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IDOLearn - International Development Officer - validation of informal and non-formal Learning

The project aims to find a solution to the changing role of teachers and trainers through recognition and accreditation of non-formal and informal learning by creating an integrated European system of identifying, assessing and recognizing vocational competence-based qualifications of International Development Officer (IDO). Promotion of the professional status of teachers and trainers now in charge of international education and activities in schools will be an innovation that gives structure and sustainability to international cooperation practice and development in vocational education and training, both for the teachers/trainers working as international development officers and through them to their students.

Project's target groups

The project is adressed to the teachers, trainers, tutors working as international activities developers, EU project managers, international coordinators and in similar professionals in VET schools/institutes or in working life institutes and it's goal isto find a European-wide solution for the following problems:

  1. Role of VET teachers, trainers and tutors is changing: new skills are demanded because of the internationalisation of their work.
  2. Increasing numbers of teachers/trainers are responsible for developing international project work and other international activities of their institutes.
  3. Large part of their competence is acquired through informal and non-formal learning during of their lives/ careers. That competence is not officially recognised.
  4. Teachers need more competence in this field but mostly they need a validation system recognising their existing competence and experience.


  • Vocational competence-based qualifications of the international development officer. Teachers and trainers working as international activities developers or planners or international coordinators have a great responsibility of developing international activities. They are experienced professionals who have acquired lots of informal and non-formal learning during their careers, besides their basic formal education. The IDOL will give them the possibility to validate their informal and non-formal learning and the competences they have by creating a set of competence-based qualifications of International Development Officer.
  • An improvement of the professional status. The professional status of the officers will be improved by the new qualifications.
  • A training programme to develop the skills needed for the International Development Officer. The future IDOs get new learning opportunities in the two main fields related to their tasks, the international activities and the intercultural dialogue/competence.
  • Competence-based tests are included in the training programme. They give the participants a unique opportunity to show their competences in real communication situations such as taking part in a negotiation between representatives of widely different cultures, leading a team of programme planners, negotiating new training places for a large group of trainees, and so on.
  • A cost-effective way of creating a new professional status. The work of an international coordinator multi-facetted, including various different tasks and duties, many of them have not even existed before. The scope of the work consists of several traditional university subjects, from linguistics to economics. A university degree would take time and become considerably more expensive. And still it would not accept informal and non-formal learning.
  • A new possibility of building professional networks. The international development officers will be able to create a network for functioning as an expert group in questions and matters in international activities and intercultural dialogue.
  • Further development of skills and competences. The IDOs will be able better to choose and evaluate what new skills they will need in the future. Also, the networks of the new professionals have now the possibility to together decide about further development of their skills and competences.

What will this project produce?

  • Finding out what has been done so far
    The project will make a state-of-the art study concerning VET schools and institutes: what are the best practices; what kind of systems of recognising non- formal and informal learning exists in partner countries; what kind of qualifications and needs do professionals in charge of international and intercultural activities have. This will be the basis of our project's work towards promoting a systematic development of international cooperation and intercultural dialogue in VET institutes.
  • Creating a system of validating non-formal and informal learning in the case of IDOs
    The project will create a method of recognition and validation of qualifications and competences for the profession of International Development Officer. Education professionals in schools and institutes engaged in international development have many good competences often acquired through non-formal and/or informal learning. The project seeks to make these competences visible by validation of qualifications for the profession.
  • Creating an integrated European model of competence based qualifications for IDOs
    The IDOL project's priority is to create Qualifications for International Development Officer. Education professionals in charge of developing international cooperation at schools or institutes have almost always no official training/education for their task. However, they have acquired during their working life a lot of non-formal and/or informal learning. Our project will exchange experience and good practice on identification, assessment and recognition of this informal/n on-formal learning in cooperation with several European countries aiming at an integrated European solution.
  • Designing competence based tests
    The IDOL project will research into the standards for validation of non-formal and informal learning. Development and improvement of the standards will take place during the project's work on developing the qualifications for the new profession International Education Officer. The quality and credibility of the standards must be high and agreed upon in cooperation with several European countries. The work is of great importance since nowadays more and more informal and non-formal learning exists without proper validation.
  • Designing pilot training and piloting
    To test and guarantee that the work done is of high quality and credibility a pilot training will be designed. The training programme will be piloted for some 60 representatives of the target group in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, and the UK.
  • Dissemination and exploitation of the results
    One of the main ideas behind the project's work is to create unity and integrated European solutions for the validation of informal and non-formal learning, particularly in the case of the new professionals, International Education Officers. Dissemination of the results is essentially important. Together with the dissemination and exploitation of the results, the project will give advice and suggestions on the improvement of guidance and counselling on validation of non-formal and informal learning

For what use?

  1. Status of practising VET teachers/trainers will be enhanced, internationalisation will get a stronger place in schools/institutes
  2. Thus the teachers/trainers' contribution and involvement in curriculum development will be welcomed and appreciated
  3. The new training possibilities will attract new IDOs - more competence for internationalisation
  4. Competence- based system will strengthen the liaison between IDOs and people doing similar tasks in working life (enterprises, occupational sectors etc)
  5. Results of the project will be exploitable on a European wide basis

IDOL project partners:

  • National Centre for Professional Development in Education - Finland
  • AROI OI - Finland
  • TEHNE- Centrul pentru Dezvoltare si Inovare in Educatie - Romania
  • Norton Radstock College - United Kingdom
  • National Board of Education - Finland
  • Berufsfortbildungswerk des DGB GmbH - Germany
  • Centre International d'Etudes Pedagogiques - France
  • IDEC S.A.- Greece
  • European Forum for Technical and Vocational Education and Training - Belgium
  • Research Centre for Cultural Development - Italy

More information about this project can be found at:

TEHNE.ro   >   projects   >   IDOL - International Development Officer
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