The quality assurance in adult education aims at internal evaluation and development of quality. The umbrella law in adult education is the Adult Education Act (en .doc). It specifies adult education that is according to education programmes specifically developed for adults. These programmes are officially recognised education programme for basic school for adults, officially recognised education programmes for adults that do not give formal educational qualification, and non-formal education programmes for adults. By law, adult education organisations that deliver officially recognised education programmes have to carry out self-evaluation.
The same provisions for quality as for mainstream education apply to the delivery of upper secondary vocational, technical and gimnazija programme, short-cycle higher vocational education and higher education for adults.
Providers of officially recognised programmes in adult education have to enter the relevant register at the Ministry responsible for education.
The providers of non-formal education programmes for adults that receive part public funding have to be registered for pursuing the activity of adult education or have the activity of adult education specified in their won foundation act.
The external monitoring of processes and results is the responsibility of the Slovenian institute for adult education. It systematically develops in various projects the approaches to quality assessment in adult education, and promotes development of internal systems of quality in educational organisations for adults.
The National examinations centre assesses knowledge of adult learners in individual subjects (foreign languages), as well. The evaluation of the adult education system is guaranteed with evaluation studies and research projects.
Internal quality assurance
The director of a public organisation for adult education is responsible for assessment and development of quality, and for developing annual reports on self-evaluation. The council of the public organisation appoints the quality committee on the proposal of the director, namely to plan and coordinate the assessment and development of quality.
External quality assurance
The quality assurance in adult education is the responsibility of the same bodies as they are in mainstream education. The competence in the procedures of adopting officially recognised programmes for adult education has the council of experts for adult education. The Slovenian institute for adult education (SIAE) is the institution responsible for research in adult education: research, development of programmes and methods of non-formal education, development of learning material, staff, assessment and quality.
Approaches and methods for quality assurance
Internal quality assurance
Pubic organisation that deliver the programmes for adult education and pursue activities that receive public funds have the obligation by law to set up the internal system of quality. The system has to include ongoing monitoring and self-evaluation. Public organisation have to introduce online the system of internal assessment and development of quality. The law does not specify in detail the procedures of internal assessment and development of quality.
The Slovenian institute for adult education has developed a model for self-evaluation in adult education Let us provide quality education for adults (Ponudimo odraslim kakovostno izobraževanje - POKI). It was introduces in practice in 2001.
The model includes:
- Planning of self-evaluation
- Methodology of obtaining information and the assessment of data
- Course of self-evaluation
- Assessment of results
- Planning of measures and actions, and
- Evaluation of results of measures.
The organisations for adult education decide by choice to assess the quality according to the model POKI. They define the parts of the educational process they plan to monitor, impacts, standards of quality they will follow, how they will apply the findings and measures they will take based on the assessments received. One applies it in the assessment of formal and non-formal education.
In the process of internal quality assurance, the organisations for adult education can decide to appoint the counsellor for quality. The counsellor is on staff at the organisation and is the one with relevant professional competence, who provides counsel to participants in the processes of planning and conducting self-evaluation. The counsellor has to take the special training course delivered by the Slovenian institute for adult education. At national level, the Slovenian institute for adult education set up the national network of quality counsellors. The Ministry responsible for education part funds the network and training of counsellors.
The Slovenian institute for adult education has set up a special online collection of recommendations and good practices MOZAIK KAKOVOSTI (Mosaic of quality). The collection (Let us provide quality education for adults (POKI), Counsellors for quality, Expert external evaluation, Green sign of quality) is of practical nature and summarises the results of development activities that one created at the institute together with numerous educational organisations that have taken part in different quality assurance projects since 2001.
External quality assurance
The external quality assurance in the delivery of officially recognised programmes for adult education, as well as supervision apply the same methods and approaches as they apply for the evaluation of mainstream education, namely with evaluation studies and research projects, monitoring of innovations introduces and inspection, as well as accreditation of programmes and providers. The adult learners in upper secondary vocational and general education complete the education by taking the external matura or vocational matura examination, as well. Participants in the programme of basic school for adults do not take national assessment of knowledge.
Furthermore, the Slovenian institute of adult education had developed additional approaches in external quality assessment in which the educational organisations take part by choice. The recognitions Green quality logo or Approach of expert external evaluation are two of them.
The Green quality logo is presented by the Slovenian institute for adult education to the organisation for adult education that meets the defined standards of quality. The organisation has to give evidence that it integrated internal processes of quality in education of adults in its basic strategic documents, and that it has been systematically, methodically and periodically conducting self-evaluation.
The organisation has the right to use the sign for three years. After the right expires, the organisation has to provide relevant evidence of periodic quality assessment and in-depth self-evaluation to renew it.