Marys Medicine

Titel


Quality Assurance in Higher VET

Presented on the examples of the master craftsperson
qualification and the WIFI Fachakademie

Alexander Petanovitsch
Sabine Tritscher-Archan
Quality Assurance in Higher Vocational Education and Training




Copyright

Vienna, September 2015
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of
the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any
use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Editor:

Institut für Bildungsforschung der Wirtschaft (ibw)
Rainergasse 38, 1050 Wien
Austria
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Translation:

AHA Translation Office, Michael Reiterer
Lange Gasse 11/15, A-1080 Vienna, Austria
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Project website


Table of Contents


Example 1: Master craftsperson qualification

The qualification group "master craftsperson" in a nutshell:
Qualification awarding body Trade association of the Federal Economic Chamber This qualification is legally regulated in the master craftsperson examination regulations and in the Trade, Commerce and Indus-try Regulation Act. NQF-level / EQF-level Not yet allocated Expert in technical/subject-specific matters, entrepreneur and Qualification focus Setting up a company, training apprentices, replaces specialist area exam of Berufsreifeprüfung examination (entry requirement for universities)
The master craftsperson exam and certificate are part of the vocational education and training (VET)
system and are the highest form of qualification in skilled crafts. People holding a master title have the
right to run their own business and train apprentices. At the centre of the qualification, therefore, is
preparation for the fulfilment of technical/subject-specific and entrepreneurial leadership tasks in a
craft business and the proficiency to independently adapt job-related capacity to new demands. For
this it is necessary to have top-level expert knowledge in their specialist area. Their knowledge, skills
and competence enable them to deal with extensive tasks independently and with full responsibility.
The list of occupations/sectors in which there is the option of taking a master craftsperson exam is
legally regulated in the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung). There is no
compulsory training needed for acquiring this qualification: Every person from the age of 18 is entitled
to take the master craftsperson exam. In practice, almost all exam candidates have completed a rele-
vant apprenticeship and gathered a few years of professional experience. The master craftsperson
exam comprises five modules and is held by the offices responsible for the master craftsperson exam-
ination in the economic chambers. In the non-formal sector, preparatory courses are offered by a
number of CET institutions; in the formal sector, this task is assumed by master craftsperson schools.
Theoretically the exam can be taken without attending a course beforehand. However, in this case the
exam candidates are not very likely to pass the exam; in reality practically no candidate sits the master
craftsperson exam without taking part in a preparatory course.
The presentation of the quality assurance (QA) mechanism follows the lifecycle of the qual-
ification
, i.e. from the needs analysis to the review of the qualification. In order to structure
the information provided the four phases of the European Quality Assurance Reference
Framework (EQARF)1
were taken:
Phase 1: planning
Phase 2: implementation
Phase 3: evaluation
Phase 4: review
1) The EQARF is a reference instrument to help Member States and VET providers to promote and monitor con-tinuous improvement of their VET systems and/or VET provision based on common European references (cf.


1. PLANNING

Needs analysis

1. Labour market information:
The master craftsperson examination regulations (Meisterprüfungs- Do you collect data at this stage ordnungen, MPOs) are adopted by those federal guilds with relevant of the qualification development responsibility. In their capacity as representatives of the interests of process? If so which data? How the companies active in the market, they are familiar with the re- do you collect data? Who is in charge of collecting data? Are quirements of the world of work/professional activity and therefore stakeholders involved? What are with qualification requirements. They regularly exchange information the roles of companies and of and take part in discussions concerning relevant subjects at meetings business organisations? of federal guild committees, which are held at least twice a year, as well as on other occasions. This enables changing requirements in professional activity to be taken into consideration by adopting amendments to the MPOs. Statistical data are not collected when new qualifications are introduced or existing qualifications modified. 2. Justification:
One part of the federal guilds is the work committees on VET and Is it necessary to justify the CET. They are entitled – if relevant need is seen – to amend existing introduction of a new MPOs on application by the federal guilds. Firstly, the implementation programme/qualification or update of these amended MPOs must be decided on by the competent fed- an existing one? Who is in charge of the justification/motivation eral guild committee. These new drafts are then submitted for official report? Are stakeholders review, which must involve all relevant internal and external organisa- involved? tions (professional associations, provincial guilds, offices responsible for the master craftsperson exam, etc.). 3. Piloting / pre-testing:
Pilot phases are not foreseen as part of the introduction of master Is there a pilot stage before the craftsperson qualifications. qualification is "formally" introduced? If so, who is involved in this phase? How is the qualification tested/piloted/ evaluated? What does this pilot phase involve? What consequences does this have? 2. IMPLEMENTATION

2.1 Design of new and updating of existing curricula and trainings regulations

2.1.1 Legal basis / competent
Acquisition of the master craftsperson qualification is not preceded by any compulsory training. Preparatory courses – most of which are Who is responsible for the design provided by the CET institutions of the social partners – are designed of the curriculum/training by the providers themselves. There are no regulations regarding the regulation? What exactly is legally contents they should cover or their scope. The respective provider is regulated (examination areas, responsible for the entire design of the courses. The master crafts- KSC standards, etc.)? person exam, on the other hand, is regulated. The Gewerbeordnung defines the basic design criteria for a master


craftsperson exam (see next section). Statutory responsibility for the general examination regulation (registration for the exam, the exam fee, the costs for materials, etc.) rests with the Ministry of Economy. The respective sectoral federal guild (an employers' association) is responsible for designing the exam contents based on the Gewer-beordnung. Among other things, this Act specifies the subject-related sub-areas and the structure of the individual exam modules (such as the work samples/steps to be completed by the exam candidate in the course of the respective module, the maximum time available for this, the contents and duration of the oral exam, etc.) as well as the form in which candidates are assessed. In addition, it regulates credit transfer options for people who have already completed certain rele-vant specialist programmes. 2.1.2 Standards for the process
As the master craftsperson qualification is not preceded by any com- of designing of curricula and
pulsory training, there are also no binding guidelines concerning the training regulations:
design of the training contents. However, the Gewerbeordnung sets Are there standard procedures for out the key design criteria for the master craftsperson exam with bind- the development of qualifications? ing effect. It must comprise five modules: Module 1 consists of the Are there templates to be used? project-orientated, practical subject-related exam and comprises two parts: Part A covers the subject-specific skills in the respective craft, while Part B focuses on the subject-specific practical knowledge and skills required for business management. Module 2 comprises a sub-ject-related oral exam which consists of two parts: in Part A, candi-dates need to prove their professionalism in the subject-orientated area based on an example that is typical for the profession. In Part B they need to prove their knowledge and skills in (quality) manage-ment. Module 3 comprises a subject-related theoretical written exam with a minimum duration of five hours; Module 4 comprises the IVET trainer exam, Module 5 the entrepreneurial exam. There is a detailed template with specifications about how the master craftsperson exam-ination regulation needs to be drawn up – this template is the same for all master craftsperson exams. 2.1.3 Review and update of
The respective provider is responsible for designing training contents for the non-compulsory preparatory courses. Therefore there are no Are curricula regularly assessed relevant regulations concerning whether and when curricula need to and reviewed? be renewed/adapted etc. The exams are conducted by professional experts with comprehen-sive and state-of-the-art expert knowledge in the respective exam areas. In addition, regular meetings are held in which expert examin-ers from all over Austria exchange information on contents, ques-tions, procedures, etc. In addition, the respective federal guild is re-sponsible for adapting the contents of the master craftsperson exam to the current/new needs of the sector if necessary. There are no detailed regulations concerning whether, when and in what way the master adapted/complemented/modified. Moreover, no statistical data are collected as a basis of which decisions are taken about re-orientating the exam.


2.1.4 Involvement of key stake-
The respective professional organisation in the Economic Chamber is responsible for designing the contents of the master craftsperson Are stakeholders (social partners, exam and updating them if necessary. The draft of the new/adapted companies, sector organisations, MPO is sent to a number of stakeholders involved in VET issues for pedagogical experts, VET review, including the Chamber of Labour and the Austrian Trade Un- providers, etc.) involved in the ion Federation. Before the MPO is published, it needs to be approved design of new / in the update of existing curricula/training by the Minister of Economy. regulations? Note: If you refer to
stakeholder involvement in each
criterion, there is no need to have
a separate criterion for this.

2.1.5 Link to the labour market:
As the subject-related contents of the master craftsperson exam are How is the curriculum linked to adopted by way of an ordinance of the respective federal guild, this labour market needs? How is it ensures that the contents meet the respective current requirements of guaranteed that the curriculum the sector-specific labour market and its companies ("a qualification complies with labour market and from the economy for the economy"). Subject experts in the federal company needs? guild define the standards to be met by the candidates to acquire the qualification. The Gewerbeordnung additionally specifies that the candidates prove their professionalism in the subject-oriented area based on an example that is typical for the profession in the first part of Module 2. 2.1.6 Application of learning
At the present time, LO formulations are not yet used in the MPOs. outcome concept:
However, pilot projects have already been carried out in the course of Are LOs used in curricula/training which such a formulation of training contents has been implemented regulations? How are they as one of the framework conditions for implementing the NQF, based defined? Which domains of on the respective MPO, to serve as an example (such as for the learning are used? Who is qualifications "master craftsman/craftswomen in motor vehicle engi- involved in the definition and what role do they have? Who is neering" and "master craftsman/ craftswomen in electrical engineer- involved in the design of curricula/training regulations?
How is the cooperation
coordinated?
2.1.7 Information in curricula

The Gewerbeordnung sets out the structure of the master craftsper- and training regulations: What
son exam contents. The general examination regulation contains the information is provided in organisation-related framework conditions for all master craftsperson curricula/training regulations (e.g. exams (such as the registration mode, the exam procedure, fees, the title, duration, entry requirements, issuing of certificates, and regulations related to the examiners). learning contents, costs, etc.)? The respective occupation-specific MPOs set out the detailed exam contents for the subject modules (Modules 1 to 3) and refer to valid legal bases for Modules 4 (IVET trainer exam) and 5 (entrepreneurial exam). In addition, the MPOs also contain regulations concerning the assessment of exam candidates and the repetition of negative exam sections. The entrepreneurial exam is regulated in the Entrepreneurial Exami-nation Ordinance (Unternehmerprüfungsordnung), which is within the sphere of competence of the Ministry of Economy and contains both content-related objectives and organisational aspects of the exam (fees, certificate, the waiving of the exam, etc.) (see also the section "Entrepreneurial attitude and skil s").


The sphere of competence of the Ministry of Economy also includes the IVET Trainer Examination Ordinance (Ausbilderprüfungsord-nung), which comprises organisational and content-related regula-tions (such as the specification of training objectives based on the job profile [Berufsbild], planning of the training in the company, etc.). 2.1.8 Pathways, progression
Successful graduates of a master craftsperson exam are entitled to and bridges (permeability):
run their own business in a self-employed capacity (which they may What does this certificate entitle call Meisterbetrieb, i.e. master craftsperson company) and train ap- its holder to do (on the labour prentices. Those graduates who do not want to become self- market and within the education employed have acquired knowledge and skills that qualify them for higher-level activities and/or that can earn them higher salaries. Fur-thermore, the specialist area exam of the Berufsreifeprüfung is waived for graduates of the master craftsperson exam. Those who want to study at a higher education establishment have the option of getting credits for certain contents of the master craftsperson exam. 2.1.9 Entrepreneurial attitude
The entrepreneurial exam is part of the master craftsperson qualifica- and skills:
tion. It aims to determine whether candidates understand the connec- Do they play a role in the tions between the various company areas and are able to apply this curriculum? In what way are they knowledge when setting up their own business and dealing with the imparted? most frequent tasks/problems in a company. This exam imparts the entrepreneurial knowledge required for exercising a trade on a self-employed basis. It comprises the topics of communication and behav-iour in the company and towards individuals/institutions who are not part of the company; marketing; organisation; entrepreneurial legisla-tion; accounting; staff leadership and human resource management. The examination comprises a written and an oral section. 2.1.10 Companies as learning
In the preparatory courses provided by WIFI, for instance, one part of instruction (depending on the occupation/sector) is held in a practice- What is the share of practical oriented way in WIFI's own laboratories or training workshops. For learning (work-based, work-place Exam Module 2 (Part A), the Gewerbeordnung specifies that the can- learning)? How is it organised? didates need to furnish proof of their professionalism in the subject- How are practical learning phases orientated area based on an example that is typical for the profes- quality assured? How are they assessed? How are they linked to sion. Here, the oral examination has to build on company practice the theoretical tuition? and orientate itself towards the occupational requirements to be made on a skilled worker. As training is not compulsory, there are no practical work phases in the narrower meaning of the word. However, candidates for the mas-ter craftsperson exam have generally been working in industry for several years before taking the exam. As part of the exam, informally acquired competences and non-formally acquired knowledge (as part of the preparatory courses) are therefore certified. 2.1.11 Entry requirements:
The master craftsperson exam can be taken by individuals from the Who is accepted to the age of 18 (regardless of previous qualifications). Usually, however, programme/qualifications? What the exam candidates have completed an apprenticeship or attended criteria do learners have to fulfil a subject-related school of intermediate vocational education (e.g. age, pre-qualification, etc.)? (berufsbildende mittlere Schule) and gathered several years of practi- Is prior learning recognised? cal experience. Furthermore, in most cases they have attended the preparatory courses for the master craftsperson exam offered by CET institutions. Certain areas of the first two exam modules can be waived for hold-ers of a relevant apprenticeship diploma. Module 3 can be replaced by certain study programmes, Fachhochschule programmes or col-leges of higher vocational education (berufsbildende höhere Schulen) specified in the exam regulation. In Modules 4 and 5, the legislator has also provided for different options of recognition due to prior learning.
2.2 Implementation of tuition

2.2.1 Teachers and trainers:
The largest provider of preparatory courses for the master craftsper- Who can teach in the son exam (completion of which is not mandatory but is used by almost programme leading to the all exam candidates in practice) in the non-formal area are the Insti- qualification in question? Which tutes for Economic Promotion of the Federal Economic Chamber qualifications are they required (Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitute or WIFIs). In most cases, the trainers to have? Is there obligatory in- and programme managers of the WIFI courses are skilled workers and service training for these teachers? executives who are active in the economy, or pedagogues and experts from higher education institutions. This guarantees that their level of knowledge and involvement with the practice is fully up-to-date. It means that the trainers also practise their work on a part-time basis as far as possible. WIFI additionally offers its trainers an in-house CET programme on education/didactics free of charge and a price reduction for participating in certain subject-specific WIFI courses. In the formal sector, candidates can prepare for the master craftsper-son exam at two-year master craftsperson schools (i.e. special types of schools for engineering, arts and crafts). The training of teachers varies widely due to the differentiated range of subjects (such as uni-versity study plus a teaching diploma, university study plus a qualifica-tion for newly recruited teachers during the first two years of service, etc.). With the exception of teachers of general education subjects, teachers at VET schools and colleges are obliged to complete several years' business practice before entering the school service. Adapting the teaching at master craftsperson schools to the state of the art re-quires that the teachers continually update their subject-related knowledge and skills. Here the curriculum acts as a framework that points the way forward. 2.2.2 Equipment and tools:
The participants in the WIFI preparatory courses have lecture notes Is there special equipment and learning material at their disposal which, in principle, are included required for the tuition? in the tuition fee and are issued at the beginning of the event. When they take the master craftsperson exam, the exam candidates need to bear the costs for the materials and equipment required for carrying out the subject-specific work themselves. 2.2.3 Teaching and training
The teaching materials and documents used in the preparatory cours- es are compiled by the institutions that provide them or by the train- Who compiles these materials? ers/programme managers, taking into account the applicable exam Who guarantees that the regulation and current professional requirements. contents are relevant and up-to- According to the School Education Act (Schulunterrichtsgesetz), teaching materials in the formal school sector (master craftsperson schools) have to be appropriate in terms of material and presentation format and suitable for pupils of the school grade concerned or need to have been declared as suitable by the competent federal ministry for use in the classroom. The syllabus always needs to be selected in a practice-orientated manner based on the requirements and the state of the art. 2.2.4 Pedagogy:
The teaching methods in the non-formal area can vary depending on Which teaching methods are the provider. The WIFI programmes are mostly orientated towards the used? How much practical immediate practical use of contents and their implementation in a day- training (in companies, but also to-day job routine, while teaching is partly held in in-house labs and in laboratories, workshops, etc.) training workshops. The current learning model used at WIFI is LENA is foreseen? ("LEbendiges und NAchhaltiges Lernen" or "Lively and Sustainable Learning"): This model aims to motivate the learners and promote their independence. The goal is to link knowledge that already exists with knowledge that has been developed recently. Practice orientation and topicality are principles that apply to all sub-jects at master craftsperson schools, which are part of the formal edu-cation sector. Teaching projects are implemented in groups as prepa-ration for the situation in the workplace. Elements of "blended learning" help establish a link between theoretical and practical phases. Excur-sions and lectures by non-school experts aim to support insight into technical, company-specific and organisational connections as well as the social environment of the world of work. 2.2.5 Learners' support:
Before the start of the preparatory courses, WIFI offers information Are career guidance and/or events. These events provide information on admission requirements, individualised and target-group the organisation and structure of the preparatory course as well as oriented counselling services options for financial support. Another part is a self-assessment test, offered? What support service which covers the course participants' current level of knowledge, and a for potential drop-outs is guidance talk that builds on the test result. foreseen? 2.3 Assessment

2.3.1 Examiners:
The examiners are appointed by the head of the office responsible for Who is involved in the exam the master craftsperson exam and need to be experts in one of the (single examiners/group of disciplines examined and active in professional practice. All examin- examiners)? What ers need to promise orally or in writing to the head of the office of the master craftsperson exam that they will exercise their position con- (professional) background are scientiously and impartially. Training programmes to prepare exam- examiners required to have? Are they allowed to teach as well? iners are offered either directly by the offices responsible for the mas- How are they selected? How is ter craftsperson exam, via the WIFIs, or via the federal or regional their work assessed/ monitored? professional organisations. In most cases these programmes focus on the organisational and pedagogical section. The examiner training concerning the subject-specific section is offered by several profes-sional organisations: This training deals especially with subject-spe-cific issues, the level of the questions, the state of the art, and as-sessment rules. If exam candidates also want to take the IVET trainer exam as part of the master craftsperson exam, at least one member of the examina-tion committee needs to meet the requirements set out in the Voca-tional Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz), i.e. as well as the re-quired subject-related knowledge, either training practice of at least three years plus an apprenticeship diploma or training practice of at least six years). 2.3.2 Entry requirement:
Every person from the age of 18 is entitled to take a master crafts- Who has access to the exam? person exam (regardless of previous qualifications). De facto, almost Do candidates have to fulfil all candidates boast a professional qualification plus several years of certain requirements (e.g. age, practical professional experience. Almost all exam candidates have pre-qualification, etc.)? Is prior also completed (non-compulsory) preparatory courses beforehand. learning recognised? Credit transfer for prior learning is regulated in the ordinances (cf. the text above). 2.3.3 Standards (KSC):
The respective federal guild designs the actual contents of the sub- Who defines the standards? ject-specific section of the master craftsperson exam; therefore the How are they linked to the LOs? design is closely associated with current developments in the labour How are they linked to the labour market and the needs of companies. market? Are assessment criteria
based on LOs and to what extent
are they used in the assessment
process?
2.3.4 Transparency of

All relevant legal provisions concerning the contents, structure and processes, assessment
design of the master craftsperson exam can be found in the current instruments, evaluation
legal documents on which they based and are generally accessible on the internet. Is it necessary to make this
information public?

2.3.5 Appropriateness of
The Gewerbeordnung specifies that the competent federal guild assessment procedures:
needs to specify the syllabus of the master craftsperson exam by Which/How many assessment taking into consideration the characteristic craft-related knowledge, methods/ instruments are used? abilities and experience that are required to practise the trade. In Do they correspond to real work- addition, candidates in Exam Module 2 (Part A) need to prove their life situations? professionalism in the subject-orientated area based on an example that is typical for the profession. Here, the oral examination needs to be developed from company practice and to orientate itself towards the occupational requirements made on a skilled worker. The exam-iners need to be experts in one of the disciplines examined and ac-tive in professional practice. 2.3.6 Competent institution:
The master craftsperson exams are carried out by the offices respon- Who is in charge of the sible for the master craftsperson exam. These are set up in the eco- assessment? What rights does nomic chambers but act in the sphere of competence delegated to this institution have? them on behalf of the Ministry of Economy. The office responsible for the master craftsperson exam organises the implementation of the master craftsperson exam (such as the appointment of exam commit-tee members). Furthermore, upon successful completion of a mod-ule, it issues the respective modular exam certificate and, upon sub-mission of all required modular certificates by the exam candidate, it issues the related master craftsperson certificate. 2.3.7 Complaint management:
A transcript needs to be drawn up regarding the exam procedure and Is it possible to view the the consultation of the exam committee and signed by all examiners. assessment results? What can The examinee needs to be informed in writing of the result of the learners do if they do not agree written exam by the office responsible for the master craftsperson with the assessment? exam. Upon their request, exam applicants need to be allowed to view the assessment of their written exam papers at the office re-sponsible for the master craftsperson exam within one year. The oral section of the exam needs to be taken in front of the entire commit-tee. The exam applicant needs to be informed of the result of the exam by the chairperson in front of the entire committee. The exami-nee has no right to appeal against the committee's decision. 3. EVALUATION

Monitoring process

1. Internal evaluation:
Every year the economic chambers publish figures and statistics Statistical data on drop-outs and about the master craftsperson exams on their websites. These in- failure rates, satisfaction rate of clude data concerning the number of exam attempts by module, sec- individuals and employers with tor, gender and province, as well as information on exam success programme, the examination and the acquired skills/competences;
results of complaint
management. Are the results of
internal evaluation measure
made public?
2. External evaluation:

Every year Statistics Austria publishes detailed statistics on educa- Information on occupation tion. These also include figures on completed master craftsperson obtained by individuals after exams. The annually updated ibw publication "Survey of Apprentice- completion of training, according ship Training" also contains graduation figures and success rates for to type of training and individual the master craftsperson exam. Evaluations of unemployment statis- criteria (transition), type of tics broken down by educational attainment are made available via a employment. Are the results of external evaluation measure Public Employment Service Austria database and also provide infor- made public? mation on the labour market situation of master craftsperson exam graduates. 4. REVIEW

Conclusions

Where a need to update the master craftsperson examination regulation is perceived by the compe-
tent federal guilds, an amendment to the regulation can be initiated. This amendment process involves
all relevant stakeholders (Ministry of Economy, professional organisations, the Austrian Federal Eco-
nomic Chamber, adult learning establishments, etc.), contributing to a general consensus. Those adult
learning establishments that provide preparatory courses regularly adapt their courses to changes in
contents, a process in which they orientate themselves – as do the federal guilds – towards current
labour market requirements. This comprehensive quality assurance process has proven successful.
The master craftsperson training is one of the qualifications that are in great demand on this country's
labour market.
This qualification also takes into account the latest developments in educational policy: Hence, for
example, the master craftsperson exam was modularised in the course of the 2002 Amendment to the
Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung), which provides the option of
awarding credits in individual modules for knowledge acquired at school and/or in company practice,
among other things. Moreover, at this point, mention must be made of the pilot projects mentioned
above. In the course of these, by way of example, learning outcome-orientated formulations of the
contents of master craftsperson exams have been implemented as a contribution towards the forth-
coming NQF implementation.
Example 2: WIFI-Fachakademie

The qualification group "WIFI Fachakademie" in a nutshell:
Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut (WIFI) Qualification awarding body CET provider institute of the Economic Chamber This qualification is not legally regulated; it is a qualification de- NQF-level / EQF-level Not yet allocated Not classified in ISCED, as it has no legal basis Specialist training for holder of a (primarily) technical VET quali- Qualification focus fication, acquisition of entrepreneurial and in-company trainer competences Setting up a company, training apprentices, replaces specialist area exam of Berufsreifeprüfung examination (entry requirement for universities)
With the Specialist Academy (Fachakademie, FA), the Institutes for Economic Promotion (Wirtschafts-
förderungsinstitute
, WIFIs, i.e. the CET providers of the Austrian Economic Chambers) offer part-time
four-semester CET programmes for holders of VET qualifications (apprenticeship diploma, certificate of
a school for intermediate vocational education) primarily in the technical area; these FA programmes
also include the entrepreneurial examination and IVET trainer examination. The FA prepares people for
work as specialist skilled workers, middle-tier executives and entrepreneurs. The programme is geared
towards complex, interdisciplinary professional tasks, with contents based essentially on the three pillars
of "further personal development", "specialist qualification", and "fundamentals of business manage-
ment". FA graduates are awarded the title "Diplomierter Fachwirt/Diplomierte Fachwirtin" or "Diplomierter
Fachtechniker/Diplomierte Fachtechnikerin". At present (as of April 2015) FAs are provided in the spe-
cialist areas of Applied Computer Science, Automation Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering and
Production Management, Interior Design, Construction and Product Design, Marketing and Manage-
ment, Media Informatics and Media Design. Successful completion of the FA replaces the specialist
area exam of the Berufsreifeprüfung.
The presentation of the quality assurance (QA) mechanism follows the lifecycle of the qual-
ification
, i.e. from the needs analysis to the review of the qualification.
In order to structure the information provided the four phases of the European Quality As-
surance Reference Framework (EQARF)2
were taken:
Phase 1: planning
Phase 2: implementation
Phase 3: evaluation
Phase 4: review
2) The EQARF is a reference instrument to help Member States and VET providers to promote and monitor con-tinuous improvement of their VET systems and/or VET provision based on common European references (cf. 1. PLANNING

Needs analysis

1. Labour market information:
"WIFI Österreich Bildungsmanagement", the development and coor- Do you collect data at this stage of dination body for all Institutes for Economic Promotion (WIFIs) in the qualification development Austria, regularly develops new education and training products for process? If so which data? How every business area (technology, management, languages, etc.) that do you collect data? Who is in are in demand on the market. Around twenty percent of the pro- charge of collecting data? Are grammes are newly developed every year and adapted to the current stakeholders involved? What are the roles of companies and of demand of the economy. All the other courses and programmes are business organisations? adapted and revised at least once a year. Market observations are conducted regularly, and experience reports by interested students, companies and graduates of ongoing programmes are collected. In addition, studies are commissioned during which various research institutes (such as Gallup) interview employers, employees, experts, etc. about various topics. The development of the FA in 1992 was preceded by an inventory consisting of part-time CET programmes available for apprenticeship graduates at that time. Most of them were "evening schools" (such as colleges of engineering, colleges of business administration), which – from the viewpoint of WIFI – mainly covered theoretical know-how, whereas FAs have deliberately linked theory and modern-day prac-tice with a focus on career guidance. 2. Justification:
For WIFI as an education and training provider of the Federal Eco- Is it necessary to justify the nomic Chamber, market needs are ultimately decisive for develop- introduction of a new ing/adapting qualification offerings. The original idea in the course of programme/qualification or update developing the FA in 1992 was to offer apprenticeship graduates a an existing one? Who is in charge further step in their educational career (under the motto "A career of the justification/motivation with apprenticeship"). Both at that time, and also for the FA pro- report? Are stakeholders involved? grammes that were created later, non-traditional job profiles (for which different qualification pathways already existed) have been selected deliberately. Therefore the development of the FA aimed to provide a completely new part-time specialist programme for Aus-tria's CET market. 3. Piloting / pre-testing:
A pilot phase in the narrower sense of the term (that is, defined as Is there a pilot stage before the "pilot training/school pilot project) is not foreseen when a new FA qualification is "formally" specialist area is introduced. As the WIFI's qualification programmes introduced? If so, who is involved are strongly market-orientated (that is, geared towards the interests in this phase? How is the of potential participants and/or the economy), demand is decisive for qualification maintaining/modifying/re-orientating them. The WIFI-Fachakademie tested/piloted/evaluated? What does this pilot phase involve? is a so-called non-formal qualification, which means it is not legally What consequences does this regulated. Consequently, any changes (such as to the curriculum, assessment procedure, etc.) can be realised very quickly. 2. IMPLEMENTATION

2.1 Design of new and updating of existing curricula and trainings regulations

2.1.1 Legal basis / competent
"WIFI Österreich Bildungsmanagement" is responsible for curriculum development. A general WIFI examination regulation is in force for Who is responsible for the design the organisation of exams at the WIFIs. This is defined by the Presid- of the curriculum/training ing Committee of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and regulation? What exactly is legally brought to the attention of the Ministry of Economy. In addition, provi- regulated (examination areas, sions concerning implementation have been adopted that set out the KSC standards, etc.)? content and duration of the final exams in the individual FA specialist areas and are also drawn up by the Economic Chamber and WIFI. 2.1.2 Standards for the process
There is no nationwide uniform catalogue of questions as the exam of designing of curricular and
syllabus is continually adapted to current economic conditions. Cur- training regulations:
ricula are also orientated towards the latest economic and industrial Are there standard procedures for developments with a focus on career guidance. Only the exam mo- the development of qualifications? dalities are defined in a binding manner in the WIFI examination Are there templates to be used? 2.1.3 Review and update of
The contents of the latest WIFI course programmes are revised and updated at least once a year. The training content and syllabus is Are curricula regularly assessed discussed and coordinated in regular meetings of the course man- and reviewed? agement team, teachers and examiners. Since their establishment, FAs have undergone a steady process of adaptation and reposition-ing in terms of content. Over the course of time, FAs have reduced their specialist areas considerably because the education system and consequently demand from participants and the economy have changed. 2.1.4 Involvement of key stake-
The WIFIs – in their capacity as CET establishments of the economic chambers – translate current economic and technical developments Are stakeholders (social partners, in the labour market and the needs both of employers and employees companies, sector organisations, into (continuing) education and training programmes. In this work, pedagogical experts, VET they cooperate closely with companies, HR managers, ministries, providers, etc.) involved in the higher education institutions (HEIs), etc. design of new / in the update of
existing curricula/training
regulations? Note: If you refer to
stakeholder involvement in each
criterion, there is no need to have
a separate criterion for this.

2.1.5 Link to the labour market:
WIFI sees itself as a service organisation in the field of vocational How is the curriculum linked to education and training (VET) and continuing education and training labour market needs? How is it (CET) on behalf of Austria's economy. In order to meet this objective, guaranteed that the curriculum WIFI maintains regular contact with entrepreneurs and HR managers. complies with labour market and The teaching is as practice-orientated as possible. Many of the lec- company needs? turers/teachers at the WIFIs are practitioners from industry. The ex-aminers are also experts with practical experience and know-how on pedagogical matters and exam implementation. As the FAs are de-signed as part-time programmes and learners therefore continue their professional activities while taking part in the training, they can apply the recently learned contents directly in the practical work environ- ment of their company. Specifically equipped laboratories and teach-ing workshops are at their disposal for the practice-orientated part of the training. 2.1.6 Application of learning
At the present time, LO formulations are not yet used in the FA cur- outcome concept:
ricula. However, pilot projects have been launched with the objective Are LOs used in curricula/training of describing the training contents based on LOs (such as for the regulations? How are they curriculum of the Automation Engineering Fachakademie pro- defined? Which domains of gramme). Trainers, examiners, course designers, WIFI representa- learning are used? Who is tives, and researchers are involved in these pilot projects. They all involved in the definition and what role do they have? Who is participate actively in the LO description process, which is accompa- involved in the design of nied by researchers. curricula/training regulations?
How is the cooperation
coordinated?
2.1.7 Information in curricula

Publicly accessible course materials and documents are available for and training regulations: What
each of the FA programmes. They also include general information information is provided in on the training, such as the course title, the objective of the training, curricula/training regulations (e.g. and the title awarded to graduates. These publications also contain title, duration, entry requirements, information on the target group and access requirements for the train- learning contents, costs, etc.)? ing, the programme structure and the allocation of hours per subject, training contents, methodology and didactics, and exam modalities. In addition, they include information on financial aspects of the train-ing, such as costs and funding options. The general WIFI examination regulation includes binding information on the forms of exams, the exam committee, registration and admis-sion to the exam, the exam syllabus, the exam procedure, and the determination of the exam result, certificates and exam fee, which apply to all exams held at the WIFIs. The provisions concerning im-plementation at the individual specialist FA areas contain specific information about the final exams (contents and duration). 2.1.8 Pathways, progression
The FA graduates are awarded the title "Diplomierte/r Fachwirt/in" or and bridges (permeability):
"Diplomierte/r Fachtechniker/in". This qualification replaces the spe- What does this certificate entitle cialist area exam as a part of the Berufsreifeprüfung as well as the its holder to do (on the labour entrepreneurial exam and IVET trainer exam. The FA training pre- market and within the education pares people for work as specialist skilled workers, middle-tier execu- tives and entrepreneurs. 2.1.9 Entrepreneurial attitude
The fields of business planning, organisation, human resources, ac- and skills:
counting, law, and marketing as well as the entrepreneurial exam Do they play a role in the form an integral element of all FA programmes. These course con- curriculum? In what way are they tents impart the ability to understand business administration pro- imparted? cesses in the company and their incorporation in the business envi-ronment. 2.1.10 Companies as learning
Specifically equipped laboratories and teaching workshops are at the students' disposal for the practice-orientated part of the training. What is the share of practical Training is deliberately geared towards complex, interdisciplinary learning (work-based, work-place professional tasks and current labour market requirements. For ex- learning)? How is it organised? ample, training as part of the FA for Automation Engineering is con- How are practical learning phases ducted using state-of-the-art industrial components; the theoretical quality assured? How are they assessed? How are they linked to part of learning is frequently followed immediately by practical exer- the theoretical tuition? There are no practical work phases in the narrower sense of the term (alternating with theoretical instruction) as the FAs are designed as career-integrated programmes and are mainly attended by people who work in the relevant field anyway. 2.1.11 Entry requirements:
The FA mainly targets holders of a subject-specific apprenticeship Who is accepted to the diploma or a certificate from a school of intermediate vocational edu- programme/qualifications? What cation, with the programme management of the respective training criteria do learners have to fulfil pathway specifying the apprenticeships that may be considered as (e.g. age, pre-qualification, etc.)? subject-specific. In addition, candidates need to provide proof of at Is prior learning recognised? least one year of relevant specialist experience in the profession. However, graduates of upper secondary schools and university de-gree holders with professional practice are also admitted. Before entering the FA, applicants either have to have an interview with the programme management team that aims to examine the subject-specific requirements, or take an orientation test. Interested students who have not completed a subject-specific ap-prenticeship or attended a school of intermediate vocational educa-tion, but can prove lengthy subject-specific practice, can be admitted as special-status students, with the proviso that they receive their apprenticeship certificate within the first two semesters. The appren-ticeship certificate needs to be submitted to the programme man-agement team by the end of the second semester at the latest. If learners fail to do so, they are not entitled to progress to the third semester. 2.2 Implementation of tuition

2.2.1 Teachers and trainers:
The trainers are skilled workers and executives who are active in the Who can teach in the programme economy, pedagogues and experts from higher education institu- leading to the qualification in tions; in the majority of cases they come directly from the sector con- question? Which qualifications are cerned. Therefore they have access to the latest level of knowledge they required to have? Is there and an involvement with the practice; the trainer activity is usually obligatory in-service training for carried out on a part-time basis. these teachers? As well as specialist qualifications, specific pedagogical expert knowledge is also required of trainers and programme managers: When the FA was developed, it was already taken into account that work in these programmes especially is appropriate for adults and motivates the participants. WIFI additionally offers its trainers an in-house CET programme on education/didactics free of charge and a price reduction for access to relevant WIFI courses. 2.2.2 Equipment and tools:
The working material and documents required for the respective pro- Is there special equipment gramme are always included in the participation fees. required for the tuition?
2.2.3 Teaching and training

WIFI makes available and selects the scripts and learning materials. The training content and syllabus is discussed and coordinated in Who compiles these materials? regular meetings of the course management team, teachers and Who guarantees that the contents examiners. The course materials and documents are updated and are relevant and up-to-date? adapted to the requirements of the business sphere on a regular basis. 2.2.4 Pedagogy:
Teaching at FAs is very practice-orientated and is also partly held in Which teaching methods are specifically equipped laboratories and teaching workshops. Practical used? How much practical training examples from the professional environment are solved – alone or in (in companies, but also in the team – on an interdisciplinary basis. As part of FA programmes, it laboratories, workshops, etc.) is is also taken into account that work in these programmes needs to be foreseen? especially appropriate for adults. Based on the WIFI learning scheme "LENA – Lively & Sustainable" ("LENA – LEbendig & NAchhaltig"), the trainers support the participants in their work on the contents with suitable learning methods and, in this way, they develop self-learning skills. 2.2.5 Learners' support:
Before entering the FA, applicants either have to have an interview Are career guidance and/or with the programme management team that aims to examine the individualised and target-group subject-specific requirements, or take an orientation test. oriented counselling services offered? What support service for potential drop-outs is foreseen? 2.3 Assessment for certification

2.3.1 Examiners:
An exam committee is responsible for the exam. It comprises the Who is involved in the exam WIFI's Managing Director or his/her authorised representative as the (single examiners/group of chairperson and at least one examiner who is appointed by WIFI. The examiners)? What examiners are experts with practical experience and know-how on qualifications/which (professional) pedagogical matters and exam implementation. They are also mostly background are examiners lecturers in the FK programme. The members of the exam committee required to have? Are they allowed to teach as well? How are are obliged to exercise their function in an objective and impartial they selected? How is their work manner and maintain secrecy about the entire exam procedure. The assessed/ monitored? examiners are prepared for their work in training courses held at reg-ular intervals. This training also aims to facilitate exchanges and co-ordination between examiners. 2.3.2 Entry requirement:
Registration for the exam needs to include proof of identity and proof Who has access to the exam? Do of payment of the exam fee. In case of exams where previous at- candidates have to fulfil certain tendance of a programme is compulsory, only those individuals will requirements (e.g. age, pre- be admitted who have attended at least three quarters of the previous qualification, etc.)? Is prior programme or course. Where additional admission requirements learning recognised? need to be fulfilled based on the provisions concerning implementa-tion, relevant proof also needs to be enclosed to the exam registra-tion. In case of subjects that have already been completed during the programme, credits are awarded for the relevant exam in the final qualification. 2.3.3 Standards (KSC):
In its capacity as the owner of the FA qualification, WIFI is also re- Who defines the standards? How sponsible for organising the assessment procedure. To date, stand- are they linked to the LOs? How ards related to knowledge, skills and competence that are formulated are they linked to the labour in a learning outcome-orientated manner have not yet been specified market? Are assessment criteria – but the experienced examiners have implicit knowledge of what has based on LOs and to what extent to be proven by candidates to obtain the qualification. are they used in the assessment process? The subject-related contents of the FA exam are orientated towards the current labour market requirements of the sector. Thus, for ex-ample, the subject-specific assignment to be solved as part of the project work (which is part of the exam) needs to be directly orientat-ed towards practical application, and the approaches towards solu-tions that the examinees develop in the course of their work also need to be viable in the company. 2.3.4 Transparency of
The examination regulations, the implementation provisions and the processes, assessment
information brochures for the individual FA programmes can be ac- instruments, evaluation criteria: cessed on the internet. The examinations themselves are not public
Is it necessary to make this but the chairperson is entitled to admit guests. information public?
2.3.5 Appropriateness of
The examiners are experienced experts from practice and thus en- assessment procedures:
sure that the current labour market requirements are met. The final Which/How many assessment certificate is also very clearly designed with orientation towards the methods/ instruments are used? professional requirements of the company (see explanations further Do they correspond to real work- life situations?
2.3.6 Competent institution:

An exam committee (EC) needs to be set up for carrying out the re- Who is in charge of the spective oral exam. This exam committee comprises the WIFI's Man- assessment? What rights does aging Director or his/her authorised representative as the chairperson this institution have? and at least one examiner who is appointed by WIFI. The written exam is prepared by the programme management team in coopera-tion with experts/trainers who are competent in the respective subject matter. The exams need to be announced in an appropriate and timely man-ner. If the required minimum number of candidates has not registered for the exam within the registration period as expected, the exam date can be postponed. The decision on the approval of exam mate-rials is made by the EC chairperson. The assessment of the project work and of the written exam is carried out by the examiner. The result of the oral exam is determined in a secret session of the EC by a majority of votes. In the event of a tie, the chairperson shall have the casting vote. The decisions of the EC are final. The overall assessment is determined based on the availa-ble individual assessments. A positive overall assessment can only be awarded where candidates have achieved a positive assessment in all sections of the exam. 2.3.7 Complaint management:
Any exams that have been negatively assessed can be repeated Is it possible to view the three times. The EC must decide in each case if the overall exam, assessment results? What can exam sections or individual exam subjects need to be repeated. learners do if they do not agree Minutes have to be taken about the exam, including the results of the with the assessment? exam sections and the overall exam. 3. EVALUATION

Monitoring process

1. Internal evaluation:
Feedback is obtained as part of participant surveys at regular inter- Statistical data on drop-outs and vals. Questions that are asked in the course of these surveys relate, failure/success rates in the exam, for example, to the improvement of the professional situation after satisfaction rate of individuals and graduation from an FA or the success of knowledge transfer during employers with programme, the the training. Regularly conducted market research aims to gather examination and the acquired information about the customers' wishes and satisfaction. skills/competences; results of complaint management. Are the results of internal evaluation Every WIFI event is evaluated by using written assessment sheets measure made public? from participants and trainers. Quality assurance teams visit events to obtain direct feedback from the participants during the event. All feedback, wishes, ideas and suggestions from participants and train-ers are recorded electronically and examined for their viability and the frequency of mistakes at periodical intervals. 2. External evaluation:
Different quality management systems are used at the individual re- Information on occupation gional WIFIs: OENORM EN ISO 9001:2008, EFQM and different obtained by individuals after quality labels awarded at regional level (CERT-NÖ, wien-cert). completion of training, according to type of training and individual Graduate surveys are made, however, not systematically and regu- criteria (transition), type of larly. Feedback from the labour market is neither collected systemati- employment. Are the results of external evaluation measure cally but since trainers and examiners are practitioners from compa- made public? nies, their feedback is considered in the revision of the programme and the examination. On which level is external evaluation carried out (national/regional/provider)? Is external evaluation carried out systematically? Are graduate surveys made? How is the feedback of the labour market taken into account? To what extent and how are LOs used in this process? 4. REVIEW

Conclusions

WIFI keeps track of the changes in CET requirements and adapts education and training programmes
accordingly. The contents of current courses on offer are revised and adapted at least once a year.
Market observations are carried out at regular intervals, also in the form of commissioned studies as
well as surveys among participants, trainers and graduates. As the trainers and examiners mainly
come from professional practice – and are supported by regular exchanges in meetings of the pro-
gramme management team, teachers and examiners – it is possible for the contents of the teaching,
learning and examinations to be kept fully up-to-date.
Every WIFI event is evaluated using written assessment sheets from participants and trainers. Quality
assurance teams visit events to obtain direct feedback from the participants during the event. All feed-
back, wishes, ideas and suggestions from participants and trainers are recorded electronically and
examined for their viability and the frequency of mistakes at periodical intervals.
The changing CET requirements of the participants are reflected in the continual adaptation and repo-
sitioning process at the Fachakademien (FAs). Since the scheme began in 1992, FAs have reduced
their specialist areas considerably because the education system is undergoing further development
and, as a result, the demands of participants and the economy have also changed: Thus, for example,
the curricula have been shortened to two years at the expense of general education and in favour of
subject-specific, vocational subjects, because market observations and experience reports from inter-
ested learners and companies have revealed over the years that the FAs are mainly used as a profes-
sionalisation instrument and a practice-orientated higher qualification option while at work.

Source: http://www.qa-hivet.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/AT_National-QA-report_final.pdf

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Catalogo unificato genitorialita' e famiglia

Rassegna bibliografica Genitorialità/Famiglia Genitorialità/Famiglia L'educazione (im)possibile Orientarsi in una società senza padri Vittorino Andreoli Rizzoli Editore, 2014 Numero pagine: 213 Educare oggi, sostiene Andreoli, vuol dire insegnare a vivere in un mondo vastissimo e così mutevole da diventare quasi misterioso. Come fare? Come si può e si deve immaginare l'educazione in una società camaleontica dove tutto si trasforma continuamente, compresi i sentimenti e legami umani (parte indispensabile di ogni processo di crescita)? Da questa domanda parte un grido d'allarme che coinvolge non solo la famiglia e la scuola ma l'intera società, giacché il fallimento educativo è un malessere profondo che riguarda tutti, genitori e no, insegnanti e no, e che può essere risolto solo con uno sforzo comune (in primis ritrovando un punto d'unione con tutte le figure chiamate in causa durante la crescita dei ragazzi e tra loro una costante comunicazione tesa ad evitare la moltiplicazione degli stili educativi). Gli adulti devono capire, sottolinea Andreoli, che i sentimenti e i legami, come anche la possibilità di una progettualità a lunga durata (vale a dire della percezione del futuro da parte degli adolescenti), devono essere prioritari in quanto veicoli di messaggi che servono a dare sicurezza ed aiutano a formare l'identità del ragazzo: l'internet e i social networks potranno anche offrire agli adolescenti stimoli ed emozioni maggiori, ma senza ricchezza e benefici dei legami affettivi "reali". Il saggio ha un forte carattere divulgativo e cerca di dare risposte esaurienti a varie problematiche adolescenziali mettendo al centro di tutto la famiglia e la sua funzione: non più una somma di Io separati, ma una piccola orchestra diretta dal "bisogno esistenziale dell'uomo e della convivenza tra uomini". Informazioni su autore: Andreoli è considerato uno dei maggiori psichiatri italiani; al grande pubblico è noto in quanto studioso dei meccanismi della mente umana e osservatore del disagio psicologico degli adolescenti e dei loro genitori (argomento al quale ha dedicato, nel corso della sua carriera professionale, numerosi saggi) Altri soggetti: paternità e maternità/aspetti socio-culturali; educazione familiare; ruolo del contesto scolastico; adolescenza; identità