Aide Memoir

Point of Departure of Vocational Learning

The vocational practice should be the starting point for all vocational education and training. The practice reflects both the technical operations and the organizational context. Therefore it may be fruitful to analyze work - and production processes. For this purpose may be a need for different tools that make it possible to systematically describe the content in a vocational work. When the analysis of the work process is carried out, it will be possible to define the competencies needed to perform the concrete work. When competence has been defined, it becomes a question of what learning processes are needed to achieve this competency. In other words, didactically, the questions to be addressed should be about: What should be learned? Why should it be learned? And how should it be learned?

Preparation for «Research Expedition»

The departure of vocational learning are the tasks carried out in a production process, whether it is to produce a service or an object/item/article.
The customer often has an expectation from a product or item. The companies equally have their own quality requirements and standards for the production process. In addition, there are always some rules and regulations set by the authorities that must be followed, such as health, safety and environmental regulations. These requirements, standards and laws will be premises for production. The production process and the product must be in accordance with these quality requirements.

In order to describe / determine the qualifications necessary to carry out work on a qualitative good way that meets customer requirements / needs, it is essential to have an objective insight into how work is done and why it is carried out in a particular way. For the purposes of clarity, it may be useful to use practical tools or illustrations. Below is a layout of a typical production process with some categories and questions that may be relevant? In addition, I illustrate some "models" / sketches that can be used in describing a work / production process.

For description of a work/ production process

Explanation of the Model

The model can be adapted to describe most types of work processes. The number of steps decides degree of detail. The more steps, the more detailed. One advice: do not be too detailed. (See below an example of car repair service outfit) There will be an advantage if you describe the process in collaboration with a competent person on site, a person (or more if necessary) that can carry out the work in an adequate manner. This person should also be asked to explain the critical phases of the work and what one must pay attention to in order to ensure that it is properly done.

Five elements in each step of the process to be described, and they are:
1. What are the quality requirements for the product in each step
2. What types of materials are required?
3. The work process. What is being done? How does it work? Why do it just like that?
What type of communication? Who communicates with whom?
4. What type of machines / tools / equipment?
5. Finally, based on the four elements above: What kind of competence is required to
carry out this work?

Interview Guide
In addition to the "tools" described above, it may be fruitful to ask some questions that can contribute to a deeper understanding of what is going on. There is no guarantee that all questions are relevant. Therefore, you must decide on which questions should be asked.

About the task/ work content
1. What are they (you) doing?
2. Do they (you) perform the same type of tasks several times (repeat the same
3. Which types of tools/equipment are used?
4. Which types of materials are used?
5. How long or how much time do they (you) work on this/ these task(s)?

Interesting to know: What are the characteristics of the tasks? How are the tasks distributed for the single worker over time and how are the tasks distributed between the workers?

The way we work (working methods)
1. How are the jobs organized?
2. In which way are the worker (you) working? Working alone? Working in teams of
two, three, four or more?
3. In which way are the learners working? Working with close connection to some

Interesting to know: How are the jobs organized, and what is the dominating character of the working form and are the work form undergoing changes?

Work related communication
1. How do they (you) get information about what to do and how to work with the
2. Do they (you) use drawings or written information related to the work?
3. From whom do they (you) get information about what to do and how to do?

Interesting to know: In which way are the workers informed about the work?

Work related results
In which ways do they (you) get “rewards” in relation to the work/task(s)? Do they (you) get economic rewards? Do they (you) get social rewards? Do they (you) get mental rewards in terms of feeling of increasing competence?

Interesting to know: In which way are the workers rewarded for the work efforts and how the rewarding is organized?

Who should be interviewed?
People with the following functions should be able to contribute information:
- The operator / skilled worker - the person carrying out the work (perhaps the most
- Foreman or supervisor
- Persons who are responsible for training
- Others who are directly or indirectly involved in the production / work.

How to be prepared?
- Contact the company and clarify what is the purpose of the visit and interviews.
- Prepare the questions you will ask, and to whom. (think carefully about this) Ask in
advance if these people will be available during your visit.
- Using camera for documentation. Photos are well suited to document practical work.
Ask the company if it is ok to take pictures

Quality assurance of the visit and the "tools"
To ensure that the visit will be good quality, it can be useful if you discuss arrangements with colleagues. Topics can be the questions, the tool generally, the model to describe the work process, who should be interviewed, the time needed for completion of the interviews, etc.