EFEC experience in Rome (IT)

Speha Fresia, as partner of the Finnish leading organisation Omnia, organised in Rome, on September 2014, a public event about the challenges and the outcomes of the first pilot project, awarded in 2012, and devoted to the Elderly Care within the framework of the Sector Skills Alliances Programme, afterwards included in the ongoing Erasmus Plus Programme 2014-2020.

Our aim was the engagement of our local network committed in the care sector, in order to deepen together the challenges and the opportunities in the field of the older people's care, starting from the training needs analysis in the workplaces. This bottom up approach allowed the partnership, capitalising the great experiences of the other countries where the ECVET system is already structured and formalised consistently with the European Qualification Framework (EQF), to propose a basic Unit for the upcoming needs for the older people's care.

The three areas of competences, selected through the EFEC partners' common work and shared during the seminar in Rome, are:

Rome seminar
  1. Communication
  2. Professional values
  3. Inclusion and participation

These three areas were breakdown in knowledge and skills, the assessment criteria were selected and agreed, and all documents are available on the project website in English, and on Speha Fresia site in Italian too for the free exploitation of the implemented learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

As we do not intend to leave this experience as a mere "exercise of style", with our associate partner, Legacoop Sociali of the Region Lazio, we are trying to start a new dialogue with the regional authority in order to understand when and how the Italian Regions will join the full consistency with the EQF also for the vocational training system.

This intent was verified in a first meeting with the public officer, dr. A. Tomai, responsible for the regional qualification framework of the social-health professionals, and the next step will be an invitation letter to the Social Policies Department and to the Training and Certification ones for fixing a meeting on the following key topics: how to meet the objectives to implement the ECVET system in our region too, and a clearer vision about the old and new professional needs in the sector of the Elderly Care.

Big efforts were done by the conference State-Regions to achieve a common framework about the professional profiles in the care sector, and although some workers are still named in different ways around Italy, e.g. the so called Family Assistants (EQF3) to acquire their qualification, always through a final proof, need to attend 300 training hours, while a Social-Health Operator (EQF4, if working in institution, and EQF5 if working at clients' home) to get this qualification needs a 1.000 hours of training. So, this standard was agreed and it was based on the "competences" approach, but the credit system is not yet available.

Rome seminar

We will have some more news on the next January '15, when a State-Regions conference is planned also to decide about the validation, recognition and certification of non-formal and informal learning, as stated in the national law of January 2013, hoping to have a roadmap for the implementation of the ECVET system too, closely linked to the agreement on the credits certification procedures.

Waiting for the results of the State-Regions conference and for the reply to our invitation letter to the regional authority, we intend to make our public institutions more aware about the value of the social cooperatives' experience, which are managing, although the crisis and the reduction of public funds, to maintain the employment of their workers, increasing the workforce of this sector innovating their practices and services.

They are demonstrating the willing to be part of a renovation process of the integrated system of the social health policies, and in the same time to valorise the partners/workers also in their later stage of the working life, e.g. promoting new projects for +50 workforce.

The social cooperatives can play an important role in arising the new social and individual needs and able to monitor the professional gaps, but also they are "the memory" of, at least, the last 30 years of social policies at local level, and the fast turn-over of public officers does not help the implementation and the achievements in any field of intervention.

This is one of the key risk, and waiting for the "ideal frame" we intend to propose pilot actions which can enable, not only the local public administrations (Region and Town/Districts), but also the social care providers and the training centres, to update and improve their offers, by expanding the employability also through the mobility at national and EU level.

Although the future frame does not seem to be so clear and certain, we have caught the EFEC project opportunities to go a step further in promoting the ECVET system and in improving the training provision for the care givers committed in the wellbeing of the older people.

The Seminar in Rome

Rome seminar

The public event in Rome took place at the seat of the associate partner Legacoop Sociali of the Region Lazio, one of the biggest trade association of non-profit social enterprises (around n 300 associated social cooperatives).

The key speeches were devoted to present the Italian and, specifically, the local framework about the general care sector and in particular the condition of older people, mainly those not self-sufficient. The role of social enterprises, organised through the cooperation Statue, means that workers are also member of the company. In the cooperatives we cannot share profits and the golden rule is: one head, one vote. With the members' Assembly as highest decision organ, and the board as executive one. In Italy we have two types of social cooperatives (type A and B). The A cooperatives are care services providers, while the type B is devoted to the labour market inclusion of weak people, so they can act in every sector (green and environmental services are the favourite ones).

Another key topic, the ECVET system, was faced by C. Villante, of the National Agency ISFOL who gave an important contribution also in selecting similar projects, already funded by the former Leonardo da Vinci sub-programme, enriching our stakeholders' contacts.

The Visits at the Daily Centre and the Residential Home

The Social Cooperative "Magliana Solidale" gave an important support to EFEC project implementation, both in the initial phase with the training need analysis in workplace, and hosting the partners' team in their Daily Centre "Argento Vivo" for older people almost self-sufficient.

Rome seminar

The second visit was at the Residential Home of XI District of the Municipality of Rome, "RSA Corviale", a private company accredited with the National Health Service and the City of Rome. There partners had the possibility to compare the very different conditions lived by older people not-sufficient in Rome.

The civil standard to have one person for each room is far away to be applied. And one of the greatest difficulties denounced by this company are related to the long-term payments provided by the public administrations and a lot of resistances to any change, sacrificing innovation and new investments.

Although these critical and weak points of the Elderly Care in our region, we have appreciated the welcome received in both centres (and the kindness of their guests too), and the motivation of the social workers engaged with older people's care is clearly the core engine that makes this system working, despite everything.

By Elisabetta Cannova

Speha Fresia project manager

Downloadable documents

  Programme of the seminar in Rome 10th-12th September 2014