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Research – OWLS, improving the quality of vocational training

We worked in partnership with Reykjavik University on the project management of OWLS. OWLS was a transnational partnership project that aimed to improve the quality of vocational education and training (VET). OWLS stands for Outcomes that Work for Learners and their Stakeholders.

The project was all about making training more practical and more directly relevant to the workplace. We showed that if training providers take an ‘OWLS’ perspective‘ their training is better for learners and their employers!

We were invited to attend a seminar in Finland. There we met other like minded organisations who wanted to improve the quality of training.

"Collaboration was good, always meeting strict deadlines, with friendly & open communication. We particularly valued the high level of professionalism and open communication. We succeeded to realize our part of the project and if needed, I would not doubt to work with Good Ideas again." Outcomes that Work for Learners and their Stakeholders (OWLS)

Sue developed a project plan for the partnership. Her bid for a Development of Innovation project under the Leonardo da Vinci Programme was successful.

The OWLS partnership comprised Quality Ideas Ltd, universities from Belgium, Iceland and Lithuania and a research institute in Austria.

Our role was to support the Project Management, Quality Assurance and Dissemination work streams. The project lasted for over 3 years culminating in the launch of OWLS at the European Parliament.

OWLS is an online quality assurance framework for vocational training providers.The partners developed and tested OWLS using an iterative process. The system is based on extensive research and was co-produced with employers, trainers and learners.

The OWLS’ system helps training providers to review their training programmes and to make improvements to their

OWLS supports the implementation of Eqavet – the EU quality framework for vocational training.

Our external evaluator said that OWLS’ strengths were

OWLS proved to be highly effective with a wide range of vocational training providers, including very experienced providers. We continue to ‘take an OWLS perspective’ when co-designing new learning experience with voluntary sector organisations and other stakeholders!

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