In response to the challenging circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the EASO Training and Professional Development Centre has made a strategic decision to engage fully in virtual delivery, in order to ensure that training activities continue without affecting either the quantity, or the quality of the sessions.
We had to adapt fast and learn innovative ways to deliver training sessions and we have modified our training programmes as well as our trainer’s manuals, and developed detailed scripts to ensure good management of a training session in a virtual learning context. It seems that we succeeded!
said an EASO Training Officer.
EASO training activities saw an increase of 17% with over 4 500 individual participants, and a satisfaction rate that remained consistent compared to previous years.
Our experience made us fully aware of the challenges which virtual delivery brings to both our trainers and trainees. We built on this experience, developed solutions and provided support in an effective and efficient way.
During the Network Contact Point and Trainers Network Meetings we had the opportunity to discuss and exchange best practices. EASO trainers organised a set of presentations and workshops to provide practical advice, guidance and effective tools to help trainers facilitate training in the virtual environment. EASO reaffirms its intention to provide continuous support to the Member States and help them to adapt their training accordingly.
Focus on Training Quality Standards
This year has been an exceptional year for EASO training.
One of our priorities in 2020 has been to develop a robust training quality framework that will guide everything we do from training needs analysis, through the design and development of training, to delivery and evaluation. This means putting solid policies, processes and procedures in place in the view of aligning our training to European quality assurance standards. If 2020 has been intense in this respect, 2021 will see the start of the transition period when we take the steps needed to put the training quality framework into place.
The training quality framework and the transition plan were two of the main points on the agenda for recent meetings with our main stakeholders.
Meetings with the Certification and Accreditation Working Group and EASO Training National Contact Points were the culmination of a journey during which Member States have supported us to understand what implications any changes will have in their national context and to suggest the practicalities for a smooth transition.
The Trainers Network Meeting was a first opportunity to explain in detail the transition process and gauge the initial reactions of our trainers. We are very pleased to say that the feedback was extremely positive and the enthusiasm from trainers was overwhelming.
A Training Quality Framework – Why?
Having a documented framework is essential for putting in place quality standards and nurturing a culture of quality. It ensures that all stakeholders involved in EASO training have a common understanding of what we mean by quality in the context of our training.
It provides a support for maintaining consistently high standards. Importantly, we will have a system in place to evaluate our efforts and act on recommendations to ensure continuous improvement.
The framework will form the blueprint of solid foundations to achieve accreditation for our Training Curriculum.
A Training Quality Framework – How?
We have developed a transition plan to guide the Centre throughout the process of gradually achieving this robust quality system over the coming years. It informs the steps needed to take to put the quality framework in place.
One of the key elements in ensuring a robust training system is to be able to assess whether learners have achieved the intended outcomes of the learning. For this reason, we are redesigning and fine-tuning learning outcomes and developing assessment strategies for each module.
In 2021, existing trainers will be given the opportunity to become certified trainers. This means that they will be able to follow the Assessor’s Module and have their knowledge and experience recognised through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Assessments (in the event that they have delivered less than three training sessions in a module). As you can see from the 2021 EASO Training Plan, the process will initially involve trainers in the EASO Core Modules.