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