The project is based around the LEADER program which is a highly effective and successful model of integrated social and economic development in rural communities. LEADER is delivered in a variety of different fashions by the member states.
The project will entail a study of the delivery of the LEADER programme – seeking examples of the most efficient modes of implementation in the partner countries; and the transference of this knowledge to identified stakeholders in the form of a high quality accredited course delivered using a blended learning model. The programme will be accredited through LIT, UL and the City and Guilds system.
The key objectives are to carry out research on the delivery of LEADER in member states and training needs of LEADER staff and Board members, to deliver a best practice-based training course of implementation to LEADER company management and staff recruited by all the LEADER-related partners. It also seeks to promote shared learning between countries that have established LEADER programmes and those that are relative newcomers to delivery. The project will use a mix of on-line learning and learning workshops for programme delivery. The programme will also include work-based learning by participants and will allow for the Recognition of Prior Learning. Learning workshops will take place in Portugal, Ireland and Poland and will involve 18 participants envisaged from the programme (2 from each partner with the exception of LIT and UL who will have one person each in attendance). Further objectives of the project are the up-skilling of LEADER delivery organisations through life-long learning; the enhancement of the possibility of LEADER staff mobility; an increase in the number of transnational projects which may arise from the creation of networks and relationships.
The project and its results will be disseminated through a combination of an on-line environment, a newsletter and brochure and a dissemination workshop in each partner country aimed at policy-makers and LEADER organisations.
The participant organisations have extensive experience in the delivery of LEADER programmes, the delivery of high quality Rural Development and Sustainable Development Education and the management and delivery of successful European Projects.
The delivery of the programme will involve a research phase involving the resources of all the partners, a curriculum design phase, a delivery phase and will incorporate on-going evaluation throughout. It will involve structured measurable input from all of the partners into the creation of a robust methodology on the most effective and efficient method of delivering LEADER.
The main output of the project will be an accredited LEADER programme within the European qualifications framework that is aimed at professionals and policy makers. This programme which will be available to be delivered by VET providers in all member states will provide stakeholders with the knowledge, and skills to implement successful LEADER programs and projects. All of the programme material including curriculum, learning content, assessment models and accreditation will be made available free of charge to all.
LIT will maintain the project website for three years minimum after the end of the programme.