In Finland the quality of education and training is seen as a key factor related to the efficiency and excellence of education and training as well as the equality of individuals.
Quality assurance in Finland comprises the quality management of VET providers, the national steering of VET and external evaluation. The Ministry of Education and Culture issues the outlines of national quality assurance and is responsible for developing the quality assurance of VET together with the Finnish National Agency for Education. EDUFI also gives support to education providers in matters of quality assurance. External evaluation is carried out on a national level by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC).
Local autonomy in education is extensive in Finland, and there is no inspection system in place. Education providers are responsible for the quality of their own operations and may decide on the system of quality assurance they choose to employ. The quality assurance of VET consists of the quality management systems of education providers, national steering and regulation, and external evaluation. The legislation regulating VET requires education providers to evaluate the qualifications, education and other activities they provide as well as their quality and effectiveness. Education providers must also regularly participate in external evaluation of their activities and quality management systems.
Today, the ideology is to steer through information, support and funding. The activities of VET providers are guided by objectives laid down in legislation as well as the national qualification requirements (national curricula). In addition, education providers are encouraged to develop quality on a voluntary basis. National authorities support this by providing tools and support, for example such as VET quality strategy and Peer Review Criteria and other tools, tools supporting quality culture.
The system also relies on the proficiency of teachers and other personnel. Teaching personnel are required to hold a master’s degree. All personnel are encouraged to develop their own work as well as participate in the quality management of their institutions, the idea being that everyone is the quality manager of their own work.
Quality management is one of the main policy priorities. For example VET providers were obligated to have systems for effective quality assurance and improvement from 2015.