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Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Secondary vocational education
The government wants to improve the quality of secondary vocational education (MBO) courses by increasing the number of teaching hours and providing more student supervision. The government will enter into performance agreements with MBO institutions in order to achieve these goals. Full timetables, challenging courses, sufficient time for basic language and numeracy skills and a strong practical orientation should all contribute to better quality.

Adult education
The government wants to reach more semi-literate adults through adult education. It provides €53 million per year to municipalities, which arrange courses that help people improve their language and numeracy skills. The courses are given by regional training centres (ROCs) that also offer adult education courses. ROCs also receive €58 million a year directly from the government for providing adult general secondary education (VAVO).

Responsible bodies

One of the central aims of the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) is to improve the quality of adult and vocational education. Institutions are required to set up and maintain a quality assurance system. This statutory provision is based on the self-regulating ability of the institutions. They must be able to monitor the quality of their teaching and correct any shortcomings. Within the adult and vocational sector, the Inspectorate monitors:

  • the quality of teaching;
  • the quality of examinations;
  • the regularity of expenditure, financial management and the financial position of schools.

The quality of adult and secondary vocational education is viewed collectively, as in the Inspectorate’s reports.

Schools for secondary vocational (MBO) and adult education bear primary responsibility for the quality of their teaching. They are monitored by the Inspectorate which issues inspection cards. These are publicly available and can be used to check how the school performs in terms of quality.

The Inspectorate supervises the quality of education and examinations at institutions for adult and secondary vocational education.

Publication of the Inspectorate’s findings on school quality
Not only does the Inspectorate monitor the quality of institutions for adult and secondary vocational education, it also encourages them to provide the best possible standard of teaching. One of the ways it does so is by publishing the results of its inspections on its website.

The inspection framework for adult and secondary vocational education can be found here (only in Dutch available).

Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance

External evaluation

Institutions for adult (VAVO) and secondary vocational (MBO) education bear primary responsibility for the quality of their teaching. The Inspectorate supervises the quality of education and examinations, using inspection cards (only in Dutch available). These set out the Inspectorate’s conclusions and the proposed form of supervision. Inspection cards are provided for each school location, if applicable, and type of education.

Examinations
Institutions themselves are responsible for the quality of the examinations they set, including examination instruments and/or services purchased from third parties. The Inspectorate monitors the quality of examinations in secondary vocational education on the basis of the MBO inspection framework 2012 (only in Dutch available). The national examination standards pursuant to section 7.4.4 of the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB) are incorporated in the framework. These standards are also included in the Examination Quality Standards (Secondary Vocational Education) Order 2012. If an institution sets its own exams, their quality is inspected on site. Institutions can also contract examination bodies to do this. These bodies are also supervised by the Inspectorate.

Intensified supervision of examinations in adult and secondary vocational education
If serious shortcomings are found in the quality of examinations at a particular institution, the Inspectorate may decide to intensify its supervision of examinations. More information about this form of intensified inspection can be found on the school’s inspection card or in a separate Inspectorate report about examinations.

Inspection framework
The inspection framework describes the Inspectorate’s methods, the specific indicators evaluated during inspections, and the standards that schools must meet in order to pass the inspection. The framework thus offers guidance to schools and school boards. The inspection framework for adult and vocational education sets out the procedures for inspecting teaching and examination quality at government-funded and non-government-funded institutions (in so far as they provide recognised secondary vocational courses), and financial regularity at government-funded institutions.

The inspection framework applies to the courses provided by institutions under the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB). The inspection framework for secondary education applies to programmes provided under the Secondary Education Act.

Since 2006 the activities of the centres of expertise on vocational education, training and the labour market also fall under the Inspectorate’s supervision. These activities relate to finding and supporting companies that offer work placements, and drawing up qualification files for the vocational qualification structure. This form of supervision is risk-based. The risk analyses are based on data provided by schools in annual reports and any negative signals. The Inspectorate has a separate inspection framework (only in Dutch available) for this task.

In 2013 a new inspection framework (only in Dutch available) is introduced for adult general secondary education (VAVO). It will apply to VAVO programmes at both government-funded and non-government-funded institutions.

Internal evaluation

Under the Education Inspection Act (WOT) institutions themselves are responsible for the quality of teaching. The Inspectorate’s statutory tasks are also laid down in the WOT.

Under the terms of the Adult and Vocational Education Act (WEB), the competent authority of an institution is required to set up a quality assurance system. This is to ensure that institutions pay systematic attention to their own performance and how they can improve it.

All secondary vocational institutions have a supervisory board, which is responsible for internal supervision of the institution and, in particular, its executive board. This separation of supervisory and executive tasks is an important principle of good governance.

Evaluation of teachers

The inspection framework also addresses the quality of teachers, in particular their didactic skills. Pupils must receive instruction, supervised learning activities which must be sufficiently structured, practical exercises and feedback on their progress.

Every year, a large survey entitled JOB (only in Dutch available) is held among secondary vocational (MBO) students, asking them to rate various aspects of their course, including their teachers. In 2012:

  • 65% of MBO students reported being satisfied with their contacts with teachers;
  • 59% rated the quality of teaching as positive;
  • 54% were satisfied with the assistance they received for their learning difficulties;
  • 49% were satisfied with the counselling and tutoring in general.