EHRD  At a glance: Introduction to the EHRD Base
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This section may serve as an introduction to the EHRD Base for initial users and the wider public. It summarises the objectives, methodological approach and outcomes of the resource base. This summary is based on the final report of the Accompanying Measure (2001-2002) designed to develop the EHRD Base. 

See also > Current activities in collaboration with the UFHRD 

The EHRD Base, starting out from the EHRD Portal (, is intended to offer high-quality information on human resource development in Europe. It was initiated as part of an accompanying measure (AM) related to a cluster of EU research projects. The AM, coordinated by the Research Forum WIFO Berlin, was supported under the Key Action "Improving the Socio-economic Knowledge Base" of the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission (June 2001 to September 2002). 

The basic concept of the EHRD accompanying measure was derived from studies on knowledge intensive networks. These studies emphasise the interrelation between resource and action: the resources can only function and unfold their impact if the actors competently relate to them in their work, thereby continuously reproducing and developing the resources. Consequently, the EHRD Base has been  developed in collaboration with a network of European experts in human resource development (EHRD Network). 

Based on this collaborative approach, the resource base provides major services including

The EHRD Base is designed in a modular structure, covering a broad field of human resource development. The following thematic areas provide the pattern for structuring the major resources (profile of experts, project results, topics of debate, and references):
  • CDO - Competence development in organisations/ occupational identity formation related to organisations); 
  • HRD - Human resource development/ human resource management/ HRD professionals; 
  • KM - Knowledge management/ work process knowledge/ knowledge sharing; 
  • LO - Learning organisation/ learning network/ learning region/ organisational learning; 
  • WBL - Work-based learning/ work-related learning (focus on employees rather than trainees). 
A major concern of the EHRD Base is to capture the complexity and diversity of the European perspective of HRD. Starting out from the results of studies on HRD in various geographical regions, selected issues have been identified which reflect the tension under which HRD in Europe is developing.
  • National employment and training patterns shaping HRD;
  • Tackling the problem of skill shortage in the work force;
  • Specific HRD strategies in medium/ small organisations;
  • Adjusting continuing training to organisational flexibility;
  • Notion of 'flexible worker' challenging 'professional identity';
  • Changing role of HRD professionals (from trainer to consultant);
  • Sharing responsibility for HRD between professionals, managers and employees;
  • Shift from skill building to performance improvement and competence development;
  • Integrating work and learning in organisations;
  • Knowledge sharing as both managerial and participatory approach.

These issues serve as focal points for compiling evidence from European studies and reflecting upon the shared meaning of this. The outlines of these issues are linked with evidence from studies, project results and discussions. A panel debate on selected issues which was arranged by the EHRD Network at the ECER 2002 symposium (see Lisbon proceedings) has added particular value to this resource. Furthermore, a dialogue on European and American approaches to HRD was facilitated by a special event of the University Forum of HRD (see Edinburgh proceedings).

Sabine Manning, WIFO Berlin
Coordinator of the EHRD Network and editor of the EHRD Base

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