QA System in the practice of the European VET institutions (IO1)

A Quality Assurance culture is spreading quickly in the European educational systems, driven partly by pressure from specific and recent national legislation. In most of the investigated countries legal frameworks concerning QA in the VET system have been released in 2012 and 2013. Vocational schools, colleges, VET and FET providers in the investigated countries operate certain type of QA practices, and in some cases there are governmental rules for them to implement QA components; these rules can be strict or more flexible (e.g. Denmark); furthermore, systematic quality controlling practices are regulated in some countries or in some educational sectors.

However, QA practices, levels of usage QA systems, QA criteria and indicators highly differ across countries as well as administrative regions or jurisdictions  (e.g. England, North Ireland, Scotland, Wales in UK; regions and autonomous provinces in Italy; autonomous communities in Spain). They can also depend on the levels of education and on the legal form of the providers (e.g. school-based and adult education is regulated separately in Hungary). Finally, responsibility for quality control can be centralized (e.g. Scotland; Denmark) or distributed (in most of the countries, different ministries and institutions are responsible for QA in different sectors).

Nevertheless, two important facts emerge from the national reports:

QA systems and practices share common elements (a sort of QA Core, including accreditation; self-assessment/evaluation; assessment of the quality of teachers’ work; school inspections). Convergence between different systems could be accelerated by the implementation of the EQAVET principles and components in the national QA policies in the member states, even though many states are starting now.

There is little evidence of an IT implementation of a QA system in any member state, with only few exceptions.

Some statements form the National reports clearly point out this matter:

There is little if any evidence of ICT support to the various ‘toolkits’ that can be found. Toolkits tend to be in the form of forms plus guidance […] OpenQAsS has therefore started at a good time for the UK as a whole, but for Scotland in particular [UK Ntl. report].

The details of Outcome 1 can be found in: O1_QA System in the practice of the European VET institutions.pdf

Read the summary of the activities and results in the 1st OpenQAsS newsletter  - edited by Giovanni Fulantelli (from National Research Council Institute Italy).