Short learning programmes - Micro-credentials
Short learning programmes (SLPs) are a type of course (unit, module, etc.) in a particular subject area that focus on specific societal needs which can be a part of larger degree programmes.
A micro-credential is proof of the learning outcomes acquired by students on an SLP.
SLPs have evolved into an opportunity not only to establish bridges between the academic system and the professional world but also to promote lifelong learning.
The SLPs assessed by AQU Catalunya can be characterised as follows:
- Levels 2 and 3 under the Catalan Higher Education Qualifications Framework, and levels 4 and 5 of the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications.
- Programmes linked to the Catalan Public Employment Service's Catalogue of Training in Specialised Fields.
- Credit load: between 5 and 60 ECTS credits.
- ECTS credits earned are recognisable in official qualifications.
- They are taught by Catalan universities.
- They are in line with labour market needs.
- They are targeted at non-traditional students.
The Ex ante accreditation of Short Learning Programmes linked to the Catalan Public Employment Service's Catalogue of Training in Specialised Fields guides the proposals drawn up in connection with the same catalogue.
When designing these programmes, the following must be taken into account:
- The description of the programme
- The justification for its creation
- The internal quality assurance system (IQAS)
- The objective and learning outcomes
- Student access and admission, and student support
- Teaching and support staff
- Material resources and services
- Expected outcomes
Currently, only short learning programmes within the strategic framework of the Secretariat for Universities and Research can be assessed.
The assessment process consists of a prior evaluation by an ad hoc committee, which submits a proposal for an assessment report to the specific assessment committee of the corresponding area of the Institutional and Programme Assessment Committee.
This Specific Committee is the one that issues an initial report (preliminary report), regarding which the university may submit allegations. After having analysed the allegations made, the Specific Committee issues the final report in terms of a favourable or unfavourable ex ante assessment.
The university may lodge an appeal against this decision before the AQU Catalunya Appeals Committee within a maximum period of one month from its notification.
The assessment methodology is based on the following guide:
Degree programmes that receive a favourable assessment are awarded a quality label which is valid for six years:
The final report from the assessment process is sent to the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) so that they might begin registration of the training in a specialised field in the Catalan Public Employment Service's Catalogue of Training in Specialised Fields (SEPE).
The assessment reports issued are made public on the AQU Catalunya website.
They are also made public on the EQAR Database of External Quality Assurance Results.
- European Approach to micro-credentials, European Commission