Accreditation WG 080418

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Quality & accreditation

Notes from the Quality & Accreditation discussion group at the COPIE I final conference at the Casa de Asturias, Brussels, on 17-18 April 2008

Please build on these original notes (taken by Toby Johnson)


What to accredit?

  • Advisers
  • organisations
  • methods
  • Tools

How to accredit?

  • observed practice
  • documentation
  • ask the client
  • the market – repeat business

The problem

  • we need new types of advisers for new types of entrepreneurs
  • entrepreneurs' needs vary according to:
    • capital
    • gender
    • family context
    • disability
    • age
    • ethnicity
    • migrant//refugee status
  • on top of the economic dimension, adviser training needs to cover:
    • access to the target group
    • empathy
    • psychology
    • pedagogy


  • a broader intake of advisers – an inclusive profession
  • better training for business advisers
  • an EU standard for business advice that is inclusive


In parallel:

  • to be the vanguard of this new profession
  • to mainstream this good practice so as to raise the standard of the public provision of business support EU-wide

Places to start

Germany, Spain & Scotland have worked together on an EU adviser standard. See ON TARGET website

Standards already exist in:

  • Germany: see website of Verband deutscher Gründungsinitiativen (German Association of Start-Up Initiatives) at
    • advisers: requires 3 years’ experience, assessed by documentation and client feedback.
    • organisations

Needed: recognition at Land and federal levels

Backgound information

Regional Policy Open Days workshop in Brussels, October 2007)