On 24-25 October, the joint conference of three activities funded by the European Commission and EACEA and designed to support the national implementation and dissemination of ECVET took place. With 300 participants (ECVET practitioners and experts from different countries),
the event was very well attended.
The event presented
- The results of NetECVET – a network project of national agencies aiming to develop a toolbox for using ECVET for mobility; and
A few impressions and statements from the two days:
'We have seen many examples that ECVET can work'.
It requires authorities/organisations to make a strategic decision about what they want to use ECVET for. In other words: What problems do we have for which this instrument can be a useful solution? The issues presented varied from preventing and addressing early school leaving, recognising non-formal and informal learning to improving the quality of international mobility.
'Now that we see that it can work, we need to make projects meet the system.'
There is a lot of experience to build on. Several system level initiatives discussed built on the experience of earlier projects. For local and concrete activities to continue in a sustainable way there is a need for a clearer system level framework in many countries.
'We are building up our expertise on ECVET and the rest of the instruments.'
The quality of the questions received and the quality of the discussions in the rooms shows that we have all moved forward in our understanding of this instrument and its ‘sister’ instruments. There are more and more people with well-informed opinions and diversity of experience about ECVET.
'We now need to convince, encourage and empower the practitioners to use the tools.'
Don’t wait until there is a top-level decision to take action. People should be encouraged to ‘move from the passenger seat to the steering wheel’ and be the drivers of the process. The experience shows that in many countries at least some aspects of ECVET can already be used in the framework of existing systems.
'Develop a culture of recognition that embraces diversity.'
There will always be differences in the formulations of learning outcomes and there will always be some differences in the expected learning outcomes. But the core of most professions and activities across Europe is very similar and therefore recognition should be possible and encouraged despite small differences.
'Bring the European instruments closer to create a comprehensive European and national framework.'
The EU tools complement each other. They should inspire national frameworks that work for the learner and enable education and training to offer high quality service to the citizens. The different authorities and organisations need to overcome their entrenched institutional positions and work together and towards common goals which are to support the learners.
Please alco consult the PREZi presentations by Michela Vecchia and Alexandra Sikorska-Ellwanger on the ICARE project - as given in workshop 2
and workshop 3.