1st Expert Meeting on Quality Assurance of Qualifications/Certification in TVET
Qualifications and certificates attest that a person has reached a certain level of achievement in education or training. They not only convey the scope and nature of learning but also the expected learning outcomes. To ensure transparency of qualifications and certificates, the qualifications process needs to be accompanied and supported by a reliable quality assurance system.
Strong quality assurance mechanisms that underpin the qualification process are particularly relevant in the Asia-Pacific. As the region is heading towards greater socio-economic integration, quality assurance of qualifications, including those in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), becomes ever more important.
In response to these regional developments and a recommendation made at the 3rd International Congress on TVET (Shanghai, 2012), UNESCO has embarked on developing quality assurance guidelines for the recognition of qualifications based on learning outcomes. To support the process, UNESCO Bangkok launched a research project to examine quality assurance of TVET qualifications in the Asia-Pacific region that will inform the formulation of these guidelines.
In the framework of this research, UNESCO Bangkok in partnership with the Thai Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Ministry of Education, organized an expert meeting on Quality Assurance of Qualifications/Certification in TVET (8-9 October 2015, Bangkok, Thailand). The meeting brought together researchers from 9 ASEAN member states, as well as the Republic of Korea, Samoa and Afghanistan to share experiences of quality assurance in their respective countries and discuss a research framework for the preparation of country studies that will form the basis for the research and the formulation of global quality assurance guidelines.
Besides country presentations, the meeting also saw Ms. Josie Misko, Senior Researcher Fellow from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), present a snapshot of international developments in quality assurance of TVET with a focus on Australia. She also spoke about different elements of a quality assurance system such as competent trainers and assessors, valid and reliable assessments and industry involvement.
In addition, two international experts, Mr. Mike Coles and Ms. Andrea Bateman, presented a discussion paper that will serve as support to researchers in preparation for their country studies. The paper identifies notable trends such as a growing number of national and regional qualification frameworks, and the expansion of certification as well as quality assurance frameworks. Among others, the paper also discusses different types of assessors, such as those who see themselves as guardians of entry to a specific profession (high discipline) in contrast to those who do not see themselves as protecting the occupational standards (low discipline).
The meeting concluded with a broad agreement to proceed with the country studies which will be presented, together with the draft guidelines, at the 2nd expert meeting to be held in July 2016. All presentation files from the 1st expert meeting are available on the meeting web page.
For more information, please contact Cheol Hee Kim [ch.kim(at)unesco.org] at the Education Policy and Reform Unit.
Written by Pundaree Boonkerd [p.boonkerd(at)unesco.org]