The Erasmus+ project TecCOMFrame (acronym for Technical Communication Competence Framework) will come to an end in August 2018. For the past three years, the EU-funded project has contributed to the further development of higher education in Technical communication (TC) and to a European-wide understanding of the profession and its requirements.

Eight European Universities involved

TecCOMFrame is a Europe-wide project involving eight project partners from universities in BelgiumDenmarkFranceGermanyIrelandNetherlandsRomania and Poland. Tekom Europe plays the role of the lead organization, while the TCLoc Master’s from the University of Strasbourg is one of its Silent Partners. As such, the director of the TCLoc Master, Dr Renate De La Paix recently spoke at a workshop on Competences in education and practice for Technical Communicators in Denmark, organized by tekom Denmark. The TecCOMFrame project engages many stakeholders from industry and service companies as well as from other European universities.The project’s target groups  are European higher education institutions, students, high-school graduates as well as employers, career changers and placement agencies.

High demand for formally trained technical writers

Throughout Europe, not enough students are graduating in technical communication compared to the number of job openings  in this field. Consequently, the demand for formally trained technical writers is on the rise. However, for the time being, only a handful of European universities offer programs in technical communication. Furthermore, the occupational profile of “technical communicator” is not explicitly defined. This is why in most universities, education and special training programs with appropriate curricula have yet to be developed.

New standard curricula based on a common academic qualification and competence framework

Consequently, the project consortium developed standard curricula based on a common academic qualification and a competence framework. The project designed  the TecCOMFrame as a framework for education and training in technical communication across Europe. The TecCOMFrame outlines the interdisciplinary profession of Technical Communicators, defining six principal dimensions:

  1. “Academic Perspective”
  2. “Communication and Culture”
  3. “Content”, “Management”
  4. “Technology and Media”
  5. “Transversal Competencies”

Each of these dimensions is divided into subjects and sub-subjects, each with specific learning goals. With the TecCOMFrame, understanding  the profession of technical communication and its requirements in terms of competence has never been easier. The TecCOMFrame can be found on the project website. In fact, the entire TeCOMFrame website serves as a European-wide information platform on Technical Communication. It is an invaluable reference for anyone looking for a better understanding of the profession and its competence requirements.

Based on the TecCOMFrame academic competence framework, the project partners also developed three prototype curricula according to different EQF-levels: Specialization, Bachelor’s and Master’s programs according to different EQF-levels. The framework and prototype curricula major assets to any higher education institution that is planning to integrate a study program or specialization courses in Technical Communication.

 

Strasbourg University’s TCLoc program is taking the lead

With its TCLoc Master’s degree, the University of Strasbourg is among the first universities to offer an academic degree in Technical Communication, which integrates  many of the modules recommended by the TecComFrame. This degree is designed for professionals wishing to go back to school, and earn both a university diploma and the valuable Technical Communicator (tekom) – Professional Level” certification.

Better prospects for more graduates and qualified professionals in Technical Communication

Besides setting a standard for the European-wide understanding of the profession and its requirements, the most important long-term impact of the project will be an increased number of graduates and qualified professionals in technical communication who will enjoy easier access to employment and greater  job mobility. A European-wide advisory board for education and training was founded last year to continue the project team’s workin the different countries and guarantee its sustainability.

Don’t miss the final multiplier event on the 4th of July in Twente!

The multiplier event “Technical Communication day” is one last opportunity  to learn more about the project and its impacts. Taking place on the 4th of July at the University of Twente in the Netherlands,  the event is free of charge for all participants thanks to EU funding. For the program and further information, check https://www.teccom-frame.eu/news/single-news/upcoming-event-technical-communication-day/