Teresa Guimarães

CITEFORMA

Teresa Guimarães is quality manager at CITEFORMA (Portugal). She was peer facilitator at the peer visit at CITEFORMA. Further, she has been in one national Peer Review (ISLA Santerém) and in one transnational Peer Review (Vigor Transitions BV, the Netherlands).

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I have been involved in Quality area and Training, since 1989, and on several occasions the advantages of Peer Review methodology have been pointed out.

My first connection with this methodology was in 2012, when I participated in CECOA VNFIL provider evaluation, as a Peer Coordinator, at the Adult Guidance System in Vocational Education and Training. It was an opportunity to contact a credible external evaluation, an improvement methodology that search solutions and results, carried out by evaluation sector colleagues, leading to best practices share. I felt it could be an instrument to promote a network cooperation between Entities!

After that I participated on others experiences that culminated, in 2017, with the realization and participation in 3 transnational peer evaluation. I was the facilitator at Citeforma Peer Review, Peer Coordinator at ISLA Peer Review and Peer in VIGOR Peer Review. Throughout all the experiences I could see that this methodology is extremely valuable as a catalyst for organizational improvement.

The principal advantages found are the contributions to the improvement, through the identification, by the Peers team, of aspects to improve facet the analyzed quality areas. The evaluation to all stakeholders, through a 360o evaluation, leads to a greater involvement, greater motivation, greater responsibility and greater commitment on the part of the interviewees. Also, the way that interviews are conducted, allowing concrete and related evaluation questions on the part of interviewees, potentiates experiences and good practices exchange. This is also one of the goals of the Peer Review methodology!

Another determining factor is how VNFIL provider evaluated faces this process operationalization, in other words, the credibility with which it performs the self-evaluation phase and make quality areas choice. Quality areas definition also determines recognition of experience, throughout evaluation process, by the organization visited.

I would like to give special emphasis to the Peers team which is decisive at the success of evaluation process. This team is peer at the same area of evaluating. Peer team knows the practices, the difficulties, and the external and internal organization context. So, there is a terminology and a common language. But, as in everything in life, Peer Review has less positive aspects: the need to hold meetings with the Peer team in order to prepare the necessary interactions to evaluate quality areas, complex agendas that lead to tight time control.

Transnational Peer Review brings added advantages such as sharing good practices from other countries with more efficient and effective systems and by placing simple issues, detecting improvement opportunities which will not be detected on a day to day basis. However, the language barrier, the need to translate some documents and to know national VNFIL systems and national

European Peer Review Reader for VNFIL

positions of other countries, at the case of Transnational Peer Reviews complicate the process. The Peer Coordinator has a key role at Transnational Peers integration at team and throughout the evaluation process, allowing effective participation.

But this methodology implementation only makes sense if results are periodically and systematically integrated at organizations improvement plan and identified improvement suggestions by Peer team are analyzed and considered in it.

If we want to create a National or European network, it will be important to win system regulators, to win VNFIL provider administration, to organize peer visit at the right time for the organization, to have qualified peer teams bringing added value, to have quality areas with contributes to efficiency and efficacy, to have good preparation of Peer Review in terms of interviewees selection, as well as the need to integrate this methodology evaluation in existing quality management systems, such as ISO 9001 and EQAVET systems.

After these experiences, I continue to feel that Peer Review methodology has more positive aspects than negative and if seriously implemented can bring great benefits to an organization.

I give you some advice, try it!!!