CIECA proposes to address the quality of the assessment of a candidate and the quality assurance of examiners. This is a subject that is closely linked to the main field of interest of CIECA, but it is not an activity that CIECA has explored so far.
The standards to be developed by CIECA go beyond the requirements set in the European Directive 2000/56, as additional subjects - especially the assessment by the examiner - will be addressed. CIECA strongly believes that by doing so, the quality of the exam in the different countries, both inside and outside the European Union, can be raised to a higher level, and that this quality enhancement can contribute substantially to traffic safety on our roads. Additionally, such standards would make it easier to compare the output from one country to another: pass rates, for example, could then be used as a reliable indicator in fully harmonized systems, (something that is currently impossible due to the considerable variability in today’s systems).
The road to implementation
CIECA proposes a multiphase trajectory to reach this goal:
A steering group made up of 10 experts from different CIECA members will develop a working paper with recommendations on the abovementioned subjects. This working group will convene on several occasions in 2004 and 2005. The working paper will be finished in spring 2005.
A workshop involving all CIECA members will be organized, during which the recommendations will be discussed. This workshop will take place in mid-2005.
During the 2nd half of the year 2005 and the first half of the year 2006, the CIECA Expert Advisory Group (7 persons from 7 different countries) will organize visits to selected countries to pilot control visits on the quality criteria developed in steps 1 and 2. These control visits (pilots) will be evaluated by the CIECA board and the CIECA members in mid-2006.
An initial group of selected CIECA members will be invited to implement the approved recommendations on a voluntary basis in 2006/7. Once the standards and the control bodies gain more respect and confidence, more countries are expected to follow. No sanctions will be placed upon countries failing to fulfil these standards in the initial phase. Depending on the wishes of the members, this is an element that could be added at a later stage.
In a final step, CIECA should develop a label for countries (i.e. organizations) that fulfil the (minimum) requirements of the accepted standards. By having this label, countries (organizations) would be able to profile themselves and their work. CIECA should strive towards acceptance of the label - and thereby of the standards underlying the label - by international governmental institutions, like, for instance, the European Commission or the Economic Council for Europe of the United Nations. An official status of the label could lead towards use of the label by such organisations and individual countries. However, this depends on the level of acceptance of the standards and the procedures conducted by the CIECA members. At this stage, discussion should also get underway to determine who should be the official control body for the label.
It is important to note that, during the process, the CIECA members will have numerous opportunities to decide the pace and direction of the work. The above schedule is the envisaged strategy, but it is up to the members to make decisions on several issues during the process.