Does your organisation have a development strategy for the next 2 – 5 years? And if yes, have you included in it a plan for international cooperation?
The reason I ask this is because there are many opportunities through several European programmes, including Erasmus+, to take part in projects in the areas of learning, development, exchange of best practice, and innovation development that have the potential to transform your organisation. These opportunities include:
- Erasmus+ KA1: Often called “mobility projects”, these activities allow your staff or learners to participate in courses abroad, like the ones we organise at M-Powered.
- Erasmus+ KA2: International partnerships, where together with other schools, universities, NGOs, or other organisations you develop innovative educational projects.
For Erasmus+ KA1s at least, it is important to apply for an Erasmus+ accreditation to participate. If you would like to fully exploit the opportunities provided by these programmes, make sure you apply for your accreditation. I wrote about the application process a couple of weeks ago in my blog post. If you get the accreditation, it will be much easier to send your staff to FREE training courses abroad, like the ones we offer in Ireland, Tenerife and Poland.
The most important part of the application form is Erasmus Plan, which is your 2 – 7-year strategy for international cooperation. In our recent blog post, we share tips on how to develop such a plan with your team, but to help the M-Powered community even more, we have created a comprehensive guide to Erasmus+ accreditation. This includes a review of the important rules, a step by step guide through each application question, and a workshop plan that you can run with you team to help identify your international objectives and create your Erasmus Plan.
The full Erasmus+ Accreditation 2021 – 2027: How to prepare a successful application guide is available to buy on our website, but this week we are going to give you a sneak peek at the workshop plan that will help you to facilitate a brainstorming session with your team and identify your European development goals.
The best way to develop an Erasmus Plan is to organise a workshop with your team and management. You can find the full, detailed workshop plan in our guidelines: Erasmus+ Accreditation 2021 – 2027: How to prepare a successful application.
The plan created through this workshop will be a key part of your organisation’s future development so your senior management should be involved from the beginning. This will improve the quality of the workshop outcomes and the resulting plan. However, if your management cannot participate in the workshop, they should at least be consulted about the workshop, its objectives, and the participants to be involved.
Ideally, the workshop should include representatives from all target groups: staff (all teams and departments), students, beneficiaries, etc. Each group should be represented. It is also recommended to have some participants who are familiar with Erasmus+ and the opportunities it provides so that they can share their experience and insights. The number of participants depends on your organisation’s size. For best results, there should be a minimum of six participants and a maximum of twenty.
Session One: Introduction
The aim of this session is to present the Erasmus+ objectives, focusing on Key Action 1, and to present the programme priorities. Emphasise the importance of the accreditation process and explain the application procedure. The last slide of your presentation should present the Erasmus Plan framework. Underline how this plan corresponds with the objectives of the workshop: “We are here to develop the main components of our organisation’s Erasmus Plan”. You can base the presentation on information included in the first chapter of our guide.
Session Two – Erasmus Plan Objectives
Explain that this session will be about creativity, ambitions, and the free and open sharing of ideas. Forget about providing detail and processes and focus on an overall vision for your organisation’s future, and how this can be facilitated through the Erasmus+ programme. Think about each target group (staff, learners, beneficiaries, etc).
- What do they need?
- What does your overall sector need?
- What are the emerging trends and predictions for the future of your work?
Facilitate a group work to formulate objectives. They should be specific and realistic but ambitious. Example objectives:
In 3 years, 90% of our teachers can design their curriculums around the basics of the PBL methodology.
In 3 years, 40% of our students will have the chance to participate in international internships through the Erasmus+ programme.
In 3 years, 50% of our staff can use creative problem-solving methodologies in their work.
Session Three – Erasmus Plan Activities
During this session, participants should be split into groups/pairs, assigned objectives, and asked to brainstorm project ideas that would facilitate the organisation reaching those objectives. They can suggest any idea, but keep in mind that the list of activities that can be funded by Erasmus+ is limited. If it helps, you can give participants the M-Powered course catalogue or other materials as a frame of reference for formulating project ideas.
Session Four – Erasmus Plan Evaluation
Explain the aim of this session: “Our last task will be to think about our Erasmus Plan results evaluation. We need to figure out how we will track and check whether we achieve each of our objectives.”
Open a discussion session. Read the objectives you have identified during the workshop. After each one, ask the group to propose what key performance indicators should be in place to measure its success. You can ask the following questions:
- How would we know that we have achieved this objective?
- What will have changed?
- How many students/staff will have participated in our activities?
- What will we have developed, designed, or improved?
Encourage the group to be as specific as possible. Write down the ideas for each objective.
After this workshop, you will have the core ideas for your Erasmus Plan. Together with your colleagues, you will have specified the objectives, activities, and ideas for evaluation. Congratulations! You are so close to Erasmus+ accreditation.
You can find a detailed plan of the Erasmus Plan Workshop with practical examples that will help you to write a strong accreditation application in our comprehensive 64-page guide: Erasmus+ Accreditation 2021 – 2027: How to prepare a successful application.