European Peer Review VNFIL Extended
The 'European Peer Review VNFIL Extended' project aims to extend the European Peer Review to further European partners and further countries, establishing Peer Review to complement and enhance the usual quality assurance systems in Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning (VNFIL).
Building upon the results of a series of previous European programmes, the project seeks to increase the transparency, relevance, consistency and transferability of VNFIL across Europe. It provides a common standard and tools for Peer Review for different Member State VNFIL systems and VNFIL providers to improve, monitor and evaluate their quality assurance policies and practices in a manner appropriate to their national/institutional context. On European level the project supports mutual trust in transnational use of VNFIL and alignment of quality assurance methods across member atates.
Peer Review – the external evaluation of VNFIL institutions/providers by Peers – is a promising instrument for quality assurance and development. It builds on quality activities already in place at a VNFIL institution/provider, it is cost-effective and it fosters networking and exchange between providers of validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Transnational peer review in particular supports exchange between member states and VNFIL providers. In the project, this is used to strengthen mutual trust and enhance transnational cooperation, working towards a common standard for Peer Review on the European level.
The Peer Review VNFIL Extended project works with the Peer Review methodology and instruments as they have been developed in previous programmes. Most recently, in the Europeerguid-RVC project, the Manual, Toolbox, and Quality Areas for Peer Review have been adapted to use in 3 countries. VNFIL providers and stakeholders in other countries have expressed a strong interest in adapting and implementing the Peer Review framework and its instruments. This project takes up further fine-tuning and transfer of the methodology to new countries through piloting transnational Peer Reviews and capacity building activities for VNFIL practitioners.
In the project, 15 partners from 7 European countries conduct transnational Peer Reviews on VNFIL. Project partners are adult education and higher education providers, VET organisations, and specialised VNFIL centres, companies and NGOs. Also organisations that impact national policies were included, as well as European umbrella organisations for learning.
10 VNFIL providers obtain Peer Review feedback from national and transnational partners. The project enhances the quality and visibility of VNFIL-provision by making a complete inventory of current policies, QA systems and good practices, for all participating countries and on a European level. A reflection report provides in a scientific analysis of the added value of Peer Review, containing good practices and scientific information that can be used by VNFIL providers and national policy makers to underpin their choice for Peer Review in QA VNFIL. National strategy papers will be compiled to advise stakeholders in participating countries and European policy-makers on further development of their (trans)national quality frameworks on VNFIL.
To further disseminate Peer Review VNFIL across Europe, the project provides in a practical peer review reader for interested providers and policy makers, and publish a policy paper on the outcomes of the project, indicating the added value of Peer Review for VNFIL providers and outlining opportunities for policy-making on a European level.
To ensure long term impact the project supports the European Peer Review Association (EPRA) in setting up a sustainable network on Peer Review. This network starts up already during project implementation, when national coordinators and stakeholder committees are formed and, through (trans)national meetings and conferences, get involved by discussing relevant Peer Review inventories, national strategy papers and (European) policy papers.
Further, the project provides preparatory activities to formally set up a sustainable Peer Review Network. These include Business Model Canvas session(s) to develop a business plan for the Network, a Network database, a Peer Review register and Peer Review label. New and sustainable channels for dissemination and transference of the Peer Review methodology are thus an integral part of the project's outcomes. This enables the project to immediately influence, through the Peer Review Network, an emerging community of VNFIL providers and other stakeholders across Europe.