Implementation of European Quality Assurance Reference Framework in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET)
In accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No.225 of April 23, 2013 “Regulations of the State Education Quality Service” the State Education Quality Service (hereinafter referred to as – the Service) co-ordinates implementation of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework in vocational education and training (VET), and introduction of the common quality assurance indicators in vocational education at a national level.
The European Quality Assurance Reference Framework or EQAVET is designed to promote better vocational education and training by providing authorities with common tools for the management of quality. The Reference Framework forms part of a series of European initiatives which aim is to recognise qualifications and competences received by learners across different countries or learning environments, thereby promoting modernisation, mutual trust and mobility in VET.
Developed by Member States in cooperation with the European Commission, the Reference Framework has now been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. It is a key element in the follow-up of the Copenhagen Declaration and the ongoing work in renewing Europe’s education and training systems.
The Bruges Communiqué on enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training for the period 2011-2020 reinforces the main VET development directions established within the Copenhagen Process. The Communiqué was adopted by the European Ministers for Vocational Education and Training, the European Social Partners and the European Commission, at their meeting in Bruges on 7 December 2010 to review the strategic approach and priorities of the Copenhagen process for 2011-2020. Participating countries should – by the end of 2015 – establish at national level a common quality assurance framework for VET providers.
On August 8, 2013 the Service became the responsible institution in implementation of a new underactivity “European Quality Assurance Reference Framework in Vocational Education and Training implementation in vocational education in Latvia” under the European Social Fund project administered by State Education Development Agency in the programme „Human resources and employment” appendix 184.108.40.206.1. underactivity „Development of a sectoral qualifications system and improvement of the efficiency and quality of vocational education and training”.
Stage I – from August 8, 2013 to February 28, 2014 discussions are held on EQAVET Reference Framework and implementation of common vocational education quality assessment indicators with all the involved parties.
Stage II – from March 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 the Quality Assurance System Improvement Project is drafted.
By October 31, 2013 the Sectoral Expert Councils representing the following branches – Food processing and agriculture, Timber industry (forestry, wood processing), Chemical industry and related branches (pharmaceutics, biotechnology, environment), Manufacturing of electronic and optical equipment, ICT, Metalworking, machine building, mechanical engineering, Transport and logistics, Tourism and beauty industry, Printing and publishing industry, paper and products production, computer design, Building and construction industry, Power industry, Textile industry, leather and leather products producing, Entrepreneurship, finances, accountancy, administration (wholesale and retail trade, commerce) were briefed on alignment of the EQAVET criteria with national quality assurance system; and the opinions concerning the whole of EQAVET activities and its indicators’ compliance with the national VET system were obtained. Parallel to this activity, Sectoral Expert Councils were acquainted with the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework.
On November 26, 2013 the seminar “EQAVET criteria alignment with the national quality assurance system” with participation of representatives of the Sectoral Expert Councils was held.
On December 12, 2013 the discussion with participation of representatives of the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia, the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia, the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Employment Agency and the Associations of the State Revenue Service and of the Vocational Education was held.
In January-February, 2014 discussions with the heads of the Accreditation Commissions on Vocational Education and the heads of the vocational educational institutions were held.
Finally, the conclusions collected during the discussions will be forwarded to Sectoral Expert Councils and other parties involved.
Participation in EQAVET events in 2014