International Consultant – Higher Education Senior Expert to assist the referencing process of the Albanian Qualification Framework against the European Qualification Framework


Location : Tirana, ALBANIA
Application Deadline :25-Sep-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :4d 13h 0m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
15-Oct-2020
Expected Duration of Assignment :23 working days during the period 15th of October 2020 – 28th of February 2021


Background

Background

The ‘Skills Development for Employment (SD4E) programme”, financed by the Swiss Government and implemented by UDNP Albania, continues to support the Government of Albania in the national VET and Employment reform through a comprehensive approach of institutional capacity building on a macro/policy level, enabling key actors (MFE, NES/NAES and NAVETQ) to deliver coordinated and demand-driven services. Responding to national priorities and the objectives of the National Employment and Skills Strategy, this Swiss funded intervention has the ambition to make a systemic contribution where the Albanian VET system and Employment Service supply the labour market with a skilled workforce that contributes to sustainable and inclusive economic development of the country.

To achieve the programme purpose and finally the programme goal, the programme will focus in 3 strategic fields that will aim to improve the governance and quality of service provision in VET and employment promotion in Albania.

  1. Outcome 1: The institutional capacity of key actors in VET and Employment (Ministry, NAVETQ, NAES) is strengthened
  2. Outcome 2: The employment service portfolio is based on a balanced demand-and supply-side oriented approach
  3. Outcome 3: A standardized Quality Assurance (QA) framework is in place that improves the image of VET and fosters linkages between school and world of work.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of the assignment

Albania is a member of the EU European Qualification Framework (EQF) Advisory Group. This body is chaired by the European Commission and comprises the EU countries, European Economic Areas (EEA) countries, candidate and potential candidate countries, the European social partners, students’ groups and other representative associations and institutions. The Group was founded to oversee the implementation of the 2017 Council Recommendation on the EQF for lifelong learning[1]. Members of the EQF Advisory Group are invited to reference their national qualification frameworks to the EQF:

‘The recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong leaning created a common reference framework of eight levels of qualifications, expressed as learning outcomes with increasing levels of proficiency. They serve as a translation device between different qualifications systems and their levels. The purpose of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning is to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of people’s qualifications.’ (ibid, p. 5f),

Also the Key Commitments of the Bologna Process foresee the self-referencing process to the QF-EHEA that has been stated for the first time in the London Communiquè  2007:

“…We note that some initial progress has been made towards the implementation of national qualifications frameworks, but that much more effort is required. We commit ourselves to fully implementing such national qualifications frameworks, certified against the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the EHEA, by 2010. Recognising that this is a challenging task, we ask the Council of Europe to support the sharing of experience in the elaboration of national qualifications frameworks. We emphasise that qualification frameworks should be designed so as to encourage greater mobility of students and teachers and improve employability.

We are satisfied that national qualifications frameworks compatible with the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the EHEA will also be compatible with the proposal from the European Commission on a European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning.”

In March 2010 the Albanian Parliament adopted Law no. 10 247 on the Albanian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Amendments to this law were adopted in May 2018. Secondary legislation under this revised law was prepared. After the recent adoption of the Decisions of the Council of Ministers (DCMs) on AQF level descriptors, Sector Skills Committees and the inclusion of Lifelong Learning Qualifications in the AQF, Albania would like to start the process of referencing the AQF to the EQF.

An AQF Taskforce was established in 2015. The Director of the National Agency of VET and Qualifications (NAVETQ) and the Director of the Department for Integration of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth (MoESY) co-chair the AQF taskforce, which includes also representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the higher education institutions, trade unions and employers’ representatives. The mandate of the Taskforce initially included preparing a Handbook on the AQF, the revision of the 2010 AQF law and secondary AQF legislation. After the fulfilment of the first objectives as a first step toward referencing process, now it focuses on the referencing of the AQF to the EQF and on preparing the implementation strategy for NQF.

In the previous years, the European Training Foundation (ETF) has been supporting the AQF Taskforce with a series of three workshops on the topic of EQF referencing. Workshop no. 1 was held in September 2016 and discussed Basics of the EQF referencing, including 1) Referencing the AQF to the EQF - what it is and what it is not; 2) Basic requirements for the EQF referencing; 3) The referencing report - Structure and chapters; what is available and what not; where to find the information/ whom to involve, as well as issues on which an agreement must be reached. Two open issues at the time included a coherent set of level descriptors, as well as institutional arrangements and the clear functions & roles of institutions.

The workshop also came up with a practical Roadmap with tasks, responsibilities, people to involve, milestones and a time schedule for the EQF referencing process. This Roadmap has, however, not been fully implemented, yet. Its contents and deadlines would need to be updated. 

The topic of Workshop no. 2 in January 2017 was the Inclusion of qualifications in the AQF. The revised AQF Law (then a draft version) includes a scheme of types and levels of qualifications, divided into three categories: 1. General qualifications, 2. Vocational/professional qualifications, 3. Qualifications for lifelong learning. The inclusion of these types of qualifications in the AQF were discussed from the viewpoint of both the legal basis and the EQF referencing criteria 3 and 4.

Workshop no. 3 in May 2017 served to reach a common understanding of the current status of the quality assurance of qualifications in Albania, EQF referencing criteria 5 & 6 and the contents of the AQF by-laws on the Approval of vocational qualifications for inclusion in the AQF/ National Vocational Qualifications register and on the Establishment of sector committees.

These two workshops were very useful to draft the changes on the law and the bylaws on National Qualification Framework in line with the respective referencing criteria.

The results of these workshops are also the basis of this assignment. However, an update based on the newly adopted DCMs and other recent developments will be necessary. Members of the AQF taskforce will make available at the start of the assignment all relevant outputs of the work done so far.

Taskforce has also closely collaborated so far within National Bologna Team on the self-referencing process with QF-EHEA for the HE qualifications. This process is foreseen to be followed in parallel with the EQF referencing as suggested by EQF AG and network of Correspondents on Qualification Frameworks, as well as the recommendations of the Thematic Peer Group on Qualification Framework of Bologna Follow Up Group where Albania is a member from its establishment on 2018.

UNDP Albania is supporting the task force with the necessary international and national expertise to complete all the requirements for furthering the process of referencing.

Deliverables

The purpose of this contract is to assist the AQF taskforce in their process to reference the AQF against the EQF and QF-EHEA. More specifically, the experts will help with the collection of all necessary inputs and prepare the actual draft EQF Referencing Report for Albania including QF-EHEA self-referencing report. The expert will work together with the international and national experts. As the COVID-19 situation might prevent the international experts to attend workshops the international and national experts should divide roles taking into account this situation. The assignment of days is also based on this assumption.

Assignment details

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES

N° of WORKING DAYS

  • Propose assignment plan and update of road map, detailing timetable and data collection based on desk research of already available information with input from national expert.

2

  • Collect missing data in cooperation with the national expert and update the outcomes of the previous workshops based on the latest developments, interviews with stakeholders and by organising two workshops to collect missing data and information. (Due to COVID-19 the international expert might not be able to attend workshops in Albania, but the expert should support the national expert in organising these workshops).

4

  • Review and validate the referencing report regarding HE as well as self-referencing report in cooperation with the national expert according to the criteria and procedures for referencing national qualifications levels to the EQF and QF-EHEA

12

  • Prepare and facilitate a workshop to validate the report with relevant stakeholders. (Facilitate only when the situation allows this or in case of online workshop, otherwise the national expert will be responsible for this part).

2

  • Finalise the report (the part related to HE: referencing to EQF and self-referencing to QF- EHEA) in dialogue with the AQF Taskforce and National Bologna Team

3

 

DESCRIPTION OF DELIVERABLE(s)

DEADLINE

  1. An assignment plan detailing timetable and data collection.

Within 31  October 2020

  1. Prepare and organise a workshop to update the outcomes of the previous workshops, this also includes a report with the findings of the workshop in collaboration with the national expert

Within 10 November 2020

  1. Prepare and organise a workshop to collect missing data (e.g. criterion 2 on level descriptors and criterion 4 on inclusion of qualifications), this also includes a report with the findings of the workshop.

Within 1 December 2020

  1. Draft report based on the criteria and procedures for referencing national qualifications frameworks or systems to the EQF (Annex III of the Council Recommendation on the EQF, May 2017) and with QF-EHEA

Within 15 January 2021

  1. Contribution to the validation workshop (presentation and facilitation) and production of minutes of the validation workshop in collaboration with the national expert

Within 15 February 2021

  1. Finalised report in English in collaboration with national expert and in local language based on the outcomes of the validation workshop and follow up with the AQF Taskforce and National Bologna Team

28 February 2021

 

 

[1] https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/ceead970-518f-11e7-a5ca-01aa75ed71a1/language-en


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgement;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Act as a team player and facilitate team work;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others;
  • Informed and transparent decision-making.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge and expertise of the referencing process of the Qualification Framework of EHEA (QF-EHEA).;
  • Strong communication skills (written, spoken, composing, presentation);
  • Substantive knowledge of business administration and management;
  • Political and cultural sensitivity and commitment to UNDP’s development objectives in the country.


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualification

  • Post-graduate degree in international development, education, economics, social sciences or other relevant field is required;

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in policy analysis and/or comparative research in the field of education and training, proven by involvement in projects or working groups in relevant areas;
  • Relevant knowledge and experience with regard to policies, strategies and practices concerning (1) National Qualification Frameworks (NQFs), (2) the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and related EU policies, and (3) Qualification Framework of EHEA (QF-EHEA).
  • Proven experience in the field of qualifications policies and practices and lifelong learning in own country and/or in other countries.
  • At least two publications or documents e.g. reports/analyses etc. in English or speaker in international conferences/workshops on topics related, in the last 5 years in one or more of the following fields:
    • qualifications systems/frameworks, transparency tools
    • lifelong learning strategies
    • EU policies related to education

Language

  • Excellent written and oral English (C1 level). Other Eu languages knowledge preferred.

 

Evaluation Procedure

UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would consider both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:

  • Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
  • And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70

Criteria A: Post-graduate degree in international development, education, economics, social sciences or other relevant field – max 10 points

Criteria B:  Minimum 7 years’ experience in policy analysis and/or comparative research in the field of education and training, proven by involvement in projects or working groups in relevant areas; – max 10 points

Criteria C: Relevant knowledge and experience with regard to policies, strategies and practices concerning (1) National Qualification Frameworks (NQFs), (2) the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and related EU policies, and (3) Qualification Framework of EHEA (QF-EHEA). – max 20 points

Criteria D:  Proven experience in the field of qualifications policies and practices and lifelong learning in own country and/or in other countries. – max 10 points

Criteria E: At least two publications or documents e.g. reports/analyses etc. in English or speaker in international conferences/workshops on topics related, in the last 5 years in one or more of the following fields:

  • qualifications systems/frameworks, transparency tools
  • lifelong learning strategies
  • EU policies related to education – max 20 points

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max 30 points

 

Application Procedure

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability-please fill in the attached form... www.un.org.al/sites/default/files/IC_Offerors%20Letter%20to%20UNDP%20Confirming%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx
  • Latest personal CV, including past experience from similar projects or completed and signed UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SC) and Individual Contracts (IC) – Blank form Download here.
  • Financial Proposal - specifying a total lump sum amount in USD for completion of the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal should indicate an all-inclusive fixed total contract price and all other travel related costs (such as flight ticket, per diem, etc), supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template attached to the Letter of Confirmation of Interest template.  If an applicant is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the applicant must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. http://www.un.org.al/doc/Financial%20Offer%20template.doc 
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport.

How to Submit the Application:

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Merge your CV or P11, Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;”
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

Due to a large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

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