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11/20/09  (jp)  [1 Comments]

Peer Review Implementation in Italy

National Activities

In Italy, the European Peer Review methodology has become known among the main national stakeholders at system and VET providers’ level. Consultations have been made with schools and vocational training centres involved with ISFOL in other projects; CIOFS (an important organisation for providing vocational training, which took part in the first Peer Review project) stated their will to apply Peer Review for their centres.

An international conference was held in Rome in December 2007 "Una rete per la Qualità". This conference was attended by the top policy makers at national and regional level. During the conference, the European Peer Review projects were presented and the Peer Review methodology has been identified as a key factor for the QA improvement at national and European level.

The European Peer Review Manual has been distributed in the Italian version to 200 hundred selected policy makers, experts, providers, trainers. Also, ISFOL held lots of local seminars in which the Peer Review methodology, results, and national perspectives were presented.

As a matter of fact, the dissemination and implementation of the Peer Review methodology has become part of ISFOL objectives and activities, such as the Reference Point for quality has the added value of multiplying the dissemination. Lots of VET providers have asked to be involved in a national network for mutual Peer Reviews.

In 2008, the application of the Peer Review methodology has been included in the LdV project “OCT – Open Coordination for Vocational Training” (LLP-LDV/TOI/08/IT/514), coordinated by the Province of Latina, and the first Peer Review took place in Coria (Spain) on May 13-16, 2009. The objective was to evaluate a pathway addressed to youths aged 16 -25, the Escuela Taller, run in co-operation with Patronato de Formacion y Empleo.


There are Italian VET providers who are planning to use the European Peer Review methodology as a QA/QD instrument on a voluntary basis. A voluntary approach to the implementation of Peer Review is necessary given the features of the Italian QA system, requesting a national pupils’ achievement assessment for vocational schools and the regional accreditation for Vocational Training centres: Peer Review constitutes a complementary tool that cannot replace compulsory tools for quality assurance.

The Peer Review methodology can also become a complement to the self-assessment tool developed by ISFOL which is currently being disseminated at regional level. These two methodologies can be applied on a voluntary base as it happens today, but with the approval of institutions they could also be introduced in the regional programmes for implementing the quality of education and training. At local level it would also be possible to contact local networks or centres to stimulate the use of the Peer Review methodology.

At the national level, ISFOL is starting – with the funding of ESF and in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, the Regions and the Ministry of Education – the establishment of a network for mutual review among schools (under Ministry of Education governance) and vocational training providers (under the responsibility of Regions). The aim is to foster, through the Peer Review methodology, integration at a double level:

  • education and vocational training
  • VET providers from north and south, which belong to very different social and economical context.

Giorgio Allulli, Ismene Tramontano