As a consultant for ASCEND Toolbox Development, RDI was pleased to support ASCEND Reference Group (ARG) Consultation Workshop, in coordination with AHA Centre. ASCEND itself stands for ASEAN Standards and Certification for Expert in Disaster Management. The ASCEND aims to contribute to the resiliency of the region by ensuring that disasters across the region are handled by competent disaster management professionals. To achieve that, ASCEND aspires to establish regional standards and that becomes the basis of validating and identifying disaster management professionals in the region to the certification.
This was the second workshop under this project after the first workshop was successfully held on August 31st until September 2nd, 2021. The last workshop focused on discussing toolbox documents that have already been developed by RDI and its consultants, along with participants from national and international organizations. Meanwhile, in this second workshop, it discussed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Certification Scheme, and Toolbox Material Documents that have been developed by RDI and other involved consultants. The participants of this workshop were several representatives from ARG in each of the ASEAN Member States, for instance from Malaysia, Thailand, and Brunei.
Workshop Day 1 - October 26th, 2021
The first day of the workshop was started by an opening remark from Mr. Berton SP Panjaitan as Director for Education and Training Center of Disaster Management National Authority (BNPB). Then, it was followed by two discussion sessions. For the first session, there were two presenters from RDI, which were Mr. Jonatan Lassa and Mr. Angelo Trias.
Mr. Jonatan Lassa explained there are 1 Standards, Operations, Procedures (SOP) Certification and 15 Certifications Schemes (one per each occupation) where these schemes consist of 43 Learner's Guides, Trainer's Guide, and Assessor's Guide. He also mentioned the purpose of this workshop was to facilitate input, such as comments, critics, and suggestions on documents made, which then be revised before being implemented. Other than that, the drafting process and initial consultations have also been done with colleagues in the ASEAN region.
This was aligned with what Mr. Angelo Trias mentioned in his presentation, where he also stated that the goal of this workshop was to have the institutional set-up and technical set-up to realize the certification standard and The Standards, Operations, Procedures (SOP) is one of the core elements that he highlighted. The components of SOP were explained as follows:
Moreover, he also noted that the SOP's assessors must understand the competency standards and are capable of self-assessing. They are responsible for providing an equitable assessment process to the candidate and ensuring the candidates comprehend the essentials of competency-based assessment. The ASCEND assessment process requires preparation on capacity building and planning before it reaches the competencies interpretation process in accordance with the profession's context, conduct, and validation.
In the second session, Dr. Saut Sagala from RDI presented the ASCEND Certification Scheme topic. He mentioned the main components of certification schemes includes an overview, ASCEND occupation, and certification process. Then, he stated that each profession has its own certification scheme based on occupation (manager, coordinator, and officer/promoter/engineer) with different ASEAN Qualification Reference Level (AQRF) levels. Based on AQRF, types of competencies include cognitive, functional, personal, and ethical. These competencies are embedded in the ASCEND standards. Meanwhile, the competency standards, based on AQRF, are divided into 2: core and technical competencies. On the other hand, for the certification process topic, he explained that it consists of application and admission for certification, competency assessments, ASCEND certification and registration, and post-certification process. That being said, however, the process may potentially be upgraded or changed in the future.
Workshop Day 2 - October 27th, 2021
On the second day, the agenda consisted of 2 topics, the ASCEND LEARNER AND TRAINER GUIDES, and the ASEAN DISASTER MANAGEMENT OCCUPATION MAP. The first session was presented by Mr. Jonatan Lassa from RDI. He mentioned that the Learner's Guide was created for people willing to learn this topic, while the Trainer's Guide was written for people willing to run this certification program. The Learner's Guide is prepared according to ASEAN Guide, suitable for the applicant's interests. It is intended to be a self-paced and primary learning resource for ASCEND candidates. Meanwhile, the Trainer's Guide is a skeleton of the Learner's Guide. Other than that, Mr. Jonatan also explained how to review documents for different occupations (Humanitarian Logistics, Rapid Assessment, Information Management, Shelter Management, and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) with the officer competency as the most basic competency with higher competency has smaller numbers.
The second topic was led by Mr. Surono from AHA Centre. He mentioned that Disaster Management (DM) maps can be used to harmonize disaster management between countries. This mapping will provide a basis for a more detailed profession and occupation. There are 5 standards on Technical, Vocational Education, and Training (TVET) products, which are occupational, competence, certification or scheme, assessment, and Education. He also explained that DM benefits are divided into several parties, such as participants, institutions, certification bodies, and authorities. Some benefits include choosing and developing careers in disasters, increasing learning motivation and filling vacancies, and developing training packages for institutions.
All and all, the ASCEND ARG Workshop was successfully held as a discussion forum between AHA Centre, RDI, and other parties who participated. Feedback and questions regarding the existing SOP, certification schemes, and toolbox documents were actively shared, improving the materials. RDI is honored to be a part of this workshop, especially as a consultant who guides ASCEND Toolbox Development along with AHA Centre. RDI remains open to opportunities and is looking forward to more insightful discussion sessions in the future to provide established standards for the region's disaster management.