Handbook "Quality assurance in adult learning - Implementation Guide of Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001, ISO 29990)"


  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: QUADRAT Project
  • Languages: English, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian


Adult learning, in the previous years, grew to be recognised, as one of pillars of Lifelong learning at EU level. Historically in Europe, adult learning has been the most neglected sector of education and training with not much funding and policy attention. School education, vocational education and higher education have traditionally been the focus of educational policies, while adult learning did not receive much attention. Nevertheless, the rapid changes in the economy and in the society have brought up the need to develop the capacity of adult learning, both at system level and at the learning provider level.

One of the priorities of the EU agenda for adult learning, part of the strategy for Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) is ‘improving the quality and efficiency of education and training’.

The diversity of adult learning in terms of learning objectives, learning providers, learners and learning programmes and methods make difficult the development and adoption of a general quality assurance framework. Adult learning providers may use different quality frameworks, depending also on national requirements and practices.

The handbook “Quality assurance in adult learning - Implementation Guide of Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001, ISO 29990)” presents the landscape of adult learning providers in Europe, the most commonly used quality assurance frameworks and standards and then provides comprehensive guidelines for the implementation of ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 29990 in adult learning providers.

The Handbook focuses on the implementation of a quality management system in adult education, based on ISO 9001:2008 standard, because this standard is international and widely tested in all types of organisations and companies, including adult education organisations. Additional requirements of ISO 29990:2010 are included in order to cover effectively all the particularities of adult learning sector. Adult learning is less regulated by national authorities than other forms of education and training and there is a large diversity of adult learning organisations and programmes. On one hand, this increases the pressure for quality assurance making it a necessity and on the other hand, the need arises for a quality management system well known and widely acceptable, in order to improve the attractiveness of adult learning and make lifelong learning a reality for the majority of citizens.

The handbook is the main learning resource of the QUADRAT training course for staff involved in quality assurance in adult learning organizations. It is available in English, Greek, Spanish, italian and Hungarian.

Apart from the handbook, QUADRAT project has produced a variety of learning resources including case studies, examples, exercises and assessment tests, an e-learning course and a software tool for the paperless management of a quality management system.

Inside the book