As underlined in the recent study of Panteia “Developing the adult learning sector”, “In most countries there is a consensus that quality assurance systems should be developed for the adult learning sector, and especially for the non-formal sector. Most countries are currently developing or revising their legislative framework for adult learning, putting more focus on quality assurance mechanisms. In the last few years, most countries produced white papers, communications, policy proposals and lifelong learning strategies in which they emphasise the importance of quality assurance. Nevertheless, the main challenge is to implement these strategies. Experience shows that it takes a long time to build consensus on the idea and content of quality systems”.
PRALINE aims at developing innovative and sustainable initiatives to support Adult Learning providers, specifically those of the non-formal domain, in approaching Quality Assurance in their organization and training provision. Indeed Quality culture, intended as aware focus on learning outcomes, sector professionals' training, resources, models of management, organizational patterns, is a priority in the EU Agenda for AL aimed at ensuring the "possibilities for adults to access high-quality learning opportunities, regardless of gender and their personal and family circumstances".
To do this, PRALINE partners have set up a double action strategy that whilst rises the awareness of the importance of investing in Quality by initiating AL providers through a “Warming-up Strategy for developing a Quality Culture", calls for a different mind-set offering an engaging tool, based on a bottom-up approach, friendly, able to ensure a focus on learning outcomes and aware of the different/flexible needs of adult learners: Peer Review. It combines self-evaluation and external evaluation carried out by "persons of equal standing" with the persons whose performance is reviewed: Peers. Already implemented successfully in iVET and cVET in previous EU projects by some of the partners it has proven easy to be used and coherent with the primarily informal approaches that characterise AL at large.
PRALINE 9-partners multi-actor Consortium from IT, LT, AT, PT, MT, HU and FR will contribute to turn quality in Formal and Non-formal AL providers into practice by implementing the following activities:
- Design of the “Warming-up strategy for developing a quality culture”, based on a in-depth desk analysis of needs and challenges of the Adult Learning Sector, also integrated by context surveys and learners needs analysis
- Carrying out of the Warming-up Strategy, throughout the whole project development and by the means of events, marketing campaigns, quality prize, informative workshops, initiation to Peer Review, etc..
- Adaptation of the Peer Review Methodology for the AL sectors, by the revision of the TOOL-BOX (Quality Areas and indicators) and the Manual
- Transnational training for trainers, targeting staff of the partners’ organizations who need to acquire specific competences on the adapted methodology as well as on how to transfer it to other AL providers
- Training for Peers at national level as a way to involve and motivate further AL providers in implementing PR in their organizations
- Piloting of the Adapted Peer Review methodology in at least 15 Formal & Non formal AL providers in IT, PT, LT, MT and FR
- Review and finalization of the adapted Peer Review Methodology through qualitative analysis and with the involvement of AL providers, learners, stakeholder and policy makers
- Production of Recommendations for developing a quality culture and implementing peer review in formal and non-formal adult learning sector
- Dissemination/exploitation of the results.
The process of transferring and adaptation of the PR methodology, by producing Quality Areas and indicators adequate to AL sector, represents an innovative contribution to the European discussion on quality in adult learning: it will generate a common framework for QA in AL, coherent with the EQAVET indicators and applicable beyond PR for the assessment of adult learning processes and outcomes.
Last but not least PRALINE promotes an active involvement of Adult learners in two key activities: the Warming-up Strategy and the review and finalization as partners strongly believe that through a participatory process, on one side the developed tools will be more responsive to the sector needs and, on the other, learners will become promoters of a quality provision in Formal & Non-formal Learning, able to impact on them in terms of up-skilling competences and increase participation rate (EU priorities set for the Adult Education).