Recognition and validation of learning outcomes and qualifications in nature-based and rural tourism sector in the framework of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) or ECVET ENS 2.0 is a project funded under the Erasmus+ programme KA2 VET.
The project started on 01 December 2016 and will last for 30 months. The goal of the project is to provide training for certification at EU level of the professional figures of rural tourism sector, more precisely the Nature- and Rural Tourism Guide and the Rural and Agro-Tourism Accommodation Manager.
Tourism constitutes one of most important economic sectors in Europe, with a very significant occupational relevance. Within tourism sector and activities, a growing importance is more and more acquired by nature-based tourism segment.
LdV ToI project “European Nature System - ENS: An ECVET process to put in transparency and recognise across Europe the learning outcomes and the qualifications of the professional figures in the nature-based tourism sector”, ended in 2013, has allowed formalisation and pilot test on the enforcement in national and regional qualification systems of involved countries (among which, Italy and Austria) of a MoU ECVET (which is now included in the examples for establishing a MoU provided at EU level by the ECVET toolkit team, www.ecvet-toolkit.eu) for the European qualification in nature-based sector, establishing the European correspondence for assessment, transfer, and accumulation processes of learning outcomes achieved in formal, informal and non formal contexts, for the qualifications Nature- and Rural Tourism Guide, Rural and Agro-Tourism Accommodation Manager.
Till now, 96 Italian and Austrian professionals and trainees in nature-based tourism sector and people on the labour market interested to the recognition of learning outcomes and professional qualifications established by MoU, have signed an individual Learning Agreement ECVET with VET providers, to describe and formalise, in compliance with MoU and territorial rules on transparency and recognition in force in concerned territories, the learning process in formal, informal and non formal contexts, and related ECVET credits to be obtained to gain the qualification.
To support the concrete development of ECVET process activated by ENS, giving to VET learners already involved and to new ones, also in other European countries (like Republic of Macedonia and Greece) and for new/updated sectoral competence standards accordingly to needs emerging from labour market, the real possibility to obtain recognition of learning outcomes and qualifications established by MoU, and to support further steps in the ENS innovation process, in particular for development and testing, accordingly to competence standards formalised by MoU ECVET, of VET curricula and courses characterised by innovative approaches and tools for work based learning, virtual and real mobility, open educational resources and full exploitation of ICT potential, the main activities of the strategic partnership will be:
- updating of ENS analysis on existing figures and profiles in VET systems of involved countries, EQF classification of those, updating of the ENS European common professional perimeter concerned by the project;
- updating of ENS analysis about experiences/good practices on transparency/recognition of learning outcomes/qualifications, and on ECVET process;
- updating of ENS design of common competence standards also including new competence standards accordingly to labour market needs;
- definition and signature of revised MoU ECVET ENS, accordingly to updated and new common competence standards;
- design of common European VET curricula (training standards) corresponding to competence standard formalised by revised MoU ECVET ENS;
- design and organisation of VET courses allowing the qualifications concerned by revised MoU ECVET ENS (learning methods and tools, also for work based and virtual learning, real work life cases study, learning mobility);
- updating of common models ENS for Learning Agreements ECVET, and for ECVET Credits Awarding with Europass Certificate Supplement, to be applied within VET courses;
- endorsement of revised MoU ECVET ENS professional standards, and of the new training standards (VET curricula and courses design) within NQFs/RQFs of involved countries.
Beyond these preparatory and implementation activities, project includes training activities (delivering of VET courses designed for concerned qualifications in each involved country, also by learning mobility abroad: courses will be attended by at least 30 people who have signed the Learning Agreement ECVET ENS, or who will sign its updated version), management activities (management and coordination of project partnership and activities, included partnership agreement definition, set-up and maintenance of project website, budget control and time management and transnational project meetings; project quality planning and management), dissemination of targeted written material and policy recommendations, and multiplier events (Info-days/Focus Groups on project results in each involved country).
It's expected that activities will enhance mobility in concerned sector, contributing to the emergence of generally accepted competence and training standards, with a significant impact on targeted VET learners and on public and private sectoral decision-makers and end-users, during and after the project.