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VET quality assurance

VET quality assurance

To respond effectively to changing employment and societal demands, VET policies, systems and provision must be of the highest quality. Pervasive quality management, which reinforces and sustains quality cultures in VET ‘communities of practice’, is crucial for VET responsiveness and attractiveness. As demonstrated by the Torino Process, ETF partner countries report a range of threats to VET quality that include: tension between VET purpose and functions and VET policy and expectations; fragmented institutional frameworks and governance; insufficient or ineffectually employed resources; weak involvement of labour market and civil society partners; inadequate teacher/trainer development coupled with low social status; obsolete qualifications and curricula; overly dependent or under-regulated provider institutions; poor articulation between policy and practice; outdated methodologies and unfavourable image. At the same time, while ETF partner countries strive to improve VET, the pre-conditions for quality management are often under-developed.

VET quality development is central to ETF support in partner countries. Partner country VET systems face many challenges that cannot be addressed all at once. The ETF has already worked with partner countries to assist them in developing quality assurance mechanisms – in particular at the level of training provider – and has disseminated EU experience especially in the countries of South Eastern Europe and Turkey. However, the time is ripe for a more systematic discussion with the partner countries given the stage of development of their VET reforms. The ETF quality of VET approach builds on the ‘Quality Cycle’ approach (plan, implement, evaluate, review) that can be applied in all VET policy areas to address challenges and build-up quality management systems. It aims at identifying mechanisms to improve the quality of VET derived from partner country practices, ETF experience and EU policy approaches and tools. The basic idea is to address the different challenges in a long term perspective, through a step by step approach, establishing a controlled and precise vocabulary for dialogue and cooperation across diverse groups of stakeholders, identifying quality issues, providing policy advice on quality enhancement policies and supporting the creation of a quality culture, building capacities for systematic planning, implementation, monitoring and review.



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