In Detail




Welcome to Network QA

The Project Partners

The Partnership Workplan

Network QA in Detail

Project Events

Intellectual Outputs

Contact Details and Relevant Links

Project Events

Here we will summarise the main project events and activities as we undertake our partnership meetings, multiplier events, learning teaching and training events and local/regional events that partners undertake to share the NQCA project journey.

Master Training in Interagency Working and Quality Culture and Assurance

Ballymun Job Centre was our host for the 5-day Master Training in Dublin. All partners had left Belfast on 10th February with a lot of homework to do for the big push on IO5 less than a month later. In Dublin, it was very clear that everyone had worked very hard to design and shape the training models they were responsible for and were ready to deliver these in a real teaching and learning situation. The illustration below summarises the key training activities.

4th Partnership Meeting

Our meeting in Belfast had a key focus on consolidating the work and planning undertaken in Milan and developing the Master Training Programme – the 5-day training programme to be held in Dublin in March 2017 after which partners would deliver this training to their key stakeholders. The illustration below sets out the key tasks and activities undertaken.

We had a very positive and productive meeting in Belfast with our Social Dinner at Lewis Square Visitor’s Centre in East Belfast. We enjoyed a tour of Lewis Square and the fascinating sculpture gardens which were characters from East Belfast born C.S. Lewis, author of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe Narnia books; followed by a presentation on the regeneration of the Connswater Greenway and Lewis Square.

4th Multiplier Event

The Theme of the Multiplier event was Measuring Interagency and Quality Culture

It was a very busy morning with seven speakers, each taking a different perspective on quality assurance and quality culture. We were delighted to have with us Rodney McMaster from the Northern Ireland Education and Training Inspectorate who spoke about promoting quality improvement in European Social Fund projects. Lorraine Boyd, Co-ordinator of the Northern Ireland NEET Strategy Forum (which has 140 member organisations) presented on the forum’s experience as an organisation dedicated to networking for quality culture and quality assurance. Stephen Atkinson and Michael Lennon (participant on the EmployAbility South project) spoke of their experience as a multi-stakeholder project manager and project beneficiary on the importance of quality culture and assurance to deliver a quality service. Finbarr Fitzpatrick then discussed the NQCA approach to measuring social impact.

3rd Partnership Meeting

The NQCA partnership had another packed agenda for its 3rd transnational meeting in Milan, Italy. Our hosts CIOFS-FP provided us with a beautiful meeting space and a warm welcome to Milan.

The main work of this meeting was to review our performance against the tasks and activities set out in the intellectual outputs and to begin the first stage of planning for the 5 day training that would take place in Dublin in April 2017.

3rd Multiplier Event

Our 3rd Multiplier Event’s focus was ‘The impact of the interagency model on Quality Culture & Quality Assurance’ at National, Regional & Local level.

The aim was not only to disseminate updated information about the project to a wider audience than that involved in the project itself, but also to open it to a wider public and stimulate debate on possible impacts of the Interagency model into Quality Culture and Quality Assurance at National, Regional and Local levels.

Delegates from local authorities and companies - along with other significant bodies concerned with quality issues - such as the National Accreditation Body ACCREDIA, the Certification Bodies LRQA and other key stakeholders attended the Multiplier Event.

2nd Partnership Meeting

Our second NQCA Partnership meeting took place in Turku, Finland. Similarly to our time in Dublin at our kick off meeting, the weather was quite cold and sometimes wet during our few days but we experienced the best of Finnish hospitality from our fantastic hosts the City of Turku. Our agenda was packed as we strived to review the work we had done together since our meeting in Dublin in December.

  • At the meeting the partners signed off on Intellectual Output 1: the research into quality assurance & quality culture in VET journeys in each partner country and the adaption of the NQA model into the updated NQCA model of interagency working.
  • GEMSNI updated partners on the progress of developing the NQA Quality label through our social media strategy and publications. The NQCA twitter page is regularly updated and the NQCA website went live in March 2016. The NQCA Facebook page will go live in the coming months.
  • Partners provided feedback on the implementation of the NQCA model in their countries; giving an overview of the learner and local interagency meetings that they have hosted and some of the feedback they received, as well as plans for the future.
  • A detailed discussion on the NQCA toolkit was facilitated by MetropolisNet, and an action plan for the collection of the relevant data was drafted.
  • The NQA training materials were reviewed by partners and the required amendments and additions to adapt the training for the purposes of NQCA were discussed.
  • Finbarr Fitzpatrick, the social impact evaluator contracted by the partnership, presented the social impact framework he will use as well as how we will capture the required data to facilitate this evaluation.
  • The partners also undertook a review of dissemination activities undertaken to date, as well as future dissemination plans.
  • Rinova and the City of Turku provided updates on the Quality Management and Risk Management strategies respectively.
  • The project Management, administration and finance processes and protocols were also discussed in detail.
  • Finally, we concluded day 2 of our meeting with a review of our project timeline and made plans for the next steps regarding our Intellectual outputs, Multiplier events and other tasks over the coming months.

Multiplier events and other tasks over the coming months. The meeting was very busy but also productive and we rewarded ourselves with a lovely partner dinner in Mami, a lovely restaurant by the river in the city centre. Fantastic food and company, it was thoroughly enjoyed by the partners. We concluded our meeting with our Multiplier Event in Turku.

Multiplier Event 2 Launch of the NQCA Interagency Network

This was a public event held in the Radisson SAS hotel, in city of Turku, 8th of April where stakeholders of the VET journey, were invited to attend to gain information about the NQCA project, meet the partnership involved, and start a dialogue on quality in guiding and quality culture. This also had the objective of disseminating information about the project and identifying relevant stakeholders who will participate in the local and regional interagency groups. The opportunity was also used to launch the NQA quality label and define its meaning and significance to VET stakeholders. All project partners attended this event and presentations were made by the Ballymun Job Centre and Education Division city of Turku.

Head of vocational education in city of Turku, director Hannu Immonen, opened the event, welcomed all the participants and gave presentation of vocational education and quality assurance in VET in city of Turku.

Julie McCafferty presented an overview of the current Networking for Quality Culture and Assurance (NQCA) project. NQCA is a strategic partnership project funded under the Erasmus+ programme. It aims to design, develop and implement a model of Interagency working which focuses on Quality Culture and Quality Assurance across the VET journey. Apart from the interagency network, it will develop an NQCA model and toolkit, conduct a social impact evaluation, and develop training that will hopefully all contribute to the sustainability of the project.

Teachers Niina Tunturi’s and Dinah Arifulla’s presentation they gave an overview of the learners experiences of quality in guiding – what students expect, how they feel about guiding in apprenticeship and what is good guiding.

The second part of the event was discussion session in which the focus was on sharing good practices. The session was a learning café: there were four tables with themes “High quality guiding – right person in right place”, “What is quality in VET?”, “How can you measure quality in VET?” and “Different actors´ roles in assurance of quality – learners- teachers-stakeholders”. All the participants gave their ideas and comments to each theme.

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  • NQCA Event
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Kick-off Partnership Meeting

Our First NQCA Partnership meeting took place in Dublin, Ireland – the weather may have been cold, wet and windy but our hosts Ballymun Job Centre gave us a warm Irish welcome.

Following partner welcome and introductions and presentations on our organisations, we got down to the business in hand. Our schedule was both busy and very interesting as we worked to develop our shared understanding of the tasks in hand as we energised our project from the pages of our successful Erasmus+ application to our partnership team in action.

  • The history of the former NQA Leonardo TOI Project, its learning and identified next steps
  • Moving forward taking the best of NQA to the New Networking for Quality Assurance and Quality Culture Erasmus+ project
  • Setting out the project work-plan, intellectual outputs and multiplier events and building the project architecture
  • Dialogue on the strategic fit of NQCA with other European Quality Models such as EQAVET and QALL
  • Sharing our partner research and case studies
  • Zoning in on Intellectual Output 01
  • Exploring the NQCA Quality Label
  • Website, publications and Social Media Strategy
  • Planning the key stages of implementation and dissemination
  • Quality Management, Risk Management and Social Impact Measurement
  • Project Management, administration and finance processes and protocols
  • Setting the schedules for the planning and completion of Intellectual outputs, Multiplier events and other key/critical tasks

As you can see we were very busy but we did find the time to share good food and good company and of course some Christmas shopping on Grafton Street!

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Multiplier Event 1 Launch of the NQCA Interagency Network

This was an excellent first multiplier event which created a great first step for the project in Ireland and in Europe. Delegates representing local, regional and national level who are stakeholders in the VET journey were in attendance to learn about the NQCA project its history and work plan and to meet the partnership. The emphasis was on beginning the dialogue on networking for quality assurance and culture and encouraging participation from those present in the interagency working groups that would support the project.

This platform was also used to launch the NQA quality label and define its meaning and significance to VET stakeholders. All project partners attended this first event and presentations were made by the Ballymun Job Centre, GEMS Northern Ireland on the development of the NQCA quality Label and City of Turku Education Department, who presented their experiences of interagency and the value created to date, as well as a presentation from Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

The feedback from delegates was that NQCA was an interesting project and one that had the opportunity to influence both National and European VET policy and practice.

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  • Michael Creedon Ballymun Job centre, setting the context for NQCA in the Job Centre's strategic vision