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IDOLearn - International Development Office - Validation of informal and non-formal Learning

1. General Information

General Information
Description
Name of BP
IDOLearn - International Development Office - Validation of informal and non-formal Learning
Implemented by
TEHNE Romania, National Centre for Professional Development in Education Educode Ltd, AKOL, Centre International d’Etudes Pedagogiques, IDEC AE, Research Centre for Cultural Development, Norton Radstock College, Berufsfortbildungswerk des DGB GmbH, EfVET
Year established
2008
Country
Romania, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, UK, Germany and Belgium
Description of the action

This project was funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci programme and run by a partnership including members from Romania, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, UK, Germany and Belgium. The project was targeted at teachers, trainers, tutors working as international activity developers, EU project managers, international coordinators and similar professionals in VET schools/institutes. The validation system is based on a competence-based qualification for International Development Officer (IDO).

Principle aim or goal of the program

The project aimed to find a solution to the changing role of teachers and trainers through recognition and accreditation of non-formal and informal learning by creating an integrated European system of identifying, assessing and recognizing vocational competence-based qualifications of International Development Officer (IDO).

Beneficiaries
VET centers and providers, research centers
Keywords
Recognition, accreditation, non formal learning, informal learning
Contact

TEHNE Romania 
Ms. Simona Gabureanu
E-mail: simona.gabureanu@tehne.ro 
Phone: +40 (0) 21 410.43 32

2. Introduction

This project was funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci programme and run by a partnership including members from Romania, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, UK and the European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET). 

The project aimed to recognize the changing role of these professionals and the new skills they require, by introducing a validation system to recognize their existing competences and experience, acquired through non formal and informal learning.

Promotion of the professional status of teachers and trainers now in charge of international education and activities in schools is an innovation that gives structure and sustainability to international cooperation practice and development in vocational education and training, both for the teachers/trainers working as international development officers and through them to their students.

The validation system is based on a competence-based qualification for International Development Officer (IDO).

3. Regional extent

This was an initiative implemented in Romania, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, UK, Germany and Belgium.

4. Goals

The project was addressed to the teachers, trainers, tutors working as international activities developers, EU project managers and international coordinators and in similar professionals in VET schools/institutes and its goal was to find a European-wide solution for the following problems:

1. Role of VET teachers, trainers and tutors is changing: new skills are demanded because of the internationalization of their work.

2. Increasing numbers of teachers/trainers are responsible for developing international project work and other international activities of their institutes.

3. Large part of their competence is acquired through informal and non-formal learning during of their lives/ careers. That competence is not officially recognized.

4. Teachers need more competence in this field but mostly they need a validation system recognizing their existing competence and experience, acquired through non formal and informal learning.

5. Action Plan

1. Status of practicing VET teachers/trainers was to be enhanced; internationalization was to get a stronger place in schools/institutes;

2. Thus the teachers/trainers’ contribution and involvement in curriculum development were to be welcomed and appreciated;

3. The new training possibilities were to attract new IDOs – more competence for internationalization;

4. Competence-based system was to strengthen the liaison between IDOs and people doing similar tasks in working life (enterprises, occupational sectors etc);

5. Results of the project were to be exploitable on a European wide basis.

6. Implementation and realisation

•    Finding out what has been done so far

The project made a state-of-the art study concerning VET schools and institutes: what are the best practices; what kind of systems of recognizing non-formal and informal learning exists in partner countries; what kind of qualifications and needs do professionals in charge of international and intercultural activities have. This was the basis of the project’s work towards promoting a systematic development of international cooperation and intercultural dialogue in VET institutes.

•    Creating a system of validating non-formal and informal learning in the case of IDOs

The project created a method of recognition and validation of qualifications and competences for the profession of International Development Officer. Education professionals in schools and institutes engaged in international development have many good competences often acquired through non-formal and/or informal learning. The project aimed to make these competences visible by validation of qualifications for the profession.

•    Creating an integrated European model of competence based qualifications for IDOs

The IDOL project’s priority was to create Qualifications for International Development Officer. Education professionals in charge of developing international cooperation at schools or institutes have almost always no official training/education for their task. However, they have acquired during their working life a lot of non-formal and/or informal learning. The project made possible to exchange experience and good practice on identification, assessment and recognition of this informal/n on-formal learning in cooperation with several European countries aiming at an integrated European solution.

•    Designing competence based tests

The IDOL project made a research on the standards for validation of non-formal and informal learning. Development and improvement of the standards took place during the project’s work on developing the qualifications for the new profession International Education Officer. The quality and credibility of the standards must be high and agreed upon in cooperation with several European countries. The work is of great importance since nowadays more and more informal and non-formal learning exists without proper validation.

•    Designing pilot training and piloting

Testing and guaranteeing that the work done is of high quality and credibility a pilot training will be designed. The training programme was piloted for some 60 representatives of the target group in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Romania, Italy, Greece and the UK.

•    Dissemination and exploitation of the results

One of the main ideas behind the project’s work was to create unity and integrated European solutions for the validation of informal and non-formal learning, particularly in the case of the new professionals, International Education Officers. Dissemination of the results was essentially important. Together with the dissemination and exploitation of the results, the project gave advice and suggestions on the improvement of guidance and counseling on validation of non-formal and informal learning.

7. Results and benefits

•    Surveys of International Development Staff and Activities in VET - IDO Project surveys regarding ways of validating informal and non-formal learning, as well as responses regarding the skills required such as communication, ICT, language competence, project management, writing skills and interpersonal skills in order to formulate collaborative partnerships across Europe and beyond

•    IDO Skills Set Reports

•    Competence-based qualification for the IDO

•    IDO Valorization Plans

•    Evaluation reports

8. Main hurdles and their solutions

There were no major problems encountered.

9. Replicability or Repeatability

The initiative has not yet been replicated but it is fully adjustable. Results of the project are exploitable on a European wide basis.

10. Conclusions

The success of the initiative was given by its innovative character, stakeholders and technical prospects.

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