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Chapter VI.

An Overview of Contemporary TVET
Management Practice

George Preddey

1 Introduction

In the previous Chapter VI.8 of this UNESCO-UNEVOC International handbook,

nine generic issues relevant for TVET management were identified. Expanding on
these generic issues, an overview of contemporary TVET management practice is
set out below with particular reference to eleven specific TVET management func-
tions. These functions include:

r strategic and operational planning;

r financial management;
r information management;
r student management;
r staff management;
r course and curriculum management;
r managing TVET delivery;
r managing assessment;
r managing physical assets;
r quality management;
r performance and accountability management.

The TVET management practices of Australia, New Zealand and the United King-
dom have been systematically documented and recorded in an International Labour
Organization Management handbook (Gasskov, 2006) of eleven modules and forty-
three learning units. The handbook is accompanied by a CD-ROM that contains
more than 400 resource documents. These two handbooks, the present UNESCO-
UNEVOC International handbook of education for the changing world of work
(UNESCO-UNEVOC, 2009) and Vocational education and training institutions: a
management handbook and CD-ROM (Gasskov, 2006) are complementary—as was
explained in the Introduction to Chapter VI.8.
The eleven specific TVET management functions discussed below in this
UNESCO-UNEVOC International handbook are cross-referenced to appropriate
learning units in the ILO Management handbook. These learning units cover con-
temporary TVET management functions and practice in greater detail, and also in-

R. Maclean, D. Wilson (eds.), International Handbook of Education for the Changing 1003
World of Work, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-5281-1 VI.9,

C Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009
1004 G. Preddey

clude actual operational documents, management instruments and comprehensive

references. (All references are to Gasskov, 2006—hereafter, only the page number
will be given.)

2 Strategic and Operational Planning

2.1 Supply and Demand Factors for TVET

Students make time commitments and forego income to undertake TVET and have
vested interests in making sound decisions, particularly if they are also paying tu-
ition fees. Nevertheless, they do not always make sound decisions and may be un-
duly influenced by peer group pressure or inadequate information. They can enrol
only in unallocated places in TVET courses that institutions choose to offer them
(p. 92).
Industries and professions have a vested interest in supplies of trained graduates
to meet their current and future requirements for skills. Under-supply may result in
skills shortages and reduced productivity, whereas over-supply may distort labour
markets. Industries and professions are better placed than students and TVET insti-
tutions to assess their own skill needs (p. 93).
Governments have vested interests in TVET delivery in the context of their
broader economic and social-policy objectives. They are least well placed to make
delivery decisions because they lack first-hand knowledge of student demand and
the skill needs of industries and professions. They are better placed to take a broader
view by synthesizing information about TVET provision and labour markets. Gov-
ernments are also uniquely placed to intervene in TVET delivery. Interventions
are more likely to succeed by providing suitable policy environments that enable
other stakeholders to make sound decisions, rather than by resorting to micro-
management of TVET delivery (p. 93).
Institutions are well placed to make TVET delivery decisions if they are also
aware of student demand and the skill needs of industries and professions. Jurisdic-
tions with devolved systems of TVET institutions have generally opted for a combi-
nation of student and industry/professional demands as the predominant drivers of
TVET delivery.
Governments have various options for interventions in TVET delivery. They may
provide support through targeted funding to national target groups or to identified
priority industry sectors and associated TVET courses.
National target groups may be identified to meet governments’ social policy
objectives (e.g. to address particular examples of under-achievement or under-
representation in TVET). Targeting may be on the basis of ethnicity, income, locality
or other perceived indicators of disadvantage.
Support for priority industry sectors (e.g. bio-technology) may be provided
through additional publicly-funded places that encourage institutions to offer rel-
evant TVET courses and/or encourage students to enrol in those courses (pp. 97
et seq.).
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1005

2.2 Assessing Industrial and Student Demand for TVET

The assessment of industrial demand for TVET courses is undertaken by key stake-
holders. These include:
r government agencies undertake assessments to inform labour-market interven-
tions and decision-making by industry, TVET institutions and their prospective
r industry training organizations (ITOs) set up by industries undertake assess-
ments to ensure that their training needs are met;
r TVET institutions gather information individually or through their national asso-
ciations (pp. 102 et seq.).

The information-gathering processes may include surveys, questionnaires and col-

lation of statistical data on:
r occupational and qualification structures;
r industry-based training practices and opportunities for off-job TVET;
r graduate destinations (tracer studies);
r current workforces to establish principal entry points (reverse tracer studies);
r current job vacancies;
r unemployment and under-employment;
r future industrial and developmental projects (pp. 109 et seq.).

Demographic information on school-leaver cohorts is customarily gathered, collated

and disseminated by government agencies that have responsibilities for compulsory
education. Statistical information on enrolments, retention and graduation rates is
generally available from government agencies responsible for TVET institutional
funding. In some jurisdictions, the TVET institutions are required to furnish infor-
mation to agencies as a prerequisite for public funding.

2.3 Strategic and Operational Planning for TVET Delivery

Effective planning in autonomous TVET institutions takes place over different time
r long-term strategic planning gives effect to the governing councils’ visions for
their institutions, their agreed missions and their long-term strategic develop-
r short-term (annual) business planning determines institutions’ TVET delivery
for the forthcoming academic and financial years (p. 112).

Strategic plans are customarily developed by small groups with requisite skills that
may be sub-committees of governing councils strengthened by secondees from man-
agement. Various planning techniques may be used:
1006 G. Preddey

r analyses of institutions’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT

r development of alternative scenarios for future development;
r structured consultation with stakeholders;
r development of performance indicators and milestones.

Strategic planning groups need to take into account the external inputs to planning.
These include government training policies, labour-market forecasts, economic and
demographic factors, and assessments of institutional capacities to implement strate-
gic plans (pp. 114 et seq.).
Autonomous TVET institutions customarily operate within annual TVET de-
livery and budget cycles that are covered by short-term business plans. Institu-
tions’ annual budgets are important components of business plans. Performance
indicators and milestones defined within business plans are often used in ac-
countability regimes that determine whether the TVET institutions have deliv-
ered their expected TVET outputs and are operating within their approved budgets
(p. 115).

3 Financial Management

3.1 Funding Sources and Mechanisms for TVET

Public funding is allocated to TVET institutions by governments for two main

reasons: to achieve desired national outcomes; and to enable societies in general
to benefit from the recognized public benefits (externalities) of TVET (pp. 121
et seq.).
In many countries, publicly-subsidized TVET is available principally through
public TVET institutions and subject to restrictive entry conditions. In a number of
countries, students at public and private TVET institutions are treated more-or-less
equally in accordance with various TVET funding policies. These include TVET
vouchers delivered to school-leavers and ownership-neutral funding delivered to
institutions (CD-ROM Unit 5.1).
When TVET institutions are permitted to set their own tuition fees to supplement
their public funding, their enhanced autonomy allows competition on the basis of
price (i.e. fees) and course quality. In principle, this may encourage greater cost-
efficiency and effectiveness (see also Chapter VI.8, Public versus private funding
and tuition fees).
An optimal approach may be a mixed system of public and private TVET in-
stitutions in which students, institutions, industry, professions and (light-handed)
government-funding agencies determine collectively what TVET courses are of-
fered, where and to whom.
Governments have options in how they fund public TVET institutions. The alter-
native funding methodologies can be variously categorized as:
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1007

r input- or output-based funding;

r negotiated or normative funding;
r absolute or relative funding (pp. 125 et seq.).

Under input-funding systems, governments fund the input costs of TVET institu-
tions directly (e.g. by funding teachers’ salaries, costs of materials, utilities, etc.).
Institutions are funded for what they cost and, consequently, governments have little
appreciation of what value they are receiving for their investments.
Under output-funding systems, governments directly purchase TVET institu-
tions’ outputs, i.e. the skills and expertise of graduates—or, as proxies for out-
puts, the numbers of enrolments or equivalent full-time students (EFTS), etc. (see
also Chapter VI.8, Inputs versus outputs and outcomes). Under this approach,
governments have a better appreciation of what their investments are produc-
ing. International experience indicates that the cost-efficiency, effectiveness and
accountability of public TVET institutions are enhanced under output-funding
Negotiated funding systems involve negotiations between TVET institutions
and central funding agencies. Under normative funding, funding norms/standards/
averages, funding formulae and other quantitative factors are used, i.e. funding allo-
cations are calculated rather than negotiated. Funding formula customarily include
defining parameters for TVET institutions (e.g. approved numbers of funded EFTS)
and funding parameters (e.g. prescribed funding levels per approved EFTS differen-
tiated by field and level of study).
In absolute (bottom-up) funding, TVET institutions submit their own funding
requirements and overall budgets are the sum of institutional bids. In relative (top-
down) funding, finite resources are allocated centrally to TVET institutions in pro-
portion to their assessed needs.
For practical fiscal considerations, normative funding systems generally adopt
relative (top-down) approaches. The starting points are the politically determined
budget appropriations for TVET at national levels. The appropriations are allocated
among the TVET institutions by normative funding methodologies according to
their relative needs.
There has been a gradual international trend in the resourcing of TVET from in-
put to output funding (pp. 127 et seq.). Under output-funding systems, governments
have better information on and control of the TVET services that they fund. Output-
funding systems in principle increase cost-efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness
and accountability, but require that TVET institutions have adequate autonomy to
operate under this funding model. In particular, they require sufficient autonomy to
be able to match their input costs to their output-funding entitlements.

3.2 Institutional Budgeting Processes

Under input-funding systems, managers are usually constrained from diverting
funding allocated for a particular input cost (e.g. salaries) to meet a different input
1008 G. Preddey

cost (e.g. new equipment). Decisions on the most effective use of public resources
are essentially made by funding agencies. Institutional managers have restricted fi-
nancial autonomy, while financial planning is centrally driven.
Under output funding systems, TVET institution managers are free (within pre-
scribed limits) to determine institutional outputs and to allocate funding resources
among their competing input costs. Decisions on the most effective use of public re-
sources are essentially made by institutional managers rather than by central funding
agencies (p. 129).
Annual budgets are important components of institutional business plans. They
forecast future revenues and expenditures and generally incorporate financial per-
formance indicators including:

r projected operating surpluses;

r returns on income and assets;
r operating cash flows;
r measures of liquid assets, working capital and debt ratios (p. 131).

Internal budgets are derived from institutional business plans and support their oper-
ations. Output funding is generally undifferentiated: i.e. institutional managers are
free to decide how to allocate revenue from public funding, student tuition fees and
fee-for-service income to meet their internal institutional operating costs (salaries,
overheads, capital expenditure, etc.) (p. 133).
Major cost items, such as capital expenditure on new buildings or equipment that
serves the whole institution, are customarily dealt with at the level of chief exec-
utives, subject to approval by governing councils. Costs may be either regarded as
overheads shared by whole institutions or met through debt financing (borrowing).
Buildings and equipment will inevitably require replacement, and replacement costs
are customarily incorporated into the costing of service delivery as allowances for
depreciation (pp. 135 et seq.).
Generally, there will be some degree of cross-subsidization among the various
departments to ensure that TVET institutions offer acceptable ranges of courses,
including uneconomic courses that attract low enrolments. New courses often have
developmental and start-up costs that are met through cross-subsidization.

3.3 Financial Management

From time to time, the management of autonomous TVET institutions may de-
termine that their institutions lack the financial or physical resources necessary
for effective operation. Where deficiencies are financial (e.g. insufficient accumu-
lated cash surpluses to cover the costs of new buildings or equipment), prudent
borrowing may be appropriate. Where deficiencies are physical (e.g. insufficient
buildings to accommodate staff and students), prudent leasing may be appropriate
(pp. 147 et seq.).
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1009

Governments have legitimate interests in proposals by TVET institutions to bor-

row and generally regulate to protect their ownership interests. The degree of regula-
tion is determined by the level of institutional autonomy and may vary from outright
bans on borrowing to light-handed regulation that requires TVET institutions to pro-
duce business plans demonstrating that proposed loans are prudent (pp. 137 et seq.).
Leases, like loans, are risks for both the TVET institutions and for governments
(as owners), but may have advantages over substantial building programmes by of-
fering enhanced flexibility. For similar reasons, leases are also often regulated.
In jurisdictions where public TVET institutions are resourced by output-funding
systems, the decisions on capital expenditure are delegated to the institutions them-
selves. Arguably, more than borrowing and leasing, capital expenditure exposes both
TVET institutions and governments (as owners) to financial risks. Consequently,
governments customarily regulate capital expenditure to protect their ownership in-
terests, taking into account the levels of institutional autonomy.
Regulation may range from centrally-managed capital work programmes oper-
ated by government agencies to requirements on TVET institutions to produce busi-
ness plans demonstrating that proposed capital expenditures are prudent investments
(pp. 137 et seq.).

3.4 Financial Statements and Audit

For public TVET institutions to be granted a level of financial autonomy, their gov-
ernance and management must be accountable for their use of public resources.
Financial accountability is customarily achieved by requiring public TVET institu-
tions to prepare standard sets of financial statements in accordance with generally
accepted accounting practices.
Standard sets of financial statements customarily include statements of financial
performance, financial position, movements in equity, cash flows, commitments and
contingent liabilities, and revenues and expenditure (p. 154). These statements are
essential components of TVET institutions’ annual reports (see also ‘Quality Man-
agement’ below).
Accountability raises the issue of who is to be held accountable. In some juris-
dictions, required sets of standard financial statements must also include statements
of responsibility under which governing councils and chief executives jointly accept
responsibility for the integrity and accuracy of financial reporting.
To give substance to statements of responsibility and to strengthen systems of
internal financial control, autonomous TVET institutions require systems for the
(internal) audit of all their financial transactions. In larger institutions, chief internal
auditors carry out these functions. To enhance credibility, annual financial state-
ments are customarily accompanied by independent audit reports from qualified
external auditors. In some jurisdictions, financial statements are subject to external
audit by State agencies established for this function. In other jurisdictions, TVET in-
stitutions are permitted to use qualified independent private sector auditors (pp. 155
et seq.).
1010 G. Preddey

4 Information Management

4.1 MIS Design and Subsystems

Modern TVET institutions require comprehensive management information sys-

tems (MIS) to support effective governance and their external reporting and ac-
countability requirements. Governments and funding agencies require information
on institutional performance, enrolments and quality-assured courses to enable them
to support institutions and students effectively. TVET institutions need information
about students to plan effectively, and financial information to support their internal
financial and quality-management systems.
Efficient and effective TVET systems generally have national data collection
systems through which TVET institutions furnish information on their courses and
students. National databases maintained by central agencies collect, store, analyse
and disseminate information that informs public funding allocations to TVET insti-
tutions and the decisions of prospective students (pp. 79 et seq.).
The standard components of MIS operating in autonomous TVET institutions
will generally include systems for:
r financial management;
r human resource management;
r timetabling;
r student records and tracking;
r student activity monitoring;
r quality assurance;
r assets and facilities management;
r internal and external information and communication (pp. 83 et seq.).

4.2 MIS Development and Maintenance

TVET institutions commonly develop MIS that suit their own particular require-
ments and purposes. These systems are often based on commercially available soft-
ware packages or are developed for particular objectives by consortia or associations
of TVET institutions that work collaboratively with private sector ICT companies
(p. 87).
When governments decide to introduce new student data collection systems, im-
plementation can be a major challenge for current institutional MIS, particularly
in respect of data compatibility. Prior consensus on data compatibility is facilitated
by consultation between government officials and representatives of institutions or
their national associations.
National student identifier systems are key components of comprehensive na-
tional student data systems. Contingent on their introduction, TVET institutions are
able to access and support student data systems (often as a precondition for pub-
lic funding) through interface options that suit their own particular circumstances
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1011

(p. 87). The operation of national student identifier systems is customarily an on-
going responsibility of central agencies and involves the maintenance of access pro-
tocols for TVET institutions and the provision of technical and operational guidance
(p. 88).

5 Student Management

5.1 Student Selection and Enrolment

Under open-entry policies, prospective students who wish to enrol in TVET courses
may do so without restriction provided that they meet any prescribed minimum entry
standards. If institutions charge tuition fees, access may be rationed by price (i.e. the
students’ ability to pay tuition fees).
Although restricted-entry policies minimize fiscal risks for governments, they
also have consequences for equity. Competitive entry is equitable to the extent that
competition for places is based on merit, but meritorious students may fail because
they are from disadvantaged families (pp. 159 et seq.).
Equity in competitive (merit-based) enrolment systems may be enhanced by ar-
rangements intended to improve access for target groups. Targeting may be on the
basis of student or family income or on gender or ethnicity, etc. Possible targeting
mechanisms include:
r pre-entry or bridging courses that allow disadvantaged students to meet entry
r means-tested scholarships or grants;
r non-discriminatory student loans;
r entry quotas guaranteeing minimum numbers of places for students from target
groups (pp. 161 et seq.).

TVET institutions customarily attract enrolments by using the media (e.g. commu-
nity and national newspapers, radio, etc.), by organizing special events (e.g. careers
forums), and by liaising with secondary schools and industrial bodies. Promotional
materials may include brochures, institutional web-sites and free-phone services.
In some jurisdictions, government agencies maintain comprehensive web-sites
that offer generic information to school-leavers on employment options, prerequisite
skills and competencies, and options for TVET. Careers counsellors are well-placed
to advise students in their final year(s) of schooling on options for TVET and em-
ployment (pp. 162 et seq.).
Enrolment procedures customarily involve students providing information for
TVET institutions. Prospective students may be required to demonstrate that they
meet prescribed minimum entry standards. Some jurisdictions operate elaborate
pre-enrolment systems that optimally match student preferences with the available
TVET places, taking into account previous educational attainment. In other juris-
dictions, TVET institutions individually select their own students (p. 163).
1012 G. Preddey

5.2 Student Monitoring, Guidance and Welfare

Monitoring and guidance processes for students may include procedures related
to induction, recognition of prior learning, progress assessment, course evaluation,
record-keeping and the management of students at risk of non-completion. Teach-
ing staff are responsible for monitoring students’ progress against expected course
outcomes (pp. 166 et seq.).
Information provided at the commencement of TVET courses customarily cov-
r timetables, etc.;
r procedures used to monitor students’ progress and to determine course outcomes;
r student access to counselling, welfare and other ex-curricular services.
Processes for the evaluation of student performance generally fall into two cat-
egories: norm-referenced assessment; and standards-based assessment (see also
‘Managing assessment’ below).
The welfare services provided for students while they are in training customarily
r financial support, e.g. hardship funds, financial advice;
r health and accident insurance services;
r student accommodation services, e.g. on- and off-campus hostels, accommoda-
tion placement services;
r social, recreational and cultural facilities;
r health and fitness centres;
r career, vocational guidance and job-placement assistance (pp. 174 et seq.).
TVET institutions may either provide welfare services from their own resources,
contract external organizations to deliver them on a fee-for-service basis, or de-
velop partnership arrangements with external agencies to deliver welfare services by

6 Staff Management

6.1 Staff Selection, Recruitment and Appointment

TVET teaching staff are often recruited from particular trades or professions to en-
sure that they have the requisite knowledge and skills. Teaching staff will also need
adequate teaching skills to be effective. Non-teaching specialist staff (e.g. informa-
tion technology, library, public relations, technical support, etc.) may be appointed
for particular skills that are not necessarily specific to TVET (pp. 185 et seq.).
In some jurisdictions, staff recruitment and selection for positions in public
TVET institutions involves matching the attributes of aspiring appointees with job
descriptions of vacant positions. Job descriptions customarily include:
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1013

r position/job titles;
r lists of superior staff positions (who appointees report to);
r lists of subordinate staff positions (who report to appointees);
r purposes of positions;
r key accountabilities (what is expected from appointees, sometimes called key
deliverables, defined in terms of performance indicators);
r personal knowledge and experience specifications (expected prior experiences,
formal qualifications, personal attributes and competencies, etc.) (p. 187).

In some jurisdictions, recruitment policies and processes remain the responsibility

of central agencies, whereas in others, TVET institutions have the autonomy to re-
cruit and select their own managerial, teaching and non-teaching staff (p. 188).
In some jurisdictions, managerial staff are recruited for their demonstrated level
of managerial skills (managerial approach). In others, teachers are customarily pro-
moted from teaching positions to take on managerial responsibilities (collegial ap-
proach). There are arguments in support of both practices (CD-ROM Unit 7.1).

6.2 Staff Training and Career Guidance

Effective TVET institutions require staff training systems that ensure that teach-
ers have the necessary skills and competencies. Staff training systems customarily
include arrangements for:

r inducting new staff;

r conducting training needs analyses to identify skills shortcomings and compe-
r delivering staff training to address identified skill gaps;
r developing individual training plans;
r certification that provides portable, tangible evidence of skills and competencies;
r career guidance and development (pp. 190 et seq.).

6.3 Staff Performance Appraisal and Remuneration

In autonomous TVET institutions, staff may be appointed by governing councils or

by senior management under delegated authority. Levels of remuneration may be
negotiated by management with prospective appointees. In some countries, remu-
neration and other conditions of employment are negotiated collectively between
unions representing institutional staff and agents representing associations of TVET
Although under these arrangements, institutional staff may no longer have job
certainty, they are more likely to be compensated at true labour-market rates for
their skills and competencies. Institutions also benefit by having greater freedom to
1014 G. Preddey

match their input costs (mainly salaries) to their TVET delivery (outputs and output
funding) (pp. 194 et seq.).
Managers customarily undertake periodic staff performance appraisals that as-
sess the performance of staff against their expected outputs (i.e. service deliv-
ery specified in job descriptions). Appraisals provide staff with feedback on their
strengths and weaknesses and on their further career development. They also inform
decisions on salary adjustments and promotions. Formal arbitration processes may
need to be invoked to resolve disputed assessments (pp. 199 et seq.).

7 Course and Curriculum Management

7.1 Developing National and Institutional Courses

and Qualifications

Two broad categories of courses delivered by TVET institutions can be identified:

r national courses leading to national qualifications that are developed centrally,
have automatic credit-transfer arrangements and can be delivered by any accred-
ited TVET institution;
r institutional (provider) courses meeting local needs that are developed by indi-
vidual TVET institutions, lead to institutional qualifications, often have no (or
limited) credit transfer arrangements and remain the intellectual property of ini-
tiating institutions (p. 216).

High-level forums enable governments, employers, unions and TVET institutions

to agree on occupational categories used in national courses and qualifications, and
the levels of qualifications that will be provided within each occupational cate-
gory. National TVET courses and qualifications are generally developed, maintained
and approved by designated central agencies charged with these roles. They oper-
ate through appointed expert/industry committees assigned with the tasks of set-
ting skills standards and developing and maintaining national TVET qualifications
(pp. 205 et seq.).
In TVET institutions that develop their own courses, academic boards may ap-
prove proposals for new courses on the basis of information that justifies the need
for them. Representatives of institutional staff and industry stakeholders may decide
course objectives and the means by which they are to be achieved (pp. 216 et seq.).
Modular course structures offer significant advantages for credit transfer and
articulation, e.g. enhanced opportunities for credit transfer between courses that
include equivalent modules (see also ‘Managing assessment’ below). Course devel-
opers will need to decide whether all modules are compulsory, whether some are
optional, and how all modules contribute to overall course objectives (p. 219).
Course development begins with course outlines or structures. Decisions are re-
quired on important course parameters, such as entry levels, exit levels and course
durations. Course outlines describe how courses are to be taught and are further
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1015

expanded into course curricula that specify in detail what is to be taught. Curricula
specify the topics to be covered and level of detail. They should include sufficient
information for teaching staff to be able to develop their teaching plans for course
delivery (pp. 217 et seq.).
Knowledge, skills and competencies embodied in curricula may be generic
(i.e. relate to a broad range of vocational fields) or specialist (i.e. relate to a narrow
vocational field). They may also be theoretical (i.e. abstract or conceptual knowl-
edge) or practical (i.e. manual skills, knowledge and competencies relating to par-
ticular utilitarian tasks). In general, theoretical knowledge, skills and competencies
tend to be generic, whereas practical knowledge, skills and competencies tend to be
specialist (pp. 228 et seq.).

7.2 Course Evaluation

TVET qualifications, courses and curricula and their delivery require periodic eval-
uation. Curricula, in particular, are sensitive to changing job requirements. Eval-
uations are often focused on graduate outcomes or on employers’ views of the
relevance of courses in the workplace. Course evaluations vary in scope, but gen-
erally give consideration to course relevance, design, delivery, assessment and
cost-efficiency. Feedback from stakeholders (students, graduates and employers) is
essential for robust course evaluations and may be obtained through:
r employer satisfaction surveys;
r graduate satisfaction surveys;
r graduate destination surveys (tracer studies);
r student satisfaction surveys;
r data on student enrolments and performance;
r teaching staff surveys (pp. 233 et seq.; pp. 276 et seq.).

The appropriate responses by academic boards to unsatisfactory course evaluations

include changes to course curricula to improve course relevance, improvements to
delivery (e.g. enhanced teaching resources, replacement of non-performing staff)
and, when necessary, course termination (p. 234).

8 Managing TVET Delivery

8.1 Managing Teaching

Autonomous TVET institutions are responsible for the organizational and staffing
structures that determine the management of TVET delivery. Senior management
is generally concerned with strategic planning frameworks and performance in-
dicators. Departmental heads are responsible for organizing their staff, financial
resources and TVET courses to meet expected outputs and the skill needs of
1016 G. Preddey

industries, professions and the wider community. Institutional teaching staff are re-
sponsible for organizing the delivery of TVET to individuals and groups of students.
These structures indicate three layers of management. Some responsibilities
are shared: for instance, quality assurance and good health and safety practice.
Generally, the structures include breakdowns into departments based on specific
TVET fields. Faculty heads, heads of departments and course leaders are TVET
(line) managers. They manage teaching staff grouped into delivery teams and are
responsible to the senior management teams for efficient course delivery within their
own areas (pp. 241 et seq.).
In recent years, there has been a rapid expansion of off-campus learning (dis-
tance and e-learning). Often these modes are supported by on-campus study centres
and e-mail communication systems. Distance and e-learning require specific course
materials and their developmental costs can be substantial, particularly for specialist
courses that involve small student numbers (pp. 246 et seq.).
Post-school TVET is generally more student-centred than school education,
which is strongly teacher-centred. Recent experience suggests that distance and e-
learning is more suited for mature-age students and students who are undertaking
second or advanced qualifications.
Virtual learning environments bring together in one piece of software and one in-
tegrated environment many features of TVET delivery. They require careful techni-
cal decisions about equipment location and networking, software, systems manage-
ment and trouble-shooting. The teaching staff involved generally perform different
roles in materials design and student supervision, and require different management
skills (p. 248).

8.2 Managing Staff Resources

The allocation of institutional teaching staff resources to the actual delivery of

TVET involves decisions on appropriate teaching loads. These decisions must make
reasonable provisions for:

r class contact time, i.e. time spent in the actual teaching and supervision of student
r non-teaching time, i.e. time required for essential non-teaching duties;
r appropriate modes of delivery;
r appropriate class sizes;
r staff leave and sickness (pp. 251 et seq.).

Class contact times for teaching staff may be prescribed as maxima in employment
contracts that take into account annual leave and other employment provisions. They
generally decrease as the levels or complexities of TVET courses increase, and
are further reduced by the demands of non-teaching time, such as involvement in
curriculum development, applied research and industrial liaison.
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1017

Customary deployments of TVET staff include lectures, tutorials, practical work

in workshops and laboratories, clinical training in health centres, self-directed
study and supervision of undergraduate research. Timetabling is a critical factor
in the effective allocation of teaching and support staff resources to TVET de-
livery (pp. 255 et seq.). Timetabling packages are critical components of TVET
institutions’ management information systems (see also ‘Information management’

8.3 Monitoring Course Delivery

Teachers are being effective only if students are learning. The monitoring of teach-
ing staff provides information on their teaching skills. Its purpose should be made
clear to staff at the outset and may include:
r providing evidence for performance appraisals;
r assessing the effectiveness of new courses;
r informing quality management systems (see also ‘Quality management’ below)
(pp. 271 et seq.).
TVET institutions customarily have procedures for monitoring student progress
through their courses, allowing the identification of students who are not coping
(pp. 273 et seq.). The procedures include group discussions at the end of course
components, structured questionnaires and regular assessments (see also ‘Student
management’ above).
Course outcomes may be assessed through graduate satisfaction surveys, gradu-
ate destination surveys (tracer studies) and surveys of employer satisfaction (p. 276).

9 Managing Assessment

9.1 National Qualifications Frameworks

National qualifications frameworks are agreed system of qualifications that oper-

ate in particular countries. National qualifications are awarded by approved bodies
and recognize that students have achieved prescribed levels of learning outcomes,
standards or competencies. National qualifications frameworks support the coherent
integration of qualifications and are intended to provide national consistency in the
recognition of TVET outcomes. Credentials (certificates, diplomas, degrees, etc.)
provide tangible and portable evidence of student achievement (pp. 206 et seq.).
National qualifications frameworks generally provide direction on:
r principles that underpin framework designs: how and where qualifications can
be achieved, operating principles, etc.;
r qualification structures: coverage, scope, sectors, levels, modules, units, etc.;
r qualification descriptors: required skills, knowledge and competencies;
1018 G. Preddey

r legal status of frameworks: i.e. voluntary, regulatory or statutory;

r determination of learning outcomes: i.e. competency-based (standards) or
r recognition and credit mechanisms: automatic credit transfer, recognition of
prior learning, etc.;
r awards/credentials: e.g. certificates, diplomas, degrees;
r protocols that ensure national consistency: protected titles, etc.
National TVET courses and qualifications are generally developed, maintained and
approved by designated central agencies charged with these roles. The agencies
operate through appointed expert/industry committees assigned the tasks of setting
skills standards and of developing and maintaining national TVET qualifications
(p. 208).

9.2 Assessment and Certification

Once skill standards are agreed, standard-setting bodies may organize tests of attain-
ment or agree to delegate this assessment function. Professional assessors are gen-
erally experienced teachers and may include the staff of TVET institutions. External
assessments provide assurance against fraudulent standards and testing practices.
In devolved TVET systems, skills assessment may be carried out by accredited
TVET institutions or by registered assessors. Moderation processes may be required
to ensure that accredited TVET institutions and assessors make consistent and reli-
able judgements about the work of students seeking qualifications (p. 209).
Effective TVET institutions have procedures for monitoring the progress of stu-
dents through their TVET courses that allow the identification of students who are
not coping. Student performance is measured against planned sequences of learning
and achievement. Assessment arrangements need to be explicit to guide students to
clear understandings of what is expected of them (pp. 273 et seq.).
Processes for the evaluation of student performance in general fall into two broad
r norm-referenced assessment: ranks students against their peers according to their
performance in class tests and assignments and offers an indirect measure of
skills and competencies achieved;
r standards-based assessment: confirms that students have (or have not) achieved
specified standards in defined skills and competencies, but does not rank their
performances against their peers.
An advantage of standards-based over norm-referenced assessment is its ability to
confirm that students meet prescribed standards of skill or competency. A disadvan-
tage of standards-based assessment is that it does not allow students to be ranked.
Under standards-based assessment, students are assessed as able (or unable) to carry
out particular tasks according to prescribed standards. Abilities cannot be combined
meaningfully as a measure of overall skill that would allow ranking (norm refer-
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1019

encing). Standards-based assessment also requires that training courses be broken

down into discrete modules for particular tasks pp. 171 et seq.).

9.3 Credit Transfer and Articulation

National qualifications frameworks may facilitate linkages between qualifications
by enabling individual learners to move from one qualification to another in more ef-
ficient and effective learning pathways. Qualification linkages are essential tools for
the operation of effective national qualifications frameworks. They promote more
open, accessible and relevant post-compulsory education systems and, inter alia,
lifelong learning.
National qualifications frameworks may facilitate linkages between qualifica-
tions through credit transfer and articulation arrangements. Credit transfer provides
a means of linking individual components of existing awards, whereas articula-
tion provides sequential pathways between qualifications. National qualifications
frameworks facilitate credit transfer by providing direction on the determination of
learning outcomes and on recognition and credit mechanisms. This direction enables
arrangements to be developed for automatic credit transfer and for the recognition
of prior learning (p. 207).
Articulation—the development of flexible pathways that allow students to move
easily between courses, qualifications, industries and professions—enables closer
connections between secondary education, TVET and higher education. Articula-
tion is a key process in building closer inter-sectoral relationships.
Articulation may be enhanced by modular course structures that provide for
credit transfer between courses including the same or equivalent modules. Mod-
ular course structures are also a prerequisite for standards-based assessment. For
these reasons, national qualifications frameworks offering national consistency in
the recognition of TVET outcomes and enhanced articulation are generally based
on modular course structures and standards-based assessment of modules
(p. 219).
Credit transfer and articulation arrangements increase the opportunities for stu-
dents with prior TVET experience and qualifications to access higher education,
or increasingly vice versa by facilitating student mobility between institutions and
Such arrangements should, however, not impinge upon the integrity of courses,
nor on the autonomy of TVET institutions in taking decisions on admissions, pre-
requisites for on-going study, and the levels and amounts of credit or articulation
conferred in these courses. On the other hand, students and intending students need
reasonable assurance that they will be able to follow education pathways that recog-
nize previous work and study outcomes and that give appropriate credit where these
relate to further studies.
Effective credit transfer and articulation are key components in making lifelong
learning a reality and can deliver significant efficiencies in both time and money for
students, TVET institutions and governments.
1020 G. Preddey

10 Managing Physical Assets

10.1 The Management of Sites and Buildings

In developing TVET systems, the management of the physical assets of public

TVET institutions is normally undertaken by agencies acting on behalf of govern-
ments. Central intervention and direction are necessary until adequate capacities and
systems are in place at the institutional level.
In more developed TVET systems, capital funding may be included in the undif-
ferentiated bulk funding allocated to autonomous TVET institutions to meet their
input costs. In some jurisdictions, central funding agencies retain control over capi-
tal works programmes, whereas the TVET institutions have autonomy in the use of
their operational (recurrent) funding (pp. 258 et seq.).
Capital development needs to take account of TVET institutional sizes and deliv-
ery profiles. The experience of a number of countries is that efficiencies are achieved
in TVET systems that comprise smaller numbers of larger institutions. Economies
of scale are hard to achieve with larger numbers of smaller institutions. Large TVET
institutions also have pedagogical advantages inherent in more comprehensive pro-
vision of TVET, and can adapt more flexibly to changing labour-market needs
(p. 259).
Adapting existing facilities to allow them to more effectively meet changing de-
mands may be a better strategy than embarking on the construction of new facilities.
Where new TVET facilities are necessary, their design should allow maximum flex-
ibility. In some jurisdictions, there are national guidelines and norms for the space
requirements of general teaching, practical workshops and library/private study at
TVET institutions (pp. 261 et seq.).
The efficient use of physical facilities is essential to achieve efficient TVET in-
stitutions. It is facilitated by a culture of institutional rather than school or faculty
ownership (pp. 264 et seq.). Lecture theatres, classrooms, workshops, laboratories
and other common teaching areas should be pooled and allocated as common re-
sources. Central computerized timetabling systems increase the efficient use of ac-
commodation (see also ‘Information management’ above).

10.2 The Management of Equipment and Learning Technologies

The effective delivery of TVET requires that institutions not only have adequate
teaching spaces, but that they also have adequate teaching aids and equipment. Tra-
ditional and newer aids that enhance teacher-centred learning include:
r simple photocopied handouts;
r wall-charts, blackboards, whiteboards, laser pointers, etc.;
r overhead projectors for slides and transparencies;
r video-projectors linked to VCRs/DVD players for videotape/DVD presenta-
tions, etc.;
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1021

r video-projectors linked to PCs for computer-based learning materials, etc.;

r databases and computer-based self-learning materials.
Teaching equipment, particularly desk-top computers, have short lives due to heavy
use and rapid obsolescence. Their rapid depreciation should be taken into account
in financial planning (p. 267).
The efficient use of specialist teaching areas is affected by the mix and duplica-
tion of training equipment. A proliferation of large items of equipment (e.g. turning
and milling lathes) consumes workshop space and may limit the capacity to diversify
TVET courses and to respond flexibility to changing demands. An alternative ap-
proach is one in which workshops accommodate multi-functional equipment. Com-
mon items are available for different TVET courses and savings accrue in workshop
space requirements and in the purchase, maintenance and replacement of specialist
equipment. The use of adjacent equipment bays and mobile cabinets can facilitate
multi-functional spaces in workshops (p. 267).
A trend away from teacher-centred learning towards student-centred learning has
resulted in the emergence of new forms of learning environments. Learning-centre
approaches combine classrooms, seminar rooms and computer resource rooms with
information services. Information service centres—formerly called libraries—may
serve as communication and data hubs for whole campuses (pp. 269 et seq.).
Like buildings, learning technologies should efficiently support well-planned
curricula. In particular, students should not undertake study on outdated equipment
and TVET environments should compare favourably with the students’ present and
future workplaces.

11 Quality Management

11.1 Quality-Management Systems

Autonomous TVET institutions accept responsibility for the quality of their own
courses. Quality is generally assured through internal quality management systems
subject to periodic audit by external quality agencies. Quality itself can be defined
from three different perspectives:
r quality as excellence: makes comparisons between similar qualifications, courses
and institutions; those that score highly on a predetermined scale are judged as
excellent and therefore of high quality;
r quality as value-for-investment: based on stakeholders’ perceptions of whether
qualifications, courses and institutions meet or exceed expectations, taking into
account the time and money invested in them;
r quality as fitness-for-purpose: assesses the performance of qualifications, courses
and institutions against stated outcomes or intentions (p. 282).
In practice, quality assurance of qualifications, courses and institutions usually in-
volves consideration of both inputs and outputs. For example, TVET quality defined
1022 G. Preddey

as value for investment by definition takes into account both value (outputs) and
investment (inputs).
Traditionally, the quality of TVET institutions is assured through certification
processes and the quality of courses is assured through course approval and insti-
tutional accreditation processes. Certification confirms that independent, external
bodies have audited the internal management systems of TVET institutions and have
verified that they conform to prescribed standards (pp. 286 et seq.).
TVET institutions generally require certification and accreditation to be permit-
ted to deliver and assess courses leading to national qualifications. Accreditation
processes verify that TVET institutions have quality management systems and meet
their obligations to external quality-assurance agencies.
TVET institutions may also apply for accreditation and course approvals to offer
their own institutional courses. These are generally not recognized on national qual-
ifications frameworks. Course approvals require TVET institutions to demonstrate
that proposed courses conform to their quality management systems.

11.2 Quality Monitoring and Assessment

Quality, defined as fitness-for-purpose, is applied in many jurisdictions as the most

workable approach, without precluding quality defined as excellence and as value
for investment in appropriate circumstances.
Quality assurance may be either external, i.e. undertaken by external quality
agencies, or internal, i.e. undertaken by institutional quality-management systems.
A balance is required between quality assessments made prior to TVET delivery
(certification, approval, accreditation) and post-delivery quality assessments (qual-
ity audit). Prior assessment has been criticized as over-emphasizing proposed TVET
delivery and under-emphasizing actual TVET delivery. Quality audits address this
criticism, but on their own would pose risks for students in poor-quality courses
prior to audit and consequential remedial action.
A balance is also required between quality assessments of inputs to TVET and
outputs and outcomes of TVET. Quality assurance of qualifications, courses and
institutions usually involves consideration of both inputs and outputs/outcomes ir-
respective of how quality is defined (pp. 303 et seq.). External quality assurance
includes assessments of the quality of:
r inputs to learning, such as the quality of courses, student selection/monitoring/
guidance processes, staff quality and the quality of teaching delivery;
r outputs and outcomes from learning, such as knowledge and skills acquired, em-
ployability of students and their capacity for further learning.

External quality assurance agencies customarily carry out quality audits of TVET
institutions against benchmarks or standards. These are developed by the agencies
themselves in consultation with stakeholders and define the expected performance
of quality-assured TVET institutions.
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1023

In addition to quality benchmarks and standards that are specific to a particular

jurisdiction, external quality assurance agencies may also use quality benchmarks
and standards developed by international standards organizations. The most com-
monly used standard is ISO 9000, a generic management standard developed by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (pp. 308 et seq.).
External quality audits for TVET institutions are generally requirements for con-
tinuing certification and are undertaken by quality agencies. Audits are systematic,
independent and documented processes that determine whether the structures, pro-
cesses and outcomes of TVET institutions comply with the standards set by the
certifying agencies.
In jurisdictions that have devolved autonomy to TVET institutions, most quality
assurance processes—including course approvals and institutional accreditations—
are delegated by the external quality assurance agencies to the institutions. The in-
stitutions’ academic boards are customarily responsible for internal quality manage-
ment systems and are subject to periodic external quality audits. Where responsibili-
ties for quality assurance—including approvals and accreditations—are delegated to
academic boards, the roles of external quality agencies are reduced to regular audits
of institutional internal quality-management systems and to relatively infrequent
quality audits of TVET institutions (pp. 306 et seq.).

12 Performance and Accountability Management

12.1 Accountability

Enhanced accountability is a prerequisite for enhanced autonomy. Public TVET

institutions are accountable to governments and to other stakeholders, including
their students and the end users of acquired knowledge and skills, i.e. industries,
enterprises and professions.
The accountability of TVET institutions to governments as their principal funder
includes financial accountability for public funding. Public TVET institutions are
also accountable to governments as owners for their financial viability and for their
stewardship of institutional assets. They are also accountable for their performance,
i.e. their outputs and outcomes and for the quality of their service delivery.
However, accountability systems serve no purpose unless they also provide for
incentives, sanctions and other interventions by governments. Financial incentives
and sanctions may be applied through funding systems. Other interventions avail-
able to governments include course closures, dismissals of failing councils and
(worst case) institutional closures (pp. 313 et seq.).

12.2 Monitoring

Monitoring systems are necessary to ensure that autonomous TVET institutions are
accountable to stakeholders for their inputs, outputs and outcomes. Being monitored
1024 G. Preddey

for accountability is a concession that autonomous TVET providers make for their
enhanced autonomy. Accountability systems involve the quality and performance
monitoring of inputs, outputs and outcomes. Monitoring tracks changes, analyses
developments and evaluates progress achieved against benchmarks.
Quality monitoring considers the quality of inputs to courses delivered by TVET
institutions and the quality of the outputs and outcomes that result. Performance
monitoring customarily focuses on quantitative measures of inputs, outputs and
Quality monitoring is used for the quality assurance of TVET courses through
pre-delivery course approval, institutional accreditation processes and through post-
delivery quality audits (pp. 318 et seq.). Quality monitoring processes may be
devolved by external quality agencies to institutional academic boards (see also
‘Quality management’ above).
Financial monitoring is a crucial aspect of performance monitoring and reporting.
A necessary condition for public TVET institutions to be granted a level of financial
autonomy is that their governance and management are accountable for their use of
public resources.
Where governments bear significant ownership risks, financial performance indi-
cators may also be used for monitoring the financial viability of TVET institutions
and for government interventions if necessary. Useful indicators include projected
operating surpluses, returns on income and assets, operating cash flows, liquid as-
sets, working capital and debt ratios (pp. 329 et seq.).
Outcome monitoring of TVET courses is commonly implemented through grad-
uate and employer satisfaction surveys and graduate destination (tracer) studies.
These surveys may be undertaken by TVET institutions, by their service organi-
zations or by government departments or agencies with monitoring and funding
responsibilities (pp. 327 et seq.).

12.3 Reporting

In a number of jurisdictions, the chief instruments for monitoring the accountability

of autonomous TVET institutions for their inputs, outputs and outcomes are their
annual reports. The content of annual reports customarily includes:
r vision and strategy statements from chief executives;
r institutional profiles including governance and management structures;
r performance indicators and assessments;
r financial statements;
r staffing reports.
Annual reports can be used as marketing tools by TVET institutions, since they often
review progress achieved, significant institutional achievements, staff changes, ac-
commodation developments, and qualifications and awards gained by their students.
Public finance legislation may prescribe how financial statements in annual reports
are to comply with generally accepted accounting practices and to fairly represent
institutional financial positions (see also ‘Financial management’ above).
VI.9 An Overview of Contemporary TVET Management Practice 1025

Annual reports generally include statements of service performance that compare

achieved performance with required performance according to measurable outputs
and outcomes. Financial statements customarily include statements of financial per-
formance, financial position, movements in equity, cash flows, commitments and
contingent liabilities, and revenues and expenditures (pp. 334 et seq.).
Annual reports may also include statements of responsibility in which governing
councils and chief executives accept responsibility for accuracy. The reports of in-
dependent auditors may also attest that financial statements fairly reflect financial

13 Conclusions and Implications

Some future trends in TVET management practice that are leading to enhanced insti-
tutional responsiveness, cost-efficiency and effectiveness can be identified, drawing
on the collective experiences of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The devolution of governance, management, financial and teaching responsibilities
by governments to the institutional level is a key trend (pp. xi et seq.).
Devolution requires effective governance and management at institutional level
and effective accountabilities of governing councils to government agencies and
of institutional management to governing councils. A clear separation is required
between institutional governance and management.
There has been an international trend from input to output funding of TVET in-
stitutions (pp. 125 et seq.). Under output-funding systems, governments have better
information on and control of TVET delivery. Ownership-neutral output-funding
systems in association with tuition fees may enhance institutional cost-efficiency,
effectiveness, responsiveness, equity and accountability. Output-funding systems
require adequate levels of institutional autonomy to be workable.
The governance and management of autonomous TVET institutions are respon-
sible for the quality of TVET delivery, customarily assured through pre-delivery
certification, accreditation, course approval processes and post-delivery audit pro-
cesses (pp. 303 et seq.). Quality assurance may be delegated to academic boards.
National qualification frameworks offer national consistency in the recognition
of TVET outcomes and enhanced articulation. They are generally based on modular
course structures and standards-based assessment (pp. 206 et seq.).
Autonomous TVET institutions are accountable to their stakeholders for pub-
lic funding, institutional viability and stewardship of institutional assets, ensured
through monitoring and reporting processes. Ultimately, they are accountable for
their TVET outputs and outcomes.

Gasskov, V., ed. 2006. Vocational education and training institutions: a management handbook
and CD-ROM. Geneva: ILO.