Developing an evidence base for effective quality assurance of education and training

What were the key findings?

Though application varies, there is an almost universal framework for the quality assurance process which involves:

  • setting standards and criteria
  • self-assessment
  • external assessment/validation
  • public reporting of outcome.

The emphasis of quality assurance is starting to shift to give greater priority to quality enhancement over accountability; proportionate risk based targeting over cyclical models and standard setting which focuses more on outcome than process.

These shifts align current practice across the wider quality assurance environment more closely with the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care's principles of ‘Right Touch Regulation’.

Transparency throughout the process and clarity in reporting results promote effective quality assurance.

The researchers provide ten quality assurance good practice suggestions for all health based regulators of education and training. They relate to the use of thematic quality assurance to recognise and share good practice among providers, the composition and training of quality assurance visit teams, methods to validate data, tailoring reports for intended audiences and the promotion of good practice among regulators.

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