The first meeting of IOTA Tax Professional Learning & Development Forum was held in Baku on 9-11 September 2015 hosted by the of Ministry of Taxes of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Forum successfully provided opportunity to participants to share ideas and experiences on new and innovative learning methods.
The IOTA Tax Professional Learning and Development Forum has been set up as continuation of the Training Forum which was active for 10 years. Over 40 training managers, HR managers and experts in staff development from 26 countries came together to the Forum in Baku with a specific interest of enhancing tax professional learning and development methods used in IOTA member administrations.
During the course of the Forum delegates discussed and also experienced the use of webinars, virtual classes, videos for professional learning and development, different apps and web applications (such as e-learning and mobile learning /tablets, smartphones and laptops/) social learning and the use of social communities. Emphasis was put on gaining personal experiences in the use of these modern information technology tools in order to make it easier for participants to share it within the home administration. The participants of the Forum shared and gained information and exchanged experiences (both good and bad practices) with high level of engagement in interactive sessions such as ‘market place’ and ‘open space’ discussions and ‘Tech-Talk’
One of the Forum’s highlights was hands-on session where delegates were allocated to groups with a 60 min. assignment to create a video for teaching & learning purposes. Another important item of Forum’s agenda was devoted to explore how tax administrations (e.g. the Netherlands Tax and Customs Academy) choose indicators to determine quality of learning in advance.
Tax education and schools was one of the themes of the Forum’s meeting in Baku showcasing examples of tax administrations in Azerbaijan, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom which successfully implemented tax education programs in the schools.
Delegates also had the opportunity to visit the Training Centre of the Ministry of Taxes of the Republic of Azerbaijan and to learn about its structure and organization, main activity directions, modern methods and tools used in training process.
A Forum blog was also created in order to make it possible for participants to express their expectations before the event and to reflect on sessions, presentations, discussions after the event. Blog posts opened the opportunity to carry on, deepen and expand discussions and to gain feedback of the Forum. Blog posts showed that participants have found the Forum useful and they have picked up several useful ideas from other participants and they have successfully sold their positive experiences. Participants appreciated IOTA’s umbrella for continuously providing forum for collaboration of member administrations, and have defined the event as inspiring. Some of the participants blogged that immediately after their return started to use and implement experiences gained in the Forum in home organization and organized meetings with their teams to share ideas, practices and inspirations obtained from Baku.