Unités d’Éducation Continue (UEC)

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SOFEDUC's standards
Ten standards of quality attesting for sound academic and administrative practices required by SOFEDUC must be met by organizations wishing to offer training and continuing training activities sanctioned by the continuing education unit (CEU) standard.
Standard 1 - Training Needs

Each training activity is planned according to the needs that have been identified for a person or specific category of persons.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Formulate training needs in terms of gaps to be filled, that is to say, the lack or inadequacy in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes or the performance of persons to be trained;

Identify sources of information (ex. organizational planning, market studies, official documents of governmental or para-governmental committees, survey with students or employers, links with the company's strategic objectives);

Use several different sources of information;

Establish an identification process of needs with validation mechanisms and adjustments (survey with participants who received training, measuring employer satisfaction);

Encourage potential participants to take part in the process (if the group participants context allows it).

Standard 2 - Learning objectives - Skills

For each training program, clear and concise statements describe the learning objectives in terms of skills and abilities.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Objectives based on training needs;

State in writing, in terms of skills, what is expected of the participant at the end of the training activity;

Having goals skills as measurable criteria set out in clear and concise way, and allowing the acquisition of skills to be acquired;

Express several different objectives, but realistic number depending on the size of the program, the duration and the variety of activities;

Present participants to the learning objectives at the beginning or prior to each activity or training program;

Develop a process of goals validation and adjustment.

Standard 3 - Trainer

Each training activity is designed, supervised and taught by a qualified trainer.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Select the trainer or team of trainers with the following criteria:

Having acquired trainer skill from formal learning or acquired experiences;

Master expertly, the content that gives a context and resources (skills, knowledge, techniques, strategies, culture) to skills to be acquired;

Maîtriser, de manière experte, le contenu qui donne un contexte et les ressources (habiletés, connaissances, techniques, stratégies, culture) aux compétences à acquérir ;

Support and supervise trainers:

Including mechanisms for feedback on their performance;

making available to trainers individual or collective development measures;

by putting in place incentives for trainers to develop their skills.

Standard 4 - Training Content

For each activity, the training content is appropriate given the learning objectives.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Choose a content taking into account the topic involved, the application framework and the meaning for the learner;

Specify in the training plan, the content in conformity with the learning goals;

a content corresponding to the current state of knowledge in this field;

Implement a process to identify the evolution of content to ensure their update.

Standard 5 - Training Strategies

Training strategies in line with major training models, incorporate training content and allocate time periods that meet the different styles and learning abilities of individuals or classes of individuals, to ensure the achievement of objectives.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Present the training plan, the strategies in conformity with the learning objectives;

Use a variety of learning strategies enhancing the knowledge and experience of the participants;

Conduct several varied learning activities;

Provide ongoing feedback to participants;

Implement a process to identify the evolution of contents and learning strategies to ensure their update.

Standard 6 – Learning Evaluation

When the activity or training program leads to an issue of CEUs, participants must demonstrate that they have achieved the learning objectives.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Specify whether participation or success certificates will be issued and if the nature of the certificates will vary from one individual to another within the same group (issuance of a certificate without UEC for some and with UEC for others);

Specifiy in the training plan the evaluation methods and specify the type, terms and criteria;

Ensure the achievement of learning objectives in the case of programs or activities giving a certificate of achievement;

Facilitate the transmission of results to participants in a timely manner;

Mimic as much as possible evaluation situations with real learning contexts;

Establish a mechanism for monitoring learning assessment (depending on the context of the organization or client).

Standard 7 - Assessment of the activity or training program

Each activity or training program is evaluated by the person or persons who receive it. Each training activity must take place in a physical environment, be it on site, virtual or remote, of suitable quality to facilitate learning.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Collect quantitative and qualitative information as to the evaluation by each person who received the training. This judgment will be on the training plan, the appropriateness of the objectives, content, methods and strategies for training and, where applicable, the adequacy of training in relation to the work situation;

Collect quantitative and qualitative information as to the evaluation by the trainer, the training team and the client on the training activity;

Evaluate the training not only at the end but during the event;

Ensure that each activity takes place in an environment facilitating learning;

Evaluate, in collecting information, the adequacy of the environment and support services;

Having access to a variety of physical and virtual environments and a variety of support services for the type of training and trainees;

Compile and maintain a record of the collected information;

Transmit the collected information to the trainer or team of trainers and other implicated;

Integrate the obtained information in the identification process of needs with validation mechanisms and adjustments suggested to the standard 1, and in the identification process of the evolution of content with the mechanisms of evaluation and adjustment suggested in standard 4.

Standard 8 - Responsible unit

The accredited body shall designate a "responsible unit" to ensure the development and administration of training activities.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Identify the unit in the accredited organization;

Detail the responsibilities of the unit towards the explicit training mandate;

Provide the names of individuals responsible for the unit and the SOFEDUC respondent;

Explain the training approaches in place within the organization;

Describe the processes that ensure the stability and permanence of training services;

Clarify the responsibilities of each individual involved in the training services of the accredited organization;;

Ensure that the training process is linked to other processes aimed at achieving the objectives of the organization (human resources management, development plan, production) if the context permits it;

Regularly collect general information as to the satisfaction of business partners.

Standard 9 - Continuous improvement system

As should any learning organization, the accredited organization maintains a system of continuous improvement to ensure the quality of its training services and the respect of standards for awarding CEUs.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Implement a training management system like the spiral learning organization, planning, management, training, assessment and communication;

Integrate in its activities the information collected in the previous training (see chart);

Have a written procedure that specifies the monitoring mechanisms of required elements of the standard on the evaluation of learning for the issuance of certificates of achievement and CEUs.

Activities required for each activity or training program during the member validation visit:

A validation visit with the member takes place every five years. The visit is made by an expert appointed by the SOFEDUC. The mandate of the expert visitor to verify compliance with the standards for awarding CEUs and discuss with officials the process of improving the quality of continuing formation services.

Make a long-term monitoring of continuous improvement, training services;

Participate in the discussion of the SOFEDUC regarding the quality of training (study days, SOFEDUC activities, sharing of expertise, etc.).

To give an annual measurable objective/s to improve one or more aspects of adult education or management as to continuous training.

Standard 10 – Participants' file

The accredited organization keeps a complete file of each training activity and may provide, upon request, a copy of the certificate of participation or success of each participant for a period of at least seven years.

Activities required for each activity or training program:

Keep a complete file by training activity;

Have a clear approach and a procedure for issuing certificates and access to participants files;

Put in place a system allowing to establish a cumulative file of each participant;

Examples of certificates are presented in the appendix.