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Independent Training Materials Certification Committee

The project design was based on a contract between the National Training Foundation (NTF) and the ISE-Center.

Project Goal

independent assessment and certification of training materials in the disciplines of political science, sociology and economics.

Training materials include training and methodology manuals, reading books, training courses, textbooks and other materials created as part of the Education Innovation Project of the National Training Foundation (NTF), and the Chairs Support Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI).

Certification is interpreted as the act of recognition by the Committee that training and methodology materials developed with NTF and OSI support meet the Committee's requirements.

The main purpose of certification is to contribute to a wide distribution and effective integration in the education process of the best available educational projects implemented with NTF and OSI support.

Project Objectives

  • develop a set of documents regulating the operation of the Independent Training Materials Certification Committee (ITMCC);
  • establish and maintain ITMCC functionality in a regular regime;
  • conduct expert assessment and certification of training materials created under the NTF's Education Innovation Project and the OSI's Chairs Support Program;
  • contribute to wide distribution of the best available training materials among Russia's higher education institutions.

Certification Methods and Principles

Certification is based on government-accepted standards, generalized experience of hired experts, customer requirements, and requests and recommendations of external experts.

In order to ensure further effective use and distribution of certified materials according to experts' recommendations, annotated Training and methodology blocks (TMBs) will be formed. With the help of TMBs, it will be possible to use certified materials in teaching respective disciplines at different levels and to different types of audience such as specialists attending full-time and correspondence training courses, individuals seeking bachelor's and master's degrees, trainees in second-degree courses, as well as undergraduate and post-graduate students who specialize in other disciplines.

Committee Board

Committee Board is a supreme collegial body that manages the certification process. The seven-member Committee Board is made up of top officials of educational and research institutions whose activities are focused in the areas of social sciences and humanities, prominent scholars and specialists in economics, sociology and political science.

The current Board includes:

  • L. Grebnev
    RF Deputy Minister of Education;

  • Y. Gevorkyan
    Head of the Ministry's Office for Licensing, Accreditation and Attestation;

  • V. Kovalenko
    Doctor of Political Science, Head of the World and Russian Politics Chair at the MSU Philosophy Department;

  • A. Kondakov
    General Director, Prosveshchenye Publishing House;

  • A. Kortunov
    President of the ISE-Center, Vice-President of Eurasia Foundation, Russia, and member of the Soros Foundation's Strategy Committee;

  • L. Lyubimov
    First Vice-Rector of the Higher School of Economics (State University);

  • N. Skvortsov
    Dean of the Sociology Department, St. Petersburg State University.

  • T. Shanin
    Rector, Moscow High School of Social and Economic Sciences

Committee Board performs the following functions:

  • adopt general requirements, criteria, plans, and procedures for certification;
  • make final decision on certification of training and methodology materials submitted to it;
  • approve the composition of discipline-specific expert groups;
  • make suggestions to the Committee Administration on how to improve the Committee's work.

Discipline-specific Expert Groups are the principal working bodies of the Committee. Three groups have been formed, in the areas of political science, sociology and economics, respectively. Each group consists of 5 to 7 experts.

Discipline-specific Expert Groups

  • develop categories, scales and criteria for the assessment of training and methodology materials;
  • review training materials;
  • if necessary, appoint reviewers to assess training and methodology materials of narrow disciplinary focus;
  • make up suggestions regarding the certification of training materials and TMB formation, and submit those for Committee Board approval.

Reviewers are invited by experts and Administration to work with the Committee and assess specific, narrowly-focused training and methodology materials.

Reviewers perform the following functions

  • perform all-round analysis and assessment of the purpose and quality of training and methodology materials submitted for certification;
  • present written reviews to the discipline-specific expert groups with clear conclusions as to the extent to which the training and methodology materials meet certification requirements.

How Certification Is Conducted

Training and methodology materials are submitted by NTF and OSI to the Committee for certification. Materials submitted for certification are registered in the Committee's electronic database and brought to the discipline-specific expert group for initial examination. Each material should receive at least three reviews. Expert opinion on whether or not a particular material can be certified, as well as suggestions concerning the inclusion of reviewed materials in a particular TMB and recommendations for their further use and improvement, are accepted during sessions of the discipline-specific expert group, after all its members have been introduced to review outcomes. Decision to award certification is made by the Committee Board. In case of positive certification decision, within two weeks the Committee Administration should issue a certification document using the form approved by the Committee.

Information on certification results is placed on ISE-Center website and can be distributed through mass media if the Committee Board so decides. Certification results can also be presented and discussed at seminars and conferences organized by the ISE-Center under the Contract.

Project coordinator

Larisa Taradina
Tel: +7(095) 921 82 57
E-mail:

Project newsline (in Russian)

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