The European Talent Support Network (ETSN) is a permanently transforming and developing system; the following entities representing the Network nodes, are its members of equal standing:
- European Talent Centres
- European Talent Points
- Talent Centres/Points located outside Europe are called Associated Centres/Points.
The criteria for becoming a European Talent Centre are defined by the ETSN Qualification Committee (https://etsn.eu/the-qualification-committee/), whereas those to be met by a European Talent Point – primarily registration as Talent Point – are defined by the individual Talent Centres making up the Network or by the Network Council.
Acquiring Talent Centre status
It is not easy to become a Talent Centre: in the application submitted to the relevant call issued once a year, the prospective Talent Centre must be able to demonstrate at the level of a country or major region that
- it performs professionally sound talent support activity,
- its professional staff can provide information of appropriate quality on talent support issues,
- it is open to networking,
- it transmits information efficiently,
- it is willing to register Talent Points,
- it is willing to exchange best practices, to cooperate with the other Centres and take part in joint projects, and
- it has adequate and secure financial means for all that.
The Call is usually announced on the ETSN website (https://etsn.eu/) in the autumn, it is not open permanently, and it is evaluated by the 7 members of the ETSN Qualification Committee.
Acquiring Talent Point status
One of the most essential tasks of European Talent Centres is to map talent support activities delivered in their country/region and to register them in the Talent Map (https://etsn.eu/map-of-etsn/ ). This is a new task relative to the previous ones for most of the Talent Centres, and the procedure itself can be regulated by the Talent Centre concerned individually. That is, each European Talent Centre proceeds individually in accepting registration applications, although there are some common requirements. Note that the Network has much more country members than national Talent Centres; if a country has no Talent Centre, registration is assigned to another Centre or to the so-called Network Council, in particular in the case of Associated Talent Points.
Common requirements for acquiring Talent Point status:
- Apply via the Network website, any time: https://etsn.eu/apply-to-join-etsn/
- Submit application via the website and also by e-mail, and send it also to the Network coordinator at the address indicated in the call.
- The coordinator then forwards the application to the competent Talent Centre(s) or, in the absence thereof, to the Network Council.
- The competent Talent Centre or the Network Council
- evaluates the application,
- notifies the candidate Talent Point of the result,
- prepares the membership diploma and hands it over to the Talent Point,
- sends logos, media links and Rules of Organisation and Operation to the Point(s),
- indicates the Talent Point in the Talent Map ( https://etsn.eu/map-of-etsn/ ) as specified in the relevant Guide,
- forwards data to coordinator to include the Talent Point in the TalentWeb and the mailing list,
- provides for its participation in common programmes.
Talent Centres decide on their own on
- how to recruit Talent Points,
- how to evaluate their operation (Note that the primary goal is to register all relevant activities taking place in a country.),
- how solemnly the membership diploma is handed over,
- in what ways their Talent Points are involved in the flow of information.
Over the years, many countries have developed detailed practices for specific sub-tasks. At the same time, the various Talent Point types show that the value sets and talent programme concepts differ by country, something that is partly understandable, but also worth considering to bring these concepts closer to each other.
It is frequently asked how institutions can be motivated to become Talent Points.
Let’s see some pro arguments:
- First of all, it is important that they will be registered in a talent map, i.e. become visible from any part of the world, and can thus help in many geographical areas where the recognition of talent support has remained problematic to this day.
- Inclusion in the talent map is the simplest way to show that interest in talent support has reached a critical mass capable of influencing policies of all kinds.
- TalentWeb offers a possibility to present your own activity and to learn about actual researches and best practices.
- Registered entities get emotional and professional support from their Talent Centre; they can be informed about the talent support activities of their country and surroundings via the Talent Centre and be integrated into local networking.
- When an adequate number of Talent Points is reached, they can start to establish international contacts with each other and if sufficient funds are available, they can also visit each other.
- They can jointly participate in European tenders.
Of course, how much a Talent Point feels to be the member of the Network depends also on the opportunities/energies available to the Talent Centre(s) of the given country to take part in networking and in delivering information to its/their Talent Points. As mentioned already, these are new tasks to almost all Centres; they are still in the learning phase, looking for the optimum solutions.