New VET and E-Learning Standard NP 4512:2012 Now Available
Q-Cert-VET partners in Portugal, Germany, and Romania responsible for pilot-testing have been active since the beginning of the public inquiry phase last April. Pilot-testing began in Portugal with the initial version of the standard in the Portuguese language, allowing for punctual testing without the need for translation. Two different training companies in Portugal, Prisma and iZone, have been using the standard to assist in structuring their training programmes. The Prisma Training Institute, located in Lisbon, has adopted NP 4512:2012 to its various training offers in the fields of IT and project management. iZone Knowledge Systems, also located in Lisbon, is using the standard in similar fields. Their use of the standard provided the first feedback on its practical advantages, helping to prepare the standard for its international application at Q-Cert-VET pilot-testing partners in Romania and Germany. They now await auditors to examine their implementation of NP4512 and to determine that it fulfils the prescribed requirements.
The implementation process of the Portuguese Standard NP4512:2012 at the Regional Training Centre for Local Public Administration Cluj-Napoca has been systematically and successfully carried out. Active preparations for the pilot test started in July 2012, before the Romanian version of the NP4512:2012 had been delivered and the actual implementation process could be started, the Romanian project team prepared themselves by getting familiar with ISO 9000:2005 and ISO 9001:2008, since CRFCAPL possessed no implemented quality management system and thus no experience with the terminology and requirements of such standards. However, this lack of specific knowledge proved to be no impediment at all for the conduct of the pilot testing. According to CRFCAPL, once the project team became acquainted with the Portuguese Standard all worries were lifted – the new standard successfully extracted the structure and requirements of ISO 9001:2008 and integrated them into the context of training institutions. Thus, most of the requirements seemed very precise and self-explanatory to the CRFCAPL team. The more complex requirements are accompanied by notes explaining terms and statements which could give raise to uncertainties. All of these, together with the very useful annexes which add informative value to the standard, provided great help during the implementation process. As soon as the training centre concludes its preparations, auditors trained in NP4512 will investigate its implementation in the Romanian context.
In Germany, Q-Cert-VET pilot-testing partner Helliwood Media & Education is underway with the implementation of NP4512 through certification scheme OEC010. Helliwood is currently identifying and defining the processes and sub-processes required for the structure of the new standard. As Helliwood had already implemented another standard, the “Quality Mark E-Learning” (QSEL), a comparison of the QSEL with the NP4512 made particularly evident the innovative aspects of the new NP4512 standard. The new standard fits Helliwood’s needs for E-Learning very well – their typical work processes include the development, implementation, and maintenance of professional multimedia and E-Learning applications for clients and in cooperation with different partners projects within the fields of learning and literacy, media competence, and community. As with the other pilot-testing companies, auditors trained in NP4512 will examine their implementation of the new standard, to ensure that the proper steps have been taken and that Helliwood’s identified work processes fit its requirements. Thus an example case for the applicability of the standard in the German national context will be established.
For more information on the Q-Cert-VET project and the standard NP4512, as well as more specific information concerning its pilot-testing phase (upon its conclusion), please visit the project website at http://www.edu-certification.eu/, like the project’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Q-Cert-VET-Project/172878489488991, and follow the project Twitter account at https://twitter.com/#!/QCertVET for the latest project news.
Q-Cert-Vet is the European research project for the quality certification (Q-Cert) of vocational education and training (VET) and is co-funded by the European Commission. The European initiative Q-Cert-VET develops a new quality standard and supports a related certification scheme for the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Portugal.
The project Q-Cert-VET develops a national quality standard and initiates the development of required tools for professional quality certification. The reference framework QPL (short for Quality Platform Learning), developed in Germany, provides the basis for the new quality standard and related instruments and tools for the certification scheme, including the first training course for lead auditors. A strong desire from the Q-Cert-VET consortium members goes beyond a national quality standard: the evaluated and optimized quality certification standard will be submitted to the European standardization CEN TC 353 to become an official European Norm (EN) for Quality and Certification in vocational education and training.
The consortium of Q-Cert-VET is coordinated and led by Center for Research and Innovation in Business Sciences and Information Systems (CIICESI). It includes eight partners from four countries: Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Romania. The University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, one of the Q-Cert-VET project partners and the project co-coordinator, is author and auditor of QPL and providing long-term expertise in learning quality.
More information about Q-Cert-VET is available online soon at www.edu-certification.eu
Dipl.-Wirt.-Inf. Tatiana Shamarina-Heidenreich
University of Duisburg-Essen, Campus Essen
Information Systems for Production and Operations Management
Universitaetsstr. 9 (FB WIWI: ICB)
D-45141 Essen (Germany)
Office: R09 S02 B89
T: +49-(0) 201-183 4304
F: +49-(0) 201-183 4067
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