Competence assessment, personal education plan and education book.
All students must have their competencies assessed in order to receive credit for prior learning. On this basis, the student, the college and, if appropriate, the company offering practical training, draw up a plan for the student’s training. The plan can be adjusted if the student changes his/her educational plans along the way.
The student’s results are entered into the student’s education book (portfolio/log-book), for example the marks the student is awarded and the guidance he/she receives, following each school-based and practical period, enabling the students to see where they need to improve. The personal education plan and education book are drawn up in an electronic system that can continuously register the parts of the programme that the student has completed.
The college has a number of educational guidance counsellors who support and guide the students in completing their education and training programmes. At the vocational college, the student is also assigned a ’contact teacher’ who is to contribute to a good educational environment and support the individual student. Students with special needs will receive the support of a mentor. In special cases, they can be offered psychological support.
The college is obliged to actively assist the student to find an internship and also receives a special grant for this work, including a grant for each training agreement entered by the students and registered by the college.
School-based practical training
In 40– 50 percent of the vocational programmes, school-based practical training is offered to students who are unable to obtain an internship within a reasonable time limit (2 months). This is part of the educational guarantee.However, it is imperative that the student, at first, tries himself/ herself to obtain a practical training contract. Furthermore, the student is prepared and ready, both in terms of education and physical condition to embark on a vocational education programme.
School-based practical training is also utilised in situations where a company which has a student as a practical trainee, is forced to close down. In most cases, the students find another company where they can complete their training, but if this is not the case, then they can be admitted into a school-based practical training.
Teaching is free of charge for the students, and students in the basic programme who do not have a training agreement can receive grants from the Danish State Education Grant and Loan Schemes if they meet the required criteria. In the vocational education and training programmes, the students are paid wages when they have entered into a training agreement. The wages are between DKK 8,000 and 12,000 a month and are spelt out in the collective agreement. The wages vary between the lines of industry and normally correspond to the student’s average productivity during the year of education in question.
Tests and examinations
The basic programme normally concludes with a project assignment and an oral test. The purpose is to demonstrate that the student has achieved the competencies necessary to start on a VET main programme. The project contains practical and realistic tasks and is assessed by a teacher from another college or a person from a local company etc. If the basic programme is longer than 20 weeks, tests are drawn by lottery in other basic subjects.
In the final part of the programme, the student takes part in a concluding practical and theoretical examination (journeyman’s test) which is meant to assess the skills obtained by the trainee. The external examiners are from companies or the trade committees, who often develop the final tests.