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Online discussion forum background note: Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) for mutual skills recognition

— theme: Competency standards, Mutual recognition of skills
— country: Global, Asia, Pacific
— type: Promotional Material

This document provides background information for the online discussion forum on Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) for Skills Recognition which will be held from 17 February - 4 March.

Belinda Smith
Publishing Year

Welcome to the Skills and Employability Community of Practice.

From 17 February - 4 March, the this community will host its first online discussion forum.  Skills recognition and qualification reforms have dominated national and international debates on training and skills development in recent years. The need to improve the quality and effectiveness of training systems in meeting industry skilled labour needs and the increasing mobility of workers have been the main driving forces behind the need to develop new approaches to skills recognition.

The ILO has since the mid-1990s supported member countries in the Asian Pacific region to develop their national skills/ competency standards systems under the Asia and the Pacific Skills Development Programme (APSDEP). More recently, the ILO member States called on the ILO to move away from occupational standards to develop a new model, which they chose to call Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) and are a core priority area of the Regional Skills Network, a programme that was set up in 2006 under the ILO Regional Skills and Employability Programme in Asia and the Pacific (Skills-AP programme, a partnership initiative with the Government of the South Korean Republic).

It is observed that migration, and particularly skilled migration is often circular and recognition therefore is required while departing and returning. The outcomes of these previous regional workshops included the development and endorsement of Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) for different sub-sectors, which act as ‘translation tool’ to allow the skills of workers to be assessed.  It was anticipated that the RMCS will contribute to a simplified skills recognition and assessment process at national and the Asian regional level.

The purpose of this discussion forum is to explore the:

  • Effectiveness of the RMCS in assisting skills recognition for migrant workers;
  • Challenges of implementing the RMCS as a tool for skills recognition;
  • Possible solutions to implementing the RMCS for skills recognition; and
  • Overall relevance of the RMCS to the social partners, specifically, industry and employers, recruitment agencies and training institutions.

To achieve this several theme areas have been identified for you to consider and additional areas may be added during the course of the forum. Each theme area has a number of questions for your consideration. You do not need to participate in every theme area, though you are more than welcome to. If you need a refresher on skill/ competency standards you may find it useful to start with ‘What are Competency Standards, a Refresher’.

Here are some questions we will explore further when the forum begins:

  • What level of acceptance do the RMCS have with social partners that you deal with and what industry sectors do those social partners operate in?
  • What mechanisms/support structures are required so that the RMCS are effectively implemented and support certification and skills recognition in sending and receiving countries to assist in increasing employability?
  • Are the RMCS easy to understand and navigate to find the relevant information?
Please note that the forum is not open yet.  You will be able to start posting your thoughts and share your ideas starting on 17 February 2011.
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