Key competencies of elderly care takers

More transparency of qualifications / competences is an essential component in the efforts to adapt education systems in the EU to the need of the knowledge society as well as the necessity of more and better employment in the job market “Europe”.

Approach of the project

1. Analysis of the present situation: According to job market predictions, foresight-studies and labour market experts (PES, social partners etc.), the sector “elderly care” is a sector that will grow during the next 10 years within Europe. The first step is to identify existing national competence profiles in the field “elderly care” per partner land. The qualifications are made comparable not through learning ways, but through learning results (operationalisation of the occupations). Method: analysis of secondary sources and if necessary: analysis of VET/HE curricula.

2. Development of a competence matrix (first draft) by means of the VQTS-model (see: VQNET). National differences should be taken into consideration.

3. Study: Within the scope of a professional forces questioning [semi-structured interviews with elderly caregivers who have found a working place in their learned occupation successfully abroad (in one of the 4-5 partner lands) and who have found a working place in their occupation non-successfully] factors of success and factors of non-success as well as relevant key factors leading to success will be identified, from the point of view of the questioned professional forces. In addition, ways are indicated how these „key competences” leading to success can be acquired.


Remarks: To bend forward here a Bias, branch trends and present situations of branches are taken into consideration.

4. Development of international competence profiles: The competences must be derived empirically from the working world (surveys, questionings) and by taking into account those new skills and competences which are needed in the sector “elderly care” according to the EU council and the EU parliament in the future (EU predictions, international empirical studies). By further developing the first draft of the VQTS-matrix, the international (future) competence and qualification profile will be developed.This international competence matrix focuses on shared labor market experiences: What new skills and competences are required in elderly care jobs in the future? What will be demanded tasks to be performed (need analysis)?

The project „NoBorders” addresses the difficulty of the competence comparison by different-disposed education ways for one and the same occupation in different countries.

5. Evaluation of the competence standards through either method 1 (see point 5.1.) or method 2 (see point 5.2).

5.1. Possibly: Delphi-Expert questioning in all partner countries, in order to evaluate the competence standards (qualitative and quantitative):

5.2. Possibly: expert workshop, in order to evaluate, refine and correct the competence standards.

6. Development of a self-assessment tool and an international continuing education database by means of which the target group is able to indicate, firstly, competence deficits and secondly, how these deficits can be compensated (through formal, non-formal and informal learning). This data base shall provide recommendations for employees, students, job-seekers and employers from Central-, Eastern- and Southern Europe concerning how they or their staff can acquire relevant future competences in a specific occupation – according to international competence standards. The recommendations concerning continuing education not only occur Austria-far, but also in the partner lands.

7. Dissemination (conferences, newsletters, homepage etc.)

[1]Analysis of the curricula of the vocational education (for the learned occupation) and the competences learned thereby per partner land.


Runtime: 2011 - 2013
Program Scheme: Lifelong Learning Program of the European Union
Sub-Program: Leonardo da Vinci
Promoter. Wiener Institut für sozialwissenschaftliche Dokumentation und Methodik, Austria