CONTIEMPO was a two-year pilot project subsidised by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the European Commission 2005-2007
promoted by ARFIE

Partners: Bulgaria, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, UK and EASPD

Leonardo da Vinci project “Contiempo” on training of values and communication, passed on through the innovative method of “Accelerated Learning”.

The aim of the CONTIEMPO project was to:

  • Develop training modules for staff supporting people with intellectual disabilities
  • Deliver staff training using the innovative approach of ?Accelerated Learning? (AL)


The continuous training courses were based on the values of inclusion, empowerment and the right to a quality of life for disabled service-users. They also looked at issues around the empowerment of staff themselves.

The modules were European in nature but designed in response to local need. They were officially recognised in each partner country but could be used as a model in other countries and sectors.

It was agreed that the themes of values and communication would form the basis of the training modules to be piloted.

The course was designed by Pieter Verdoorn and Paul Twynam, and were set up to meet the needs expressed in the focus group surveys carried out in each country.

The first course took place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in September 2006. There were 8 trainers of social workers who support people with an intellectual disability. The training course lasted 2 days.

Trainees found it was a stimulating and motivating learning experience, but they still needed some time to work out how they would put the training into practice.

The second course was scheduled in December 2006, in Varna, Bulgaria. All the participants thought at this stage they would be able to apply what they learned both when they work as front line workers and as trainers. They said they had some ideas which they wanted to develop as to exactly how they were going to apply the theory into practice.

The third course took place in Budapest, Hungary, in May 2007. There were both trainers and front line workers among the participants. This course was supplemented with specific content on challenging behaviour, since it was a major issue expressed in the Hungarian survey. Our Hungarian partner delivered this training content with the help of Hungarian trainers who attended the course in May.

The fourth course was delivered in Luxembourg, in May 2007.

take a look tto the full Contiempo trainers guide


The core aim of the pilot project was to develop values-based training modules for staff and trainers using Accelerated learning (AL) methods. AL is an approach that assumes each person has a preferred learning style. Using the techniques that match the learner’s own learning style is the pathway to more natural, easier, faster and more efficient learning. Many people think of AL as any activity that speeds up the learning process. However, the AL methodology is much more than that. AL is a systematic approach to teaching the whole person, containing specific elements that empower students to learn faster, more effectively and joyfully. It has been shown that learning is more effective if there is active engagement and enjoyment in the process of learning.

To know more? contact us:


  • Survey into training needs – group surveys in four countries – involving 10 institutions in Hungary
  • Defining values  preparation of a paper about quality of life for disabled people based on scores of international treaties and conventions related to disabled people’s rights
  • New training approach using Accelerated Learning
  • Testing training courses in The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Hungary Training Needs In Hungary people with disabilities living in institutions described their lives, the good and the bad. There were similarities in what staff found difficult in all countries, but differences in the degree of these difficulties. We chose Communication and Values as the overarching theme of all the training courses

Quality of Life
We defined :

  • What we mean by values and values-based training?
  • We have an overview of existing training courses in this field
  • We have defined Accelerated Learning for this project

Training Courses

We fine-tuned the courses so that they meet local needs and can be practically applied by the staff and their trainers. Each training course was evaluated and modified accordingly. We have collaborated with other European projects in the disability field to see how we could complement each others? work. We tested the training modules in 4 countries, in September (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and December (Varna, Bulgaria) 2006 and in May 2007 (Budapest, Hungary and Luxembourg).


The aim of the accreditation process is that ultimately, the courses can be officially recognised and run again.
The course is accredited in Luxembourg (Ufocors) along with others run by the Unit? de Formation d?Education Permanente (UFEP).
Our Hungarian partner from Hand in Hand expects that the course will be accredited in Hungary at the next deadline, which is 15th November 2007.
Our Bulgarian partner has been in touch with the University of Sofia about the project. It is hoped that the CONTIEMPO course will be one among many to be run by Karin Dom and accredited.
We are also in contact with CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) regarding the setting up of the ECVET system (European Credit for Vocational Education and Training).

Take a look to the CONTIEMPO Report (in French)

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