ERI holds a seminar on the English framework

The Educational Research Institute held a seminar on "Standards and Assessment in Vocational Qualifications" on February 10, 2012. The seminar provided an opportunity for our team of experts to obtain a more detailed understanding of how the English qualifications framework functions.

The meeting began with a brief welcome and introduction by NQF project leader, Dr Agnieszka Chłoń-Domińczak, who was followed by Mr. Peter Harris, a representative of Pearson, a British firm, who presented the system of vocational qualifications that can be acquired in England. Mr Harris, a former employee of England’s Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and now the manager of qualifications regulations at Pearson, presented the English qualifications framework and models of awarding and verifying qualifications (understood primarily as various types of diplomas and certificates).

Seminar participants, who were invited representatives of institutions involved in vocational education and ERI staff,  could learn about the specific history of establishing the English qualifications framework. It is worth mentioning that there are three different Qualifications Frameworks in the United Kingdom: English, Scottish and Welsh. Peter Harris delivered a very interesting presentation about the system of creating new qualifications, managing the process of awarding qualifications and the different roles of government and Parliament in such ventures.

The methods of assessing acquired knowledge and skills (during study or work) were included among the main points of the presentation. The English system places great emphasis on the ability to test competences in different ways - not only does mastered theory count, but also practice. Additionally, great care is taken in England to maintain the same, appropriate standards in the process of validating competences.

The situation in England presented during the seminar aroused great interest on the part of the participants, who showered the guest speaker with an avalanche of questions, such as on the involvement of government entities and employers in creating and awarding new qualifications, excluding higher education from the vocational qualifications framework and the principles of assessing those persons seeking recognition of their competences.

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