Accreditation of study programme groups in vocational education and training
As of 2014, the Minister of Education and Research is extending the right of institutions of vocational education and institutions of professional higher education which provide vocational education to conduct vocational studies in a study programme group. To extend the right of conducting studies, the school’s curriculum group is accredited. A study programme group consolidates curricula of similar specialties.
External evaluation, or accreditation, takes place in four stages:
- The school conducts an internal evaluation of the study programme group and compiles a study programme group report on this basis.
- The assessment committee conducts the external evaluation or accreditation of the study programme group. The assessment committee analyses the study programme report, conducts an assessment visit and compiles the assessment report.
- The quality assessment council for vocational education makes an accreditation decision on the basis of the study programme group report and the assessment report of the committee and makes a proposal to the Minister of Education and Research regarding the extension of the right to conduct studies in the study programme group.
- Based on the proposal of the assessment council, the Minister of Education and Research decides to extend the right to conduct studies in the study programme group by three or six years or to refuse to extend the right to conduct studies.
In accreditation, the effectiveness of teaching is assessed at present and its sustainability in terms of its future prospects in five fields of assessment:
- The teaching process;
- Leading and management;
- Human resource management;
- Cooperation with interest groups; and
- Resource management.
§ 58 of the Vocational Education Institutions Act sets out the application provisions for the smooth transition to the right of conducting studies. The key principles are the following:
- the right to conduct studies is deemed to have been granted until 1 January 2016 for all study programme groups of a school wherein the curricula are registered as of 1 September 2013; therefore, schools must successfully obtain the extension of the right to conduct studies, or accreditation, in these study programme groups between 1 September 2013 and 1 January 2016 pursuant to the schedule compiled by the Estonian Higher Education Quality Agency as the organiser of accreditation;
- in all of the study programme groups of a school that participated in pilot accreditation from 2011-2013 and that received full accreditation (the right to conduct studies for six years), the right to conduct studies is deemed to have been extended for six years from 1 September 2013;
- education licences valid in September 2013 will be valid until their date of expiry, naturally with consideration for regulations regarding the extension of the right to conduct studies.
Results of Accreditation in Vocational Education and Training
DOCUMENTS REGULATING THE ACCREDITATION OF STUDY PROGRAMME GROUPS IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING