6.1.1 Focusing on the world of work

For all education and VET providers, but especially for those principally engaged in CVET, quality is primarily geared to fulfilling requirements of businesses and secure employment prospects of their learners. Consequently, relationships with the business world come at the centre of their quality approach, and their good reputation among businesses and the local community are of central importance to them. For these VET institutions, quality means excellence of facilities, laboratories, workshops and equipment, inclusion of work experience in training programmes, and, as already mentioned, positive employment prospects for their learners.

Relationships with the world of work do not just mean responding mechanically to needs of companies, but also being able to anticipate new professional trends in the labour market, adapt content of training programmes and introduce innovation into curricula. Therefore, these VET institutions play an active role in the world of work by continuously updating technologies they use and by adapting professional profiles they deliver to the labour market’s emerging needs.

The main activities related to quality should be to promote frequent and intense contacts with employers and representatives of business organisations, adapt training programmes offered to changing needs of the world of work, and demands of learners, who – it should be underlined – often pay on their own for their education, especially when retraining or acquiring new skills. There is a category of VET providers whose quality-related activities are driven by their ambition to design innovative and attractive training programmes and achieve satisfactory results for their students/learners and their employers.

For this group of VET institutions, adoption of a formalised internal QMS meets instrumental needs mainly with positive effects for the institution. A formalised system, preferably according to ISO standards, helps strengthen the quality image of an organisation among businesses and self-financed clients/learners. In addition, such an adopted system will ease monitoring all processes relevant to achievement of quality objectives.