Is there a need for this qualification in the partner countries?
There are mixed answers to this.
Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium already have qualifications in this area. But the Finnish Qualification could be adapted to meet the needs of these countries:
Where Belgium is concerned the requirements for the qualification are strict and must be adhered to in order to be eligible to establish a business in the country.
The Dutch qualification is currently under review and the relationship cannot be clearly defined.
The Irish qualification seems to be at one level lower than where the Finnish qualification is pitched. However, representatives of the three target audiences for the qualification have been surveyed and the feedback is that there is little demand for qualifications from those who participate in Start Your Own Business courses. This covers those in the craft industries, i.e. apprentices or graduate apprentices, or many of those who are thinking about starting a business.
The Accelerating Campus Entrepreneurship(ACE) Project will put a Trainer of Trainers programme in place for trainers in third level institutions in the near future and it will based on the NICENT Trainers programme (www.nicent.ulster.ac.uk) and NCGE's IEEP programme (www.ncge.com).
The Finnish qualification can have additional benefits to what is already available in Portugal but the structure and way in which to do this would need to be decided. In order to improve local development and labour market integration a new institutional design of cooperation and better integration between local institutions and actors might be an appropriate approach.
Slovenia can see a need as entrepreneurship is not currently certified. Additional benefits would be:
To encourage young people to set up and run their own business
To raise awareness among young people that the use of “entrepreneurship competences” can be a possibility for a professional career
To develop entrepreneurial spirit among young people.
Spain can see a value in the lessons of the Finnish model but see it as a solid starting point from which to respond to the local needs, not to be used as a direct translation, step by step, into the Spanish system.
Italy didn’t respond to this question.
What is already available in the partner countries?
Portugal – Various programmes
See Appendix 2 for a comparison of programmes currently available (based on information provided).
Where does the Finnish qualification fit into the partner countries’ frameworks, if they have one?
See Appendix 3 for crossmapping of Qualification
It is not possible for the qualification to be directly implemented into the Italian or Dutch systems as there are strict formats for qualifications. In the case of the Netherlands it may be more realistic to add elements to the Dutch standards from the Finnish qualification.
In the case of Slovenia there is a possibility of certifying the Finnish qualification as a key qualification but not as a NVA, as “Entrepreneur” is not seen as a qualification in Slovenia.
It may be possible to certify the Finnish qualification in Belgium. This would require comparing the two qualifications in detail as Belgian federal law must be complied with and Flemish regulations for schools.
In Ireland it would be possible to introduce the qualification to the framework. The programme best fits at Level 6 which is awardable through two agencies (which will be amalgamated over the next two years). The question is whether it should be a FETAC or a HETAC Award.
The advantages of the FETAC award is that once it is an award any organisation can use it. Providers of the qualification, however, do have the control over the content of the training programme. The matching of the assessment and learning outcomes are what are quality controlled, not the learning inputs.
The disadvantages of the FETAC award are that there currently is a hold on any new qualifications being approved for certification. It is also unclear what the system for getting new qualifications onto the overall system will be or when it will happen.
The advantages of a HETAC award is that the organisation presenting the award for approval put forward any type of qualification that meets the learning outcome criteria for the relevant levels and meets other quality assurance requirements.
The disadvantages are that the presenting organisation owns the award and it is only they who can certify it. They would have to approve providers and would have control over the content.
There is usually a learning time input requirement.
This was not made clear in the Spanish submission. They would like to adapt the Finnish model to fit in with identified needs in Spain and also to meet the “Entrepreneurial Spirit” agenda.
In Portugal this would be done through working with business centres, business incubators and public institutions (such as employment centres) and local authorities.