Author Topic: Benefits and Purposes of Quality Assurance  (Read 1723 times)

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Benefits and Purposes of Quality Assurance
« on: July 12, 2016, 11:26:07 AM »
Quality assurance (QA) enables a university/faculty/department/school/program and its members to:

  • bring internal benefits to the university/faculty/department/school/program and the staff;
    bring external benefits to the students and the reputation of the institution;
    continuously improve themselves, the students and the work of the university. Continuous improvement is both the medium and outcome of quality assurance;
    serve accountability and accreditation requirements;
    enhance the reputation of the faculty/department/school/university, and meet external demands for demonstrating quality, quality assurance and quality enhancement.

QA enables the university/faculty/department/school/program to:

  • formulate, clarify and articulate its mission, vision, goals, objectives and its relation to those elsewhere in the university;
    identify the unique and/or distinctive features of the university/faculty/department/school/program (which can help to position itself for student and staff recruitment and orientation), and for publicity.

QA is developmental; it enables relevant parties to:

  • receive feedback and to take action as a consequence of the feedback, setting collective priorities, and disseminating good practice;
    identify needs and resources;
    develop and implement action planning;
    monitor and evaluate themselves, each other, students and the work in the university;
    identify strengths and weaknesses in its work;
    address staff needs for ongoing professional development and enhance their professionalism through regulation, self-regulation, and self-organized development;
    know where to intervene to make effective and sustainable, continuous improvements;
    improve the quality of the work, the staff and students, the learning and achievement of the intended outcomes of the work.

From a procedural perspective, QA enables relevant parties to:

  • develop a systematic, rigorous mentality/mindset towards, and way of looking at, planning, delivering and evaluating its work, and to do this methodically, collaboratively and collegially;
    conduct systematic inquiry into the nature and impact of the work of members the university as academic, researchers and teachers;
    understand the processes that led to the outcomes, so that these can be improved where necessary, i.e. quality assurance has a clear formative agenda;
    contribute to the ongoing processes of assurance and enhancement of quality in the work of the faculty/department/school/university, its teaching, learning, student assessment, evaluation and student outcomes over and above the other mechanisms and their reporting cycles that may exist for reviewing and improving the work;
    improve, develop and ensure that the quality of the work undertaken is at the highest level, and that the processes for this exist in the faculty/department/school/university, that they are operating effectively, and are impacting on the quality of the work undertaken.
    to establish whether there are appropriate and effective procedures and mechanisms for quality assurance, and that these are working, to ensure that the intended features of the work of the faculty/department/school/university are being achieved, to serve accountability, and to identify good practice within the faculty/department/school/university.

From a leadership and management perspective QA enables relevant parties to:

  • cultivate and conduct evidence-based decision-making and leadership;
    develop collaborative and collegial practices and improve morale.
    identify what the university/faculty/department/school/program stands for and where it is going;
    know and to understand the distinctive strengths, accomplishments, needs, and future plans of its work, and this also serves accountability purposes;
    identify areas of common interest in the faculty/department/school/university, to link individual members of staff or entire faculties/departments/schools with relevant resources on- and off-campus, and to meet identified resource needs;
    ensure that the work in question is aligned not only to its own aims, objectives and intended learning outcomes, but also that, these, in turn, are aligned to the strategic direction of the faculty/department/school and the university.
    identify where the work in practice is, and is not, matched to its declared intentions;
    enhance communication, improve morale and a sense of working towards a common aim of the best performance and operation of the work in the faculty/department/school/university, by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the work;
    compile thorough and complete documentation of the work undertaken, such that new members of staff can understand, and, indeed fit into, the  faculty/department/school/university with maximum ease and minimum time; this can be useful if staff turnover is an issue.
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