A new ISO standard aims to improve the quality of offerings on the global market that has grown up around non-formal education and training, such as vocational training, life-long learning and in-company training. ISO 29990:2010, Learning services for non-formal education and training – Basic requirements for service providers, will also enhance transparency and allow comparison on a worldwide basis of learning services, offering a single alternative backed by international consensus to the huge variety of national service and management standards which now exists in the field of non-formal learning. Knowledge is becoming a key factor in successful corporate management all over the world and education is increasingly being regarded as a business-oriented service. The growing economic importance of learning in the global knowledge society has created new economic opportunities such as activity created by the provision of for-profit learning services. Quality assurance therefore becomes a crucial issue. The objective of ISO 29990:2010 is to provide a generic model for quality professional practice and performance, and a common reference for learning service providers (LSPs) and their clients in the design, development and delivery of non-formal education, training and development. The standard encourages a focus on the learner and the results of the process, and emphasizes the full range of options available for delivering learning services.
As it addresses the competency of LSPs., the standard will assist organizations and individuals selecting LSPs who will meet the their requirements and expectations for competency and capability development. In addition, it is envisaged that ISO 29990:2010 can be used to certify LSPs. ISO 29990:2010 is the first standard developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 232, Learning services for non-formal education and training. Thomas Rau, Chair of the committee explains. “The purpose of TC 232 is to create a suitable framework for preparing standards in the field of non-formal learning services. Core elements are ensuring the quality and effectiveness of the education or training and improvement of knowledge transfer, whilst also enhancing the transparency and comparability of the range of learning services provided. ISO 29990 will help learning service providers improve their ability to consistently provide quality services, improve organizational effectiveness, and reduce overall business costs.