02 SES 13 B, Quality Assessment Systems and the Formation of Local Quality Work
A national quality assessment system for VET is presently being constructed in Norway, as a part of a broader national system for primary and secondary education. A variety of policy instruments and indicators have been mobilized on local VET as well as new regulations, containing a potential for intensification of monitoring and control. The paper aims at studying quality work and the formation of local quality assessment systems, under the influence of state initiative to construct a national system. What characterizes the system? How is it perceived by stakeholders and decision-makers in the county municipalities, within institutions for social partner involvement, and by external auditors? Do new ways of quality work in VET replace traditional forms of quality work, or do we see a layering process? By using data from a comparative case study in three Norwegian counties characterized by a variety of local traditions in VET, we seek to address the consequences for the working of the designed system. Applying a multilevel oriented historical-institutionalist framework (Thelen 2004, Flinders 2001), we expect the local practices to vary according to a complex interplay between the central and the local level, and by the local configuration of actors, identities and interests .
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