Management quality systems : The European quality asssurance in vocational educational and training : a study case of Cyprus initial vocational education and training
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The importance of Vocation and Education Systems across the European Union has been regularly stressed through a number of decisions by the appropriate EU stakeholders. To support the work done for improving VET conditions, thus participation, the EU commission had introduced the European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET), Its mission is to ‘…. bring together the EU Member States, the Social Partners and the European Commission to develop and improve quality assurance in European VET systems within the context of the implementation of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework …’. Juxtaposing EQAVET against leading quality management systems, such as the EFQM and ISO implementation, it is evident that the methodology of EQAVET was based on the basic principle of Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle and the phases of its implementation were influenced by the EFQM excellence model. However, overall there are many differences, such as the fact that EQAVET is “static” using a set of, narrowly predefined indicators, whereas EFQM uses the versatile RADAR logic for providing a structured approach to questioning the performance of an organisation. It is also evident that the EQAVET indicators do not enclose any strategic objective, but they have rather a simplistic approach as to accommodate the cross cutting evaluation of VET systems throughout the European Union. There are different IVET systems in EU and a ‘one size-fits all’ approach when it comes to evaluate the performance of the systems does not seem to work in this case. Furthermore, to support this theory, the implementation of EQAVET in Initial VET in Cyprus was examined.