From 21 to 25 March 2018 at Thuan An Wastewater Treatment Plant, Binh Duong province, the Directorate for Vocational Education and Training (DVET), Vietnam Water Supply and Sewage Association (VWSA) in collaboration with Ho Chi Minh College for Technology II (HVCT) conducted a German standard-based trial test. Exam takers included 9 new in-company trainers of wastewater companies from Thai Nguyen, Hai Phong, Hue, Da Nang, Binh Duong and trainees of pilot class for “Sewage Engineering Technician”.
The test was organized in accordance with the German standard on questions, exam procedure and structure along with examiners that are technical experts from a German sewage company, the Dresden Sewage (SEDD). The test consisted of four different sectors: Technology Process Introduction, Equipment Maintenance, Down the Manhole, and Equipment Decommissioning and Commissioning. All four sectors were conducted on the same day based on equipment lines at Thuan An wastewater treatment plant with a total practical test time of 4 hours.
Similar to the previous tests, test content and evaluation were made by two German experts and experienced examiners from Vietnamese wastewater companies. The exam focused on the issues, tasks and technical situations that occur during the day-to-day work at wastewater treatment plants. The close cooperation between TVET institutes and companies is the core objective of programme and it was demonstrated clearly through the trial assessment. The programme ensure that the training offered is matching social needs and particularly matching skill demand of wastewater sector.
Wastewater companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of German standard based tests in building skills for Sewage Engineering Technicians and their in-company trainers. To name a few reasons for this sensation are the trial assessment excels at maintaining German standards while accommodating local needs and Vietnam circumstances. Based on assessment outcomes, the programme and wastewater companies build a roadmap together to consolidate the expertise and competence of in-company trainers, thereby contributing to improving the quality of training for in-company technicians.
A benefit of trial assessment was to allow trainees to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes and tasks defined in the occupational standard. Trainees of pilot class were able to perform their competence in a situation which was as close as possible to real working environments by operating a range of practical equipment in wastewater treatment plant. Based on assessment outcomes and lesson learnt, HVCT and existing company partners are able to determine whether test materials and exam structure are appropriate for the final examination of the pilot class. “To have a practice run before putting pilot class to sit the final exam is practical. The trial test evaluated how well trainees incorporate learned principles, skills, and knowledge into authentic working environments. After applying the trial exam structure and procedure for the final exam of pilot class, a higher ambition of HVCT is to spread the test model for all current available vocational training” Dr Nguyen Thi Hang, Rector of HVCT said.
The assessment also marked the combination of Vietnamese and German examiners in organizing and conducting a professional exam model. On one hand, a certain set of skills and professional expertise of German experts made a great asset to Vietnamese examiners. The Vietnamese examiners, on the other hand, were consultants, adjusting the examination to reflect the actual requirements and working environment in Viet Nam. This effective combination was very well-received and appreciated by exam takers.