ICF GHK has substantial and wide-ranging expertise in the fields of education and culture. At the European level, we support DG Education and Culture in the Open Method of Coordination for the Education and Training 2010 work programme. We have provided services covering areas such as qualifications systems, frameworks and reforms, credit systems, adult learning, and the validation of non-formal and informal learning. At the UK national level, we have undertaken work for the Learning and Skills Councils, and education authorities. Examples of these assignments include:
Design of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training – DG Education and Culture
At present, we are supporting the European Commission in the design of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) and in the ongoing development of the European Credit and Accumulation System for higher education. This has included the following:
- Analysis of responses to the public consultation on ECVET and presentation of the outcomes in the German Presidency Conference in Munich
- Support for the work of a small group of experts, participating country representatives and Commission officials in the preparation of the draft technical specifications on ECVET
- Drafting of the first version of the ECVET users guide and organisation of seminars on ECVET
Design of a Web-based platform for referencing national qualifications frameworks – European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
We have developed a prototype for a Web-based platform that will enable participating countries to visually represent the way they reference their national qualifications frameworks and systems to the eight levels of the European Qualifications Framework. The platform will serve a two-fold purpose: a transparency tool for the process of referencing qualifications systems; and a dissemination tool to familiarise external stakeholders with the European Qualifications Framework and its functions.
Development of the Action Plan on Adult Learning – DG Education and Culture
We are in the process of supporting the development of the Action Plan on Adult Learning which aims to provide greater opportunities for adults to update their skills, (re)integrate into the labour market and progress in their careers. This work has included the drafting of a support document for the Action Plan via a series of consultation meetings with stakeholders from Member States, and candidate and other countries. An associated project has been to assist the preparation of a Peer Learning Activity on Adult Learning and Literacy in Ireland.
Evaluation of the Pilot Phase of the Foundation Learning Tier – UK Learning and Skills Council National Office
The Foundation Learning Tier (FLT) is a programme of support that is being developed in England to support the achievement of vocational qualifications below Level 2. The FLT is intended to be more accessible for young people and adults by providing them with a coherent offer, and identifying clear and appropriate progression pathways. The evaluation covered different learning providers, types of provision and groups of learners, and included stakeholder interviews and fieldwork.
Assessment of the implications of the UK Vocational Qualifications Reform Programme – UK Learning and Skills Council National Office
We are responsible for providing ongoing research and analysis of the implications of the Vocational Qualifications Reform Programme (UKVQRP) on the planning and funding of vocational education and training in England. In particular, this work has focused on the development of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) which will fully replace the National Qualifications Framework by 2010. This work has included a range of assignments looking at the technical specifications of the QCF, including the development and ownership of units, means of determining credit value, credit as a basis of funding, rules of combination and qualification design.