The main objectives of this project is to engage vocational education providers, professional bodies and the financial services industry at European level, in the promotion of financial literacy of school pupils, establishing direct links with schools and the world of work. It also aims to improve the quality and efficiency of financial education delivery in the classroom and provide a high quality, interactive learning experience for pupils in the school environment within Europe. This will promote the importance, attractiveness and accessibility of quality financial education to school teachers and educational staff.
The project will test a model to successfully meet he needs of Target groups in several European countries.
Target Groups: volunteers from the financial services industry and professional organisations; parent/teacher associations; secondary school pupils; socially excluded youngsters; school and financial education providers; national and regional education stakeholders; educational institutions, consumers associations.
EFEP Benefits: reinforce the contribution of higher education and vocational institutions in the promotion of financial literacy and consumer financial confidence throughout Europe; focus on a flexible delivery method based on a common European framework; encourages the continuing professional development of financial services practitioners called upon to deliver the programme; establishing a public/private network for financial literacy at national and European level
The development of ECVET began in 2002 after the Copenhagen Process emphasised the need for a credit transfer system for VET. National governments and the European Parliament gave their final approval to legislation in June 2009.
The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) aims to give people greater control over their indvidiual learning experiences and makes it more attractive to move between different countries and different learning environments. The system aims to facilitate the validation, recognition and accumulation of work-related skills and knowledge acquired during a stay in another country or in different situations. It should ensure that these experiences contribute to vocational qualifications.
ECVET aims for better compatability between the different vocational education and training (VET) systems in place across Europe and their qualifications. By 2012, it should create a technical framework to describe qualifications in terms of units of learning outcomes and it includes assessment, transfer, accumulation and recognition procedures. Each of the units is associated with a certain number of ECVET points developed on the basis of common standards: 60 ECVET points are allocated to the learning outcomes achieved in a year of full-time VET. In ECVET, an individual's learning outcomes are assessed and validated in order to transfer credits from one qualification system to another, or from one learning "pathway" to another. According to this approach, learners can accumulate the required learning outcomes for a given qualification over time, in different countries or in different situations. The system also allows the possibility to develop common references for VET qualifciations and is fully compatabile with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
The project aims at the activation on the ECVET network in order to set ground and create realistic opportunities to apply the ECVET in the BIF sector which employees more then 6 million people in Europe. It clearly addresses the need, as stated in the ECVET consultation document, of "a system whereby people can follow through the process of qualification while moving from one learning context to another."
ECVET thus aspires to be an information exchange tool to help individuals take full advantage of learning acquired, in particular as a result of transnational mobility, whether the context was formal, non-formal or informal." Due to the nature, size and relevance of the BIF sectors with its intrinsic necessity of people's mobility and continuous need for competence developments, (criteria even more important in this time of economic and financial crisis), the B.I.F. Network becomes a concrete response to this need and a step forward towards the adoption of the ECVET system.
The target groups are the stakeholders of the Financial Services Sector that are interested in the improvement and in the application of ECVET in the Sector and who can strongly benefit from these activities, including:
- Bank Financial Istitutions
- Training Providers
- Associations involved in VET
- Trade Unions
- Professional Bodies
- HEI Students
- Banking Associations
- Customer Associations
- Enterprises, social partners and other representatives
- Research Centres & Higher Education Institutions
|*ECVET is a technical framework for the transfer, recognition and accmulation of individuals learning outcomes with a view to achieving a qualification. ECVET tools and methodology comprise the description of qualifications in terms of units of learning outcomes with associated points, a transfer and accmulation process and complementary documents such as learning agreement, transcripts of records and ECVET users guides. EVCET is intended to facilitate the recognition of learning outcomes in accordance with national legislation, in the framework of mobility, for the purpose of achieving a qualification.|
The decision to propose this Project origined from a strong believe by the partnership of the huge potential of EQF and the long lasting benefits it can bring to the Financial Services Sector in Europe.The FIRST Project comes as the logical development of what has been produced and experienced during the Equalifise Project. The Financial Services Sector has a clear need to re-establish trust and valorise new competences. In order to do so, it is fundamental to valorise the non-formal/informal learning, promote and reward those competences acquired during the work processes, create new opportunities for workers' mobility in the sector.
The key instrument to obtain these objectives resides in the application and promotion of the EQF as a valuable framework to redesign and create competence based qualifications in the Financial Services sector. The EQF will be translated into set descriptors and concrete examples related to the sector practice, in order to facilitate the adoption and the understanding of the framework and to motivate qualification providers to apply it for their new qualifications.
The Project addresses the Financial Services sector, but its sectorialisation approach to make EQF more appealing and usable it's potentially relevant to all other sectors. At the same time the FIRST project will create a tight link with the NQF in order to promote a positive cooperation for the creation of shared solutions.
Finally the intensive dissemination activity that aims at raising awareness about the EQF and the Financial Services EQF Translators will create a wider European network that will represent a concrete opportunity for the adoption of the framework European-wide.
Key Aim the aim of the Project is to setup an European Financial Services Qualifications League to promote the Copenhagen process and to ensure tha the EQF levels assigned to financial qualifications by national organisations are reliable and consistent throughout Europe, taking account of the differences between knowledge based and professional competence based qualifications.
Objectives (i) to develop a methodology for assigning EQF levels that takes account of the distinction between knowledge-based qualifications and professional competence qualifications; (ii) to assign EQF to the Financial Services Qualifications and to the NQF in the partner countries; (iii) to share experience and develop best practice between the partners; (iv) to set up a system to monitor, review and endorse the EQF levels that are assigned by the partners (taking academic qualifications and the Bologna process into account); (v) to setup an initial league that will promote the Copenhagen process in the European Financial Services sector and provide overview and assurance of EQF levels (and potentially of ECVET and quality) that are assigned by national organisations; (vi) to hold a conference to launch the league and its work at the end of the project; (vii) to disseminate the methodologies, case studies, and information about the league to financial services sector stakeholders in the 11 partner countries, the 8 relay partner countries, and more generally to all countries in Europe and Internationally.
Target Groups The Project will target 5 types of sectoral organisations:
(1) Qualification and certification bodies in the financial services sector: These are the primary target and the project will accelerate the benchmarking of their qualifications against EQF, in the partner countries and beyond.
(2) Training institutions in Europe's Financial Services sector: trade schools, colleges and universities providing vocational education, private training companies, corporate in-house trainers, professional institutions and other trainers for sector employers. These provide training/retraining to thos entering the sector's workforce, or seeking to enhance or maintain careers. They have an interest in maximising their attractiveness to potential students from across Europe, and maximising the employability of their students in the emerging single European labour market. Attractiveness and employability will be enhanced by offering qualifications benchmarked against EQF.
(3) Employer organisations: representing financial employers from vast multinationals to diverse SMEs, micro-organisations and the self-employed. These have an interest in benchmarked qualifications when recruiting staff and when demonstrating competence, particularly in new markets.
(4) Membership organisations like professional institutions and trade unions: these will provide a channel to individual practitioners (including self-employed practitioners, employees of large and small organisations & students)
(5) Regulators are being created Europe wide to protect the public from bad practices: statutory bodies & registers, ombudsmen, NGOs and self-regulatory bodies. Regulators increasingly reuire evidence of competence as a licence to continue practice in certain public-facing roles in the sector. The benchmarking of these qualifications against the EQF will help harmonise national requirements and lead towards a single European financial market.
The direct users of project results include more than 40 educational programme providers currently accredited by €FPA, and the 36 members of EBTN (European Banking and Financial Services Training Network), Universities offering undergraduate and graduate programmes in financial services and those interested in the competence of qualified financial services professionals.