Evaluation and Quality Assurance

the benefits of work-based learning are assured only by the quality of work-based learning

This part of the WBL toolkit provides products that centre on:

  • quality assurance within work-based learning through the use of internal and external tools and approaches;
  • mechanisms and standards for ensuring the quality of work-based learning;
  • quality-assured cooperation and collaboration involving education and training providers and companies.

For work-based learning to be quality-assured, there should be a focus on specific learning objectives and predefined learning outcomes, in addition to a confirmed methodology for delivering learning in which work-based or workplace elements are clear and complementary. In terms of assuring the quality of the learning experience, it is also important that all stakeholders in the learning process (e.g. learner, teacher, tutor, trainer, mentor, manager) are sufficiently committed and well-informed on goals, processes and mechanisms for learning delivery.

The relevance and appropriateness of the targeted knowledge, skills and competences also needs to be assured, including for those elements delivered through work-based or workplace activity. In this respect, it is important to align learning ambitions (activities, courses, programmes) with existing qualification standards, with standards often developed through collaboration between professional or sectoral bodies and social partners, to ensure that learning outcomes and qualifications meet the needs of the future labour market.

Quality assurance in work-based learning also relies on the use of internal evaluation and quality assurance tools with examples including self-assessment tools and techniques, in-company visits and measures that enable the monitoring and assessment of learning outcomes.

 Beyond this, external quality assurance mechanisms focus on verifying the existence and use of appropriate quality assurance procedures, ensuring that education and training providers (including companies) each fulfill minimum requirements and have processes in place to enable the planning, delivery and assessment of learning, and learning outcomes. External quality assurance is conducted by external bodies, often competent authorities, who assess the quality of a provider (or company) against defined standards, or through the use of established accreditation procedures. In some cases, the evaluation of education and training delivery can form a formal part of the licensing or accreditation procedure tied to the delivery of education and training and/or the use of public funds for this purpose.