Author Topic: Quality Management - Criterion 4: Programme delivery  (Read 812 times)

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Quality Management - Criterion 4: Programme delivery
« on: October 09, 2017, 03:02:34 PM »
Outline how learning programmes would be developed, delivered and evaluated.

At the heart of providers’ activities are the programmes that they deliver. This, more than anything else, establishes the rationale for the existence of the provider in the first
instance. A ‘provider’ is a ‘provider’ because it offers particular programmes to people for which they may gain qualifications. It is therefore critical that providers give a clear
and coherent description of the ways in which the delivery of their programmes happen in

Given that the establishment of the NQF is aimed at transforming the nature of education and training, particularly at the level of programme delivery, it is also crucial for
providers to be able to relate their descriptions of their programme delivery to NQF

The following questions may be helpful to providers to identify ways in which they can fulfil the requirements of Criterion 4:

1.  What is the nature of the programmes the organisation delivers?
2.  What is the NQF status of the programmes (e.g. NQF level 5)?
3.  What are the components (for example, programme modules) that make up the programmes?
4.  How often are the programmes delivered, and what is the duration in notional
learning hours?
5.  What are the modes used in the delivery of the programmes? (For example, the
use of group work, opportunities to learn in the workplace, or the role of distance learning would be described at this point.)
6.  To what extent is the delivery of the programmes flexible?
7.  How is learner-centredness ensured in the delivery of the programmes?
8.  How does programme delivery ensure that the programmes are relevant to
9.  How are learners assessed during the programme delivery? How often? By whom?
10. How are learners given feedback on their performance during the delivery of programmes and what forms does this take?
11. How are resources planned for the delivery of programmes?

An additional range of rather deeper questions is suggested in a recent research report relating to teacher education programmes:

1.  The programme practices must develop in learners an applied and integrated competence:

0   A programme should ensure that learners are able to integrate (horizontally) the knowledge and skills delivered through the different courses or modules that make up the programme.
0   A programme should also ensure that learners are able to integrate (vertically)
the following dimensions of competence:

♦ The ability, in an authentic context, to consider a range of possibilities for action, make considered decisions about which possibility to follow, and to perform the chosen action (a practical competence);
♦ The theoretical basis for and the knowledge which underpins and informs the action taken (foundational competence); and
♦ The ability to connect decision-making and performance (practical
competence) with understanding (foundational competence) and use this to adapt to change or unforeseen circumstances, to innovate within one’s own practice, and to explain the reasons behind these innovations and adaptations (reflexive competence).

2.  The programme should be conceptualised and delivered in a manner that integrates theory and practice, and strengthens provider-workplace linkages.

0   A programme should work closely with relevant workplaces in order to develop learner skills.
0   Relevant work experience should be linked to the rest of the programme, and students should be well prepared for it. Work experience should be integral to the programme and not an ‘add-on’.

3.  The programme – and the programme ethos – should support lifelong learning in concrete ways.

0   Learners, for example, might be involved in programme design and implementation, either formally (for example through decision-making structures) or informally (for example, by making decisions regarding the nature of their assignments).
0   Relevant learner-initiated activity might be recognised towards the qualification.
0   Assignments should be designed to encourage problem solving within authentic contexts.
0   A programme should prioritise and teach critical engagement, reasoning and reflective thinking.
0   A programme should ground teaching in a wider social, economic and political understanding and awareness.
0   The provider should have a workable strategy for the recognition of prior learning (RPL).
4.  The programme provider should adopt inductive rather than deductive approaches to programme design, or at least motivate why deductive approaches to programme design are justified:

0   A programme should be designed on the basis of research, and some or all of this research should be conducted among target learners.
0   Conversely, a programme should not be designed through an exclusively deductive ‘desktop’ exercise.

Though this latter range of questions was developed through research into teacher education programmes, they are clearly relevant to any learning programme. The emphasis in this criterion is on the nature of the learning and teaching process itself, including the assessment process. This criterion is central to ensuring that education and training practices in the delivery of programmes by providers are in accordance with NQF principles.

PLEASE NOTE: Accreditation will not be statutorily possible if these principles are not followed, or, at the very least, if providers have not identified the need to locate their programme delivery in NQF terms and developed a plan for implementation.
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