EFNMS development in validation and certification
It started back in 1993 with the development of a manual system for certification of maintenance managers. Ireland and Sweden drove the development. This has resulted in a number of certified EFNMS Maintenance Managers.
In 1998, EFNMS Training Committee began to develop the requirements for Maintenance Technicians in a qualification. The work was led by Ireland. Discussions between the EFNMS Certification Committee and the EFNMS Training Committee resulted in EFNMS seeking EU support for the development of IT-based validation systems with the possibility of certification.
There were two EU-funded Leonardo da Vinci projects for the development of validation issues, one for the development of qualifications for maintenance technicians and two for the development of knowledge profiles. In all of these, the National Maintenance Societies participated. Unfortunately, the EFNMS was unable to provide the applications.
On the EFNMS website published the requirements for certification for maintenance managers and maintenance technicians. Since 2006, IT-based validation of technologies has been conducted with a focus on EFNMS certificates. Validation questions are now available in 10 languages.
Voices were raised within several NMS to add validation questions for maintenance managers and engineers to the existing EFNMS database of technicians. Therefore, a new application was written in 2018. This time it was the EU’s Erasmus+ program that supported development. Six National Maintenance Societies were involved in developing:
1. Four qualifications for maintenance managers, maintenance engineers, maintenance technicians and maintenance mechanics, maintenance electricians and automation electricians.
2. The formation of a common structure — a tree of subjects — common to all occupational levels.
3. Customize the database for the new tree of subjects.
4. Develop validation questions for the academic level of engineers and leaders.
5. Create and conduct pilot tests using the database’s queries.
6. Check the quality of the new English questions.
7. Describe which documents have been guidelines in the work to form validation questions.
The next step in the development is to launch IT-based validation for knowledge tests and certificates for the two levels of engineer and leader and to adapt validation of technicians to ECC requirements.
So far, Sweden has run the database. EFNMS was asked early in 2008, but declined because the organization lacked a manned office. It is now appropriate for EFNMS and ECC to take over because EFNMS leaders have expressed that they want to be the owners of the issues. This means that they have taken responsibility for the database where the questions lie.
The next step for each country is to translate the questions in the EFNMS database into their own language. The IT system has modules for this and the project has developed English-language manuals to facilitate the work.
The used IT system is unique because it allows unlimited use of languages linked to the system’s native English. This has been tried for techniques where the same question is available in 10 languages. The results of a test in Hungarian can then be compared to a test in Finnish. In this way, an EFNMS certificate can have a high value.
EQF 4 database
This database was developed with the support of the Swedish State. The aim was to support the business community with better skilled labour by supporting the training of companies. This database covers 1600 questions in Swedish. These have been in production and are thus tested. The database now has more of the same subject tree as the large database.
This profession is very large in Europe. It’s estimated to be over a million. It needs to have support to cope with technological developments. An EU project has identified the need, but it has not yet resulted in any action. An important result of the study was that the requirements pointed to multi-skill i.e. mechanics and electrical engineering to meet the requirements for automation.
The first support from the Swedish state was directed at people who had slipped into maintenance work without having received and received training. This test was called ValidJob and had the goal of mapping the level of knowledge gained in the work. The next two supports included basic knowledge of maintenance based on the requirements of the vocational school system outputs. There are now 1600 questions divided into 15 head subjects.
Vocational training in Europe for maintenance is uneven in terms of content and orientation. This was found in some Leonardo da Vinci projects Swedish Maintenance participated in or been the leader of. The vocational training in maintenance project developed course proposals and teacher instructions. The result was standard EN 15628. The Erasmus+ project has now shown that the standard needs to be revised due to technology development and the EFNMS Body of Knowledge mapping.
The developed Swedish questions can be transferred to the EFNMS database after translation into English. This work has NOT been part of the Erasmus+ project. Swedish Maintenance offers this if it can be financed. All queries in the Swedish database are already entered with the same subject headings as the EFNMS database. The Erasmus+ project participants were targeted at the higher education levels and therefore had difficulties with the levels of practical vocational orientation.
When ETC completed the qualification in 2003 for maintenance technicians, the intention was to see what the requirements were for recruitment for practical maintenance work Due to changes in staffing in ETC, this work did not start within EFNMS. However, the planning for the maintenance engineer began to come up. Here a German project started within EU support by Leonardo da Vinci. EFNMS would be a partner here. This validation never came to production mode as a commercial company wanted to seize the questions without having the required IT system. Sweden and some other EFNMS countries contributed questions. Some of these have been saved in the Erasmus+ work.