O1: What data will help us understand the current state of the quality assurance in career guidance?

The first outcome of the project is an analytical paper, that will present findings and recommendations for the following points:

  • What is the real usage and spread of different trans-national quality standards and referentials for individual counsellors (European Career Guidance Certificates, NICE etc.) and for institutional providers of career guidances (e.g Quality Label “Bilan de compétences”) What is the real impact of these standards for the professionalization of career guidance provision?
  • How are different quality assurance approaches (focused on policy, organization, process, people, outputs/outcomes, consumption) used in selected european and non-european countries?
  • What are the factors in the development and implementation of different quality assurance approaches in career guidance that determine the impact on different target groups?
  • How are different guidelines for career guidance strategies and policies (ELGPN, european guidelines) implemented in different countries? What are the main challenges and how are they dealt with in different countries?
  • What best practices can be found that illustrate the main approaches in quality assurance in career guidance?
  • Content analysis of quality standards: What are the main quality areas in quality standards for career guidance counsellors and for organizational providers of career guidance?
  • Analysis of the relative weight of different components of quality standards: Which content elements/quality areas are key for the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance? Which ones are the most “difficult” to observe for individual counsellors and organizations?
  • What mechanisms are used to foster the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance for individual counsellors (e.g. mentoring)?
  • What mechanisms are used to foster the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance for organizations providing career guidance (quality development tools, self-evaluation, pre-audit procedures)?
  • What specific policy recommendations can be inferred from these findings?

An extensive preliminary research done during the preparation of the project showed that although many quality standards, guidelines, resource kits and other documents treating the quality assurance in career guidance exist, very little evidence has been collected on trans-national level and analyzed about their real impact.

The findings and recommendations from the analytical paper will serve as a resource for the development of other intellectual outputs of the project, that have important transfer potential. iCeGS is leading the development of this output. Currently, a data collection template is being prepared and we will start collecting relevant information from January 2018. The working methodology will be as follows:

  1. Overview by country – specific examples will be selected from partner countries and from countries outside of the consortium. Relevant information will be submitted through the online template.
  2. Surveys and focus groups – a more in-depth examination will be done for selected practices.
  3. Preparation of synthesis and case studies – selected examples of good (and bad) practice will be part of the synthesis paper, that will contain specific recommendations and conclusions in regards to other project outputs.

The template will be published on this website in the coming weeks. Feel free to contact us if you wish to contribute to our research efforts.

Kicking off the project: report from the 1st partner meeting in Bratislava

The first meeting of the project partnership was held in Bratislava the 26/27th October 2017. For many partners, this was a first personal meeting (aside from Skype meetings before the start of the project). What was on the agenda?

  • Presentation of project partners and of the QA systems for career guidance in their respective countries. This part took almost the whole first day, as it covered Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Norway and Slovak republic.
  • Presentation of the project goals, time schedule, financial and management plan, foreseen dissemination activities and internal evaluation system.
  • Preparation of the IO1 (analytical paper) by Vanessa Dodd (ICeGS), who joined us through Skype
  • Group work – needs of stakeholders and national expectations – a more interactive part of the second day that allowed all the partners (including the project coordinators) to have a clearer vision of the project objectives and perspectives of the partnership members.

Overall, the kick-off meeting was very productive and inspiring on its own. We are looking forward to our common achievements!

 

Qual-IM-G project leader: Why we started this project?

In a short interview, Tomas Sprlak (chairman of the Association of Career Guidance and Career Development, Slovakia) as the project leader briefly presents the rationale of the initiatives and the vision of the project on national and international level.

What is the project QUAL-IM-G all about?

We were inspired to do this project by the situation in our country – Slovakia. Career guidance is developing rapidly and we are in the process of creating national quality standards. In our research we found out that many national and transnational projects were carried out in recent years in the field of quality assurance for career guidance and most of them focus on development of some sort of quality standard. However, experience shows that although these standards are often of a very high quality, their impact rarely goes beyond the scope of the project partnership, project duration or specific sector. Our project wants to produce sustainable and transferable outcomes that will directly strengthen the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance. We want to take a look at how these different quality assurance approaches work in real life settings.

What are the specific project goals?

A very strong partnership was built around this initiative, connecting roof organizations (such as National Guidance forum in Germany, professional associations from Netherlands, Czechia and Slovakia), research institutions (International Centre for Guidance Studies, Inland University Norway) and experts in training and quality assurance (ABIF, BKS Uspech, OZ Better Future). All partners are interested to improve the quality assurance for career guidance in their countries. Moreover, the project coincides with the process of development of quality standards in Norway, Czechia and Slovakia.

Which target group(s) does it want to address?

Every client and beneficiary of course benefits from a better quality of career guidance! So this is the ultimate target group of our project, although the outcomes will mainly be targeted to roof organizations and bodies regulating career guidance in different countries.

 

Which results do you expect from the project?

We will start with an international research study on best practices for quality assurance in career guidance. We will try to find some answers to some of the questions, that will drive forward the quality assurance for career guidance beyond partner countries: What is the real usage and spread of different trans-national quality standards for individual counsellors and for institutional providers ? What is the real impact of these standards for the profesionalization of career guidance provision? What are the factors in the development and implementation of different quality assurance approaches in career guidance that determine the impact on different target groups?
Following this research we will produce transferable tools for the implementation of QA in career guidance:
– a mentoring program for career guidance practitioners to prepare them for quality assurance procedure
– certification procedure of career guidance practitioners (self-assessment and assessment tools, lists of required evidence, personal portfolio, individual library of tools…)
– Quality development framework for organizations providing guidance
– Audit/labelling procedure for organizational providers of career guidance

What activities do you plan within the project (workshops, training activities, conferences…)?

Apart from partner meetings, three international conferences will be organized during the duration of the project: in UK (May 2018), Netherlands (November 2018), and Slovakia (September 2019). We foresee training activities that will allow us to test the mentoring program and the certification/audit process with individual counsellors in Austria, Germany, Czechia and Slovakia! Keep your eyes on the project website for more information! http://guidancequality.eu