EuropeActive is pleased to confirm that it has been selected for a project in the Erasmus+ Programme in Key Action 3 which is looking to reform initiatives for policy innovation in the area of recognising international qualifications/frameworks in the context of the EQF. The project includes the European Confederation of Outdoor Employers (EC-OE) and will take the active leisure sector qualification framework (SQF) through the stages of referencing directly to the EQF. The SQF was developed as part of the technical work in the European Skills Competencies Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) which identified the key skills needed for the main occupations in the fitness and outdoor sectors. EuropeActive and EC-OE have already been informally referencing their standards to the EQF and the new project will help to give this much higher relevance.
EuropeActive will be coordinating closely with other initiatives in this area, and with independent experts and policy officers from DG EMPL. The project will look at all of the instruments, processes and procedures needed to ensure the outcome is transparent and quality-assured through the active leisure sector skills council. There are 5 main components to the project:
- The occupational standards used in active leisure are already based on the learning outcomes approach, but there will need to be a demonstration that they have been developed in a transparent way, and that meet the approval of the principal stakeholders of the sector (viz. employers, employees, VET providers and higher education). The processes will need to carefully explained and verified.
- The sector will need to set-up appropriate procedures for including the (nominated) occupational standards into the SQF, and within the level descriptors of the EQF. This process will need to be a transparent and to be justified in its rigor, so that it is considered proportionate and appropriate in its application.
- There will need to be clearly demonstrable processes and procedures to show underpinning quality assurance arrangements, and/or if this is not currently satisfactory what mechanisms will need to be put into place to provide for those reliable quality assurance processes. For any sector this is perhaps the most challenging area.
- There is the involvement of an (international) expert(s) that will build the proposition that the requirement of showing a clear and demonstrable link between the SQF levels and those of the EQF is substantiated. The position of the external expert will also serve as the proof that the referencing of the active leisure SQF to the EQF is robust, reliable, and has been done in a transparent and open manner.
- Of the 10 principles established by the EQF Advisory Board for the Member State NQF referencing to the EQF, numbers 1-8 inclusive will be used as the basis so that, as far as is possible, and within the current terms of reference the SQF position will replicate that of an NQF up to the point of submission to the EQF Advisory Board.
Towards the end of the project there will be a plenary meeting to review the proposals and to change any relevant aspects of the final report. Representatives from the European Commission, EACEA, Cedefop and experts from the Member States will be invited to contribute to the meeting. The timing and location will be made available for other experts to attend.
The action starts on August 1st 2016 and will run for 2 years.