GR-EAT (Guidelines for Recognition: European Advanced Tool), a project which started in November 2014, aims at proposing a comprehensive tool for the implementation of recognition systems that can be recognised externally, contributing to the overall advocacy process towards the acknowledgement of the non-formal and informal learning (NFIL) taking place within youth-led organisations.
This meets a clear and identified need of youth-led organisations in terms of competences development, especially at a time of such high youth unemployment rate all over Europe. During two years, the project will develop common guidelines for the recognition of NFIL acquired in a volunteering context and to support youth organisations in providing internal validation/recognition tools which can be used by other actors such as employers and educational institutions.
1) Research: State of Play
This phase is based on qualitative research. For this stage, the following actions are carried out:
- Conduct research to understand external expectation from a recognition process
- Carrying out a mapping on existing practices and tools for assessment of NFIL, exploring existing challenges and innovative solutions in order to ensure quality assurance of assessment process
- Meeting with experts in order to get an overview of the current ‘state of play” on a political level, regarding the recognition of NFIL
2) Creation of common guidelines for youth organisations
This phase seeks the preparation of a paper version of the guidelines to support youth-led organisations in the creation of an internal system of recognition. This phase will consist of creating quality indicators to implement an internal system of recognition, including the methodology to develop a competence grid coherent with the reality of the organisation, to identify and assess those competences.
The guidelines will be issued as a result of:
- Agreement among the partners, based on the research carried out before, of the different phases necessary for recognition of NFIL, on the steps proposed for implementing an internal tool for recognition of NFIL, which takes into account also the expectations from external stakeholders.
- Exploration of the phase of assessment: discussion and research on methodology used, on the challenges of assessment and methodology/ies which could ensure quality assurance of assessment and external recognition.
3) Testing phase
This phase aims at testing the tool prepared so far, before making it public. For this, we will ask 2 youth-led organisations with very different realities to give concrete feedback. We will send them the guidelines in order to:
- Receive feedback on the clarity and way it is presented (practical aspects)
- Test the guidelines
- Following this, the feedback will be incorporated in order to prepare an updated and final version of the guidelines.
4) Creation of the online platform
The Youth-friendly, interactive platform which gathers:
- Existing practices and examples of internal system of recognition
- Online version of the guidelines
- Contextualisation and value of the tool in terms of political process toward recognition
5) Awareness campaign
The aim of this phase is to ensure visibility for the tool created, and to make sure than it reaches the relevant target groups, namely:
- Long-term volunteers and youth organisations: Training Course for coaches, that aims at providing capacity building for young leaders to carry out support and provide guidance to youth organisations willing to implement an internal system of recognition of NFIL, and to individual young people, during the phases of identification and documentation of their volunteer experiences.
- Moreover, an awareness campaign of the new available tool for youth organisations will be started, in order to encourage them to implement such a process internally.
- Companies will also be targeted through a campaign bringing light on the guidelines created getting their official support.
The result of this project are being disseminated to all relevant stakeholders such as the EU institutions, the EQF National groups, civil society organisations etc. Moreover, in order to ensure sustainability of the tool, there will be:
- Promotion of the online platform externally, as an online space to read up to date information as regards to the political processes of recognition of NFIL, and to get to know practical and actual initiatives taking place.
- Organisation of a closing conference which will gather stakeholders from different fields already involved in the project namely the civil society, companies’ representatives, university representatives as well as EU institution representatives, to present the result of the project, and propose a follow-up plan.