On 16th January EuropeActive attended a meeting with Ireland Active, Sport Coaching Ireland and the European Confederation of outdoor Employers (EC-OE) to discuss the way forward for sectoral (international) qualifications in Ireland. Transparent qualifications are gaining importance in the EU. With increased labour market mobility, the demand for an “international” qualification increases. The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a useful tool to make qualifications understood by employers and employees. In order to be included in the EQF, a sectoral qualification has to be referenced against national qualifications frameworks and the Irish NQF might become one of the first examples.
The referencing process is part of the Blueprint project and co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme. It continues the work started with the SIQAF project (2016-2018). Both projects have the goal to support the sector and increase employment through skills development and recognition. First results of studies and project activities are expected early summer 2019.
Both Ireland Active and Sport Coaching Ireland agreed to investigate the structures necessary to adopt the 2 qualifications proposed by the Active leisure Sector in personal training and for outdoor animator that would include a new role for an awarding organisation to quality check the training being delivered. Further discussions between the parties and the involvement of the Irish Qualifications Authority (QQI) will take place in February.
Cliff Collins, EuropeActive’s Programme Director commented that “there is a very real prospect of these international qualifications being adopted at a national level in Ireland which will help to support the thinking and policy reform that the EQF Advisory Group and officers from DG Employment are currently considering. We had a meeting with them just before Christmas where we presented our concept of a pathway for the development and inclusion of international qualifications onto NQFs.”