Competences Certification Process

The task aimed to define the processes for the evaluation and certification of the key competences (formal, informal, non-formal) required by the new Industrial Ph.D. path for SMEs. Each partner elaborated proposals according to the European standard references.

With regard to certification processes, the European approach focuses more on one final summative assessment of scientific/technical skills (that are generally evaluated at the conclusion of training, e.g., the dissertation and defense). It is also pointed out that the assessment of transferable skills and competences is very important, taking into account the impact that an ongoing evaluation process of these skills can have on increasing the quality of the researcher’s course and, more generally, on preparing the doctorate to pursue a subsequent professional career.

The proposed process that the partners came up with their reports implements a periodic double assessment system (self-assessment by the student and corresponding monitoring and supporting actions by his/her supervisors), which aims to constantly sensitize the student on the personal responsibility he/she has in the process of developing his/her transferable skills and competences, in order to be able to really possess and increase them according to the personal development perspective he/she intends to pursue.

Taking into account the whole work developed in previous WPs, Gienahs Consortium has selected groups of core transferable skills and competences that it considers essential for a Ph.D. student engaged in an industrial doctoral path SME-oriented developed in a European dimension.

Based on the above study, the partner countries concluded that the proposed evaluation and subsequent certification process should be divided into three main phases:

– 1st level: to be assessed at the end of 1/3 of the path (basic level competence)

– 2nd level: to be assessed at the end of 2/3 of the path (intermediate level competence)

– 3rd level: to be assessed at the end of the course (advanced level competence)


In addition, the deliverable WP6.6 includes assessment forms for each skill level and also a template for the Ph.D. Student’s Portfolio. Through this process, it will be possible to define observable behaviors that correspond to the core competences that reflect the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes throughout the training program and research activity. A template of an assessment form is depicted in the figure below.

Based on the observable behaviors and outcomes proposed by the Gienahs Consortium for each competence, this will allow a qualified observer, such as an academic and/or industry supervisor, to determine if a Ph.D. student is gradually achieving the expected performance.