On 23rd June 2021, the EASO Consultative Forum in collaboration with the Training and Professional Development Centre organised a thematic meeting on Training. EASO is currently in the process of restructuring and upgrading the training curriculum in line with the educational and occupational standards established by the European Sectorial Qualifications Framework for Asylum and Reception Officials (ESQF). The transition to the new system provides an opportunity to review and upgrade the content of the training modules, which is a process that EASO is involving the Forum in. The aim of the meeting was to explore if and how the Consultative Forum’s expertise could best be integrated into relevant EASO training materials. The online meeting was attended by more than 30 Civil Society Organisations.
The meeting kicked off with a keynote address by Ms Nina Gregori, EASO’s Executive Director who emphasised the importance of training as one of EASO’s priority areas and part of the Agency’s permanent support tools contributing significantly to the harmonisation of asylum practices.
Ms Gregori explained that over the years, EASO has extended and diversified the training offered with more than 43,000 participants trained over the last ten years. Despite COVID-19, work continued and even intensified and EASO has now shifted all its training activities online, providing business continuity and helping Member States adjust to the new reality. Beyond training as permanent support tool, the curriculum is also extensively used in the context of EASO’s Operational Support as well as in the external dimension, providing a solid basis for EASO’s capacity-building activities in third countries.
To conclude Ms Gregori referred to the continuous open dialogue that the Agency maintained with Civil Society on training and referred amongst others also to discussions held at the 10th Plenary meeting last October 2020 where the Forum had expressed interest to reinforce its engagement on EASO’s training.
The meeting then continued with a presentation on the EASO Training Curriculum by the Head of Centre followed by a presentation on the New Governance of the Training Quality Assurance Framework. Further presentations on the Training Curriculum and Module Development Process and the Consultation Project with the Consultative Forum on the selected Training Modules took place and were followed by a Q&A Session.
During the closing remarks Rachelle Cortis, the Head of Centre reiterated that civil society is already involved in the development of training material through the work of the Reference Group. Ms Cortis continued by stating that this will be maintained in the future, and that when relevant, EASO is open to explore additional channels for consultation with civil society referring to the process with selected members of the Consultative Forum by means of a call for expression of interest on four selected training modules. The CF members could express interest and if selected to take part in the consultation, they would then be consulted on the concerned module.
Timeline of the next steps:
On 20 July, the EASO Consultative Forum launched the call for expression of interest on the four selected training modules. Members of the Consultative Forum were invited to express interest provided they possess relevant expertise on the subjects of the modules which relate to the following topics:
A. Assistance of asylum applicant’s adaptation to their social environment within and around the reception centre;
B. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the asylum context;
C. Gender-based violence in asylum context;
D. Trafficking in Human Beings in the asylum context.
Relevant CSO’s are being selected by EASO according to predefined criteria and will be invited to participate in the consultation.
For any questions, please write to: Consultative-Forum@easo.europa.eu.