Organized at the initiative of ADBS, a one day seminary devoted to the promotion of professional competences of Europe's information and documentation professionals was held in Paris on 15 June 2007. It brought together representatives of twelve national professional associations or groups of associations from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The Euro-certification of competences
The first part of this day offered the opportunity to make a progress report on the development of the Euro-certification, the system of certification of competences set by international standard ISO 17024. Seven associations or groups of associations are already engaged in the process of awarding Euro-certificates in information-documentation based on the rules of the European System of certification of levels of qualification in information-documentation (CERTIDoc) put in place by the end of 2005*. To support this movement, the members of the consortium CERTIDoc, in particular have approved the creation of a "planning committee" for the exchange of information and experiences among the associations and organisations involved or interested in the Euro-certification of individual competences in our field of activity.
In the coming months, communication activities will be conducted together to expand the audience for Euro-certification and to make it better recognised by a number of partners, recruiters, human resources directors, national employment agencies, and in all professional circles.
The « Euroguide LIS »
The second part of the day was devoted to the development of the «Euroguide LIS». The second edition (2004) is now available in eleven languages and has achieved great success across Europe and beyond. Several thousand copies were distributed in printed form or downloaded by users. Participants in this European meeting have all emphasized the importance of this document for the profession and highlighted its diverse uses. In several countries, training programs in universities and professional schools have been restructured based on the Euroguide and its thirty-three fields of expertise (in total conjunction with the restructuring of higher education programs imposed by the “Bologna Process "). It has become an essential tool which must follow the evolution of the profession and of the practices in information and documentation. In order to prepare a third edition in 2009, it was decided to establish a "Euroguide group”, grouping bodies involved in the translation or updating of the Euro-guide. In each country or language area, a national association and consortium member, will, if necessary make the handover to other local professional associations or any other body using the Euroguide. A wake site will be set up to promote collaborative work between the various associations and avoid unnecessary travel. Work on terminology will also be refined.
The European collaboration
At a continental European scale, the profession now has in the Euroguide and the Euro-certification two major tools contributing to the analysis and enhancement of competences of information and documentation professionals.
This meeting has demonstrated the relevance of "the project based approach" in the inter-association work at European level. It has also shown a strong tendency towards collaborative work, for such a tool cannot, of course, be developed by a single association, especially as the boundaries between traditional jobs disappear. In several countries (Switzerland, Italy, etc...), "consortia" of several local associations have been established to participate more effectively in this European project.
The participants in this meeting have also highlighted the role of ADBS which for nearly fifteen years invested in the design, maintenance and promotion of these tools for collective management of competences.
* Project supported by the European Commission (Leonardo da Vinci program)