This project is designed to capture and track informal collaboration learning shared with peers and identify and celebrate learning champions as an innovative element in the Continuing Professional Development of VET professionals as informal learning is often unacknowledged but is an essential element of lifelong learning. Europe 2020 Strategy in the UK aims to have sustainable public finances and this project also supports this by recognising the inbuilt talent-pool that exists within VET organisations in the VET tutors – their knowledge and expertise is often not shared across their peers through in-house collaborative as there is a lack of formal mechanisms to support, track, reward and recognise informal sharing as a cost-effective CPD strategy.
One of the key objectives of this project is to promote and strengthen peer to peer learning within VET vocational areas and . Learning champions exist in most VET organisations; they are those tutors who undertake informal sharing of their resources, expertise and strategies with others and promote the value of learning to others. They act as “pals” to others and act as role models for learning but are often unrecognised and their contribution is not captured.
1. Establish how the VET Sector is currently recognising and accrediting the formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers;
2. Identify the breadth of informal VET sector professional learning opportunities that are available as cost effective and sustainable mechanisms to support and enhance formal CPD;
3. Design an organisational system of recognising, recording and rewarding informal professional learning activities and achievements (CPD credits) aligned to the strategic objectives of an organisation and national priorities;
4. Produce a Toolkit of strategies to support the informal sharing of learning from professional experiences;
5. Produce a recording tool to monitor, track and verify individual professional learning; and,
6. Recognise role models within organisations as champions of learning/learning professionals through accreditation/certification; and
7. Share the outcomes of the project with the VET and wider sectors responsible for professional learning.
Recognition of the ongoing development of skills and competences by VET staff through these informal channels is essential to improve VET across Europe and to strengthen the professional profile of VET teaching professions. Knowledge sharing is also a key requirement for organisational, regional and national success. Recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning has become a key component of European policy but transferring that requirement into practice within a VET organisation remains a challenge. The All Ireland Skills Strategy states the need to “ensure quality education to meet the needs of business and local disadvantaged communities now competing within a global economy”; the use of learning champions and recognition of informal in VET learning is a key element to meet this.
VET organisations through the use of the outputs of this project can foster a climate which will enable collaborative informal learning, both planned and incidental, to thrive and be recognised aligned to their strategic objectives.
O1- PAL Audit and Needs Analysis across Partners of CPD processes and practices to support the professionalism of VET teachers
O2- PAL Toolkit to support VET teachers to share informal professional learning with peers
O3- PAL Framework for recognising and rewarding VET champions of informal learning
O4- PAL Tracking Tool
O5- PAL Accreditation
O6- Transnational Workshop Presentations on VET Themes to Support Quality Improvement
E2-Learn and Share Workshop Using the PAL Toolkit
E3- Learning Champion Recognition Event and Learn and Share Workshop Using the PAL Toolkit