STOP (Stowarzyszenie Trenerow Organizacji Pozarzadowych) – Poland

NGO Trainers’ Association (STOP) is a nationwide non-governmental organization uniting over 200 people working in adult education and working for social change in Poland. Our role is the education of third sector’s trainers and educators at various levels. We have over twenty years of experience in training trainers and developing the qualifications of professional trainers.

The NGO Trainers’ Association (Stowarzyszenie Trenerow Organizacji Pozarzadowych – STOP) was founded in the late nineties and before registering, started to work as a non-formal group of trainers and educators. The aim of the group was to establish forum for exchange of opinions regarding learning quality for NGO’s in Poland. Since then NGO Trainers’ Association is the only organization of its kind in Poland and Eastern Europe – working on the quality of learning process in non-formal education.

The most important area of activity of (STOP) is training new trainers and developing qualifications of the professional ones. STOP Trainers’ School is an answer to a strong need expressed by numerous activists of nongovernmental organizations, entrepreneurs and civil servants to create Polish training called “Training of Trainers” (ToT). It is addressed to persons, who plan to actively engage in development of civil society and work on a high quality in learning basis. We organize such schools for different branches, for example Trainers’ School for Teachers (realized in cooperation with Center For Citizenship Education and Friendly School Association), Family Mediations School of Trainers and courses for trainers for representatives of NGO’s: The Network of Information and Support for NonGovernmental Organizations SPLOT or employees of Labour – Market Institutions. We’re taking part in Global Library- international program for library – Training of Trainers and Facilitators for Librarians (about 860 participants), Idea of such project: supporting librarians in development of educational skills, which empowers local communities, especially from rural areas (community education, library as community and educational center) and librarians as professionals – they can share knowledge and experience within “library environment” – they are real experts in many or their professional fields, they need methodological support.

STOP is actively working on the quality of learning process in non-formal education. We’ve created and developed the system of certificates of quality in learning for trainers and educators, which is acknowledged by many institutions in Poland and is shown as an example of innovation in non-formal education. Additionally we are active in consulting documents regarding non formal education policy in Poland on the national (governmental) level. STOP learning philosophy is to spur adults and youth into action through delivering them a high quality learning process. The majority of courses which are delivered by our graduates are addressed to: NGO representatives, disabled persons, women’s, elderly people, people from rural areas, all groups threatened by social exclusion.