NVAO’s external quality assurance procedures Axel Aerden 17 April 2012
The position of NVAO ‘Higher education’ Recognition Funding Support • Appreciation Value for €Proof of use Quality Access Enhancement NVAO Information Accountability ‘Government’ ‘Society’ (Consumer) protection Support
NVAO’s Scope of work • Recognition of new higher education institutions • Institutional audits • Initial accreditation • (New) programmes that want to offer a recognised degree • All bachelor and master’s programmes, including associate degrees and research masters (MPhil) • Accreditation • programmes that already offer a recognised degree • Publication of decisions (and officially recognised degrees) • Internationalisation
NVAO’s overall approach • Audit • Focus on policy & practice re. internal QA system teaching and learning Official register Publication Institution Report • (Initial)accreditation • Concentrate on content (& focus on performance) learning outcomes Programme Report
Aim of NVAO’s system (1/2) • Balancing accountability and enhancement • Stimulate quality culture institutional audit • Start from institutional vision/policy on (internal) QA • Focus on functioning of (internal) QA system with respect to teaching & learning • Commit professionals / Increase academic ownership programme assessment • Focus on content; not on procedures • Assess learning outcomes; not quantitative elements
Aim of NVAO’s system (2/2) • Balancing accountability and enhancement • Reward earned trust limited programme assessment • Two types of programmes assessments • Stimulate HE to aim above threshold accredit as satisfactory, good, excellent
Institutional audit 5. Does the institution have an effective organisation and decision-making structure regarding the quality of its programmes? 4. How can the institution demonstrate that it systematically improves the quality of its programmes? What is the vision of the institution regarding the quality of the education it provides & of the development of a quality culture? Does the institution have an appropriate policy to realise this vision? 3. How does the institution measure the degree to which this vision is realised? • Positive / Negative / Conditional
Institutional audit Has this institution undergone an institutional audit? Institution Is this institution recognised? Yes No Recognition procedure +decision -decision Yes No Limited programme assessment Extensive programme assessment Programme assessment
Programme assessment Is this programme on the register/ recognised? Limited programme assessment Extensive programme assessment • Programme assessment (Lim./Compr.) accreditation procedure (Lim./Compr.) initial accreditation procedure Improvement period -decision +decision +decision -decision • Satisfactory - Good - Excellent Deleted from register Included on register
Focus on learning outcomes Achieved? Achieved? Achieved? Achieved? … (ECTS) Course catalogue
Importance of learning outcomes (& ECTS) • Direct window on what programmes aims to do & what a programme actually does • Less focus on policy, process & procedures • But process & procedures are easier to assess • Facilitates international transparency & comparability • E.g. International benchmarking • Open to all types of teaching & learning • Technology Enhanced Learning / Distance learning • Work-based learning / Assessment of prior learning • Provides a common language for HE & stakeholders • Teaching & Learning
Aims for: • mutual recognition of accreditation & quality assurance decisions Results of this cooperation: • Code of good practice (2004) • Principles for the selection of experts (2005) • Principles for accreditation procedures regarding joint programmes (2007) • Bilateral mutual recognition of accreditation agreements (2007) • Qrossroads.eu (2008) • Principles regarding learning outcomes in accreditation procedures (2009) • Multilateral agreement regarding joint programmes (2010) Participants: • ECA Partners (& one observer) • Multilateral agreement re. joint programmes • Mutual recognition agreements 2007 • Mutual recognition agreements 2010-2011 www.ecaconsortium.net
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Programme assessment scale Generic qualityThe quality that in all reasonableness could be expected of a bachelor’s or master’s programme within higher education, and this from an international perspective. UnsatisfactoryThe programme does not provide generic quality. SatisfactoryThe programme provides generic quality. GoodThe programme is of notably higher quality than generic quality. ExcellentThe programme is of a quality very much above generic quality and fulfils an exemplary role for other relevant programmes.
Expert panel composition(1/2) • At least four members, one of whom is a student; • at least two authoritative subject-matter experts • At least one with teaching experience at relevant level; • aware of latest international developments in the discipline • expertise in the professional field (where applicable) • educational expertise • assessment or audit expertise;
Expert panel composition(2/2) • The panel is independent • no ties with the institution offering the programme for at least five years; • an independent, external secretary trained and certified by NVAO; • Signed declarations of independence and codes of conduct; • Panel composition and declarations of independence will be published and made public; • The parties involved in the assessment can report any matters that could affect the independence to NVAO.