Final Report for Work package 3 and 5 Construction EQF-map of trade occupations -map of trade

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Testing and Implementing EQF
-
Principles in Trade Organizations and Education






Final Report

for Work package
3 and 5



Construction EQF
-
map of trade occupations


and “Construction of EQF
-
map of trade
education”

















October

2010




page
2

of
27































This publication is produced with subsidy from the European Commission´s Education and culture
DG. This publication reflects the views only
of the author, and the Commission cannot be held
responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.’







Colophon


Testing and Implementing EQF
-
Principles
in Trade Organizations and Education

Final report

for Work package
3 and 5
:

"
Construction of
EQF
-
map of trade occupations”

“Construction of EQF
-
map of trade education
"


The

final report has been developed
by:

Kenniscentrum Handel (KCH), The Netherlands


The final report of these Work packages contains an overview of the methods used and the
results of these two Work packages

of
the European Project "TIPTOE" supported under the
Leonardo da Vinci "Transfer of Innovation" programme 2007
-

2013 of the Europea
n
Commission.


While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, the publisher and
the author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the
use of information contained in this document or from

the use of programs and source code
that may accompany it. In no event shall the publisher and the author be liable for any loss of
profit or any other commercial damage caused or alleged to have been caused directly or
indirectly by this document.


Octob
er

2010
,
Ede


Special thanks to:

A
ll the experts and project partners who contributed to the
inventory of existing opinions in the labour market on the
contents of trade occupations.


A
ll the strategic partners
and other participants in the
r
esearch
of the T
IPTOE

project for their support and
commitment.


Publishing organisation:

Kenniscentrum Handel, NL


Managing editor & design:

P. van den Bosch, EVTA (BE)


Technical editing:

J.Jansen, KCH (NL

G.Karsdorp,

KCH (NL)


Coordinator:

R. van Wezel, KC
H

(NL)


Production:

European Vocational
Training
Association (BE)





Content

Colophon

................................
................................
................................
................................
.....................

4

1

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

6

1.1

Aims of
Work package 3 and 5

................................
................................
................................
...............
6

1.2

Main activities of Work Package 3 and 5

................................
................................
...............................
6

1.3

Partners involved

................................
................................
................................
................................
....
6

2

Working methods of WP3 and 5

................................
................................
................................
.........

8

2.1

Activity 1: Allocation of the profiles to EQF
-
level by each partner

................................
..........................
8

2.2

Activity 2: Comparison of the results and discussion on the similarities and differences

.......................
8

2.3

Activity 3: Using the results of the previous activities to produce a EQFmap for the trade sector.

........
9

2.4

Activity 4: Developing an EQFmap with word connections by an ICTapplication

................................
.
10

3

Results

................................
................................
................................
................................
..............

11

3.1

Result 1: the rulers

................................
................................
................................
................................
11

3.2

Result 2: system as developed by Politecnio di Torino

................................
................................
..........
11

Annex A:

................................
................................
................................
................................
....................

12

Annex B:

................................
................................
................................
................................
....................

16

Annex D:

................................
................................
................................
................................
...................

19







1

Introduction

This document
con
tains
the final report for the TIPTOE
-
Work Packages 3 and 5
:
Construction EQF
-
map of trade occupations and Construction EQF
-
map of
trade occupation.

1.1

Aims of Work package 3

and 5

The main goal
of Work package 3
is testing the EQF
-
principles against the trade occupations
in Europe.
By allocation EQF
-
levels to occupations and discussing the differences in
interpretation by the partner co
untries input is given for the results of this Work package.

The main goal of Work package 5 is the same as Work package 3: testing of EQF
-
levels. Not
against trade occupations, but trade occupation. VET
-
programmes/qualifications are
described and compared

by linking EQF
-
levels. The interpretation differences are discussed
and were input for the results of this Work package.

These Work packages have resulted in the development of two „rulers“, one for retail and
one for wholesale. These rulers give an overv
iew of the trade sector. More specific: an
overview of the main tasks in this sector linked to EQF.

The development of these rulers is a result of discussions about the interpretation of EQF
-
levels, terms and principles between countries. The overview of o
ccupations (Work package
2) and the analysis of trade education (Work package 4) are also the groundwork for this
Work packages.

Another result of these Work packages is
an EQF
-
map with the possibilty to

go
futher in
detail regarding the required knowlegde
, skills and competences

of an certain profile
.
This
map is developed by Politecnio di Torino, the Italian partner.

In the annex you can find more
information about this EQF map.

1.2

Main activities of Work Package 3

and 5


3.1 Allocation of trade occupations
to EQF
-
levels by each partner

5.1 Allocation of qualifications/programmes
to EQF
-
levels

3.2 Discussion on interview and survey
results and EQF
-
allocation

5.2 Discussion on interview and survey
results and EQF
-

allocation (including
strategic partners)

3.3 Map construction

5.3 Map construction

3.4 Project meeting 2

5.4 Project meeting 3

3.5 Map production (=R3)

5.5 Map production

(=R
5
)


1.3

Partners involved

The partners involved
were
:


KCH (NL): Centre of expertise for vocational training in the trade se
ctor;


BZSH (DE):


QA (LT), coordinator WP3,
Qualification Authority under the Governement of
Lithuania;



EDEXCEL (UK): Provider of internationally recognized qualifications;


CECOA (PT)
, coordinator WP5,

Vocational training centre for the trade sector;






AGEFA PME (FR) Provider of training and workplacements for SMEs;


CPI (SI) National institute for vocation education and training;


CPV (IT) Veneto productivity centre;

T
he results of these Work packages

of the TIPTOE
-
project yield the results of trade
occu
pations from 8 different countries: France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands,
Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.








2

Working methods of WP
3 and 5

The execution of WP 3 and WP 5 has the same structure and working methods, namely:



Activity 1:
Allocation of the results of WP 2 and WP 4

to EQF
-
levels



Activity 2: Comparison of the results and discussion on the similarities and differences



Activity 3: Using the results of the previous activities to produce a EQFmap for the
trade sector.



Activity 4: Developing an EQFmap

with word connections
by an ICTapplication. This
application is developed
by Politecnio di Torino, the Italian partner in the
TITOEproject.

For activity 3 the results of
WP 3 and WP 5 were com
bined in the same map (also kn
own as
„rulers“
). The same structure and results of these WP‘s are the reasons for combining the
results in one final report.

For the first two activities the partners were facilitated with formats and questions to collect all
the necessary data. The „rule
rs“ were developed by KCH and presented to the partners in
project meetings for validation.

The results of WP 3 and WP 5 were presented on the EU conference in June 2010. A
summary of the results was
part of the conference brochure and the working methods

and
„rulers“ were also subject of the workshops during the EU conference.

In the next paragraphs

an overview en the intermediate results of the activities is given.

2.1

Activity 1: Allocation of the profiles to
EQF
-
level

by each partner

The results of WP 2 an
d WP 4 were respectively descriptions of trade occupations and trade
qualifications/programmes. The first steps of WP 3 and WP 5 were the allocations of
EQF
-
level
s to the results of the previous WP’s.

While p
roject

meeting
2

guidelines were set f
or the
allocation of trade occupations and
qualifications/programmes
. Different methods were worked out with the partners to come to
one common way to allocate the profiles. The assumption was that when everyone use the
same methods, the profiles will be allocate
d in the same manner.

These guidelines were
described in the final report of WP 2.

Every partner has
reported an
EQF
-
level

for the own developed profiles.

2.2

Activity 2:
Comparison of the results and discussion on the
similarities and differences

The results of the allocation of the profiles gave a diffuse picture: profiles with the same
name (same occupation)
apparently
have different
EQF
-
level
s.
Causes for these differences
were
mostly
found in
the
reason

that t
he
content of the occupations
diffe
rs.

M
ore tasks, more
responsibility and more
complexity caused the differences.

The differences between occupational profiles and educational profiles

in the same
country
are described and discussed in WP 6
Comparison of occupational and educational EQF
-
ma
ps.

In the overview below the
EQF
-
level

per profile (occupational profiles and educational
profiles)








Shop Assistant

Shop Manager

Logistics Assistant

Logistics Manager


Lab.

Edu.

Lab.

Edu.


Lab.

Edu.


Lab.

Edu.


NL

3

2


4

4


2

3


4

4


GE

3

3


4

4


2

2


4

4


LT

3

3


5

6


3

3


5

6


UK

3

3


4

4


3

3


4

4


PT

3

3


4

4


3

3


4

4


FR

3

3


5

5


3

3


5

5


SL

3

3


5

4


4

4


5

5


IT

3

2


4

5


3

3


3

2



Explanation:



Lab.= Labour market (occupational profile)



Edu.= Educational field (educational profile)


The overview of tasks in
WP 2 and WP 4

showed already a variety of tasks in the
occupational and educational

field.

The differences in
EQF
-
level
s is a logical consequence of
the reported variety.

2.3

Activity 3: Using the results of the previous activities to produce a
EQFmap for the trade sector.

As a result of the large differences in content and
EQF
-
level

KCH
has

analysed the several
tasks. With help of the EQFframework and
the
allocated
EQF
-
level
s tasks were
analysed
with the following method:



Tasks from all the profiles were sorted based on main tasks and results in the sector.
The following main tasks were dete
cted for retail/trade, namely:

-

Sales and Customer relations

-

Goods processing

-

Presentation, promotion and marketing

-

Money

-

Shop management



For the logistics/wholesale, the next main tasks were appointed:

-

Goods processing (goods reception, storage, order
picking and shipping)

-

Goods administration and ordering (control, administration and facilitation)

-

Customer relation management

-

Warehousemanagement’strategic management




All the tasks
were ranged
with help of the descriptors in the EQF
-
framework. The
compl
exity,
the variety of tasks and dimensions of tasks (independence, managerial
role, etc.) give the
possibility to rank the tasks on several EQFlevels.



The developed rulers give an overview of tasks (in combination with complexity,
independence, etc) on sev
eral EQFlevels within the different ma
intasks. All the tasks,
these were named in the profile, gives a complete view of all the tasks in the sector.

The variety in the several profiles formed the basis of the rulers. These differences made
clear
a
wide range of tasks in a sector.

2.4

Activity 4: Developing an EQFmap with word
connections

by an
ICTapplication


The Italian partner, Politecnio di Torino, is responsible for this activity. They are expert in
developing systems to analyse occupation in an IC
Tapplication. The system gives not only
an overview of the
occupation, but also of the
‘links’ in an occupation. The system shows
used words and connections in occupations: the system analyses an occupation by
words
and the analyse makes it possible to mak
e a connection with another profile or occupation.


In the annex, a more detailed explanation of this activity is described.





3


Results

The collected data

of WP 3 and WP 5 are the input of the comparison as described in WP
6.
The data

are also input for two other important
results of these WP’s: the rulers and the
system as developed by
Politecnio di Torino
.

3.1

Result 1: the rulers

The ruler is a tool with two functions. The first function is a development tool for describing a
function
in a sector: tasks were allocated to an EQFlevel and all tasks in a sector are
described in one tool. The second function is a communication tool. The ruler helps to
clearify the EQFlevels to everybody who did not the basics of the EQFframework, but must
s
ay something about the level of occupations or specific tasks in a sector. The ruler is a
simple tool for classify tasks or occupations for decisionmakers from the occupational field
per example. Educational and occupational field can discuss about the EQF
level with help of
the same tool.

See the annexes for the rulers for the retail and wholesale sector.

3.2

Result 2: system as developed by Politecnio di Torino

In the TIPTOE we used a methodology exploiting an ontology and taxonomy
-
based approach
in order to

identify a common European profile within the trade sector is presented. The
devised methodology allows to compare the requirements of the labor world and the
outcomes of the education and training routes with the aim of identifying a common
denominator.
By adding to existing qualifications the elements belonging to the common
profile it would become possible to make a qualification transparently recognized in a true
transnational perspective.




This semantic map is presented at during the IADIS Informat
ics 2010 conference (july 2010
Brasov). The paper explaining the approach is added as Annex.



Annex A:


Retail EQF
-
ruler, may 2010


Description of the

occupational

level

Task areas







Sales and Customer relations

Goods
processing

Presentation,

promotion

and marketing

Money

Shop management

EQF 2

A
cting
, carrying out activities (of tasks)


Responsibility: basic,
n
o responsibility for
others


Authonomy: some/none

(only for routine
decisions and selfmanagement), under
direct supervision


Adaptation behaviour to:



structured context, a
pplies health
and safety regulations



routine problems



predictable changes


Context:



Average customers



Answering simple questions of
customers, referring to colleagues



Working under direct supervision


Possible tasks:



Greets the customer (according to
store policy)


Context:



Clear work instructions and
procedures



Working in the right velocity and
with good quality



Working under direct
supervision


Possible tasks:



Receives goods, unloads and
unpacks goods, checks goods
for quantity and quality and
stores goods (under proper
conditions)



Helps with the stock inventory


Context:



Clear work instructions and
procedures



Working in the right
velocity and
with good quality



Working under direct supervision


Possible tasks:



P
repares products for sale,

applies
price tags and l
abels to products



R
estocks shelves
, c
hec
ks quality of
products on shelve
s

and arranges
products on shelves in a neat way


Context:



No activities with respect to
payments and cashiers



Only assisting activities


Possible tasks:



Prepares and packs the purchases
according to customer’s whishes


-





EQF 3




A
cting
, carrying out tasks


Responsibility: some responsibility
,
responsible for own work,

n
o
responsibility for others
, r
eports to his/her
manager on his own activities, sales
results and other issues regarding shop
performance
, r
esponsible for reaching
own targets


Authonomy: some
/low,

f
ollowing
procedures for solving

problems, problem
solving in low complex situations
, under
direct and indirect supervision


Adapting behaviour to:




structured context
, familiair
circumstances



routine problem
s



predictable changes

Able to
react

properly

in new situations


Context:



Average customers



Answering questions of customers
in a professional way, giving
information in a friendly way and
selling simple products



No financial targets for selling


Possible tasks:



Greets and/or approaches the
customer (according to store policy)



Determines the customer’s needs
and wishes



Advises and informs the customer
using:

active listening techniques
,

basic communication and selling
techniques and basic product
knowledge



Demonstrates products, informs
customers about product
characteristics



Su
ggests additional
service/products to the customer



Handles returns and reclamations
according to procedure


Context:



Clear work instructions and
procedures



Working in the right velocity and
with good quality


Possible tasks:



Receives goods
, u
nloads and
unpacks goods
, c
hecks goods for
quantity and quality
, s
tores goods
(under proper conditions)

and
administration of the activities



Makes stock inventories



Orders merchandise (following
procedures)



Handles products under the right
conditions



Notices logistic

needs and suggests
improvements

Context:



Clear work instructions and
procedures



Working in the right velocity and
with good quality


Possible tasks:



P
repares products for sale,

applies
price tags and l
abels to products



R
estocks shelves
, c
hecks quality of
products on shelve
s

and arranges
products on shelves in a neat way



Creates (special) product
presentations and displays
,
decorates the shop window



Assists management with
promotion activities
, m
akes
suggestions about sales promotions



C
ontext:



Clear work instructions and
procedures



Accurate working



Handles only regular, routine cash,
payments and return transactions


Possible tasks:



Makes the till ready for use, a
ttends
and closes the till



Charges products



Handles
regular
cash and other

payment means



Prepares and packs the purchases
according to customer’s whishes



Handles
regular
exchange and
return transactions


-






Description of the

occupational

level

Task areas







Sales and Customer relations

Goods processing

Presentation,

promotion

and marketing

Money

Shop management

EQF
4



A
rranging, checking, preparing


Responsibility: decision making, for own work
and others,
g
ives suggestions on company
policy issues
, e
nforces health and safety
regulations
, d
irects, motivates and
coaches
staff in their work performanc
e, f
acilitates
teamwork and manages conflicts
,
c
ommunicates with staff
, c
ontributes to on
-
the
-
job
-
training of (new) staff


Authonomy: full/some


Adapting b
ehaviour

to
:



structured context



abstract problems



unpredictable changes


Context:



Handles sales situations, especially
specific ones, such as high
-
value
customers, difficult negotiations,
special queries.



Financial targets for selling


Possible tasks:



Provides additional services to the
customer
(specific to the line
-
of
-
business)



Handles complaints



Handles exchange and return
transactions



Deals with cases of shoplifting



Supervises and monitors sales
activities



Context:



Handles exceptional goods or
situations with processing goods,
s
ignals and r
esolves shop’s logistic
problems
, contacts suppliers



Organizes and monitors the flow of
goods
, stock taking



Takes care of the administration of
the goods/inventory



Makes suggestions for
improvement to the management


Possible tasks:



Orders merchandise



Makes suggestions for stock
increase or reduction



Buys products



Monitors supplier’s performance

Context:



Decision
-
making on presentations
on the work floor



Makes suggestions for
improvement to the management



Monitors the shop’s appearance
(cleanliness, de
coration, entrance /
windows)
, is responsible for the
shop appearance


Possible tasks:



Conducts market research and
internal analyses



Devises marketing and sales
promotion plans



Organizes and monitors sales
promotion activities



Controls waste, losses and
c
onsumptions


Context:



Handles exceptional cash,
payments and return
transactions



Monitors the transactions of
others (following procedures by
others), administrates the
transactions and reports to
management



Understanding financial
information



Possible
tasks:



Manages payment records



Charges products after
negotiating with the customer



Monitors, analyzes and
administrates the shop’s financial
results



Controls cashiering



Banks incoming money



Context:



Reports shop performance results
to higher management
(head office)



Takes care of different types of
adminstration



Communicates with different
external stakeholders (e.g. public
accountant, government, tax
administration, shopping centre
adminstration, trade organization,
etc.)


Possible tasks:



Devises
periodical business policy
plans for the shop



Implements business policy plans



Controls the exploitation of energy
resources and equipment



Devises periodical budget plans for
the shop



Determines staffing needs



Assists by recruiting and selecting
staff



Take
s care of personnel
administration



Organizes work activities in the
shop



Distributes staff over work activities



Makes and monitors working
schedules for staff



Informs staff on a regular basis on
work
-
related issues



Takes care of the training of (new)
staff



Assesses staff’s work performance






EQF 5





Assessing


Responsibility: decision making/full


Authonomy: full


Adapting b
ehaviour

to
:



structured context



innovative field and research



complex problems




unpredictable changes



Context:



Only
troubleshooting on the work
floor



Checking and improving activities
on the work floor



Policy
-
making about selling and
customer relations


Possible tasks:



Handles complex
complaints



Monitors and directs the activities
in the shop



Analyze sources (sales data,
complaints, etc) to suggest
improvements of working methods


Context:



Analyzing information about
processing goods, implements
suggestions for improvement



Policy
-
making about
optimizing
processing goods and relationships
with
suppliers


Possible tasks:



Manages relations with suppliers



Selects and contacts new suppliers



Negotiate prices with suppliers

Context:



Analyzing information about
presentation, promotion and
marketing, implements
suggestions for improvement



Policy
-
making
about optimizing
presentation, promotion and
marketing


Possible tasks:



Reports to head office about
sales

Context:



Only troubleshooting on the work
floor



Checking and improving activities
on the work floor



Policy
-
making about payments


Possible tasks:



Handles or controls complex
transactions



Checks administration of the
manager on the work floor



Calculates prices


Context:



Communicates with higher
management (head office) on
general business policy issues



Communicates with different
external
stakeholders (e.g. public
accountant, government, tax
administration, shopping centre
adminstration, trade organization,
etc.)



Takes care of HR Management and
leadership


Possible tasks:



Develops policy plans for one or
more shops



Recruits and selects
staff



Decides on and e
stablishes staff
salaries and remunerations



Assists shop managers by HRM





Annex

B:



Description of the occupational level

Task areas






Goods processing

(primary process)



Goods reception



Storage



Order picking



Shipping

Goods administration and ordering (control,
administration and facilitation)


Customer relation management

Warehousemanagement’strategic management

EQF 2

Acting, carrying out activities (of tasks)


Responsibility: basic,
no
responsibility for
others


Authonomy: some/none (only for routine
decisions and selfmanagement), under
direct supervision


Adaptation behaviour to:



structured context, applies health
and safety regulations



routine problems



predictable changes


Context:



C
lear work instructions and procedures



Working in the right velocity and with good
quality



Working under direct supervision


Possible tasks:



Receives goods, u
nloads goods, checks goods
(with documentation) (following procedures
and under supervision)



Gets
goods ready for storage, stores goods



Picks orders/merchandise, applies Value Added
Services and labels goods



Keeps the workplace tidy

Context:



Clear work instructions and procedures



Working in the right velocity and with good
quality



Working under direct
supervision


Possible tasks:



Makes a stock inventory (following procedures
and under supervision)


There is no direct contact with customers.

-

Context:



Working together with colleagues, helps them



Adapting (new) procedures


Possible tasks:



Follows instruc
tion meetings



Helps colleagues

EQF 3




Acting, carrying out tasks


Responsibility: some responsibility,
responsible for own work,
no
responsibility for others, r
eports to his/her
manager on his own activities, sales
results and other issues regarding
shop
performance, responsible for reaching
own targets


Context:



Clear work instructions and procedures



Working in the right velocity and with good
quality


Possible tasks:



Prepares and
organizes unloading and returns
deviating goods, r
eceives goods, u
nloads
goods, checks goods (with documentation and
on quality)
and labels goods
.



Prepares and organizes storage, stores goods

Context:



Clear work instructions and procedures



Working in the right velocity and with good
quality


Possible tasks:



Makes a stock inventory
(following procedures
and under supervision) and reports the data in
the system



Orders stock or proposes orders (only routine)


Context:



Uses insights gained from

job execution to
think along with the organisation

and
customers



Has incidentally contact wit
h customers, only
informing customers about state of affairs


Possible tasks:



Proposes transportation possibilities and
means to management



Reports about transportation to management

Context:



Working together with colleagues



Adapting (new) procedures



Reports to supervisor


Possible tasks:



Follows instruction meetings



Signals deviations



Helps colleagues and gives feedback



Helps new colleagues in the orientation phase





Authonomy: some/low,

following
procedures for solving problems, problem
solving in low complex situations, under
direct and indirect supervision


Adapting behaviour to:



structured context, familiair
circumstances



routine problems



predictable changes

Able to
react properly in new situations




Prepares and organizes order picking and
shipping , picks
orders/merchandise, applies
Value Added Services, checks orders and labels
goods



Keeps the workplace tidy



Informs customers about state of affairs and
answers questions of custome
rs

EQF 4



Arranging, checking, preparing


Responsibility: decision making, for own
work and others,
gives suggestions on
company policy issues , enforces health and
safety regulations, directs, motivates and
coaches staff in their work performance,
facilitates teamw
ork and manages conflicts,
communicates with staff, contributes to on
-
the
-
job
-
training of (new) staff


Authonomy: full/some

Adapting behaviour to:



structured context



abstract problems



unpredictable changes






Context:



Plans, organizes and monitors the

activities,
corrects when necessary



Evaluates the activities in the warehouse



Reports
about
the logistic process

to the
managemant


Possible tasks:



Defines the plac
e for goods to be unloaded,
organizes the process
og goods processing



Controls the storage
and quality data



Giving instructions for order picking and
shipping goods



Reviews working environment and sets up
appropriate working equipment



Monitors implementation of policy plans



Context:



Plans, organizes and monitors the activities,
corrects when
necessary



Uses information for control, updating and
reporting the management


Possible tasks:



Keeps records about the stock and registers
data (for track and tracing)



Orders stock (routine and complex)



Handles complaints of suppliers



Checks and prepares
documentation



Calculates and evaluates stock ratios

Context:



Handles contacts with customers



Advises about customers



Uses contacts with customers for proposals


Possible tasks:



Receives orders from customers, advises on
products and handles complaints of
customers



Ensures standards for customer service



Communicates on logistic process with
customers


Context:



Plans, organizes and monitors the activities,
corrects when necessary



Evaluates the activities in the warehouse



Reports
about
the logistic process

to

the
managemant


Possible tasks:



Selects the most efficient transportation means
in terms of costs, quality and delivery



Makes a tranportation planning



Reports financial and logistic performance to
higher management



Determines staff needsInstructs and coac
hes
colleagues



Controls and assesses quality of work and work
processes



Ensures functionality and optimal use of the
warehouse



Monitors maintenance, means, materials, tools
and inventory



Ensures standards for quality



Controls the quality and quantity of
work,
controls settlement



EQF 5





Assessing


Responsibility: decision making/full


Authonomy: full


Adapting behaviour to:



structured context



innovative field and research



complex problems




unpredictable changes



Context:



Evaluates results, targets
and improvement



Policy
-
making on primary processes


Possible tasks:



Devises warehouse business policy



Makes long
-
range forecasts



Supervises implementation of policy plans



Develops logistic concepts: optimises logistic
processes



Coordinates administrative
processes

Context:



Decision
-
making on ordering



Manages relationship with suppliers, higher
management, etc.


Possible tasks:



Contracts
suppliers
, issues invoices



Negotiates with suppliers



Coordinates ordering



Provides forecasts of stock ratios to
suppliers
and/or higer management

Context:



Manages relationship with customers



Policy
-
making on customer relations


Possible tasks:



Acquisition of potential customers



Negotiaties with customers



Solves problems with customers

Context:



Evaluates results,
targets and improvement



Policy
-
making on warehousemanagement



Responsible for the final results



Solves logitic efficacy problems


Possible tasks:



Makes implementation plans, budgets and
organizes personnel



Coordinates management processes



Devises periodical

budget plans



Monitors periodical budget plans










Annex
D:

A SEMANTIC
-
BASED APPROACH FOR A
LIGNING
OCCUPATIONAL AND EDU
CATIONAL QUALIFICATI
ONS
IN THE EQF PERSPECTI
VE

Valentina Gatteschi

Dipartimento di Automatica e
Informatica


Politecnico di Torino

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino


Italy


Fabrizio Lamberti

Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica


Politecnico di Torino

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino


Italy


Andrea Sanna

Dipartimento di
Automatica e Informatica


Politecnico di Torino

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino


Italy


Claudio Demartini

Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica


Politecnico di Torino

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino


Italy

ABSTRACT

Nowadays
,

st
udents’ and workers’ mobility in the Vocational Education and Training field is a relevant topic. However,
although several European instruments are being introduced in this perspective (like the European Qualification Framework

and the
European Credit sys
tem for Vocational Education and Training
), there are still
relevant

barriers to the recognition of
qualifications

acquired abroad. A way to overcome the above limitation is the creation of a European common profile that
each
education and t
raining Authori
ty could use
as a reference for the

corresponding n
ational
q
ualifications. In this paper, a
methodology e
xploiting an ontology and taxonomy
-
based approach
in order to identify a common European profile within
the trade sector is presented. The
devised
methodology allows to compare the
requirements of the labor world
and the
outcomes of the education and
training
routes

with the aim of identifying a common denominator. By adding to existing
qualifications

the elements belonging to the common profile it
w
ould become

possible to make
a

qualification transparently
recognized in a true transnational perspective.

KEYWOR
D
S

Taxonomy, ontology, lifelong learning, qualification comparison, semantic engine.

1.

INTRODUCTION

S
tudents


and workers


mobility is
considered

as an extremely

relevant topic in
the
European legislation: in fact,
since the establishment of the European Union, several initiatives have been carried out for guaranteeing

transparency, comparability, transferability and recognition of qualifications
a
cross

different countries in order to
overcome the gap
between

heterogeneous education and
training systems and with the final aim
of

ensur
ing

that

the European labor market is open to all

, as it is expected from the Bruges
-
Copenhagen process.

Neverthele
ss, while in Higher Education (HE) a process of standardization of qualification descriptions
already took place

and
student
s

transfers between Universities are

almost

a praxis, often in Vocational Education
and Training (VET) they are still a declaration
of intents.

A first step toward the creation of a shared understanding in the lifelong
learning
domain
has

been done by
the European Parliament Council which, in 2008,
established

the
European Qualification Framework (EQF)

[
8
],
a common reference system d
evised to support the linking of different countries’ national qualifications systems
and frameworks together. In the vision of the EQF, the above objective is expected to be achieved by exploiting
a rigorous classification of lifelong learning qualificati
ons based on eight reference levels and by
identifying
precisely the semantic
s of associated learning outcomes (referred to as level descriptors) in terms of
knowledge,
skill, and competence concepts.



However, the definition of a
European
-
wide

framework

is

only the beginning of a more complex process: in
fact
,

although the
EQF allows to describe qualifications according to a shared format, in order to
support

mobility, other tools


such as instruments for supporting students and workers who want to continu
e their
training or working career abroad, or companies who are looking for workers with specific
abilities



have to be
developed. Hence, it is clearly visible that in order to be able to work at
the
European level
,
these instruments

should
rely on
descriptions of qualifications

(and associated learning outcomes) achieved

by a
given student or
worker

based on

a standard and syntax
-
independent

formalism,
i.e. by making reference to strategies and tools
developed in the framework of the

S
emantic
W
eb

re
lated initiatives.

In this paper
,

we present
a summary of the

result
s

achieved in the framework of

the TIPTOE project,
a
transnational
project funded under the Lifelong Learning Programme in which the

possibility of exploiting

a
semantic
platform
for const
ructing a common European profile in a given economic sector was investigated
.
Specifically, the

designed environment presented in this work exploits a

semantic

engine that is
able to
perform
an EQF aware taxonomy
-
based comparison of labor market requireme
nts expressed through national
occupational profiles and country based formative offers represented by educational profiles with the aim of
identifying similarities and specificities emerging from heterogeneous “local” descriptions structured in terms of
k
nowledge, skills and competences.

The rest of paper is organized as follows:
in Section 2, previous research activities investigating possible
approaches for describing qualifications and for performing automatic processing onto them are discussed.
Section

3 depicts the main idea behind the present work, by making reference to the four
-
stage methodology
developed within the project, encompassing data collection, formalization, semantic reasoning and production of
result; moreover, it presents an example of
application of the above methodology in the trade sector and reports
several experimental achievements. Finally, conclusions and future developments are developed in Section 4.


2.

RELATED WORKS

As briefly introduced previously, the aim of this work is to s
how how ontologies (explicit specifications of a
conceptualization, as defined in [3]) could support the
comparison and linking of qualifications
, and to study to
what extent the representation of concepts according to a taxonomy (a classification arranged

in a hierarchical
structure) could improve the comparison
and linking
process
es themselves
.

Several works presenting interesting applications of the semantic
paradigm
to the working and learning
domain
s

already exist in the literature; a

first example

is
represented by the CUBER
-
project [7], where a system
exploiting standardized metadata in order to support learners in searching higher education courses that match
their needs is presented.
A different
approach, that goes beyond the solution
in
[7]

is
illu
strated

in [5]: in this
work
,

a semantic search strategy based on the analysis of the relationships among concepts belonging to user
queries and concepts used in learning documents is presented.
A different

strategy

aimed

at increasing students’
mobility i
s presented in [1]
;

here,

the author suggests an interesting use of taxonomies for comparing European
engineering courses: in particular
,

an adaptation of the Bloom’s learning taxonomy for organizing verbs

is
investigated
. A further
approach that defines a

general
-
purpose strategy for measuring the differences among
qualifications by defining meta
-
ontologies describing referencing rules between national models is presented in
[2]. In this work
,

formal models of
n
ational
education and training s
ystems are cr
eated
,

and meta
-
ontologies are
exploited for overcoming the heterogeneity of qualification structures belonging to different countries. Finally, in
[4] the use of a domain ontology for automatically producing a semantic annotated electronic résumé

is
proposed
: according to th
e authors,

the recruitment phases could be
possibly
supported by an ontology of terms,
that
could

be
used to suggest



starting from
an initial set of

competences specified by the
user, additional
competences that may be also i
ncluded in the
résumé.

As in some of the above works, the methodology discussed in this paper exploits taxonomies and ontologies
for representing qualifications and
for
developing semantic
-
based

comparison
strategies
. However,
while
the
above works
genera
lly

aim
at ranking elements according to their degree of similarity with a target
description
,
the objective of the present work is the identification of common elements among a huge variety of
descriptions
.
Moreover, the current work proposes a general
-
pu
rpose methodology strongly exploiting subsumption
relationships

within a strictly structured context represented by the EQF framework and by its associated
principles
, and
aims at investigating

whether the use of
classifications of concepts

could improve o
r worsen
the

result
s of the
comparison.

3.

PROPOSED METHODOLOGY

In the
education and
training
domain
, and in particular in the VET
scenario
, it is often difficult to find
qualifications recognized at the European level. In fact, frequently,
qualification desc
riptions and
syllabi of VET




courses are defined at
the national (
or regional
)

level, or even by the school
responsible for

the course.

The lack
for rules defin
ing

a minimum set of knowledge, skills and competences that a student
should

have achieved

after
a training path generates
strong
information asymmetries between
the education and the

labor worlds,

and
severely
limits the mobility among countries
.


I
n fact, since unique and well
-
defined
qualification
profile
s

are

missing, employer
s

may not know the
ex
act
contents of the
courses
attended

by a
student who is applying for a
given
job position, and consequently, may
ignore which knowledge, skills and competences he

or her actually

achieved.
The above scenario is even more
complex and jeopardized in the
transnational perspective when non
-
formal and informal learning routes are
taken into account.

In order to overcome
the above
barrier
s
, the research activit
ies discussed in this work

we
re
aimed at defining
a methodology for creating a unique
European
profile

and
, finally, at

applying it
in

the
specific domain of the
trade sector. It is worth remarking

that, although in the TIPTOE project
the proposed methodology

was

applied
to
a specific economic

sector,
the devised approach could be considered

as tota
lly
general
-
purpose
;

hence
, its
application

in
other contexts

should be straightforward
.


The strategy behind the current work is the following:
first,

the
labor world

is

investigated by mean
s

of a
series of interviews with relevant stakeholders. This fir
st phase is aimed
at

defin
ing

a set of tasks a worker
should be able to accomplish
by expressing

them
in terms of knowledge, skills and competences. Secondly the
education and
training field is investigated: at this stage
,

several interviews with relevant
training organisms are
carried out in order to identify which knowledge, skills and competences a student
should
possess at the end of a
formal
training path.

Once collected
, the two sets of information

must be compared
in order to

identify the common ele
ments
between the requirements of the
occupational

domain

and the outputs of the educational
routes
: this comparison
is oriented to the

creati
on

of
a unique profile, expressed according to the EQF

principles
.

When

considering the
large amou
nt of data to be

analyzed, the comparison
operation
would risk

to be
extremely
time
-
consuming and to
provide incorrect results when carried out by human

subjects.


H
ence,
suitable

instruments
should be exploited,
allow
ing

to catalogue the outcomes of the interviews
in a
structured way and

to
carry out

the required
semantic reasoning
onto

them.
The

approach pursued in the TIPTOE
project consisted

in

link
ing

the

element
s

belonging to

occupational and educational descriptions

to a
set of
concepts, organized in
to

a taxonomy:
the just created ontology


that represents the links among elements of
the
descriptions

and concepts of the taxonomy



could then allow to
carry out the necessary

reasoning by exploiti
ng
the relationships among elements

and
,

thus
, overcoming lexical barri
ers.

The
above
methodology consists of
fours

stages:
information collection
,
taxonomy and ontology
construction
,
definition of

inference rules and approaches for semantic comparison
and
, finally,

common profile
creation and examination of results
.

3.1 In
formation collection

As already said, t
he
information collection

stage
is aimed

at collecting requirements of the
labor world

and
the
output
s

of the
education and training domain
, expressed in terms of task

and

subtasks
as well as knowledge, skill
and comp
etence

elements.

It is worth remarking that, in order to provide a shared format for collecting information
(
and then
represent
ing

it in the taxonomy construction
stage)

the definition of knowledge, skil
l

and competence concepts
made by [6] was exploited. According to [6], a knowledge could be defined as a set of knowledge objects (KO)
.

A

skill could be represented as a KO

put into action
” through an action verb (AV)
, hence by one or more
pairs

KO


AV. F
inally,

a competence could be identified as a triple KO


AV


CX, that
describes

the ability of
putting into action a
given
KO in a
specific

context (CX). The information
collection stage was executed

by
keeping

in mind the relations among the

above

conce
pts.

Within the TIPTOE project, t
he interviews were carried out for investigating the relevant elements of four
professional
profiles

in the selected sector, namely

Shop Assistant, Shop Manager, Logistic Assistant and
Logistic Manager.

In a first phase
,

s
takeholders (i.e. employers of
the
retail and wholesale sectors) belonging to the labor
context

of different European countries (i.e. France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal,
Germany and Slovenia)
were

interviewed to
collect
, fo
r each
of the

four profiles above
, a list of knowledge,
skills and competences that a worker must
possess

for accomplishing a task,
each accompanied by the
corresponding

EQF level (describing the complexity degree).

After the first interview phase, the edu
cation
domain

was investigated by interviewing

v
ocational
t
raining Authorities of the eight countries above
,

in order to
collect information concerning
learning outcomes

achieved by the students at the end of a

specific

training path.

At the end of this st
age, several grids
were
filled in with information regarding tasks, subtasks, knowledge,
skills and competences.





3.2 Taxonomy and ontology construction

Information collected in the previous
stage

was

then

inspected in order to identify the core concepts
to be
organized in a taxonomy (knowledge objects, action verbs and context

elements
). In particular, for each
instance
of
knowledge, skill and competence, one or more concepts (or keyword
s
)
were

selected.

Each
concept

was then linked

to other concepts by
exploiting subsumption relationships, and the whole set of
concepts
was

expressed according to a taxonomic representation.
Three families of concepts were

identified in
the hierarchical tree: a first
family

made up of

knowledge object, a second
family

including

action verbs and a
third
family describing the
context.

For what
it
concerns the
construction of the
knowledge and the context

families, it was necessary to start
from scratch, since the
existing
taxonomies were not able to fully satisfy our requ
irements. On the contrary,
action verbs
were
initially organized by exploiting the Bloom’s taxonomy [1]

and by adapting it: at the end of
this process
,

six families of verbs,
arrange
,
act
,
prepare
,
check
,
assess

and
react

were
identified.

It is worth rema
rking that the creation of the taxono
my was a crucial point, since an improper hierarchy of
keywords could results

to provide incorrect results:
thus,
this phase
was

carried out with
the support of
experts
from

the trade sector.

After the creation of the
taxonomy, qualifications, tasks and subtasks
were described

by linking their
composing elements (knowledge, skill
s

and competence
s
) to the corresponding concepts (knowledge objects,
action verb
s

and context

elements
).

At this stage
,

a graphical representat
ion of the ontology
was

created by exploiting
the
UML notation, in order
to provide a formal and easy
-
to
-
read representation

to be possibly shared with the other involved actors and
stakeholders
. For this purpose
,

the open
-
source software UMLGraph [
9
], a t
ool that is able to process diagrams
expressed in a textual form and
to

create the
corresponding
graphical representation

was
exploited.
It is worth
remarking that UMLGraph was chosen since it could easily be embedded inside a web platform as tool for the
creation of the profile maps requested by the user.
Figure 1 shows an excerpt of the subtask
To welcome the
customer and understand the customer’s needs and requests
, belonging to
the

Portuguese Shop Assistant profile:
more specifically, the
diagram

displa
ys the knowledge
Communication techniques knowledge
, the two skills
To
be able to apply selling techniques

and
To be able to communicate in English
, and the competence
Full
responsibility in identifying the customer and his needs
. In order to better distin
guish knowledge, skill and
competence elements, the corresponding classes
are painted

black
, while the concepts of the taxonomy they are
linked
to
are colored light gray.

Moreover, subsumption relationships are expressed by a solid line with a hollow
arrowhead that points from
the class that is subsumed to the class that subsumes, while the relationships that show that a knowledge, skill or
competence is expressed by one or more concepts belonging to the taxonomy are indicated by a dashed line. It is
w
orth remarking that dashed lines have been exploited in order to make more readable the diagram, so that it is
immediately understandable which relationships define subsumption of terms, and which ones link knowledge,
skills and competences to the taxonomy

(in this case a dashed line is drawn for showing the link between an
element of a subtask and a concept in the taxonomy, or among knowledge elements, action verbs and context,
and not for indicating dependency relationships).

The

diagram

should be read as

follows
: the knowledge
Communication techniques knowledge

is
characterized by the knowledge object
communication techniques

that is a type of
selling techniques
,
i.e.
another
knowledge object. The subsumption relationship between
selling techniques

and
co
mmunication techniques

denotes that if someone has
got
a
communication techniques

knowledge, he

or she

has
also
a
selling techniques

knowledge.

Furthermore, the skill
To be able to apply selling techniques

is defined by the
pair

of concepts
apply,

an actio
n verb that specifies the action verb
act
,

and
selling techniques
, a knowledge object, while the skill
To be
able to communicate in English

is characterized by the action verb
communicate
, a specification of the action
verb
react
, that is applied to the
En
glish

concept, a specification of a
foreign language

knowledge object.
Finally, the competence
Full responsibility in identifying the customer and his needs

is defined by a
full
responsibility

context, applied to the
identify

action verb, that is linked to

customer

and
customer needs

knowledge objects.







Figure 1. Ontology related to the subtask:
To welcome the customer and understand the customer’s needs and requests

3.3 Definition of inference rules and approaches for semantic comparison

The hypothesis at the basis of the creation of
the
inference rules
required for the TIPTOE project
is the
following: since the common profile has to act as common denominator,
necessarily
it should be a composition
of elements that are present into all
the

profiles and, consequently, it should be a sum of all the knowledge, skills
and competences that are linked to the most used knowledge objects, action verbs or context elements.

An example could
probably
explain
in clearer way
the above statement: let
us

imagine that four subtasks
belonging to four profiles are characterized by the following knowledge:
cleaning technique
s

knowledge
,
cleaning means and tools knowledge
,
cleaning methods knowledge

and
cleaning methods, means and tools
; since
each profile
contains (at least) a knowledge that is re
lated to the cleaning activity
, this knowledge should appear
also in the common profile. On the contrary, if a knowledge,
e.g.

the
product lifecycle knowledge
,
is mentioned
in only one profile, it will not
have
be
included into the common profile.

Moreover, the reasoning
that has been
depicted
above
should rely on the keywords linked to the el
ements
belonging to the profile descriptions
. In fact, a semantic engine should be able to understand that the four
knowledg
e
elements introduced above
are linked to the cleaning concept (then, in the ontology, they will be
characterized by the
cleaning knowledge

element).

It is evident that the common profile will then be a sum of the most common knowledge, skill
and

competenc
e elements. Consequently, the
engine for
semantic comparison should be able to identify the most
used keyword
s
, recognize to wh
ich

elements they are linked, and then include these elements into the common
profile. A further step toward the achievement of a

more correct result could be the exploitation of the taxonomy
of terms and subsumption relationships: in this way, by considering the example shown in Figure 1, the number
of occurrences of
communication techniques
,
customer
,
customer needs
,
English
,
appl
y
,
identify
,
communicate

and
full responsibility

would be 1, while the number of occurrences of the (parent) element
selling techniques

would be 4, because the
selling techniques

concept has been exploited once, but the (children) elements
communication te
chniques
,
customer

and
customer needs

have been used each one once too.

In order to find the best result, four comparison strategies have been developed; all of them receive as input a
range (that is a minimum number of time
s

a keyword has to be used) def
ined by the user, and explore the
ontology in order to identify the most common elements.

The four comparison strategies developed are:
simple range
,
simple range with mean
,
aggregate simple
range

and
aggregate range with mean
.

The
simple range

strategy
is the simplest way of identifying which knowledge, skill and competence
element
s

will belong to the common profile, since it
computes

the number of times a keyword has been linked to
elements of the ontology
;

if this value is higher than the value specifi
ed by the user,
the strategy

includes the
considered

knowledge, skill or competence into the common profile.

A slightly more complex strategy is the
simple range with mean
: according to this approach, the value
computed

by the comparison tool (that, in ord
er to
add

the element belonging to the common profile, must be
higher than the value defined by the user) is the mean of the number of occurrence
s

of each keyword linked to
the knowledge, skill or competence
being considered
.

A third approach, that takes
into account also hierarch
ical

relationships expressed by the taxonomy is the
aggregate simple range
: accor
ding to this strategy, the tool

computes

the number of time
s

a keyword, and the
subsumed concepts
,

have been used to characterize
the
elements of the

ontology
;

if this value is higher than the
value specified by the user, the
considered

element
is added to

the common profile.

A fourth strategy, that is similar to the
simple range with mean

and that allows to consider also subsumption,
is the
aggregate

range with mean
: according to this approach, the value
computed

by the comparison tool is the
mean of the number of occurrence
s

of each keyword and
its

children in the taxonomy.

In order to better understand the logic behind the four different approaches
,

it could be useful considering a
further example,
e.g. represented by the

Knowledge of products and relevant display techniques (i.e. volume


displays and on shelf couponing)

element: let
us
suppose that this knowledge is depicted by the keywords
product

(
used 38 times in the profiles descriptions),
exposition techniques

(used 12 times),
volume displays

(used
3 times) and
on shelf couponing

(used only in this description). Furthermore, let
us
imagine that the
product

and
the
exposition

elements have several

children in the
knowledge
taxonomy, and that the respectively subsumed
classes have been used 84 times and 14 times
, respectively
.

When the simple range strategy is followed, the result is 38, that is the maximum value of occurrences of the
keyword
s

link
ed to the knowledge. On the contrary, the result of the simple range with mean approach is 13.5,
that is the mean of the occurrences of the four keyword
s

linked to the element.

When subsumption relationships are considered, the value
computed

increases: i
n fact, according the
aggregate range approach, the result is 122, that is the sum of the occurrences of
product

(122, that is 38+84),
exposition

(26, that is 12+14),
volume displays

(3) and
on shelf couponing

(1) concepts,
whereas

if the strategy
applied
is the aggregate range with mean, the result is 38, that is the mean of the values above.

It is worth remarking that the results just explained (and shown in Table 1) are only an estimate of how
common a knowledge, skill or competence is
;

hence
,

a
given
v
alue could not be good or worst a priori, because it
has to be compared with th
e other results. Consequently,
possible way
s

for identifying the common profile could
be
to order

the results from the one
that

obtained the highest value, to the worst one, and
then
select a number of
elements defined by the user (
i.e.,

the number of knowledge, skill and competence elements in the common
profile w
ould

be fixed), or


and this is the case


to use the rank value e
xpressed by the user to select only
those
elements
that

achieved a score higher than it.

Table
1
. Results
obtained from

the application of the comparison strategies to the
Knowledge of products and relevant
display techniques (i.e. volume
displays and on shelf couponing)

element

Strategy

Result

Simple range

38

Simple range with mean

Aggregate range

Aggregate range with mean

13.5 = (38 + 12 + 3 + 1) / 4

122 = (38 + 84) + (12 + 14) + 3 + 1

38 = [(38 + 84) + (12 + 14) + 3 + 1] / 4


3.4
Common profile creation and examination of results

The a
pproaches
illustrated

in the previous
stage

were

exploited for creating the common profile. According to
the above discussion
, the knowledge, skill and

competence

elements obtaining a specific
value

b
ecome potential
components of the common profile. However, since



as in the case of the above example
with

the set of
knowledge characterized by the cleaning techniques concept



it would be redundant inserting into the common
profile four elements with t
he same meaning, we preferred to let the user choose, among the set of elements
exploiting the same keywords, the one that could better represent the specific knowledge, skill or competence.


An example is shown in Figure 2

where, concerning the knowledge
described by the knowledge object
cleaning techniques
, the user selected as representative knowledge
cleaning methods
; moreover,

among the
elements that are linked to
communication techniques knowledge
,
the user
selected
knowledge of selling and
communicat
ion techniques
.

Finally, for each common profile an EQF level was calculated as a mean of the EQF values assigned to each
knowledge, skill or competence selected as potential component
s

of the whole profile.







Figure 2. Selection of the elements that
will belong to the common profile

Strategies above have then been applied to the four profiles, and the behavior of each approach has been
studied: in general “simple” approaches (
simple range

and
aggregate range
)
perform
better with long sentences
charact
erized by the description of a knowledge and several examples, like
Knowledge of products and relevant
display techniques (i.e. volume displays and on shelf couponing)
; but they provide worst results
with skills and
compete
nces expressed by a common verb

a
nd an uncommon noun (an example could be the skill
to apply
stocktaking procedures
, since this element obtains a high rate, even if the stocktaking procedure knowledge is a
rare concept). On the contrary, an approach that
computes

the mean of the occurrenc
es provides better results
with elements like the skill above, but risks to
produce

worst results in case of long sentences.

F
or what
it
concerns the exploitation of subsumption relationships, if an approach that does not take into
account the taxonomy (
s
imple range

and
simple range with mean
) is followed, all the keyword
s

(children and
parents) have the same importance but, if the different profiles are described with a huge variety of terms, it
could provide incorrect results; an approach that considers
also the taxonomy (
aggregate range

and
aggregate
range with mean
) implicitly
interprets

as
more important the highest ele
ments of the tree (the parents)

and
, for
this,

it
could be useful to overcome lexical differences.

Clearly
, it is impossible to identi
fy a priori the best strategy, since the adoption of
a particular

approach
would depend

on the description of the elements of the ontology: the choice of the strategy to be followed could
only be done a posteriori. However, considering the linguistic barri
ers we encountered during the previous
stages, we identified as best approaches for creating a common profile the
aggregate range with mean

and the
aggregate range
.

4.

CONCLUSIONS

In this paper
,

a methodology for the comparison of
occupational

and education
al

profiles

and for the
id
entification of their common elements

is
presented
. According to the proposed methodology, once a profile,
expressed as a set of task and subtasks


that involve several knowledge, skills and competences



has been
described as a
set of knowledge objects, actio
n verbs and context elements (further

organized in
to

a taxonomy
)
,
then
it
becomes

possible to
perform

a semantic
analysis

and to

identify which elements appear more frequently
in the profiles descriptions.

F
our strategies for

the comparison are defined and tested with the aim of identifying
the best approach

for the definition of a common profile.

The
devised
methodology could
also
be used for supporting the definition of new syllabi, since it provides
useful

guidelines for co
mparing the requirements of the
labor world and the outputs of the education and training
domain
.

Future works will be devoted to extend the proposed approach by implementing algorithms for the
exploitation of subsumption relationships in order to identify

the differences and the missing elements among
profiles.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This work is partially supported by the
TIPTOE "Testing and Implementing EQF

and ECVET Principles in
Trade Organizations and Education"

project funded under the Lifelong Learning Pro
gramme
-

Leonardo da
Vinci

(NL08LLP
-
LdVTOI123011)
.



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