The most important component of the NAO-project is the qualified and target oriented tests. In this particular case it is crucial, that the tests could ensure maximally correct identification of professional knowledge and ranking of the participants in the selected agricultural fields important for the labor market.
In the field of the professional capacity evaluation of the specialists operating in the agricultural sector, the author organization of the tests, the Agricultural Development Association (ADA) has implemented the following researches and projects:
- In 2016, within the frames of USAID-SEAS project, ADA developed Agro-Testing Software for the Ministry of Environment and agriculture of Georgia. It is focused on monitoring and evaluation of the development of professional skills of specialists providing agro-extension services. The software contains more than 2500 test-questions (ranked according to the difficulties) in 12 basic agricultural fields of Georgia. This software has created the opportunity for the Ministry to test the existing professional competencies and measure the professional capacity development of its staff or use the software in the process of hiring new employees, with the purpose of testing their professional skills;
- Within the frames of USAID-REAP project in 2017 ADA created the web-based agro-testing mechanism. It contains approximately 1000 test-questions in 12 basic agricultural fields. This platform is focused on inclusiveness-raising of the involvement in the agricultural educational sector and ensuring the facilitation of the knowledge development and demonstration in agricultural fields;
- In 2018 with the facilitation of the ENPARD II project, ADA provided the Training Needs Assessment of specialists providing agro-extension services. The objective of the research was to identify training needs of the specialists working in agro-extension services of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia. Within the framework of the research the testing of the specialists was provided in all 9 regions and 54 municipalities of Georgia. In total 254 specialists were tested in 14 agricultural fields and 2850 ranked test-questions were created for this purpose by the experts of ADA. Based on the results of testing priority training topics-themes were identified and delivered to the donor organization.
- In 2019 under the frames of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Project (“Modernization of Vocational Education and Extension in Georgian Agriculture”) the Agricultural Development Association provided the Training Needs Assessment of the farmer communities in three regions of Georgia. In order to identify the training needs, the statistical data of the web-based agro-testing program and the specific test-questions were used.
All the above-mentioned researches and projects represented the preparatory stages of the NAO project. At the same time the processes of the conception formation of NAO and its introduction to the partners was carried out.
At this stage the formation of the test-questions was initiated by the experts of ADA for the purposes of NAO in selected agricultural fields.