Euroguidance Estonia's critical friends appreciated the performance of the center

In Spring 2020, the Euroguidance centres in Estonia, France and Ireland, decided to adopt the peer learning process using a ‘critical friend’ approach to assess current practices. The aim was to build on past achievements while also providing insights that might guide future activities and support new areas of growth. In light of current circumstances, the analysis process took place virtually.

The main purpose of the peer review was to learn from each other, while also providing meaningful information to the European Commission, our partners and ourselves. We focused on three quality areas: activities and services for the guidance community, including tools and CPDs[1]; relevance of services, considering the national and international context and communication with partners,“ explained the Euroguidance Programme Manager Margit Rammo from the Archimedes Foundation.

Interviews took place with stakeholders in different sectors to examine their expectations and evaluate their experience of Euroguidance Estonia under the three quality areas, namely: learning and job mobility; guidance institutions; and international guidance professionals. Under the identified areas for review, each group of stakeholders were asked to reflect on the strengths of current practices as well as the challenges that needed to be addressed. They were also invited to give constructive recommendations that would enable the Estonian centre to continue to progress and strengthen its services and connections in future.

To what extent does Estonian Euroguidance meet the European quality criteria for career services?

To clarify the context and activities of each centre, information on the peer review process was provided in advance. The Review Panel then considered the information provided utilising examples of questions in the five quality elements taken from the ELGPN Quality Assurance and Evidence-Based Framework[2]. The critical friends from the French and Irish Euroguidance centres examined the Estonian Context Paper, and considered the reflections of the stakeholder interviewees, in accordance with these five elements. The following information was evident:

1. User Involvement

Euroguidance Estonia invite users of the service and national and international stakeholders to provide feedback on the service. Euroguidance Estonia actively work in partnership with national, EU and international colleagues to develop and consider the outcomes of surveys, conferences and focus groups, with a view to planning Euroguidance Estonia services in the future. For example, the centre focused last year on the experience and expectations of career professionals in the field of international cooperation. In 2020 this year, the qualification system of career specialists will be mapped in cooperation with the Association of Estonian Career Counsellors. The aim is to find out the extent to which the system in the field of career guidance links the education system to the labour market, contributes to lifelong learning and the competence development of professionals.

2. Practitioner Competence

Euroguidance Estonia focus their activities on developing guidance practitioner understanding of EU mobility and multicultural topics. The use of self-evaluation and the development of the e-course are highlighted as key services in practitioner competence development. For example, the e-course „Multiculturalism, learning and job mobility“ is offered in two universities. In addition, a new approach is developed - the traditional learning mobility and job shadowing of career practitioners was this year organised virtually.

3. Service Provision and Improvement

Euroguidance Estonia are highly engaged in the continuous development of the services and activities provided. Euroguidance Estonia utilise a mix of approaches and delivery channels to include surveys and feedback. It is noted throughout that Euroguidance Estonia informed and responded to national reform within the National Guidance Forum and sectoral landscape changes. It is also evident that Euroguidance Estonia are directly involved in various international activities to ensure updated information on international good practice is made available to the guidance sector in Estonia (e.g. Euroguidance Steering group, Nordic – Baltic groups, Academia, IAEVG, universities). Career Services Network Conference in January 2020 was highlighted as a good example, where both national and international experts presented recent research in the field and shared practices on how to better support young people in developing their career management skills.

4. Cost Benefit to Individuals

Euroguidance Estonia provide services that are relevant to and of benefit to their stakeholder groups. Stakeholders of Euroguidance Estonia are invited to provide feedback on their outcomes following CPD and seminars. Survey responses clearly indicate the individuals’ satisfaction with and benefits from accessing Euroguidance Estonia services and activities

5. Cost Benefit to Governments [3]

Within the Context Paper and throughout the stakeholder interviews, it is very clear that Euroguidance Estonia provide access to international and national guidance-related reports. It is not evident from the Context Paper what reports are developed and to whom these reports are provided.

Euroguidance Estonia offers its stakeholders a quality service

Graziana Boscato, the Euroguidance Manager in France, commended the Estonian Center for its creativity and rapid response during the unstable times to ensure that the services provided were maintained. She also praised the materials developed by Estonian Euroguidance for career professionals and highlighted the advantage of the small country in using digital solutions.

According to critical friends from Ireland, Jennifer McKenzie, the Director of the National Centre for Guidance in Education and Orla NiCheallaigh, the Euroguidance Officer, this was a great  the opportunity to invite a different perspective and receive constructive feedback from a peer organisation, who shares the same objectives, is a valuable practice. In the case of Euroguidance Estonia, they noticed strong leadership, which was also confirmed by interviews with partners: "Margit Rammo has been very successful and consistent in creating and developing the network in Estonia".

In conclusion, considering the five ELGPN quality elements, it is evident that Euroguidance Estonia is providing a quality service to its stakeholders.

 

[1] Continues professional training

[3] In this context: EU Commission, Government and Host Organisation.

Last updated: 21.09.2020
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