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25.02.2009  (jp)

Feasibility Study on Peer Review

öibf was commissioned to conduct a Feasibility Study on the introduction of Peer Review in the Austrian VET system by ARQA-VET, the Austrian Reference Point for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training www.arqa-vet.at.

The feasibility study was carried out in 2008. It intended to clarify the conditions for implementation of Peer Review in Austrian initial VET. All stakeholders – schools and colleges, regional quality managers in QIBB, regional boards of education, the ministry of education and social partners – were involved. The study included moderated workshops, focus groups, and qualitative interviews.

Topics of the feasibility study were:

  • the integration of Peer Review into QIBB (function of Peer Review within QIBB; integration of system level; structures, responsibilities and competences; quality control and monitoring; recognition of Peer Review)
  • necessary adaptation of the European Peer Review to tailor it to the Austrian situation (terms, quality areas, forms etc.)
  • an estimate of personal and operational resources needed
  • research of necessary support (support in coordination and networking, Peer selection, training, mentoring etc.) and
  • recommendations for assuring the possibility of transnational Peer Reviews.The feasibility study was linked to the establishment of a Peer Review network and mentoring partnerships between VET providers.

Outcomes

The European Peer Review procedure can be used without any major adaptations. As external, formative evaluation Peer Review fits in very well with QIBB. The necessity of an external evaluation to complement self-evaluation and surveys was recognised. Almost all stakeholders interviewed were in favour of the introduction of Peer Review, VET schools viewed it as an attractive external evaluation methodology. Concerns regarded the role of the inspectorate and the timing of introducing yet another quality instrument when schools were still struggling to fully put into practice the other elements of QIBB.

The final report has been available since January 2009.