In 2015, EVTA launched an initiative to promote VET through improving the training delivery, and thus to boost employability of people. In this framework, quality and innovation are assumed as keys for VET systems ameliorations.
The concept of "quality" is not static, is not absolute, but evolves along adapting to changing market and customer needs and is relative to marketing aims. There is plenty of literature, standards and reference bodies as for quality is regarded in general terms. As regards to education and training activities, the analysis of quality mainly refers to "services" rather than "products".
EVTA Policy on Quality Label
Supported by the Erasmus+ programme, the EVTA idea of a VET Quality Label is based on the dissemination of a shared standard of excellence and on the analysis of social utility of VET, considered as the two pillars of our policy.
EVTA believes that the approach to the “Quality label” idea should adopt and develop the concept of “VET Centre of Excellence” as a place were professionally effective, socially relevant, metodologically advanced VET services take sistematically place and to explore whatever the reasons that bring peers (VET training associations or centres) stakeholders (decision makers and companies), workers (professionals and teachers) and customers (students) to award a training center as “excellent”. It is a subjective (relative) approach aimed to explore objective (absolute) elements of quality.
Centres of excellence are VET centres under ongoing innovation and with elements of distinction versus the average VET training centre service provisions. To be considered as a Centre of Excellence, they need to keep pace with technological and innovative changes from different points of view, such as:
- innovation of centers’ facilities, structural organisation and acquisition of technologies;
- relationship with the most innovative companies in the field of reference, for trainings and for job placements;
- updating of related job profiles, curriculum and training programmes;
- technological, methodological and pedagogical upgrading of trainer
- Discussion of standards and indicators;
- Identification of candidates within the EVTA and EVBB networks;
- Online survey on VET Centres of Excellence
- Mapping and analysis of excellence elements and check versus standars quality frames;
- Creation of the Catalogue of VET Centres of Excellence for trainers and professionals in the EVTA and EVBB networks.
To be part of the Catalogue, select centers must adhere to the Catalogue’s agreement.
- inclusion in mobility project managed by the EVTA and EVBB networks
- a mapping of the weaknesses of each centre and suggestions and support for improvements
- invitations to participate to programmes and activities organised by EVTA
- updates on programmes and activities made by EVTA for the professionals working in the Centres of Excellence
- submission of research project to enhance and develop the concepts of quality and excellence
- formal adherence to the catalogue (signature of the agreement);
- design of seminars/study visits to be included in the Catalogue;
- availability to organise study visits/seminars and host guests from other centres;
- participation to the launching event and to all other activities linked to the VET Quality Label initiative.
Social Utility Model
The idea of measuring VET performance is linked to the idea of measuring its impact on society. EVTA intends to combine the analysis of excellence with the analysis of Social Utility, linking the measurement of VET performance to a concept of accountability (and transparency) towards society. Starting from the model developed by AFPA in France and from the state of the art of existing quality systems at European, national and regional level, EVTA and its members decided to work on the development of a solid, shared and transferable model to measure VET social utility, based on a specific pool of qualitative and quantitative indicators. This new approach is at the basis of the project “VET Social Utility Monitor – SOLITY”, funded by the Erasmus+ programme.
The model is based on 5 AXES:
Social Utility Criteria: Fighting against mass unemployments, support to a sustainable return-to-work
The first axis is focused on measuring VET providers’ contribution to the fight against mass unemployment, support to return to work. The concept of “return-to-work” is central for the evaluation. However, other additional dimensions are considered relevant for contributing to a better integration into the labor market, such as sustainability of employment and correspondence between the received training and the obtained job.
- ISU 1.1 Volume of trained and/or supported customers
- ISU 1.2 Access rate of jobseekers to training programmes
- ISU 1.3 Rate measuring the transition from pre-qualification to qualification of jobseekers
- ISU 1.4 Access rate to employment for training provider customers
- ISU 1.5 Permanent employment rate of training provider customers
- ISU 1.6 Rate of coeherence between found job and training received
Social Utility Criteria: Sustainable employability, preservation of working competences economically strategic
This second axis aims at measuring the VET providers’ contribution to the development of human capital both individually and collectively. The focus is on four dimensions: fighting against illiteracy, improving employability, boosting social promotion, and monitoring indicators for skills support at national level.
- ISU 2.1 Rate of illiteracy at the beginning of training
- ISU 2.2 Rate of customers enrolled in training programmes leading to strong and realiable occupations
- ISU 2.3 Success rate of customers achieving the final qualification
- ISU 2.4 Rate of customers acquiring a higher qualification than the entry one
- ISU 2.5 Rate of customers attending refresher courses
- ISU 2.6 Rate of national training profiles
Social Utility Criteria: Access to training or support to all without discrimination due to territories and/or income, equality, job security
The third axis evaluates social utility related to those categories of special public, with the aim of fighting the exclusion of individuals, against inequalities. It foresees the analysis of the quality of support services and the access for all to training, indicators for the benefit of employees and workers with disadvantages, recognition of prior learning.
- ISU 3.1 Rate of supported customers (Psychopedagogical support)
- ISU 3.2 Abandon rate dynamics of unemployed customers
- ISU 3.3 Rate of customers participating in national training programmes
- ISU 3.4 Rate of customers with no qualification entering training
- ISU 3.5 Number of customers with disabilities entering training
- ISU 3.6 Number of customers validating their prior learning (acquired experience)
Social Utility Criteria: Maintaining the social bond of proximity to the community
The fourth axis focuses on VET providers’ contribution to territorial and regional development. Participation to territorial balance (presence in revitalization areas, tool for indirect spatial planning) and the link with social proximity are key features. Openness to other stakeholders at local level is very appreciated, given the importance of integration and coherence with regional strategies. Finally, the role of the VET providers for the anticipation of economic changes.
- ISU 4.1 Rate of rural/urban areas less than one hour away from the training centre facilities
- ISU 4.2 Rate of customers trained in their “employment area”
- ISU 4.3 Rate of customers in “proximity” training
- ISU 4.4 Number of local partnerships
- ISU 4.5 Number of employees with uncertain jobs, threatened or lost and supported by professional security contracts or job-saving plan
Social Utility Criteria: Governance, social and managerial innovation
The fifth axis focuses on internal practices: evaluation of wage hierarchy in line with the practices of the Social and Solidarity Economy sector; diversification of employees and internal commitment towards the employment of people with disadvantages. Social indicators are also monitored to measure the access to internal training and the share of precarious work (temporary contracts, interim).
- ISU 5.1 Hierarchical salary difference
- ISU 5.2 Rate of customers with disabilities vs national rate
- ISU 5.3 Rate of female managers
- ISU 5.4 Accident frequency index
- ISU 5.5 Precarious employment rate
- ISU 5.6 Internal training access rate