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Peer Review in Initial VET A European Project. Maria Gutknecht-Gmeiner, Project Coordinator, öibf Graz, May 11, 2006. Topics. Why Peer Review in initial VET? The European Peer Review Procedure Outlook and discussion: Peer Review in initial VET – what for?. What is Peer Review?.

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Peer review in initial vet a european project

Peer Review in Initial VETA European Project

Maria Gutknecht-Gmeiner,

Project Coordinator, öibf

Graz, May 11, 2006


  • Why Peer Review in initial VET?

  • The European Peer Review Procedure

  • Outlook and discussion: Peer Review in initial VET – what for?

What is peer review
What is Peer Review?

  • External evaluation

  • Carried out by "peers", i.e. "persons of equal standing", colleagues

  • Usually follows a self-evaluation/self-assessment

  • Usually includes a site visit of the peers

  • Prevalent in evaluation of HE institutions today

Why peer review in initial vet
Why Peer Review in initial VET?

  • Need to enhance quality of VET systems

    • European Level (from Lisbon to the TWG on quality to ENQA-VET)

    • National/regional/local level (government: initiatives, pilots, new laws)

    • Institutional level (self-assessment, ISO, EFQM…)

    • Individual level (teachers, learners)

    • Other stakeholders: sectoral level, enterprises, social partners, labour market, parents, …

  • Peer Review as a promising instrument for QA&D in VET

  • Mandate of the TWG on Quality (2003): “to promote the exchange of good practice and the use of voluntary peer review at different levels”

  • Focus on institutional level(VET providers as primary target group) BUT → integration and consideration of all levels necessary for a European Project

Why peer review in ivet 2
Why Peer Review in IVET (2)?

  • Obvious interest in Peer Review as a promising external evaluation procedure

    • European policies, mandate of the TWG (top-down)

    • Interest of national policy makers

    • Interest of VET providers (bottom-up)

  • From self-evaluation to accountability

    • VET Providers have established self-evaluation schemes.

    • What next? External evaluation? If yes, how?

    • Peer Review as one possibility of introducing external evaluation.

Why peer review in ivet 3
Why Peer Review in IVET (3)?

Possible advantages and benefits

  • Procedure which is flexible and can be easily adapted and used in different contexts

  • It can build upon strategies and activities of QA&D already in place

  • The scope of the review is flexible (review of certain areas like teaching only or review of entire organisations)

  • Combination of quality development and quality control (internal and external evaluation)

  • In-depth knowledgeof the reviewed subjects by the Peers

  • High acceptance of the peers by VET providers expected

  • Mutual learning process: ‘peer coaching/consulting’

  • Recurring reviews enhance continuing quality development

  • High efficacyexpected

  • Economical procedure

The project in a nutshell
The Project in a nutshell

  • Aim:Transfer and adapt Peer Review as an instrument of quality assurance and quality development for the initial VET sector in Europe

  • Project idea: Mandate of the TWG Quality in VET (2003)

  • Timetable: Project duration: October 2004 – September 2007

  • 22 (24) Partner institutions from 11 European countries

    • AT, DE, DK, FI, HU, IT, NL, PT, RO, UK, CH;

    • 13 Providers of initial VET

  • Main Products

    • European Peer Review Manual

    • Peer Training Programme

Where are we now
Where are we now?

  • 1. Research and analysis phase (Oct. 2004 – April 2005)

    • Peer Review models, QA&D in the partner countries, guideline with criteria for the European Peer Review Procedure

  • 2. Development phase (May 2005 – Jan. 2006)

    • European Peer Review Procedure (Manual)

    • Peer Training Programme

  • 3. Pilot phase – 2006

    • Pool of Peers

    • 15 Pilot Peer Reviews

    • Evaluation

  • 4. Transfer phase: Peer Review Conference in Pécs Sept. 13-15, 07

The european peer review procedure for initial vet
The European Peer Review Procedure for initial VET

Overall Aims

  • Support VET Providers all over Europe in their efforts to improve and maintain high quality in VET provision

  • Enhance transparency and cooperation in Europe

  • Create a common European procedure

  • Support equal opportunities andgender mainstreaming


  • Applicable in all partner countries

  • Attractive to VET institutions and educational authorities

  • A European standard with a European certification

  • Common definition of quality areas

  • High quality procedure(meeting evaluation standards)

Positioning peer review
Positioning Peer Review

Map adapted from Nisbet 1990





Peer Review in Initial VET







Peer review as a voluntary and formative procedure
Peer Review as a voluntary and formative procedure

  • The European Peer Review procedure has been developed for voluntary use by VET providers.

  • Therefore the primary addressees of the European Peer Review procedure are the reviewed VET providers themselves.

  • Based on the formative function the emphasis is put on the promotion of continuing quality improvement.

  • The voluntary approach and the formative function have direct consequences for choices concerning the main elements of the procedure (e.g. the definition and appointment of Peers, the selection of quality areas, the overall review procedure as well as the follow-up activities).

Peer review and the cqaf

Peer Review


Follow-up(Consequences of review report and follow-up activities)

Peer Review process

(Analysis of Self-Report; Peer Visit)

Peer Review Report (strengths & improvement areas)

Peer Review and the CQAF

Common Core Criteria in the European Peer Review

Peer Review as methodology

Contribution to external monitoring

Use of indicators

Contribution to gains: mutual trust, transparency

Main elements of a european peer review
Main Elements of a European Peer Review

  • Peers

  • Procedure

  • Quality Areas

  • Overall organisation of Peer Reviews

Who is a peer
Who is a Peer?

A Peer is a person,

  • who is an equalof or is on equal standing with the person(s) whose performance is reviewed

  • who works in a similar environment/institution and has similar tasks, i.e. a colleague,

  • who is external (i.e. from a different institution)


  • has specific professional expertise and knowledge in the field (shares values, professional competence and attitudes, language…)

  • thus bringing to some extent "inside" knowledge of the object of review into the process and combining it with the external view of somebody coming from a different organization ("external insider")

    Peers are sometimes also called "critical friends".

Peer teams general remarks
Peer Teams: general remarks

  • "Puristic" peer concept vs. "extended" peer concept → at least half of the peers should be "real" peers

  • Expertise in the Quality Areas to be reviewed

  • Expertise in Evaluation and Quality Management

  • Gender Mainstreaming:

    • one peer with gender mainstreaming expertise

    • gender composition of team

  • The team as a whole must have the required competences.

Roles of peers within a peer team
Roles of Peers within a Peer Team

  • A Peer Coordinator: Team leader, primary contact person for the VET provider, writing the Peer Report

  • The Peers

  • The Evaluation Expert: quality assurance of procedure and support for Peers, active participation.

Phases of a peer review
Phases of a Peer Review

  • 4. Putting into action

  • Formulating targets

  • Clarifying resources

  • Action plan and implementation

  • Planning next Review

  • Next Peer Review

    6 months to 1 year

    • 1. Preparation

    • Getting Started

    • Inviting Peers

    • Self-Evaluation and Self-Report

    • Preparing the Peer Visit (VET Provider, Peers)

    • 3. Peer Report

  • Draft report

  • Comments of the VET provider

  • Final report

  • European Peer Review

    4 weeks

    min. 3 months

    • 2. Peer Visit

    • Collecting data

    • Analysing data

    • Oral feedback

    1 to max. 5 days

    Quality areas
    Quality Areas

    • Comprising all relevant areas, BUT not too detailed.

    • 3 Core Areas concerning the "key processes" of learning and teaching (Quality Area 1 through 3)

    • Quality Areas specified by criteria and exemplary indicators (qualitative and quantitative)

    • QA 1: Learning and teaching

    • QA 2: Curricula

    • QA 3: Assessment and tests

    • QA 4: Social environment and accessibility

    • QA 5: Infrastructure and financial resources

    • QA 6: Management and administration

    • QA 7: Institutional ethos and strategic planning

    • QA 8: Staff allocation, recruitment and development

    • QA 9: Working conditions of staff

    • QA 10: External relations and internationalisation

    • QA 11: Social participation & interactions

    • QA 12 Learning results and outcomes

    • QA 13: Gender Mainstreaming

    • QA 14: Quality management

    Organisation of peer reviews
    Organisation of Peer Reviews

    Increase of structure and standardisation

    • Single Peer Reviews

    • Peer Reviews in a network

    • Peer Reviews organised by a coordinating body

    Organisation of peer reviews in the ldv project pilots
    Organisation of Peer Reviews in the LdV project pilots

    Support forVET providers

    VET Provider 2

    VET Provider 1

    Coordinating Body: FNBE and öibf

    Aber-deen College

    Training for Peers

    Univ. of


    Pool of Peers

    Timetable for Peer Reviews

    VET Provider 4

    VET Provider 3

    Peer review what for further questions
    Peer Review – What for?Further questions...

    • Further use of the European procedure?

      • National/regional pilots

      • European Peer Review network

    • Adaptation?

      • Aspects of accountability and control

      • Organisation and coordination of Peer Reviews

    • Your ideas and questions ....

    Thank you for your attention
    Thank you for your attention!

    Maria Gutknecht-Gmeiner

    Deputy Director; Project Coordinator

    öibf - Österreichisches Institut für Berufsbildungsforschung

    [email protected]

    Peer pool 2
    Peer Pool 2

    • Institutional background (n=51)

      • 76% VET Providers (39)

      • 16% Research/Universities (8)

      • 6% Other (3)

      • 2% Missing information (1)

    • Teching experience (n=51)

      • 98% (50)

    • Gender Mainstreaming expertise

      • 29% (15)