at institutional/programme level – reformulation of study programmes to a learning outcomes approach<br />Inclusion of qualifications in the NQF<br />Self-certification of compatibility with the FQ-EHEA<br />Establish website<br />6 steps ETF Working paper approach:<br />Exploratory stage: do we need a NQF?<br />Conceptual: develop and refine rationale<br />Design stage: stakeholders agree design<br />Testing phase: do tools work<br />Implementation stage: capacity and institution building + adding qualifications + QA focus<br />Review stage: gauge progress, redesign, test, etc.<br />No perfect sequence but all steps are necessary to make a realistic project of key partners achieve realistic goals. This is a long-term, costly and phased project. <br />
Development stages of the national qualification framework<br />ETF approach - MEDA/MENA countries experience, so far<br />
Exploratory and conceptual stages<br />Stocktaking exercise to map and analyse existing qualification systems in terms of existence or lack of progression, access, quality, transparency and relevance<br />Secondary research of the QF international experiences and lessons learnt<br />Awareness raising among policy makers on the international debate on the contribution to quality TVET and context’s specifics<br />Exposure phase – study visits (positive and negative aspects)<br />Conceptualization – NQF rationale agreed. Legislation?<br />Challenges: reaching out stakeholders; building a common understanding; managing expectations.<br />
Stakeholder engagement and governance<br />Aim – to bring all stakeholders under one umbrella with clearly defined strategic roles, ie leading, facilitating, developing.<br />-Government ministries and key agencies (governance and supply side)<br />Employer organisations, chamber of commerce and alike (demand side)<br />Trade unions .<br />Technical SG with a similar set up.<br />Challenges: reaching and sustaining consensus and long-term commitment.<br />
Interaction stage<br />Form working (aka focus, dialogue, task force) groups of managers/researchers and policy makers to develop a common understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities/implications. Peer review activities with facilitating and developing roles. Scenarios.<br />Develop vision statement and action plans to pave the way forward to QF development, leading to adoption of formal policy papers. <br />Create an e-portal/forum as a tool for knowledge management and collective learning experience.<br />Challenges: framework-centred (goal in itself rather than a tool); fine-tuning the concept (provisional limitations of technical/socio-cultural settings). <br />
Design stage – policy and technical<br />Collaborative partnership work results require government’s endorsement to be carried forward into action. Scenarios.<br />A strategic lead (inter-ministerial Steering Group) to be identified to build on the consensus achieved and to link the associated range of reforms. Build synergies. <br />Agree? on the architecture (levels, level descriptors etc)<br />Establish broad criteria for qualifications to be described in common terms (LO). <br />Start aligning different qualifications for the development of the framework<br />Develop a common language and a set of tools to build trust<br />Realistic time planning - a two year planning cycle with a long-term perspective.<br />Challenges: need to look at all subsectors; strong experiential scientific approach; lack of clear concept and rationale; risk of exporting unfit for the national context models.<br />
Tests and trials<br />Can inform the design stage<br />Costly but necessary phase<br />One or several sectors? Which ones?<br />Top down or bottom up approach?<br />Build-in external evaluation in the design<br />Upon completion , validation tests on occupational categories<br />- Check if completed grid relates to the <br />Challenges: allocating sufficient resources and time; ensuring critical impartial evaluation. <br />
Implementation stage<br />Framework is approved. Institutions to support framework created. NQFs become operational in stages, normally starting with populating the QF with qualifications, followed by access for learners/candidates, provision, assessment, certification and possible transfer of results and progression of the learners. Framework coordination (or regulation) needs to be ensured. Quality assurance is becoming a real concern at this stage.<br />Challenges: The implementation raises many practical issues including funding. Managing change. Implementation driven too much top down may lead to conflicts & lack of trust. Too much bottom up driven approaches are difficult to link. The practical tasks are opportunity for learning but effects take years to manifest.<br />
Review and redesign stage<br />Research around frameworks can provide valuable lessons for policy learning, and increase the effectiveness. Research and peer learning can be done in cooperation with other countries, but the transferability of experiences from abroad are limited by the fact that each framework is a response to a specific situation.<br />A review of the frameworks is normally carried out after 5-7 years of operation. Frameworks normally develop by addressing perceived weaknesses, which become apparent during independent reviews of the frameworks. These lead to reconceptualisation and redesign and the cycle starts again.<br />Challenges: Learning about the QF development process requires independent research capacity. Learning should start as early as possible. Politicians and implementing institutions may not want to know about things that go wrong. Critical academic researchers may lack the understanding of the practicalities involved in developing frameworks.<br />
EU and eu partner countries’ experience - conclusions <br />Many countries in Europe have decided to develop QFs. This development is stimulated by the EQF.<br />QFs are meant to improve the functioning of deployment of people, opening up E&T systems and improve quality (assurance).<br />QFs cannot lead to these results on their own, but need to be part of wider E&T reforms.<br />Every QF is different: a unique response to a given situation – national contexts define QFs. It changes overtime(no “one size fits all” solution)<br />The development & implementation of QFs takes years. It requires resources, commitment of stakeholders and adaptability First cycle of system reforms takes at least ten years and building up capacities and involvement of stakeholders from the world of work even longer,. <br /> The development passes through different stages, in a dynamic and iterative way (looking backwards/outwards or changing directions – “work in progress”.<br />
Good luck<br />Thanks for your attention<br />