How to gain competence

Training and competence has become an important part of European industry.In order to meet these requirements in the Water Supply and Management sector EC-AQUA project has created an innovative on-line training programme, organised in Learning Outcomes (LO). Each LO is defined in terms of knowledge, skills and wider competence development. The built comprehensive LO are designed for professionals working in the area of waste water treatment having core education corresponding to EQF reference levels 5, 6 and 7. These reference levels are assessed and validated by ECVET credit points and their successful completion provide upturn in careers which are now recognised as a major need for European knowledge – based society progress. Thus more profound understanding of the key environment requirements and waste legislation is envisaged.

The training is web-based and delivered on-line, and can be easily accessed by trainees on spot. Trainee can access the courses after registration and then are taken through a series of narrated Learning Pathways (LPs) that vary in size and content according to the chosen qualification profile and EQF reference level. The knowledge part of LPs is presented as a number of chapters and each chapter covers a specified element of training, with a self-test element at the end. A special section “Qualification descriptions” is designed, which provide information regarding knowledge (general and specific), skills (cognitive and subject-specific) and wider competence (social, organisational and technical) acquired upon completion of corresponding LP. When selected LP has been successfully completed a certificate is issued.

Qualification

Learning outcomes according to the EQF levels (Europa.eu):

LO relevant to EQF level 5

Knowledge

 

Skills

Competence

In the context of EQF, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual.

In the context of EQF, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).

In the context of EQF, competence is described in termsof responsibility and autonomy.

  • Comprehensive, specialised, factualand theoretical knowledge withina field of work or study and anawareness of the boundaries of that knowledge
  •  comprehensive range of cognitiveand practical skills required to developcreative solutions to abstract problems
  •  Exercise management and supervision in contexts of work or study activities where there is unpredictable change
  • Review and develop performance of self and others

LO relevant to EQF level 6

Knowledge

 

Skills

Competence

In the context of EQF, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual.

In the context of EQF, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).

In the context of EQF, competence is described in termsof responsibility and autonomy.

  • Advanced knowledge of a field of work or study, involving a critical understanding of theories and principles
  •  Advanced skills, demonstrating mastery and innovation, required to solve complex and unpredictable problems in a specialised field of work or study
  •  Manage complex technical or professional activities or projects, taking responsibility for decisionmaking in unpredictable work or study contexts
  • Take responsibility for managing professional development of individuals and groups

LO relevant to EQF level 7

Knowledge

 

Skills

Competence

In the context of EQF, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual.

In the context of EQF, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).

In the context of EQF, competence is described in termsof responsibility and autonomy.

  • highly specialised knowledge, some of which is at the forefront of knowledge in a field of work or study, as the basis for original thinking and/or research
  • critical awareness of knowledge issues in a field and at the interface between different fields
  •  specialised problem-solving skills required in research and/or innovation in order to develop new knowledge and procedures and to integrate knowledge from different fields
  •  manage and transform work or study contexts that are complex, unpredictable and require new strategic approaches
  • take responsibility for contributing to professional knowledge and practice and/or for reviewing the strategic performance of teams

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Qualification descriptions

The units of learning outcomes are accepted as the main descriptor of the qualifications. According to the European Recommendations, the units which design a qualification should: outline in an eligible and understandable way the knowledge, skills and competences; be coherently constructed and organised in respect to the overall qualification; and allow the discrete assessment and validation of learning outcomes organised in it. Following these requirements an EC-AQUA competence map has been created, comprising description of 13 occupational profiles divided in 5 subgroups relevant to the water supply and waste water treatment targets in the sector: Teaching / Training professionals, General subject trainers, Specific subject trainers, Institution managers, and Policy decision makers. Applying several descriptive elements (the basic title of the qualification, the EQF reference level to which a qualification relates, description of general and specific profile activities in respect to knowledge, skills, wider competences and behaviours) charts presenting qualifications are developed. Each EC-AQUA occupational profile is described in terms of learning outcomes, comprising professional, methodical, personal and social competences to be gained by the learner upon defined period of training in the frame of the EC-AQUA project. Its content is simply designated, and is understandable for the labour market operators (teachers/trainers, employees, business people, social partners, etc).

 

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Qualification

 

Qualification description

General subjects trainers

Toxicology Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Microbiology Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Environment, Health and Safety Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Hydrogeology Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Water Chemistry Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Specific subjects trainers

Water Supply and Sanitation Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Water Management Trainer

EQF 6 EQF 7

Institutions Managers

Water Quality Manager

EQF 6 EQF 7

Wastewater Treatment Manager

EQF 6 EQF 7

Engineering and Construction Manager

EQF 6 EQF 7

Policy decision makers

Environmental Analyst

EQF 6 EQF 7

Short Intensive Courses (SICs)

Course

 

Course description

Facilitators

Learning facilitator

EQF 5 EQF 6

School Managers

School counselor

EQF 5 EQF 6

Qualification Ranking Record

EC-AQUA Qualification Ranking Record (EC-AQUA QRR) comprises an assemblage of documents that evidences mastery of a set of skills, applied knowledge, and attitudes of an individual who have completed training and acquired competence / qualification. It is foreseen as a place to store as well as a visual representation of official papers related to individual "assets" in the form of training, work experience, contributions, and special accomplishments.EC-AQUA QRR documents include:

Learning outcomes

Competences are accepted as the “most valuable resource” for an individual, a community, an area, a business activity. They are key tool for innovation process at work. The choice of using a competence based approach in designing EC-AQUA learning model is coherent with what is done at a National and European level. Furthermore, this kind of approach introduces the fundamental factor of system integration and enhances the transparency and transferability of services offered by various VET systems in the sector. In this respect EC-AQUA innovative content is organised in certification units of learning outcomes, designed in such a way as to provide a consistent and structured learning process and clear criteria for assessment. For each EC-AQUA occupational profile at corresponding EQF reference level (6 or 7) an adequate Learning Pathway is created. The formulated LPs are built from relevant LOs which are selected on the basis of complete work assignments, working processes, areas of work, fields of action or fields of competence, which are typical of the particular profession. In order to validate and recognize learning outcomes, which have been achieved in EC-AQUA learning context, corresponding ECVET points are granted to the learner. The resultant ECVET points, noted in the brackets (e.g. EC: 8), are allocated in accordance with the relative "value" of the unit of learning outcomes measured on the basis of the defined qualification.

General subjects trainers

Toxicology Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 8)

EQF 7 (EC: 9)

Microbiology Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 10)

EQF 7 (EC: 9)

Environment, Health and Safety Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 7)

EQF 7 (EC: 7)

Hydrogeology Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 11)

EQF 7 (EC: 8)

Water Chemistry Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 10)

EQF 7 (EC: 8)

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Specific subjects trainers

Water Supply and Sanitation Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 11)

EQF 7 (EC: 10)

Water Management Trainer

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EQF 6 (EC: 11)

EQF 7 (EC: 10)

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Institutions Managers

Water Quality Manager

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EQF 6 (EC: 10)

EQF 7 (EC: 8)

Wastewater Treatment Manager

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EQF 6 (EC: 8)

EQF 7 (EC: 8)

Engineering and Construction Manager

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EQF 6 (EC: 9)

EQF 7 (EC: 8)

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Policy decision makers

Environmental Analyst

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EQF 6 (EC: 11)

EQF 7 (EC: 9)

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Good practices in sanitation and water loss management

Environment Directorate-General

The Directorate-General for the Environment is one of the more than 40 Directorates-General and services that make up the European Commission. Commonly referred to as DG Environment, the objective of the Directorate-General is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations. To achieve this it proposes policies that ensure a high level of environmental protection in the European Union and that preserve the quality of life of EU citizens.

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Impel (Implementation Network, with links to national authorities)

IMPEL, the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law, is an international association of environmental authorities in Europe. The network is committed to contribute to a more effective application of European Community Environmental law by capacity buiding, awareness raising, sharing good practices, providing guidance and tools, enforcement cooperation and giving feed back to lawmakers and regulators on the practicability and enforceability of environmental legislation.

euWebsite

European Environment Agency

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union. Agency task is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. The institution are a major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public. Currently, the EEA has 32 member countries. 

Main clients are the European Union institutions —  the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council — and the member countries. In addition to this central group of European policy actors, it also serve other EU institutions such as the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. 

The business community, academia, non-governmental organisations and other parts of civil society are also important users of its information.

 eu/Website

The Lifelong Learning Programme: education and training opportunities for all

 The European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme enables people at all stages of their lives to take part in stimulating learning experiences, as well as helping to develop the education and training sector across Europe. With a budget of nearly €7 billion for 2007 to 2013, the programme funds a range of actions including exchanges, study visits and networking activities. Projects are intended not only for individual students and learners, but also for teachers, trainers and all others involved in education and training.

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There are four sub-programmes which fund projects at different levels of education and training: 

 Other projects in areas that are relevant to all levels of education are funded through the "transversal" part of the programme. Such projects are:

 In addition, the programme includes Jean Monnet actions which stimulate teaching, reflection and debate on European integration, involving higher education institutions worldwide. 

e-Learning Europa portal

Web portal about use of information and communication technologies to improve learning, initiated by the European Commission

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The e-Learning Initiative

The eLearning initiative of the European Commission seeks to mobilize the educational and cultural communities, as well as the economic and social players in Europe. It aims at speeding up changes in the education and training systems in Europe

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EU Lifelong Learning policy

Major EU initiatives forbetter appreciation and easier recognition of qualifications, experiences and skills throughout the EU providing access to learning or employment opportunities in different countries and encouraging mobility.

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Other

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Disclaimer

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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