Resolution No. 29-NQ /TW on basic and comprehensive innovation of education and training to meet the requirements of industrialization and modernization in conditions of socialist-oriented market economy and international integration has analyzed weaknesses in the area of education and training: “ Management of education and training experiences many deficiencies. Teachers and education managers are inadequate in terms of quality, quantity and structure; a portion of them has not met the demand for innovation and development of education, lacked enthusiasm, even violated professional ethics”. At the same time analyzing the root causes: “The demarcation between state management and administration in educational institutions and training is unclear. Quality management, inspection and supervision have not been weighted properply”. The resolution has outlined the direction for innovation of education management in upcoming time: “Clearly define the responsibilities of the State management agency on education, training and management responsibilities by sector, the territory of the ministries, sectors and localities. Deliniate state administration from the administration of educational and training institutions. Promote decentralization, improve accountability, motivation and sense of initiative and creativity of educational and training institutions ".
Asean community consisting of 10 countries has come into shape on 31st December 2015. The formation of ASEAN community is a challenge but also an opportunity to develop vocational education in Vietnam. Improving the capacity of management staff for a better training quality and the competitiveness of the workforce on the labor market in the country, region and the world is essential in order to develop Vietnam vocational training.
1. Definition and classification
In broad terms: Managerial staff include all those involved in the management system and the formation of certain functions, they do not participate directly in the production process. By function, managerial staff is divided into 3 categories:
- Leaders: a commander in management system with a title appointed by the state. They are held responsible to the seniors for operation of the organization they manage. Their specific actitity is making decisions and implementing decisions
- Experts: are those with expertise in a certain field. Their function is to prepare the plan for decision-making by the leaders, aside from that, they are assigned the responsibility to track some works according to the principles of management by leaders.
- Managerial staff: Their function is to aggregate, process and communicate initial information; prepare and establish materials as necessary to ensure the management of a certain organization or task by leader.
1.2. Competence and competency standards
There are various interpretations of competence, namely:
- Human competence is the product of social development. “The formation of competence requires individual to grasp various forms of activities created by human being during the course of social development history. So human competency is not only determined by the operation of human brain but by the level of historic development that humanity achieved”.
- Competence is “the unique combination of characters suitable for the requirements of a certain activity ensuring that activity achieves efficiency”.
- Competence is “the possibilities, subjective or natural conditions available to perform a certain activity” or “psychological and physiological qualities that make human being capable of completing a certain activity with high quality”
- Competence is “the set of personal psychological attributes and qualities, acting as internal conditions, to facilitate better implementation of a certain form of activity. A competent person is a person who achieves efficiency and high-quality performance under objective and subjective circumstances alike”.
A similarity in the abovementioned concepts is: Competence is the ability to complete tasks set out in conjunction with a particular activity. Competence is a factor of personality henceforth competence is personally marked, expressing subjectivity in terms of action, is formed under the laws of formation and development of personality, in which the elements of education, activity and exchange play a decisive role.
On the other hand, in nature competence is created by the elements of: Knowledge, skills, techniques, these factors do not exist separately, but the way they blend, intertwine positive impact the improvement of the capacity of vocational education managers.
b) Competency standard
Competency standard is characterized by the capacity needed to perform the job effectively in working positions. Competency standard is based to: Recruit; Use, develop managerial staff.
1.3. The basic competences of vocational education managerial staff for regional and international integration
There are separate studies on work competence of individuals, each study with different perspectives makes different judgments but have a consensus on basic competences.
In addition to basic competences, in the context of ASEAN integration, management staff should have the knowledge of, proficiency in foreign languages and information technology.
Overall: The above-mentioned basic competencies are developed in the course of life of every human being in social environment or community. It is also the process of development and perfection of personality that takes place throughout life. Vocational education managerial staff at different management levels is held responsible to their superiors for entire operation of a field, a locality. Managerial staff should possess those aforementioned qualities for vocational management. That is the basis for the formation of management talent contributing to the innovation and improvement of the quality of vocational education.
2. Competency standard of vocational education managerial staff
2.1. Approach to building standards
Management of vocational education is a profession. The idea or concept has suggested the approach to developing competency standards for vocational education management staff. It will be an integral part of a set of qualifications with other standards for teachers/trainers, assessors, training program developer, learning materials, accreditation…. and in accordance with Vietnam education framework.
Proposed standards define the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) that a managerial person is required to have in order to work effectively in a reformed education setting facing international competition. These standards offer a common standard for the development of managerial staff; is designed to build necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes.
2.2. Methodology of standard construction
- Developing occupational standards usually involves a series of steps and analysis such as job analysis, competency analysis/benchmarking (including searching for current standards on international scale), competency unit analysis and detailed analysis.
- Proposed standards shall be standardized and comparable to similar occupations in countries with similar conditions.
- A set of occupational standards describe a series of competences requiring management staff to perform in a certain field.
- Standards developed later will then always be adjusted, modified as necessary to suit the reality in a volatile environment.
- In the event that job function is truly unique (or being the only one) and there is no available competency standard to start with, a detailed job analysis can be conducted to create a set of competencies as necessary. Eg DACUM method, functional analysis, or a combination of both can be used.
2.3. Competency standard of public managers in vocational education
2.3.1. Building competency standard framework of managerial staff
Management is a profession, so competences shall be built on the basis of job analysis and functional analysis.
2.3.2 Some models on competency standards framework for management staff in vocational education
- International Labour Organisation (ILO) developed Competency framework into following elements:
(i) Capacity to manage the training process;
(ii) Capacity to manage human resources;
(iii) Capacity to manage facilities;
(iv) Capacity to manage finance;
(v) Capacity to manage quality;
(vi) Capacity to manage training services;
(vii) Capacity to manage activities of international cooperation.
- Federal Republic of Germany developed Competency framework into following elements:
(i) Capacity to manage the unit;
(ii) Capacity to manage the project;
(iii) Capacity to manage the quality;
(iv) Capacity to mamage network connection;
(vii) Administrative capacity.
- Some ASEAN countries developed management approach competency framework according to performance competency
(i) Competency standard;
(ii) Training of capacities;
(iii) Capacity assessment;
(iv) Further training for management staff according to competency standards.
2.3.3 Process of developing competency standards
Process of constructing competency standards is based on the following grounds:
2.4 Assessment of competencies of management staff
2.4.1 Evaluation objective
An accurate assessment of competencies of management staff provides a solid base for training and use, generating motivation for vocational education managers to devote their strength and mind to fulfill the tasks assigned
2.4.2. The evaluation process
Step 1: Identify basic requirements to be evaluated
Which areas, skills, results to be evaluated shall be identified and these factors are related to the implementation of objectives. These requirements often include two parts: the standard of conduct and standard of job performance.
Step 2: Select appropriate evaluation method
There are many job evaluation methods and no method is considered the best for all managers, different methods targeting different types of manager can be used
Step 3: Provide training for leaders and people in charge of assessment on job performance assessment skill
Inappropriate use of methods or definition of the principles, competency standards and rating will lead to unfairness or inaccuracy. Therefore, those involving in assessment of work effeciency of management staff should be trained in this skill.
Step 4: Discussion with managerial staff about the content and scope of assessment
Before conducting evaluation, a discussion with the managerial staff on the content and scope of the assessment is needed. The discussions will specify areas to be assessed, assessment cycle and the importance of assessment results.
Step 5: Conduct assessment according job performance standard
Perform comparision and analysis of the actual results of work performed by managerial staff using competency standards.
Step 6: Discuss with managerial staff on assessment results
Leaders should discuss with managerial staff on assessment results, learn what is agreed and what is not agreed with regarding the assessment, pointing out strengths and weaknesses in performing the job.
Step 7: Identify new goals and results for employees
What is important in the assessment of work effectiveness is to map out the directions, how to continually improve the performance of work, set new targets for managerial staff
The assessment is done according to the 7-step process
To successfully integrate in the region, the leaders shall pay attention to management innovation and special attention to capacity building for managerial staff in vocational education. This factor plays decisive role in the basic and comprehensive innovation of vocational education in the context of ASEAN and international integration.
Dr. Phan Chính Thức
Vocational training specialist
(The paper was published in the journal "Employment & Life" No. 75, January 2016)