International partnerships in the professional training sector

An international synthesis of practices has identified four types of partnerships in professional training systems, each involving different roles of the actors in sector. Thames Valley professionals were then developed in order to draw a global portrait of the types of partnerships and the roles of the actors.

The partnership organization is structured in two parts. The first party deals with the processes or domains subject to a partnership, their stakeholders and the four levels or types of partnerships (information, consultative, collaborative and the contributor). The second party describes the organization of partnerships according to the level of involvement and sharing responsibilities between the public and private sectors.

Types of partnerships 

Partnership is defined by as “an active association of several stakeholders who, while maintaining their autonomy, agree to pool their efforts to achieve a common objective related to a clearly identified problem or need in which, by virtue of their mission respective, they have an interest, a responsibility, a motivation, even an obligation ”. 

Partnership is a process which is built over time, with a climate of trust between the players and basic conditions likely to promote partnership approaches. The construction of such an approach can start from a political body of partnership or a technical or administrative structure. 

It is nevertheless recommended that the establishment of a partnership approach is carried out gradually from concrete projects likely to be carried out quickly. Several works have been carried out on the typology of public-private partnerships in economic circles and in vocational training.

There are four types of partnerships: 

  1. information, 
  2. consultation, 
  3. consultation,
  4. contribution. 

The collaborations presented in these different partnerships illustrate the level of involvement that the partners maintain or may maintain. This typology is only educational. Indeed, a country can be located at different levels of partnership, simultaneously, depending on the angle of approach used, in particular by sector, process / function or by actor.

Thames Valley Professional Institutes Partnership


Information exchange within Professional Institutes Partnership

Information consists of informing other parties or inquiring through various channels, as well as informing and explore avenues for collaboration. It is generally not accompanied by any commitment. The relationships between parties / partners are very weak. The informative partnership corresponds to the lowest level of interaction between different parties involved in vocational training, that are: 

  • public, 
  • private
  • and civil society. 

It does not correspond to a real operation partnership, but the exchange of information between the players allows them to get to know each other and develop a common culture which is the crucible of a more advanced partnership development. Consultation It is the act of asking for a reasoned or authorized opinion or advice from someone on a subject. 

It is characterized by meetings or other information gathering means initiated by the requester to gather opinions from people or structures consulted. The latter may or may not take into account the advice received. The consultation can be done at through bodies set up and grouping the partners, either by project, or individually.

Consultation in TVPIP

For the Thames Valley Professional Institutes Partnership (TVPIP), consultation consists in obtaining the motivated opinion or advice of competent actors on the management of TVPIP organisation or their implementation. This opinion may relate to training policy, strategies and training content, funding mechanisms, management of establishments and other spaces training, methods of validation and, possibly, decentralization of powers. 

It requires no formal commitment on the part of the partners, but for the sake of transparency, it should be accompanied by feedback on the action taken in connection with the opinions received. The partners then develop a culture of dialogue, but only one of the partners, generally the public authorities, decides on the objectives of the project and the training.

An advisory partnership only exists as soon as the public authorities or the private sectors take the commitment to consult the other partners before developing or modifying the training system or putting implementing a process or a function of the Thames Valley Professional Institutes Partnership and the moment. The partners consulted must also participate with conviction. National and decentralized professional organizations consult the base of the economic branch they represent in response to consultations launched by the authorities.