Career guidance practitioners play a fundamental role in fostering adult participation in education (Lisbon European Council -2000, Copenhagen Declaration -2002, EC Resolution on Career Guidance 9286/04, EC Resolution on Career Guidance 2008/C 319/02), but in most European countries the qualifications of careers guidance practitioners are mainly based on informal and non-formal learning and are not formally recognized (Cedefop 2009, Professionalizing Career Guidance. Practitioners competences and qualification routes in Europe)
Several frameworks have been recently developed in Europe to validate the non-formal learning and more in general the competence of European Career Guidance practitioners (for example ENTO, ISO, MEVOC, EAF, IAEVG, CEDEFOP 2009 Competence Framework) and some other are currently being implemented in other EU countries).
Cedefop has recently produced (2009) a set of Guidelines for Validating non-formal and informal learning.
Improve (510640-LLP-1-2010-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP) is an international project co-financed by the European Commission within the Lifelong learning programme Grundtvig which includes the development and testing of a Guide to Validation of Non-Formal Learning in Career Guidance Practitioners coherent with the European Guidelines.
The consortium of project partners is composed of organisation from six countries (Spain, Check Republic, Greece, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain) involved in research and training in the field of career guidance and in the delivery of career guidance services. In each country a defined number of practitioners and stakeholders were invited to take part in the validation process and to evaluate and feedback the developed model. The partners seek the following through IMPROVE:
- to understand better how the existing frameworks for validating the competence of career guidance practitioners work,
- to evaluate how effectively the frameworks assess non-formal learning,
- to identify how the efficacy of the frameworks can be improved, and finally
- to evaluate how the recent Cedefop Guidelines on assessment of non-formal learning and work and can be applied to the existing frameworks.
The project Improve aims:
- to compare 5 of the existing frameworks to check compatibility with the Cedefop Guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning and when needed to advice which changes to adopt to make each of them compatible with the Cedefop Guidelines, and
- to develop and pilot a Guide to the Validation of Non-Formal Learning in Career Guidance Practitioners coherent with the Cedefop Guidelines. The Guide will be focused on how to perform effective validation procedures with Career Guidance practitioners, so to foster effective validation practice and piloted with 120 Career Guidance practitioners in partner countries