The improvement of the quality of the VET system was at the stake of the VET reform of 2008. Hence, the quality of the VET system is guaranteed by numerous legal disposals like the nationally fixed curricula and assessment frameworks and the requirements for accreditation and funding of technical secondary schools. Companies offering apprenticeship positions do have to be in possession of a training authorisation subject to specific requirements.
A major reform of the VET system was initiated with the vote of the VET law of 19th December 2008 with the aim to:
- improve the quality of VET;
- ease access to lifelong learning;
- promote personal and vocational education at individual level;
- improve collaboration between the State and the social partners.
Hence, the quality of VET is guaranteed by numerous legal disposals and structures like the nationally fixed curricula and assessment framework for all VET programmes elaborated by tripartite curricular working groups and published by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.
Quality standards for technical secondary schools offering VET programmes are part of legislation and used for accreditation and funding. The VET law of 2008 obliges training companies to be in possession of a training authorisation subject to certain requirements regarding among others the qualification of the company leader and the tutors in charge of the apprentices. The new VET law also introduced a mandatory three-day train the trainer course for in company tutors.
A national approach to quality assurance has been devised and evaluation and review procedures are in the development stage. The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth coordinates the implementation of the EQAVET recommendation. National indicators related to the 10 proposed by the recommendation are used and monitored nationally. While most are applied in IVET, their use for CVET, which is not monitored centrally, varies by sector or provider.
A common quality assurance framework for technical secondary schools is currently being developed and also applies to the associated work-based learning. A law that is in the process of being submitted to the vote of the Parliament aims to oblige all secondary schools, including those in VET, to elaborate quality development plans. The coordination of the implementation of the quality development plans in technical secondary schools will be under the responsibility of the Department for the Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT) – under the authority of the education ministry – and its School Quality Development Agency (Agence pour le Développement de la Qualité Scolaire, ADQS). Secondary schools can use these plans to present their strengths and weaknesses, potential opportunities or obstacles that block the proposed school development, to identify priority needs and to establish objectives and concrete actions for a three-year period. The development of the plans is in the responsibility of the School development committees (Cellules de développement scolaire, CDS) that bring together members of the school directorate as well as teachers and members from the guidance services at school level.
The ADQS has also developed a national reference framework for school communities’ self-assessment. The current framework is the result of research at international level and discussions held nationally with the school community.