EQF e-Learning Courses for Eco-Farming

In the changing environment of the Agricultural policy of Europe there is a rising demand for quality food and healthy environment. This has resulted a growing interest in ecological agriculture. The market for organic products in Europe is generally expanding. Since 1993, organic food production has been strictly regulated in the European Union. Particular competence requirements need to be developed to successfully achieve economic production while ensuring compliance with the regulations.

The Copenhagen process gave priority to the development of an open and flexible European Qualification Framework (EQF) improving  transparency of qualifications and competences. The EQF was adopted in 2008.

The highly successful Leonardo da Vinci pilot project “EcoJob-AP - Training on European standards for ecological agricultural production”  has anticipated this development in 2006 and created an e-based Learning management environment for acquiring knowledge and skills for ecological agrarian production (organic farming). It developed modules for level 3 (for eco-farmers) and for level 5 (for eco-experts) according to the requirements of the EQF. The project ended in 2008.

The specific objectives of this proposal are to transfer the results of the EcoJob-AP project into three European languages where this standardized training concept hitherto does not exist: to the Czech Republic, to Austria and to Slovenia, and to produce these versions with linguistic and socio-economic adaptations that refer to the specific situations in these countries.

The outcomes will be, in the three languages,

  • two on-line distance learning courses to acquire professional qualifications and competences in ecological agriculture, for the EQF level 3 (eco-farmer) and level 5 (eco-expert)
  • a Handbook to acquire key competences for the professional qualifications “eco-farmer” and “eco-expert” on European standards
  • Business skills self-assessment
  • Documents for recognition of these professional qualifications (Europass portfolios)

The adaptations and especially the country specific, linguistic and cultural adaptations are being performed in Slovenia, in the Czech Republic and in Austria in tandem teams of VET institutions in combination with three didactic and pedagogic expert partners. The three VET providers are all working in the field of vocational qualification, and know therefore the didactic  situation and requirements. The expert organisations will bring in their dicdactic and pedagogical know-how and their networking competences with key actors of agricultural education and e-learning organisations in the respective countries.

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