Workshop for local evaluators in Cork, Ireland

On the 20th and 21st of March a workshop was held in Cork Institute of Technology to support the data collection and research processes of VISKA. Attendees from all partner countries were present.

The workshop facilitators prepared a Handbook for the participants which addressed the overall project aims and provided guidelines for particular research methods.  It also addressed the important ethical considerations for the project.  In the workshop the team shared views and experiences.  Some were new to the VISKA project so time was taken to revisit the aims and objectives of the project.  It was clear that the project partners who will be undertaking the field trials and interventions are starting from different positions, have different target groups and will be taking a variety of actions.  The VISKA project proposal envisages a number of points in the project activities at which information will need to be collected by the implementation partners.  The project takes an ‘action’ focus and each of the country implementation partners will be involved in specific field trials (chosen by them and applied by them in their country context) in relation to the validation of prior learning focused on different target groups.   This means that there is a challenge to be overcome as the activities and hence the collecting and recording of information will not be uniform across the project.   However the workshop focused on ways in which we can align the data collection exercise and still be mindful of the variation in the local context, with a view to developing outputs and outcomes that have some transferrable value.

In terms of collecting information there are probably three (or more) potential target groups:

  • The learners who might seek to access validation services
  • The guidance and other front line staff who interact directly with the learners
  • The policy makers (and partner organisation staff) and other influencers as well as the National Advisory groups.

In terms of the points in time at which information might be collected there are three potential points under consideration:

  • Before the project to establish the baseline or existing situation
  • During the project to check on processes being used and to allow for adjustment where appropriate
  • After the project to assess impact, effectiveness

And we also considered that there are probably three methods that all partner countries will use to collect data:  Surveys, Focus Groups and In-depth Interviews.

Over the two days the team worked to agree outline formats for the data collection methods that will be employed – these have been collected into a report from the workshop and shared with the workshop participants initially before being shared with the wider group.  A clear outcome from the event was the assertion that these researchers will have to be well-integrated into the ‘action’ workpackages associated with the tools for validation and the field trials so that the points at which data can and should be collected are agreed in a more detailed project Gantt Chart.

Feedback from the workshop participants was positive with a recognition that meeting each other was one of the most important outcomes.  As the photographs show we even had some rare March sunshine!

Behind the acronym: meet the partners!

As the VISKA project kicks in a higher gear, we want to take the opportunity to introduce the organisations behind the project. Behind the VISKA name are six organisations from four different countries with a shared interest in the validation of skills obtained through prior learning, be it non-formal, informal or formal. While the partners are aware of the many differences that might exist across the participating countries relating to validation policies, practices and infrastructures, the focus for all partners is on how to deliver change, for individuals and for systems.

This common ground enables the partners to focus on similar issues and trying out similar measures regarding the validation of prior learning. Through sharing expertise and experiences, all partners bring an added value to the project, providing opportunities to learn from each other and grow together. Today, we would like to introduce you to these partners:

For more information on the partners and their work on VISKA, click on their respective links!


Progressing VISKA: Results of the Progress Meeting in Naas, Ireland

From the 25th until the 27th of October 2017, the VISKA-partners met up for the first progress meeting since the start of the project in February of 2017. The colleagues of the Education and Training Boards Ireland welcomed all partners in their offices in Naas, Ireland.

The first objective of the meeting was to discuss and agree on the final paper describing the common understanding of transversal skills in VISKA-project. Throughout the meeting, the partners offered feedback on the work ETSC had done before the meeting. The result of this work can be found in the Results section on this website.

The main body of work for the second day of the meeting in Ireland was related to Tools development and adaptation (WP3) and the local field trials (WP4). With regards to the tools, the partners presented what they thought they could contribute. Several instruments for identification of skills were presented during the meeting. The partners learned about the Norwegian tool for self-registration, offered in Norwegian, English and twelve other languages. The Icelandic tool (Next Step) for validation of around 50 different curricula was also presented. This tool is used by, among others, guidance counselors, to see what steps the learner can take. The partners also discussed the EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals. This tool is intended for use by any service that may be offering assistance services to third country nationals. Every partner gave a short presentation about how they will conduct the local field trials, as was reported to the research partner as a basis for the experimentation protocol.

The third and final day, there was a focus on the internal evaluation of the project, communication and dissemination and some general housekeeping for the remainder of the project.

The next progress meeting will be in Oslo, Norway, from the 25th of April to the 27th. Stay tuned for more updates!

Launching the VISKA website

We are launched! Our brand new website is now online and will contain all relevant information concerning the project. Missing something? Tell us at!

Welcome to the VISKA Project!

Welcome to the official website of the European Erasmus+ Key Action 3 Project VISKA, Visible Skills of Adults. On this website, you will find more information regarding the goal of the project and how we are going to achieve those goals, a profile of every partner involved in VISKA and every deliverable we will produce over the course of the project.

As a disclaimer, we would like to note that the European Commission support for the production of this project does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the VISKA partners, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.