1 University of Duisburg-Essen (GERMANY)
2 Technological Educational Institute of Athens (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 7224 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Agriculture in Europe is suffering from a lack of qualified employees, as the demand for qualified farm workers and managers is not satisfied by an adequate supply of properly trained staff or training opportunities, especially in the light of environmental, economic and territorial challenges.
Thus, Competence Modelling is raising the awareness and interest of stakeholders in lifelong learning in the agricultural sector: It is gaining importance for organisations and their human resource development, for employees and individual learners, for education and training providers as well as for political decision maker.

ECVET (European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training) directly addressed these needs, its broader objectives being:
(1) to promote trans-national mobility primarily within the European Union, and
(2) to facilitate life-long learning. However, adoption of ECVET still poses quite some challenges: the scope of qualifications, based on units of learning outcomes, is still poorly specified in many sectors (in particular in agriculture), while at the same time the ECVET system - being based on mutual trust - needs to be carefully aligned to quality assurance procedures between different education systems, domains and countries.

In this situation, two research projects of the European Union aim to support stakeholders in agriculture by facilitating mobility between different sectors and different countries:
A) The ACT project (Agricultural Alliance for Competence and Skills based Training) focuses on the development the reference framework “Pathways for Agricultural Competence and skills based Training (PACT)”. It will contribute to making definitions of competences reusable and accessible across learning and recruitment systems, thus facilitating the development of additional services related to the generation of personal profiles, achieved learning outcomes and competences. The PACT Framework - matching emerging job profiles and existing training opportunities - will be a valuable approach to linking of training opportunities and units of training to learning outcomes, the expression of job profiles through the use of competence descriptions and the generation of personal profiles of achieved learning outcomes and competences;
B) The ECVET-STEP project (ECVET for Strengthening Training to Employment Pathways) focusses on the development of an ECVET Capability Maturity Framework (CMF) which will allow VET-related organisations and individual actors across Europe, starting from the agricultural domain but ranging to other domains and sectors, to track their performance and to assure and control the quality of the integration of the ECVET system into their existing processes and workflows. ECVET STEP supports organisations to follow a step-wise, quality-controlled approach in adopting ECVET.

The project builds upon a design patterns approach, developing shareable and reusable units of learning outcomes (RULOs). RULOs contain descriptions for the components of the qualification consisting of a coherent set of knowledge, skills and competence which can be accumulated, assessed, validated and transferred according to specific rules, criteria and credits. A methodology for creating RULOs in such a way that they are reusable and sharable across different domains, educational levels and contexts (formal, informal and non-formal) will be described.
The presentation will give insights in the actual status of the projects.
ECVET, competence modelling, agriculture, project, framework.