International Consultant – Training on Occupational Standards

International Labour Organization

International consultant to (a)identify relevant institutions engaged in occupational standard and assess the gaps in existing National Occupational Standards system and current occupational standards development process, to provide recommendations for improvements using global benchmarks, in close coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Human
Resources and Social Development (MHSRD); (b) identify capacity development needs of the relevant department of the MHSRD and other relevant institutions in monitoring the quality of occupational standards, and design and conduct a training programme to address the specific capacity gaps.
Duty Station: Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and home‐based. The assignment takes place for 12 w/days in Riyad (two missions) and a total of 22 home‐based days.
Language required: English, Arabic is a plus
Duration of the ex‐col contract: 34 working days over a period of 6 months (tentatively the assignment will be started from August 2023 but the date will be finalized after completion of recruitment process).


In 2016, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia developed its Vision 20301 based on three integrated pillars including a vital society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation to achieve the objective of the kingdom to be a pioneering and successful global model of excellence.

Flowing from this Vision, the KSA has prioritized workforce development to steer the country towards a more productive and knowledge economy. For that, it has developed strategies and interventions such as the Human Capability Development Program (HCDP)2 and the Labour Market Strategy (LMS) to promote skills development and address skills mismatches. Aligned with Vision 2030, the HCDP aims to ensure required capabilities for its citizens to compete globally by developing basic and future skills, as well as enhancing knowledge. It also focuses on upskilling citizens by providing lifelong learning opportunities, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship culture, and developing and activating policies and enablers to ensure KSA competitiveness.

The LMS is the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development’s (MHRSD) strategy to improve employment outcomes in the Kingdom through developing skills and capabilities for existing and emerging productive sectors. It includes 25 initiatives that serve to promote national employment, increase participation and inclusion, improve productivity and performance, and balance the labor market in terms of supply and demand. Relevant to skills development, in particular, the LMS emphasis is on training policies and programs, pursuing career growth, developing human capital in collaboration with education and training authorities, and an increased focus on skills and occupational planning, which includes establishing sector skills councils and professional standards.

The current Kingdom reform plan reflected in the LMS is focusing on expanding investments into new sectors other than oil and gas that would foster sustainable economic diversification, global competitive advantage, and attracts local and global talents. In addition to energy, the new sectors in focus include digital, wholesale and retail, tourism and hospitality, security, culture and leisure, real estate and development services, logistics and transportation services, transformative industries, mining, renewable energy, health, financial and insurance services, and technical services.

The Ministry further aims to establish and activate 12 sectoral councils for skills at the level of the main economic sectors starting with those that have a greater impact on the gross domestic product and percentage of national human resources in the sector and by adopting a sectoral approach in cooperation between government entities and the private sector. The Ministry also seeks to unify the occupational standards into a single skills framework across the kingdom to be used by various stakeholders (decisions makers, employers, education and training institutions, job seekers) for decision making to reduce skills gaps and improve employment outcomes of the training. This will be achieved through a) assessing and analyzing the current practices in the light of global practices for benchmarking to inform national frameworks for occupational standards, b) establishing and operating an advisory body to administer the planning and development of occupational standards and set the relevant framework, and c) developing national occupational standards for 300 professions to provide benchmarks for competent performance and good practice in particular areas of work as a resource for a variety workforce management and quality control tools.

In the above context, the ILO is providing technical support with an aim to improve Ministry’s capacity to ensure effective
development of occupational standards and quality assurance in support of quality resourceful national occupational standards framework linked to the requirements of the labour market and future of work.

The ILO will assess the system and process of occupational standards development (including structure, content/components, formulation) to analyze gaps and make recommendations for improvements. The assessment will also examine a) the concepts, principles and practices of developing occupational standards, b) application of occupational standards for designing education and vocational training qualifications and challenges, and c) the principles and techniques for assessment of qualifications, and related tools and templates currently used to provide recommendations for improvements based on global benchmarks. Additionally, it will analyse the capacity needs of the Ministry, relevant staff, and other key stakeholders engaged in the development process and the administration of the occupational standards related data hubs at national level. The findings will feed into the design and execution of a capacity building training programme on method and process of developing occupational standards to enable them to monitor the quality of standards developed by external agencies. The training will aim to share the fundamentals of knowledge and techniques for the development of occupational standards and competency‐based qualifications and aspects related to quality control.

This ToR for an international consultant has following objectives


The key objectives of the assignment are:

  • Using global benchmarks, examine the gaps in existing national occupational standards development system, standards development process and current capacity of the relevant department to ensure the quality of occupational standards; and provide recommendations for improvements against identified gaps and seek validation from key stakeholders under the direction of MHSRD.
  • Based on the identified capacity gaps of the relevant institutions, design and conduct a training program for relevant ministry’s staff and institutions referred by MHRSD, seek participants’ feedback and analyze pre and post training knowledge to prepare training report.

Key responsibilities to be performed

Scope of work and Tasks

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Senior Skills Specialist and with the technical support of the National Technical Officer on Skills, to complete the following:
a. Assess the current system and processes applied for the development of national occupational standards including core work skills and lifelong learning in the context of emerging changes in technology and other trends in future of work.
b. Examine the quality and effectiveness of current processes in terms of private sector and TVET practitioners engagement, identifying unit of competencies needed by employers for different skills levels, content development and principles applied in the development of occupational standards, the process of sector‐based to the national qualification framework, and certification including assessment methodologies, tools, and process.
c. Analyse the gaps in the quality of produced occupational standards, and the content relevance serving the purpose of these standards for (a) curriculum development and validation, (b) improving trainers capacities in executing the standards and (c) skills assessment for certification and the role of employers in skills assessment, in addition to producing job descriptions for recruitment and career planning, designing skills training programme and recognition of competences acquired on the job and of qualifications acquired abroad; analyse improvements required and the internal and external factors facilitating or constraining these improvements
d. Based on secondary desk review and also in‐country consultations with relevant tripartite constituents in KSA, conduct a technical assessment on the Governance, financing, and administration of national standards systems to identify challenges, limitations and needs for efficient monitoring of quality and continuous updates
e. Assess capacity needs of the officials and stakeholders engaged in occupational standards development in close consultations with ILO, MHRSD and key stakeholders to design a capacity building training programme on method and process of developing occupational standards to enable them to monitor the quality of standards developed by external agencies
f. Based on conclusions drawn from above diagnostics, draft an assessment report on findings and gaps on processes and present relevant recommendations for improvements in close coordination with ILO and MHSRD and ensure alignment of the proposed improvements with country’s ongoing skills reform initiatives.
g. Seek validation from relevant stakeholders, particularly other relevant ministries, institutions and social partners
h. Finalize the report based on feedback and make submission for its adoption by the Ministry
i. Develop a training concept note based on identified capacity needs and consult with ILO and MHRSD for comments and approval
j. Conduct capacity building training programme as approved with ILO and MHRSD.

Key Deliverables:

(a) Inception report based on desk research, proposed methodology and detailed timeline
(b) Report on findings of KSA contextual analysis and technical assessment of the current occupational standard system, standards development process and gaps with recommendations for improvement
(c) Concept note on training program based on capacity needs assessment findings
(d) Report on training program with pre and post training evaluation report and recommendations for future
capacity needs including quality check guidance note


The consultant will conduct desk research and interviews to complete this assignment.

I. Literature review including but not limited to: the vision 2030, the HCDP, the skills strategy, SDGs, the Saudi occupational classification, existing occupational standards3, ILO resources on development of occupational standards and manuals on processes for the development of TVET courses and competency‐based curricula4, other documents strategies and policies relevant to the assignment
II. Review ongoing initiatives on occupational standards development and seek alignment
III. Stakeholders’ interviews: relevant government ministries and institutions /agencies, public and private training providers, employers, and workers, TVET students, Development Partners (DPs), NGOs and the Civil Societies.
IV. Assessment of capacity needs: using quantitative and qualitative assessment tools as deemed fit.
V. Validation workshop with MHRSD and other stakeholders
VI. Result‐oriented capacity building intervention linked to concrete improvements in the capacity of individuals and institutions to deliver on their mandate and tasks. There should be a clear link between the actual tasks the person or the department is expected to perform, the capacity building from which they benefit, and the improvement in knowledge and skills aimed as result of the training

Tasks, deliverables, work efforts

1. Technical assessment of the existing NOS development process, structure, and contents ‐ 22 Desk review of the existing literature, data and documents (Home base)
Inception report including detailed methodology, workplan, interview questionnaire, outline of the study report; including list of literature, proposed list of stakeholders for interview, preliminary insight on capacity needs areas including target group
Preliminary online consultations with MHRSD to collect additional information (home‐based)
Field visit, stakeholder meetings, consultations
(Mission to Riyadh; if and when needed follow‐up interviews could be conducted afterwards home based)
Summary of interviews proceedings and list of stakeholders interviewed
Capacity needs assessment findings
Preliminary report on findings for ILO and MHSRD feedback (home base)
Summary of key findings and preliminary recommendations
Drafting assessment and recommendation report and submit for ILO’s review (home base)
Draft report covering all aspects mentioned in the scope of work of acceptable quality to the ILO
Draft revised report incorporating ILO feedback (home base)
Revised report for submission to MHRSD review
Design and organize validation workshop (mission to Riyad)
list of stakeholders
Power point presentation
Brief validation workshop proceedings
Develop final report incorporating MHRSD and ILO feedback
Final report for submission to MHRSD 2
2. Capacity building training 12
Draft training concept note on training design andtraining outcome assessment based on identified capacity needs (Home‐based)
Draft and revised training plan incorporating ILO’s feedback for submission to MHRSD
Finalize training design in consultation with MHRSD and ILO (home‐based)
Final concept note to the satisfaction of ILO and approved by MHRSD
Develop training materials and quality check template Training materials agreed upon with ILO Quality check template
Deliver training programme (mission to Riyad) 5
Prepare training report with pre and post training assessment report and feedback analysis
Training evaluation report and recommendation for future capacity needs
Total estimated days 34

Payment Schedule

Installment Deliverables Payment

1st: Inception report including detailed methodology, workplan, interview questionnaire, and other annexes (literature review, stakeholders list…) – 20%
2nd Draft: and final technical assessment report covering all aspects mentioned in the scope of work of acceptable quality to the ILO including summary of key findings/recommendations and interviews’ proceedings and other deliverables listed under task 1 – 50%
3rd: Training evaluation report including other deliverables listed under task 2 after acceptance by and to the satisfaction of ILO
– 30%

Completion criteria

  • All reports submitted to the ILO must be relevant to the outputs (activity and the task) mentioned in the TOR.
  • Provide information and update progress as requested by the Project team of the ILO.
  • Provide the report in line with ILO house style and agreed upon outline with ILO
  • The consultant has to follow the guideline of ILO to ensure quality of the reports/documents.
  • The consultant should be proactive, timely report on the progress, and undertake visits to the project partners’ site, participate in meetings as and when necessary.

Special terms and conditions

Intellectual property: The consultant and documents prepared under this contract will abide to ILO terms and conditions applicable to contracts5 and /or any other conditions agreed upon between ILO and the government of kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MHRSD) . Therefore, the consultant cannot publish these without permission of the ILO and MHRSD.
 Insurances: The ILO accepts no liability in the event of death, injury or illness of the External Collaborator. The External Collaborator attests that he/she is adequately covered by insurance for these risks. In no circumstances shall the External Collaborator be covered by any ILO insurance and it is his/her responsibility to take out, at his/her own expense, any personal insurance policies he/she may consider necessary, including a civil liability insurance policy.

Duration of the assignment and duty stations

The duration of the assignment will be for 34 working days over the period of 6 months (tentatively the assignment will be started from August 2023 but the date will be finalized after completion of recruitment process). ILO shall NOT provide office space in Riyadh and necessary logistics (like Laptop, Printer, Paper, internet, local travel, etc.) to carry out day to day
jobs of the consultant.
The ILO shall cover the cost of two rounds tickets to Riyadh and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) during the mission as per ILO rules and regulations6. The DSA will cover accommodation, local travel, and other per diem costs and will not exceed the amount listed in ILO regulations. Final decision for missions will be agreed upon with selected consultant prior initiation of contract arrangements.

Fees and payment terms

Fees are commensurate with the consultant’s qualifications and experience as well as with the previous acceptable rates for similar assignment. Terms and conditions are as per the ILO rules and procedures for the purpose. The consultant’s financial proposal should include all the costs to be incurred on travel and logistics. The consultant should also enclose any recent/latest contract to substantiate daily fee requested.

ILO’s responsibilities
The responsibility of the ILO will be to:
a) Provide all the documents and other related literature available as relevant to the task.
b) Assist in coordination with relevant stakeholders.
c) Review progress of the work and provide feedback as necessary.
d) Ensure payment of agreed amounts, based on performance.
e) Any other tasks/supports as required and agreed by the ILO.

Qualifications and experience of the Consultant

The assignment will be contracted to a person with demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the skills system and best practices in addition to experience in reviews of skills policy/education policy and reviews of skills development works.
Academic Qualification:
a) An advanced University degree in education including TVET, statistics or any other relevant discipline;
b) At least 7 years of experience in development of occupation standards. Knowledge of DACUM approach is a plus
c) Technical expertise in designing questionnaire, analytical skills and writing skills evident by high quality publication or reports in policy research/education/TVET/skills development.
d) Practical experience and knowledge of UN/inter‐agency work will be preferred.
e) Excellent knowledge and skills of reading, writing and speaking in English. Arabic is a plus
f) Knowledge and ability to use computer for research and report writing.
g) Ability to work in a multi‐cultural environment.
h) Must display a high standard of ethical conduct and exhibit honesty and integrity.
i) Gender‐sensitive behaviour and attitude.

Client and users of the report:

Evaluation Criteria and Score

The selection of the candidate will be made based on the cumulative analysis scheme, where total score will be obtained upon combination of weighted technical and financial aspects.

(a) Technical weighted score, out of 70: When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
i) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
ii) Having received the highest score out of a pre‐determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% score in the technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation. The technical proposal will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below:

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Relevant educational qualification
  • Relevant experience in development of occupational standards, competency‐based curricula, delivering competency‐based capacity building training, assessment and analysis report related to field of work in this ToR
  • Experience of working in development/implementation/appraisal/evaluation of TVET/skills programmes/projects, preferably in developing country context.
  • Experience of working in Middle East or Arab countries.
  • Excellent writing, reporting and communication skills in English; Arabic is an added‐value

(b) Financial weighted score, out of 30:
The maximum number of points assigned to the daily fee is allocated to the lowest daily fee quoted by the applicant. All
other quoted daily fees receive points in inverse proportion. The suggested formula is as follows:
p = y (μ/z),
p = points for the daily fee being evaluated,
y = maximum number of points for the daily fee (here it is 30),
μ = the lowest daily fee
z = the daily fee being evaluated

Recommended Presentation of Proposal

Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.

  • Technical Proposal : general understanding of the assignment/ToR, approach and methodology foreseen for the assignment, along with clear description on candidate’s relevant experiences, and samples of works in similar assignments accepted by client. Detailed personal CV to be annexed along with three (3) professional references.
  • Financial Proposal shall specify the professional fees for this assignment. Financial Proposal has to be submitted using the below table. To substantiate daily fee, any recent contract to be enclosed.

The ILO promotes equal opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive employment in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

Breakdown of costs supporting the all‐inclusive financial proposal

Cost components Unit cost in US$ Quantity Total

Consultant Professional fees WD
Travel to Riyadh (indicate location of departure from home)

How to apply

Interested individuals must submit aforementioned documents (technical and financial proposals) to the ILO as per
To: [email protected]
Cc: ja[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
within July 20th, 2023 by 17:00 pm Beirut timing. Proposers who will not submit these documents shall not be
considered for further evaluation.

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