A Training Guide for Quality Assurance
  Addressing quality assurance in a coherent way across fields of language
  education, across languages and regions


October 2006 |

September 2006|

March 2006 |

December 2005 |

October 2005 |

October 2004 |

February 2004|

Action Plan |

Calendar |


October 2006: QualiTraining Workshop

Following a preparatory meeting on 11 October, the Qualitraining team led the central workshop for the project from 12 - 14 October, 2006 at the ECML in Graz.

Laura Muresan, Project Co-ordinator, and Adrian Butler, Executive Director of the ECML, opened the workshop and welcomed the participants from 28 different countries: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

Laura Muresan, supported by Frank Heyworth, Galya Mateva and Mary Rose, outlined the themes for the workshop and the role of participants in shaping the final revision of the Guide. The outcomes from the pre-workshop task, which had been devised to help participants relate the theme of the workshop to their professional environment, showed a great deal of commonality in the factors which affect the development of quality.

The workshop programme had been designed to allow each day to begin with examples of practice; case studies which exemplified the theory and the concepts developed in each unit of the Guide. This was followed by input on the main themes of the units, led each time by each unit's author and mediated through selected activities from the Guide or related tasks. The case studies had been contributed by Michel Boiron [France], Phil Dahl [United Kingdom], Svetla Dimitrova and Svetla Tashevska [Bulgaria], Stephen Hughes [Spain], Birigitte Ortner [Austria] and David Turrell [United Kingdom]. David Turrell attended the Central Workshop and presented his case study in two parts:

  • a quality vision for whole school learning and
  • an ICT quality system to support learning.

Feedback was gathered through plenary sessions and in both oral and written form. All participants completed the extensive evaluation sheets on the last day of the workshop.

Day 1 - Basic Concepts of Quality Management

  • Quality Principles
  • Criteria and standards
  • Indicators
  • Benchmarking
  • A glossary of terms

Day 2 - Quality and People

  • Developing a Quality Culture
  • Leadership for Quality
  • Self-Learning
  • Participants' own case studies
  • An overview of the CD-ROM from the first medium term programme

Day 3 - Systems, Processes and Instruments for Quality Management

  • Class Observation
  • Self Assessment
  • Identifying and Managing Problems
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Presentation of Participants' Case Studies

At the end of each day participants were invited to identify positive and negative aspects of the day and those items, their 'wishes', that they wanted to raise. The programme for the following day was refined further in response to this review.

Evaluating the Guide
The written unit by unit evaluations undertaken by each individual participant provided a wealth of helpful comments. The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive and offered detailed comments for the final refining of the Guide, prior to publication.

In conclusion
The languages of the workshop were English and German and the services of the ECML interpreters were highly valued. The workshop provided participants with the opportunity to establish a quality network and to consider future joint work. This was highlighted by Adrian Butler in his final presentation of the outline of the themes for the ECML's third medium term programme. The call for proposals for this programme will be issued in the next few weeks.

The willingness of all participants to discuss practice and share ideas openly was critical to the success of the workshop. The workshop atmosphere was characterised by warm, supportive relationships, questioning, debating and humorous exchanges; this atmosphere was further enhanced by the beautiful autumn sunshine in Graz throughout the workshop, the helpfulness of the ECML staff and the pleasant social evenings participants spent together.

Mary Rose
October 2006

September 2006: QualiTraining Preparatory meeting

The QualiTraining project - which is producing a training guide for the development of quality assurance in language education - is approaching its final stages. The project team - Laura Muresan, the coordinator, Galya Mateva, Mary Rose and Frank Heyworth - met in Graz on September 1st and 2nd to plan the Central Workshop which will be held in October.

The draft of the Guide is almost finished and it will be complemented by case studies from experts who have been involved in the project; it is planned to include more case studies provided by participants in the workshop and these will be on the CD-ROM which will accompany the 60-page guide.

The three days of the workshop will each have a theme:

  • Day 1: principles and basic concepts of quality in language education;

  • Day 2: creating a culture of quality and leadership;

  • Day 3: systems, processes, and instruments for quality management.

The Guide will be available in English and German in Spring 2007, and can be used by individuals or as the basis of training events.

March 2006: QualiTraining Expert Meeting

The QualiTraining team met in Graz with a group of invited experts in order to carry out further consultations on the Training Guide and its draft contents. The experts were drawn from the two regional workshops held in Bath (UK) and Sofia (Bulgaria) in 2005. This group included Phil Dahl (UK), Svetla Dimitrova (Bulgaria), Steve Hughes (Spain) and David Turrell (UK). In addition, the team was joined by Brigitte Ortner (Austria), General Manager, Österreich Institut, and Michel Boiron (France), Director of CAVILAM.

Adrian Butler, Executive Director of the ECML, welcomed everyone and provided an introductory overview of the mission and work of the ECML.

Through team plenaries and small group discussions, the group was able to analyse the project outcomes to date and to refine the draft of the QualiTraining Guide. It was a most helpful two days, with the visiting experts making a significant contribution to the shaping of the Guide through their responses and suggestions and also giving short presentations on the application of quality assurance principles and processes in their own institutions and contexts. It was much appreciated that the participants have agreed to record these experiences in case studies for the Guide.

Susanna Slivensky, Michael Armstrong and Michèle Bergdoll of the ECML staff also participated at different points during the meeting.

December 2005: QualiTraining Regional event in Sofia, Bulgaria

The second QualiTraining regional event took place between 8-10 December in Sofia, Bulgaria. The detailed report is available under Materials.
For pictures taken during the training event and of the beautiful city of Sofia, refer to our photo gallery.

October 2005: QualiTraining Regional event in Bath, UK

This workshop, which was the first ECML regional event to be held in the UK, took place at the International Learning and Research Centre on the premises of the Sir Bernard Lovell School from Thursday 6 October to Saturday 8 October 2005.

In addition to the four project team members from the UK, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Romania, 19 participants took part in the event - 12 from the UK, the others from Spain, Norway, Latvia, Ireland, France and the Netherlands. By way of profile and professional background, the participants included teacher trainers, language advisors, head teachers and representatives of language teachers' associations, quality control associations and representatives of the respective departments of Ministries of Education.

Objectives of the seminar

  • To share experience and knowledge in the area of quality development and quality training
  • To discuss draft versions of the Qualitraining guide, which will be the end-product of this project
  • To encourage dissemination of quality training concepts and models in the participants working environments
  • To provide the basis for future networking activities
  • To gain experience for the setup of the follow up workshop, a regional event in Sofia / Bulgaria

The materials and input provided by the project team encouraged intensive group-work activities. The information exchanged was the basis for further discussions in terms of national developments in the field of quality management and teacher training. The feedback from the participants to the project team covered a wide range of topics related to quality training. In order to focus the feedback on specific topics like skills, techniques or assessment and evaluation of quality, the project group distributed a questionnaire, the results of which will provide substantial expertise to give support to finalising the Qualitraining guide.

see also a detailed QualiTraining Regional event report (Bath, the UK, 6-8 October 2005)

October 2004 and January 2005: Team meeting reports

In their last two meetings (in October 2004 and in January 2005), the project team worked on the content and structure of the proposed "QualiTraining" Guide and decided that the emphasis should be on how to implement quality approaches to language education, rather than on the content of quality management systems (which are already comprehensively covered in the CD-ROM produced in the 1st MTP).

The project team would be glad to receive your comments about the guide. Please contact the project coordinator.

The overall design of the Guide is planned as follows:

overall design

List of issues to be addressed in the 5 main sections of the Guide:

Area / section

Issues to be covered

A culture of quality
  • Create a culture of reflection, of positive, friendly, mutual self-evaluation and criticism
  • Convince staff of the importance of quality, to take personal responsibility
  • Learn techniques for presenting, rewarding and communicating quality performances - with colleagues, to the outside
  • Draft quality assurance docs - mission statements, criteria and standards, quality descriptors
  • Learn about associated management fields such as change management, innovation approaches etc.
Quality models, systems and procedures
  • Develop quality criteria and standards for the choice of appropriate teaching equipment and materials
  • Construct and run a range of systems for getting feedback from learners and other stakeholders; Develop skills for assessing and acting on such feedback
  • Find out about different theoretical models for quality management. Make a reasoned choice among models appropriate for your work
  • Set up and manage systems for dealing with complaints by stakeholders
  • Draft quality assurance docs - mission statements, criteria and standards, quality descriptors
Skills, techniques and instruments for quality management
  • Set up systems for observation of teaching
  • Develop the attitudes and skills needed for sympathetic and effective observation
  • Elicit and record information relating to aspects of quality performance - teaching, academic systems, student management
  • Identify symptoms of low quality, diagnose the causes and plan appropriate remedial action
  • Carry out action research to gather data on performance and on education processes
  • Learn about and evaluate the relevance of quality management techniques and procedures from outside the field of education
  • Learn about associated management fields such as change management, innovation approaches etc.
Assessment & evaluation of quality
  • Assess external quality certification providers to choose a valid and appropriate one
  • Learn about and evaluate the relevance of quality management techniques and procedures from outside the field of education
  • Develop quality criteria and standards for the choice of appropriate teaching equipment and materials
  • (Choose and measure meaningful indicators of quality)
Benchmarking and validation
  • Draft quality assurance documents - mission statements, criteria and standards, quality descriptors
  • Choose and measure meaningful indicators of quality



February 2004: Team meeting report

The initial meeting of the project team, led by Laura Muresan, was held at the ECML, Graz on 13 and 14 February 2004. Project objectives were finetuned and a project plan was mapped out. During the two days discussions were held with Elke Resch, ECML webmaster, Perrine Lamacq, ECML translation and terminology assistant and Josef Huber, Deputy Director and Director of Programmes.

Project Team Co-ordinator
Laura Muresan, EAQUALS/PROSPER-ASE, Romania

Project Team
Frank Heyworth, EAQUALS, Switzerland
Galya Mateva, OPTIMA, Bulgaria
Eva Marquardt, Goethe-Institut, Germany
Mary Rose, International Learning and Research Centre, United Kingdom

The overall aim of the project is to work towards consolidating a quality assurance culture in language education across Europe and beyond through

  • producing a training guide for quality assurance - this will be a 'stand alone' training instrument
  • providing training for trainers and multipliers

Key Milestones during the first stage of the project journey

  • identification of the main target groups for the project
  • team members to conduct a Needs Analysis with representatives of the target group in member states - strategies and instruments for a successful analysis to be gathered and shared by the team
  • the needs analysis to be carried out by all team members by the end of June. The outcomes of the survey will be collated by the end of September 2004.

The Heart of the Matter - the Quality Guide

  • a lively brainstorming session by the team explored the possible content and the structure for the guide. A project website will complement the guide, which will make connections with the material on the CD-Rom developed during the first medium term programme.

Using a range of contributors
Once the team has completed the needs analysis it is anticipated that this will provide rich data to further inform the development of the Qualitraining Guide. This will provide the main focus for the next project team meeting in October 2004.