Research (WP 2)

This work package is coordinated by The Prison Officers Training Centre Arad, Romania, over a period of eight months.


2.1 Competence identification: Compiling national available information about the duties, tasks, responsibilities, roles and work environments related to the job and identifying the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes required by adult learning professionals in correctional criminal justice system.

2.2 Competence modeling: Developing a consistent competence profile of adult learning professionals in correctional criminal justice system by making use of the compiled information.

2.3 Competence assessment: Checking with stakeholders that the identified set of competences making up the profile is complete, consistent and real.


National Assessment Workshops with relevant stakeholders were planned for April 2014 in each participant country.


As a result of the research, a brochure will be published in five languages, containing the Profile of Adult Learning Professionals in Correctional Criminal Justice System – a list of key competencies.

A first step in developing the Profile was to create, at partnership level and that together with our end-users, a survey to prioritize a list of competencies relevant for an adult education professional in the justice settings. Please feel free to fill in and share with us your vision. All contributions are more than welcomed  download survey or fill on-line here

After collecting data, all partners, under the coordination of the WP leader, cooperated in developing the background context, feedback from practitioners, input from national legislation and study cases. All it was compiled under the prom of a research report, presenting the competencies profile of an adult educator working in prison.

Here you can download in

The profile was promoted by the Romanian National Coordinator onto the EPALE platform. You can find articles and downloadable resources here or by searching the term “EISALP” into the EPALE Platform.

Competencies Profile – Research Report

The combined experience of the participating partner organisations has recognised that the key to delivering effective education to adults in custody is to define and shape the core competencies of those who choose to teach in this environment before they enter the criminal justice system. So, work package 2 has seen the partners create a standardised profile of adult learning competencies for those teaching in a prison environment through three key phases.

Initially the competencies were defined using a wide variety of research methods combining a wide spread literature review  but also crucially by interviewing existing adult learning professionals working inside the prison environment across Europe. It was identified that there are a multitude of competencies that are required to make up an effective prison teacher and that attitudes and behavioural descriptions were as relevant as specific skills and experience. All of the EIS-ALP partner team contributed to the identification of competencies and it was clear that the combined experience would provide a wealth of opportunity to examine the competencies in greater depth. The data was analysed to check for common themes by a research team who had access to two specialists from a European prison (Arad) and a competency model was created for a crucial phase of the work package, namely a series of workshops coordinated by partners representing 5 European countries. These workshops put the defined competencies to the test by involving various cross-sections of mainstream education, prison education, social enterprise and voluntary sector and managerial level individuals (including prison governors). The profile of competencies was discussed and revised taking into account the comments of the workshop participants. It became clear that to be most effective, competency indicators should be grouped into knowledge, skills and attitudes.

This definition of a clear competency profile is crucial to driving the future direction of the work of the partnership of the EIS-ALP project. The aim is, in fact, that very shortly future work packages will manifest the development of training modules via an online platform which can be utilised to support the recruitment and induction of learning professionals and thus improve the quality of teaching that takes place in Europe’s prisons.

Bearing in mind that this is a multi-national project, albeit within the European Union, it was important for the partners to transcend the local differences in legislation, regulations and rehabilitation practice and create a competency framework that is applicable to the wider requirements of the European criminal justice system. A final  goal would be  to integrate the competency profile into national and European wide qualification frameworks.

For individuals, the profile highlights self-evaluation and training opportunity to improve personal effectiveness as an adult learning professional in the criminal correctional system. This lends itself to a structured and improved format for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and allows those individuals working in this environment to self-examine their knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours pertinent to their role in delivering prison education.

Whilst this was an important goal and outcome of this work package, the broader mission of EIS-ALP is to improve the sharing of knowledge in Europe that will define effective prison education and those professionals working within it.

Given the outcomes that will be targeted in subsequent work packages and the overall goal of the project, the partners sought to bridge the gap between theory and practice to improve the usability and effectiveness of the solutions put forward under the EIS-ALP project as a whole. The findings and resulting systems should be a step forward within European adult prison education, increasing the knowledge and skills of those choosing to work in this challenging environment and therefore enhancing the efficiency of learning that takes place within this sub-sector of education.

The competency profile should prove invaluable when recruiting new teaching staff, training them, improving their overall effectiveness and also retaining them to perform this essential work. We would re-emphasise the link between effective education of offenders and their improved employment and social prospects. Whilst the rates of reoffending are variable between the countries of the European Union, there is no doubt that improving education in custody will only help to rehabilitate more offenders and also improve their chances of successful reintegration in our society.

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