Validation of Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning: The case study of Personal Assistants

6 Participating countries:
Start: 01/10/2009
Project Reference: 503074-LLP-1-2009-1-CY-LEONARDO-LMP
Part of :

Education and training\Life long learning (2007-2013)\LEONARDO DA VINCI\Multilateral projects on Innovation

Summary

Based on the EU policies related to the recognition of qualifications, EUPA's main objective is to develop a model for the recognition & validation of the qualifications of a sector based on learning outcomes. The sector of Personal Assistants (PAs) has been selected (as a case study) for the following reasons: 1. PAs often do not have academic qualifications which makes the validation of other skills and competences a necessity. 2. Most of the inactive women when entering the labour market request a position as a secretary or a PA & in many cases they have no formal qualifications. Evaluation of their non formal & informal learning will ease their access to the employment market. 3. PAs are of vital importance in every EU company. Their role has been upgraded during the last decade. The main objectives are: 1. To develop qualifications framework for Pas based on learning outcomes (LOs) 2. To identify LOs that may be easier to be developed through non formal & informal learning and to use this information to design methodological tools to be used during formal training for these outcomes. 3. To develop, with the aid of an Assessment Tool, a European certification for secretaries and PAs. The Assessment Tool will be two dimensional & will use different methodological tools for the assessment of different learning outcomes. Therefore, when customized, it can be used across sectors. 4. To develop a modular curriculum & training material that will enable PAs to certify and to assign credits to the modules of this curriculum
Main deliverables will be in Greek, English, Swedish, Slovak. The objectives will be achieved through an innovative methodology where assessment is performed before & after the training in different target sectors. EUPA will raise awareness on the issue of qualifications recognition for low activity countries(GR,CY,SK) while it will develop assessment & methodological tools, materials etc to support the recognition of qualifications.

Results

Description

Three different questionnaires have been designed (one of them targets PAs, the other General Managers and the third Other Stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, associates etc). Questionnaires will examine two important factors:
1) the main areas of a Pa's work and
2) the importance of various learning outcomes that a PA needs to possess


Other data
Typology: Other
Description

The three questionnaires developed were translated in the local languages of the countries that will be involved in the Research (Greek and Slovak)


Other data
Typology: Other
Description

Distribution of questionnaires to Pas, Managers and Stakeholders. In total 90 participants took place in the research (30 from each country, 10 from each category)


Other data
Typology: Other
Description

Three reports were developed analysing the results for each target group. The reports are identifying the perceptions of PAs, Managers and Other Stakeholders related to the knowledge, skills and competences a personal assistant should have, as well as the perceived importance of learning outcomes. The main idea of the report is to identify in which level Pas in those countries are, as well as what is the importance of each LO so that credits can be assigned.


Other data
Description

A qualifications framework for Pas is designed based on learning outcomes being classified into knowledge, skills and competences.
The Qualifications Framework consists of 139 Learning Outcomes in 5 Levels. It involves the following work areas:
2.1 Basic Office Procedures
2.2 General Knowledge of office equipment
2.3 Basic Business Communication
2.4 Basic Written Communication
2.5 Maintenance of established filing system and Basic Business Documentation
2.6 Handling basic business transactions and payments
2.7 Organise Business Travel and Accommodation, Organise and support meetings & Handling Diary Systems
2.8 Demonstrate basic knowledge of ICT skills
3.1 Work within business environment
3.2 Use Office equipment/ office technology
3.3 Telephone Handling / Intermediate Communication Skills
3.4 Preparing Documents/Intermediate Written Communication
3.5 Development of a filing system for Storing and Retrieving information
3.6 Diary management, planning,organisation and support of meetings
3.7 Taking care of visitors
3.8 Demonstrate advanced competence in ICT skills
3.9 Building Relationships with colleagues/helpers/clients
3.10 Implementation of a project
3.11 Dealing with Administrative HR Issues
3.12 Dealing with Accounting and Financial Issues
3.13 Understanding and Applying Mathmatical operations
3.14 Cultural awareness and expression
3.15 Deal orally or in writing with key work tasks in at least foreign language
4.1 Managing Projects
4.2 Dealing with Human Resource Issues
4.3 Originating Documents including Proformas
4.4 Supervising staff
4.5 Office effectiveness and efficiency
4.6 Enhancing team dynamics
4.7 Advanced Communication
4.8 Communication in at least one foreign language
5.1 Provide Assistance on a corporate level
5.2 Leading and Managing staff
5.3 Involved in innovation and change
5.4 .Psychology of Leadership
5.5 Organising events and conferences
5.6 PA as a Manager
5.7 Managing a Customer Service & Complaints Process
5.8 Auditing Legislation & Quality Assurance in the Office


Other data
Typology: Product 4 - New curricula and qualifications
Description

The qualifications framework is translated into Swedish, Slovak and Greek


Other data
Typology: Product 4 - New curricula and qualifications
Description

EUPA assessment tool is an innovative tool that enables the assessment of a PA on level 2. There are 31 learning outcomes in level 2, therefore the assessment tool assesses each of the learning outcomes. The assignment points for each of the learning outcomes respond to the credits assigned to that learning outcome on the qualification framework.
For each of the learning outcomes the assessment tool presents
• The assessment criteria
• The methodological tools to assess these criteria (EUPA assessment tool is a two dimensional tool linking learning outcomes with methodological tools )
Different types of assessment methodologies are used such as:
• Reflective discussions
• Observations
• Multiple choice
• Knowledge tests/Written exercises
• Role plays
• E-assessments
• Portfolio of evidence
• Witness testimony
For example, to assess telephone communication a role play is a more suitable methodological tool than a written exercise. Additionally, the assessment tool provides assessors with the key points they should look for during the assessment (in case of reflective discussions) or the correct answer in case of a multiple choice etc.
EUPA assessment tool is accompanied with assessors training pack which provides assessors with different grids to facilitate the assessment using the techniques mentioned above.
It should be noted that one of the objectives of EUPA is to convert the assessment tool into an assessment template to be used in the assessment of qualifications of different sectors. This will be done during the phase of the project: Project findings, results and conclusions.
EUPA assessment tool is a confidential product. Interested parties may communicate with the coordinator on eu@mmclearningsolutions.com


Other data
Typology: Product 4 - New curricula and qualifications
Description

Training of assessors took place in January 2011 in Larissa, The objective of the training was the effective use of EUPA Assessment Tool, as well as the correct interpretation of the result.

After the training assessors were in the potition to:
1) Use tools and techniques to make the PA comfortable with the situation and understand the process
2) Understand the objectives of each of the exercises/interview questions/simulations etc and practice on their solutions
3) Improve their interviewing skills and practice on the specific questions included in the EUPA assessment tool
4) Be able to use the declarative statements and assess the simulations
5) Mark the exercises/questions and simulations in a standard manner so that all PAs receive fair treatment during the assessment
6) Interpret the results of the assessment


Other data
Typology: Other
Description

A dissemination strategy guide is developed that lies on four basic public relations princibles:

1. Be visible
2. Be informed
3. Be consistent
4. Be constructive

The dissemination guide has two main objectives:
1) General promotion of the project and its findings and results through web development, posters newslettes etc
2) Providing each target audience with information that is valuable for them, involving the target group, informing policy makers on issues they would be interested in, informing trainers and VET institutions on issues related to the training of this sector.


Other data
Typology: Product 1 - Reports and studies
Description

A website is specially designed for promoting EUPA project: aims, objectives, results


Other data
Url:
Typology: Product 9 - Websites, databases
Description

160 Posters have been developed, containg the same message in three languages (GR, EN, SK). Posters have been designed and disseminated to partners. Posters are displayed at Partners offices and training rooms. They have also been disseminated to various interested parties and public bodies.


Other data
Url:
Typology: Other
Description

A dissemination strategy guide is developed that lies on four basic public relations princibles:

1. Be visible
2. Be informed
3. Be consistent
4. Be constructive

The dissemination guide has two main objectives:
1) General promotion of the project and its findings and results through web development, posters newslettes etc
2) Providing each target audience with information that is valuable for them, involving the target group, informing policy makers on issues they would be interested in, informing trainers and VET institutions on issues related to the training of this sector.


Other data
Typology: Product 1 - Reports and studies

Coordinator

MMC Management Centre Ltd

Imvrou street, 16, 1055, Nicosia
christiana@editc.com
0035722466633


Partners

"DIMITRA" Institute of Training and Development - GREECEName: GEORGE PETROU
PALAIOLOGOU, 19 41223 Larissa
0030 2410554026
Konrad Associates International - EnglandName: John Konrad
April Cottage, Chestnut Avenue Chichester West Sussex , PO19 5QE Chichester
0044 1243 790909
Folkuniversitetet Kursverksamheten vid Uppsala Uni - SWEEDENName: Ali Rashidi
Portalgatan 2A, Box 386, 751 06 Uppsala
+4618680060
Orbis Institute - SLOVAKIAName: Katarína Zaťková
Bárdošova, 3 831 01 Bratislava
'421905471206
European Management Assistants -FranceName: Maria Lazarou
La Maison de l'Europe, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 35/37 F-75004 Paris
35799628816
CYPRUS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRYName: Leonidas Pachalides
38 GRIVA DIGENIS AVENUE AND 3 DELIGIORGIS STREET, , 1066 NICOSIA
+ 357 22889840
EDITC LtdName: Maria Knais
Imvrou street , 16 1055 Nicosia
+357 22 46 66 36

Disclaimer

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