EACH Policy on partnership forming and collaboration with investigators on EU grants
EACH is ideally positioned as an organisation to foster collaborations between educational and research institutions within the European Union members states and neighbours. It is natural and written into our aims to embark on projects and activities that will further the implementation of good practice, theoretical innovation and improvement of knowledge related to communication in healthcare.
The statements below outlines our position for those individuals, institutions or commercial companies that wish to form an association with EACH to further an application to the European Commission for funding a particular project or activity.
EACH welcomes approaches in writing (through the website enquiries portal) by interested parties to seek our collaboration in the field of communication in healthcare.
EACH will examine all calls for collaboration on a case-by-case basis and will respond in a timely fashion, where possible, to assist interested parties enquiries.
EACH is a charitable organisation and therefore does not have separate funds to support ‘co-financing’ which is a common principle of EU funding instruments. This covers the device used by many educational institutions and research institutes of using the time spent on the funded activities. The salaries of staff appointed within the institutions/institutes is often used as a method of covering the ‘co-financing’ component of EU grant applications. Unfortunately, EACH is not able to enter into such partnership agreements.
EACH can be linked as a collaborator to EU funding applications where this matches the aims of EACH and is of potential benefit to the lead applicants and their partners. A collaboration needs to be agreed by the EACH organisation by its representatives (normally the Executive on behalf of EACH’s Steering Group).
EACH requires that all expenses are covered by the applicants in their proposal and confirmed by the applicants should the grant be awarded. Expenses, for example, would include travel and subsistence, for attendance to transnational meetings and final project dissemination events.
EACH will normally respond to all requests where this is reasonable from the point of view of timeliness. Requests with very tight deadlines are discouraged as processes for consultation within the EACH organisation are required to obtain the best representation for the benefit of the application.
In 2011, EACH agreed to participate as a partner in an EU funded project named the Standardised Language Certification System for Medical Purposes (sTANDEM). This project is intended to assess and certify the command of professional English among health care professionals world-wide. Its aim is to provide health institutions where English is the language of communication and who plan to employ health professional staff or students whose first language is not English with sound information about their English language proficiency in a professional context. The main rationale behind the sTANDEM project is to provide standardised assessment tools, which will measure linguistic competences for professional purposes in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).
EACH’s responsibility as a partner in this programme is to disseminate information about the project. The initial information about the project can be found here and there you can find links to sTANDEM project website. Here we would like here to provide information about the progress of this project so far.
What has been achieved so far in the development of the project
Language needs analysis have been carried out to determine which language skills healthcare professionals need for professional purposes. Descriptors have been developed for the health professional domain. Exam specifications have been developed as have guidelines for examination developers, examiners and examination centres. Information about these areas can be found on the project website as below.
The certification assessments comprise tests for listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking and writing. Three groups of medical professionals are addressed: physicians, nurses and pharmacists. Test materials have been developed at three levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL): B1 (threshold or lower intermediate), B2 (vantage or upper intermediate) and C1 (effective operational proficiency or advanced).
Three examination sessions have now been staged. In March 2014, 80 candidates took examinations at four centres in Austria, Hungary, Poland and Romania. A second session with over 150 candidates was held in September 2014 in 11 examination centres in Austria (2), France (2), Hungary (2), Poland (2), Romania (2) and Turkey (1). For the third round of sessions, in November, institutions in Spain and the United Kingdom joined the project. These examination sessions have shown that the materials developed (including guidelines for examination developers, examiners and examination centres) are fit for purpose.
The sTANDEM project started in November 2011 and will finish on 31 December 2014. From 1 January 2015 a new organisation will take over the task of the sTANDEM partners. Several universities, language schools and other organisations have already expressed their interest in cooperation with sTANDEM or its successor in developing and staging examinations.
All persons and institutions interested in the sTANDEM initiative are welcome to learn more about the project at www.standem.eu.