The industrial Validation Management System (VMS) is based on a database with the questions distributed per subject and EQF level. These subjects were developed and shown in developed qualifications.
In a validation test the numbers of questions and the distribution on subjects will be created by the qualifications in certification body and the individual needs in the industry or branch. For an EFNMS certification the subjects and number of questions in the test are specified by the EFNMS Certification Committee. All the parts in the exam are based on requirements in qualifications.
Knowledge tests are built up of several questions distributed on different subjects. The test result is marked direct the test taker has finished the test. This is a very cost-effective method and suites the industry well. Every subject in the database must have enough quality assurance questions. If there are many questions in a subject it will be impossible to train only questions before certification test.
The system can be used for mapping individual competence before and after training, after many years of work – mapping informal training – and for certificate. Normally 10 questions will be needed for mapping the subject for the test taker. The validation system will be used to follow the individual capability during years in work. Before recruiting the individual can map competence, before and after courses, during changing overs in the carrier, etc.
In knowledge test the system random questions within the subject. This makes it possible to use computers in a classroom where the test takers are sitting close to each other’s. The test leader supervise that no cribbing occurs. The validation method is used for more than 15 years with good results.
A qualification describes the measurable learning outcomes distributed on a mix of different subjects. The EU EQF-standard with knowledge, skill and competence will be used as a base for the qualification process. The development of qualifications will point out relevant subjects in vocations for all maintenance occupations.
The qualification will be a guideline for training and academical courses as well. Universities often have their own ideas how to handle maintenance as a subject in higher education. The qualification will therefore be a minimum requirement for all parties.
The biggest market is the vocational advanced schools focused on training technicians. The market needs contribution of over 100 000 per year in Europe. With the developed validation system, companies can support the process of lifting the level of knowledge and skill.
Maintenance personnel must be able to handle new techniques and methods in the field of maintenance. Based on the new qualifications different types of validation questions have been developed:
- Type 1: Multiple choice questions (MCQ) with one correct answer and 3 to 5 almost correct answers. The correct answer will be hidden in database for support with marking the results.
- Type 2: Open questions (OQ) which are problem-oriented questions where test taker will answer in writing, draw sketches or using MS Excel to generate diagrams.
- Type 3: Calculation of economic and technical data
The platform in the validation system is in English. All validation questions are in English. Translation will be possible to all language in Europe but will not be included in this project. The main goal is to have same standard questions on all language and thereby have same quality in all tests and in all member countries. Some parts for maintenance technician are in ten languages developed in earlier Leonardo da Vinci projects.
Information is important and therefore, text is produced based on the four qualifications and possibility to form both certification tests and knowledge test to guide a person into higher knowledge level. These marketing alternatives is planned, and future developed together with the EFNMS after that EFNMS has taken over the responsibility.
A problem is to find correct educated personnel on the market. Developed validation system pushes the enterprises to use wider range of tool to test and develop labour force. Only a few educational organizations work with maintenance courses. It is a shortage of proper trained maintenance personnel in Europe.
Universities and vocational schools on EQF level 5 – 7 have not shown any enthusiasm to cooperate for developing common courses in maintenance. Therefore, this finished project push for more equal educational thinking and planning. The qualifications are very detailed and adapted for developing individual syllabuses.