Skills development institution for translational research
In the TRAIN Academy experts from the ten TRAIN institutions and external partners bundle their know-how for continuing education offerings in the area of translational research. The objective of the TRAIN Academy is to fortify the quality of training for the scientific non-professional teaching staff.
The central continuing education element in the TRAIN Academy is currently the curriculum “Translational Research and Medicine: From the Idea to the Product”. The continuing education offerings from the TRAIN Academy for scientists working in translation are being successively expanded and additional continuing education elements are being developed – for example, in the field of Omics technologies and bioinformatics. These continuing education offerings – geared to early career steps, especially post-docs – are unique to the region. They promote not only the participants’ career opportunities, but also the intensive networking of experts in early career stages in the research state of Lower Saxony.
The curriculum “Translational Research and Medicien” is certified by the Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency Hannover (ZEvA).
The objectives of certification at the TRAIN Academy are, in particular:
- Quality control and preservation of the niveau of the teaching content
- Evaluation of the provided contents and competencies pursuant the “European Qualification Framework (EQR 8)”
- Accountability and comparability of the teaching content / modules (also internationally)
- Production of transparency for parties outside the organisation
The criteria for certification are derived from, among other things, the currently valid accreditation guidelines in the field of the programme accreditation at universities (see the current guidelines for the accreditation council; www. akkreditierungsrat.de). In reference to the requirements, the largest possible comparability should be provided regarding accreditation procedures for university study programmes. For the interpretation and evaluation of the implementation of the above-mentioned criteria, the following documents, among others, are brought in:
- Descriptors of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF; 2008)
- Qualifications framework for German university degrees (21.04.2005) European Qualifications Framework, EQF)
- German Qualifications Framework (GQF; 2011) as well as
- Section 2 of the regulations for the accreditation council for accreditation of study programmes and for system accreditation (in parts) (Drs. AR 20/2013)
The assessment procedure is carried out according to the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). The procedure is thus in compliance with the “European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education” (ENQA). The ZEvA was a founding member of ENQA in 2000 and remains a “full member”.
In order to guarantee that the criteria for certification are fulfilled for the long-term and the curriculum is further developed in the sense of the certification, evaluations are carried out on a regular basis:
Prior to the start of the curriculum, a questionnaire was implemented that enquired about the participants’ pre-knowledge and expectations in the programme. After one year, the questionnaire will be carried out again in order to examine whether the participants’ expectations and goals have been fulfilled and in order, if necessary, to undertake changes in the teaching contents and formats of the Academy. The final questionnaire is executed one year after completion of the continuing training. The goal of this questionnaire is an assessment of the teaching contents – regarding network activities and career options in the translational community. Furthermore, at the end of each teaching event in the Academy, a traditional evaluation of the teaching is carried out. The assessments are compiled for each module and examined and evaluated by the steering committee, in order to undertake adjustments to the curriculum, if necessary.