ACCREDIA, the Italian NAB, published recently an article regarding the publication of the new UNI/PdR 42:2018 which identifies criteria and requirements for preventing and combating bullying in the Italian schools. A growing phenomenon in Italy where the most affected are girls.
In Italy, one in two children are affected by bullying. The age at risk is between 11 and 17 years old. The ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics) data place the emphasis on a very delicate and growing phenomenon concerning adolescents. Addressing and preventing the risk of violent behavior is also the road followed by ACCREDIA, UNI (Italian National Organization for Standardization), FDAE (Federation of Institutes for Educational Activities), ISRE (Salesian International Institute of Educational Research), MOIGE (Italian Family Movement) which on September 18 presented in Milan the Reference Practice UNI/PdR 42:2018 “Preventing and combating bullying”, born from the collaboration of the work table wanted by the National Accreditation Body.
Available both in Italian and English, this document is also applicable at international level. It identifies criteria for preventing and combating bullying, through the application of an anti-bullying management system by all educational institutions such as schools, training centers, day centers, boarding schools, youth centers, sports and recreational centers and therefore all structures attended by minors.
“For the first time a school, when it demonstrates compliance with the requirements of this Practice, can obtain certification from an accredited body according to the UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17021-1 standard – explains Giuseppe Rossi, President of ACCREDIA. In this context, education of new generation becomes a main concern, we all pay attention to guarantee the serenity and safety of our children. Hence our commitment in the analysis of the causes of the phenomenon of bullying and in the study of the tools to fight against it and eliminate it: a way to use accreditation and conformity assessment to support humanity; it is in this that the technique is dressed up with humanity.”
An absolute innovation in the panorama of certifications in Italy and in the world, the Practice offers to schools and organizations attended by minors, a tool to obtain the “anti-bullying certification” issued by an accredited body. These structures will have to adopt and publish a document in which they commit themselves to define and activate all the measures of prevention and combating of bullying foreseen by the Practice and laws, illustrating objectives, policies and strategies to follow.
“Italy is the first country in the world that has developed a certification process under accreditation for such phenomena – says Rossi – and that’s why our Body wanted the translation of the Reference Practice into English, so that other Countries that have already expressed interest can benefit of it and share the same experience.”
According to the Practice, each school must define the actions it plans to activate to improve the prevention and combating of bullying. The plan, implemented during the first weeks of the school year, must include measurable objectives such as: number and outcome of legal actions brought by families against the school or its employees for bullying events, number of complaints due to bullying, percentage of positive responses to anti-bullying questionnaires, percentage of participation in voluntary anti-bullying sensitization activities.