Setting the standard

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In 1995, to encourage and simplify compatibility in logistics education and training the ELA introduced a set of European Logistics Standards which now form the foundation of individual certification. These are currently under review to take account of changing logistics requirements including new concepts in supply chain management, information systems and technology. A draft version is being evaluated in a process of industry consultation and the final standard will be available to members of the Certification programme by June this year.

Logistics associations in 15 European countries share the standards and adhere to common quality assurance procedures. The ELA Standards of Competence are intended for practicing logisticians though there are no guidelines as to the experience candidates require. The competence system is structured in a modular way and reflects expectations of workplace performance. The standards are outcome-based and form the basis of assessment of knowledge, skills and experience. Assessment is independent of any learning programmes; the assessor needs to be satisfied that a candidate has demonstrated competence at the appropriate level.

There are standards at three levels though a fourth, basic level (operational) is identified but not defined.

The Junior level is the lowest competence level in the model. It is designed to be applicable to new entrants to the profession who act very closely to the operational level. The Senior level requires more complex thinking that is related to processes  rather than systems. Candidates here can be graduates entering professional life or operational managers with a certain amount of professional experience. The highest level of the model is for executives and senior managers experienced in logistics management, or responsible for logistics but with a different background. They need to give proof of general management skills and the ability to apply them in a logistics context.

The wheel diagram shows the general framework, showing the interrelationship between the levels and modules. A module can be exclusive for a certain level or it can cross levels. Some of the modules included are compulsory whereas others are ptional. In this way a hierarchical system applies that separates levels but also demonstrates the free-in-principle interchange between levels.


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