Europe 2020 is the growth strategy for the EU and the Member States to achieve higher employability, productivity and social cohesion levels whereas the comparability of skills and qualifications across the countries is consistently underlined as important. Going through all the Official Reports or Recommendations of European bodies for the EU transparency tools, one can see that one of the major challenges for the EU is those of VET and the improvement of validation of learning outcomes obtained through different education pathways. In order to support this work and ensure that skills and qualifications can be easily recognised across borders, the European Area of Skills and Qualifications will be created as part of the Rethinking Education initiative of Europe 2020. Environmental protection is a major concern in Europe, having impact on industries and consumption choices, and being subject to regulation or standards. Environmental laboratories offer testing, sampling, inspection, certification, and verification technology to understand the impact of manufacturing companies on environment, having a growing influence and importance. Also, they should be a model for exemplary sustainable behaviour.
For this reason, 7 partners representing 25 European countries form ECVET-Lab partnership that aspires to tackle the lack of a Qualification Standard/ Competence Profile on Sustainability among the personnel of Laboratories of Environmental Testing and Science by creating an OER Training Course which non-formal, work-based learning outcomes shall be recognised and validated by the ECVET System. The ECVET-Lab Qualification Standard will describe all duties and responsibilities a sustainably aware Technician (of Laboratories of Environmental Testing and Science) should have in order to carry out good environmental practices in the workplace and this content will be reflected in the Modular Training Course that will be created and structured following the ECVET principles. Thus all obtained non-formal work-based learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and competences) by its users shall be applicable in different countries thanks to the use of EU transparency tools. The use of the learning outcomes approach in the development of the ECVET-Lab Qualification Standard and Training Course reflects the project´s goal for their further validation, as this approach is the common key factor between the EU tools addressing the transparency of qualifications and competences (ECVET, EQF, EQAVET and Europass framework).
ECVET-Lab project targets Technicians of Environmental Testing Laboratories, laboratories (especially SMEs) and related stakeholders (public institutions and authorities, VET providers, Research institutes, among others). It will involve directly the targets during different activities, especially the collection of good sustainable practices, which will be disseminated Europe wide to foster the exchange and application of better behaviours on the workplace. They will also be involved in the development of the training course for a better relevance of the training. Beside the interest of the participative approach for the quality and relevance of the OER, ECVET-Lab will lively involve a group of stakeholders in the project´s implementation process in order to legitimate and valorise the activities carried out and the delivered outcomes. What is more, all designed multiplier events will make sure that about 10.000 persons will benefit indirectly or will be target of the organised activities in order to involve more participants all along the project´s life for a higher quality of contacts and follow-up.
ECVET-Lab project will be made of several activities, linked together to form a log frame matrix being apparently participative. First, all partners will be thoroughly informed by the projects ECVET expert, 3s Research Laboratory, on the ECVET System and its principles and how the Qualification Standard and Modular Training Course should be structured. Thus, in accordance with the prior indications, all partners will devote in finding the best case studies on good sustainable practices of the target sector and in creating the Qualification Standard, the Training Course content and the Training Platform.
At short term, ECVET- Lab will have direct impact at local and regional level first on the target groups directly involved and then in the long term expand progressively the use of the Training Course to other SMEs and the implementation of the Qualification Standard in other countries thanks to the effective dissemination and networking strategy as well as the use of EU transparency tools. As a result form this project idea, the ECVET-Lab consortium aspires to contribute in the further use of the EU transparency tools for the recognition of learning outcomes derived from non-formal and informal learning pathways, especially OER.
More info: http://www.ecvetlab.eu/en/home/