Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

EQAVET quality assurance cycle

There are many ways to quality assure VET provision at the system and provider level. The approach described in the EQAVET Framework is based on a four-stage process which supports continual improvement. This process uses the Deming Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) as shown above. 

The processes set out in this quality assurance cycle are being used at the VET system level, the VET provider level and for different aspects of VET e.g. to improve the design of vocational qualifications, to support on-line learning, to strengthen an accreditation or validation system etc. Across Europe, this quality assurance cycle is being applied to initial and continuing VET, work-based learning, apprenticeships. blended learning, the accreditation of prior learning and experience and the development of full and partial qualifications. 

As the cycle supports continual change and improvement, each VET system or provider can begin the quality assurance process at any one of the stages e.g. 

  • when looking at the quality assurance of a new VET procedure (e.g. the design of new qualifications) it may be better to begin with the planning stage 
  • when adapting an existing VET procedure (e.g. the transfer of centre-based learning to on-line or blended provision) it may be better to begin by implementing the existing quality assurance processes and then evaluating its effectiveness 
  • for well-established VET processes, evaluating the effectiveness of the current arrangements is often the first stage of the quality assurance cycle 
  • when considering new policies or approaches to VET (e.g. increasing the amount of time learners are based in a working environment) the review of the existing arrangements is often considered to be the first stage of the quality assurance process 

Irrespective of where the quality assurance journey begins, high quality VET is achieved by using all four stages of the cycle. The EQAVET framework has led to the creation of a wide range of quality assurance approaches in Member States in order to meet national and regional needs, circumstances and traditions. All of these approaches use the EQAVET cycle, indicators and indicative descriptors to underpin and support national, regional or local approaches to quality assurance. 

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