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European Common Quality Assurance Framework (CQAF)

Page history last edited by Randolph Preisinger-Kleine 10 years, 1 month ago


The potential role of networks within the European quality strategy



The European common quality assurance framework (CQAF) is based on a deming cycle, covering planning, implementation, evaluation as well as review and improvement of quality.

For each of those phases key questions are formulated, referring to the system level and complementary provider level. In the following scheme I have tried to introduce a network level.

This is some initial ideas, which will need further exploration in order to function within the concept of CQAF. Your comments are welcome! 






Key questions

Possible answers at system level –

core quality criteria

Possible answers at network level –

core quality criteria

Possible answers at

provider level –

core quality criteria

Are your policy goals/objectives clear and measurable?


The national and European goals or

purposes for VET are known to relevant stakeholders.


Existence of systematic procedures to identify future needs.


A number of minimum

objectives/standards have been set.

  • sectoral,
  • geographical or
  • target group specific


priorities and objectives are defined and related to European and national goals


standards defined for network members meet the requirements emerging from national policies

The European, national and local goals are all known throughout the


What are the

goals/objectives of your system/ institution in relation to VET?

(Description of the goals/objectives) 

Shared quality policies, as the overall intentions and direction of the partnership with regard to quality, as formally expressed by the network.


Scope statement as a key input to joint quality planning since it documents major deliverables as well as objectives which serve to define important stakeholder requirements.


Taking into consideration application-area-specific standards or regulations that may affect network quality policies

(Description of the



Are the European goals and objectives for VET included in the goals you have set?


An action plan has been drawn up to achieve the European goals.


Priorities and objectives of interventions are reviewed by the network in the light of European goals and objectives 

Focus on some European goals in

cooperation with VET providers from other Member States.

How is the degree to

which these goals/objectives are

fulfilled assessed?


The goals are communicated to



Results on specific indicators are

systematically collected.

Benchmarking of local / regional / sectoral VET performance with

other networks in order to generate ideas for improvement and to provide a standard by which to measure performance.


The other networks may be within the same geographical area or outside of it, and may be within the same application area or in another.


Assessment of the global and specific contribution of VET organizations to LLL and with respect to different VET fields

Self-evaluation process takes place every second year.


Departments make reports, supported by specific indicators, to


Describe the procedure

for planning within the quality approach.

(Description of the procedure) 

(Description of the procedure) 

(Description of the procedure)





Key questions

Possible answers at system level –

core quality criteria

Possible answers at network level –

core quality criteria

Possible answers at provider level – core quality criteria

How do you

implement a

planned action?


By legislation:


  • broad and narrow regulations, laws, rules,
  • national quality approach, 


By funding:


  • based on input, 
  • based on output.  


In cooperation with the social partners.

In cooperation with VET providers.

Promoting quality policies and development of systematic quality approach


Network coordinates stakeholder involvement


Network coordinates local adaption process


Local budgeting

Having a systematic quality approach and plan.


Sharing this with the other actors.


Involving local actors and adapting to local needs.


Investing in staff training.


Developing and communicating a staff

policy based on the strategies and planning of the VET provider’s organisation/institution.


Aligning tasks, authority and responsibilities.

Describe the key

principles in the




Giving full responsibility for

implementation to VET providers.


Setting up several minimum criteria

providers have to meet.


Giving a specific quality approach to be used by all providers.


Network supports providers by


  • defining criteria for good practice
  • promoting the exchange of good practice

Organising and allocating funds to:


  • finance and resources,
  • partnership,
  • leadership,
  • process management,
  • training of trainers. 


Demanding transparency and coherence with goals.


Involving different stakeholders in the



Ensuring good working conditions and facilities throughout the organisation.


Assessment & Evaluation


Key questions

Possible answers at system level – core quality criteria

Possible answers at network level –

core quality criteria

Possible answers at provider level – core quality criteria

Describe your process for assessing:


  • input
  • processes 




  • control systems,
  • inspectorates,
  • public access to the web,
  • benchmarking (with other providers).


By national standards on input, processes and output.


By assessing coherence between results and policy


Core set of common criteria and shared methods for self-evaluation process

(very likely to require local / regional accreditation schemes)


Adds criteria and methods not available on institute level, such as global impact, network and societal results


Building area specific indexes for local / regional input, processes and output indicators



  • self-evaluation,
  • external inspection,


Comparing actual with expected results.


Results of teaching/training and learning.


Staff-oriented results.


Key performance results.


Societal results.

How do you ensure that your assessment and evaluation is relevant and systematic?

By systematic procedures for data collection:


  • use of indicators,
  • measurements.


Promoting social validity of indicators and measure sticks

By asking users:

  • use of indicators,
  • measurement. 


Which stakeholders

participate in the

assessment and evaluation process?

The system level

and the social partners.


A quality institute.

Promoting multi-stakeholder / participatory approach to quality

Managers, teachers, students, parents and employers.

What roles do the

different stakeholders play?


Participation of relevant stakeholders in:


  • initiatives,
  • decisions,
  • evaluation,
  • certification,
  • political support,
  • legitimacy of political 

Relevant stakeholders participate in a broad range of activities:


  • initiatives,
  • decisions,
  • evaluation,
  • certification. 

When do you monitor, assess and evaluate


Before, during and after VET reforms every third to fifth year.

Annualy (according to SPEAK evaluation cycle)

Before, during and after the training activity.



Review & Improvement actions


Key questions

Possible answers at system

level – core quality criteria

Possible answers at network level –

core quality criteria

Possible answers at VET provider level – core quality criteria

How do you organise

feedback and

procedures for change?


The feedback procedures are defined by regulations and revised and changed through reforms of the VET system, e.g. every three to five years.

Promoting change management and learning approach


Risk management at the development of learning organisations

Feedback and procedures for change are an integral part of the provider’s own learning organisation.


How do you ensure

systematic feedback?


  • Feedback follows a predefined plan.
  • Feedback takes place on an ad hoc basis.

Clearly defined means of feedback on network level


Fixed procedures and time schedules of joint review process

Each department has to report to

management in accordance with a fixed plan.

How do you make the

feedback on quality in

VET transparent?


By placing data and conclusions on the homepage. By arranging several seminars / conferences on quality in VET.

Quality policy statements, core indicators, assessment methods, results of assessments are available throughout the network and to the public

All the information is accessible on the

provider’s homepage or on paper.


How do you ensure

that the results of the


are being used?


  • Through the transparency of the process,
  • through inspectors,
  • Through establishing complaints procedures.
  • Through sanctions and rewards / funding.

Evaluation results were reviewed and improvement areas are defined


Joint action plan for improvement is set up

Through a combination of control and development meetings with different departments in the institution.


Through participation of all the relevant stakeholders in the review work.

How do you relate

goals/objectives to

assessment and


During reforms.


When annual tenders are awarded.

Annual meetings of network committee (adjustment of shared goals and priortities)

At department and institution meetings

as a systematic part of the decisionmaking



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