Quality Websites


Organisation for regional accreditation of training institutions.
A very specific Swiss website <exclusively in French> in which is possible to find useful details concerning the accreditation process for continuing education institutions. It may be intended also as a practical device tell the general public which are the accredited ones and which are rules governing the procedure. It is linked directly to the second website here mentioned.

Language: French
KT: Kitemarking, Accreditation

Le certificat eduQua
Swiss Quality standard for training institutions. This is just the French version of a general website.
Contains information regarding a Swiss Quality standard for training institutions. It details the philosophy behind the quality standard and outlines the criteria for certification and the procedure for gaining certification.

Language: French
KT: Kitemarking, Accreditation

An Italian Website in which a quality model for university institutions is defined, but no link to any specific continuing education issue.

IACET - Proven Standards for Quality in Education
This U.S based site describes the raison d’etre of the International Association for Continuing Education, a non-profit –making association dedicated to quality continuing education programmes. The site is easy to navigate but seems to be very much an American organisation despite its claims to be international. Worth looking at for the section on writing learning outcomes.

Language: English
KT: Kitemarking, Self-assessment

This is a domain name for sale and the web site at present is merely a marketing/selling device for domain names. Useless in terms of the project.

European Society for Research on the Education of Adults - ESREA -
ESREA promotes and disseminates theoretical and empirical research on the education of adults and adult learning in Europe through research networks, conferences and publications. ESREA organizes its activities on the basis of European research networks. The publications include report from applicant countries. Of the three, which I have been asked to consider this looks most interesting and rewarding from the resource point of view – publications and links look as if they are worthwhile. Also in its widest sense this is a Eurocentric site.

Assuring Quality at Goldsmiths
Goldsmiths University of London web site for quality. It has detailed information on Assuring Quality at Goldsmiths. If you go to the site, you can click on each of the following areas for information and logistics.
· Developing College policy and practices for quality and standards assurance
· Co-ordinating and refining course evaluation and programme monitoring systems and arrangements
· Assisting the College and Departments to prepare for Insitutional Audit and Developmental Engagements by the Qaulity Assurance Agency
· Supporting a rolling progrfamme of Departmental Reviews
· Advising Academic Committee in gauging the appropriateness of proposed institutional partners in the College's portfolio of collaborative provision.

Language: English
KT: Audit, Evaluation

What is Lifelong Learning?
This web site includes a very helpful presentation from New Zealand on Lifelond Learning and social/politcal/technbological change. It is basic with definitions and is very clear to follow.

European Organisation for Quality Management
The European Organisation for Quality, EOQ, says about itself that it was established in 1956, that it is an autonomous, non-profit making association and that it is the largest quality management network in Europe. Members are mainly quality organizations but also institutions, companies and individuals might become members. EOQ offers knowledge transfer, networking, training, a magazine, a website and sells quality management tools. Informative on the website are the charter, the list of memberships which has links to quality organizations all over Europe, and the announcements of events. The design of the website is not user friendly because it does not make clear who should benefit for what purpose from this website.

Quality Management Principles Site
Website on quality management principles set up by one Krister Forsberg, a member of the ISO TC 176's working groups developing quality management standards.
Provides a brief overview (the entire site consists of six pages) of the eight ISO quality management principles as well as their application to the ISO 9000 standards and to management practices.
‘Links to related sites’ provides two links - to the American Society for Quality and ISO.

Language: English
KT: Standardisation, ISO 9000

Best sites on Quality from Canadian Movement for Quality
Provides 46 links to sites on quality (mainly English, roughly a quarter are French):
23 journals (mainly business/management, manufacturing, engineering, etc. - although one is specifically devoted to quality assurance in education).
23 organisations/institutions dealing with various aspects of quality assurance, quality management, benchmarking etc. in a large variety of fields – a rather mixed bag.

Adult and Community Learning (ACL) Quality Support Programme
The programme provides support for quality assurance and improvement within Local Education Authority adult and community learning services and works closely with the Learning and Skills Council and NIACE (see below)
The front page of the website contains a list on the left which signposts to:
* ‘Good Practice & Case Studies from the ACL sector’. The first case study on this set of pages the ‘pan-Sussex Observation Working Group’ provides grade descriptors, which is helpful.
* ‘Quality Improvement Network (QIN)’. These pages contain newsletters and ‘helpful hints on ways to improve the experience of learners’. On this helpful hints page you can access feedback from QIN conferences, for example on ‘what constitutes good quality assurance’.
* ‘Staff development materials’ – and you can access a number of these.

Language: English
KT: Quality improvement, Staff development

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in England
The QAA produces Codes of Practice and Guidelines about many aspects of quality in higher education. Its stated purpose amongst other things is to: “enhance the assurance and management of standards and quality in higher education and promote a wider understanding of the value of well-assured standards and quality, and to
promote a wider understanding of the nature of standards and quality in higher education, including maintenance of common reference points, drawing on UK, other European, and international practice. “
It is currently considering the quality issues around APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) and the website contains papers on this issue – found in the ‘Round Table’ section of the ‘Current Work’ pages of the website. The Publications section of the website includes the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Publications section also includes guidelines re Distance Learning and many other quality issues for higher education

Language: English
KT: Accreditation, Inspection, Quality improvement, APL

European Vocational Training Association (EVTA)
EVTA is a European vocational training network, including both private and public providers, and it is linked to CEDEFOP. Amongst other things it is engaged in various projects in the field of vocational training, the most recent being Transfine in 2002-03, which addressed issues of recognition of non-formal and informal learning.
The website is available in English or French and links to the various projects it has been engaged in. The site does not contain much information regarding individualised pathways or quality issues for vocational training, other than the links to the various projects. However some of the earlier projects are of relevance e.g. ‘Certification’ in 1998-2001which looked at the issues of APL. Copies of reports can be downloaded from this project link.

Language: English, French
KT: Vocational education

International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)
INQAAHE collects and disseminates information about many aspects of quality improvement in higher education. Its stated purpose includes amongst other things to facilitate research into the practice of quality management in higher education and its effectiveness; facilitate links between accrediting bodies especially insofar as they operate across national borders; permit better-informed international recognition of qualifications; and to be able to assist in the development and use of credit transfer schemes to enhance the mobility of students between institutions within and across national borders
The Publications section of the website includes downloadable versions of its quarterly newsletter ‘QA’, which has a truly international focus. The case studies/articles appear in the last couple of issues to be heavily slanted towards India/Asia/Australia with fewer contributions form the European field. Not much on the site re the vocational adult learner and associated quality issues, i.e. tends to focus on undergraduate students.

Language: English
KT: Quality improvement

University of Washington (USA) Office of Educational Assessment (OEA)
The Office of Educational Assessment provides a variety of evaluation and assessment services to the University of Washington’s community and outside agencies.
The context of this website is from the perspective of traditional undergraduate teaching and is also very focused on University of Washington procedures e.g. location of premises etc. It has little re vocational adult learning. It does address access issues but this tends to be focused on school children. There is a useful downloadable guide to evaluation of courses reached through the Research and Assessment button and then clicking on ‘programme evaluation’.

Language: English
KT: Course design, Evaluation, Assessment

ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
Web-site of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) with description of the organization, information about products and services all about ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, information about standards development, communities and markets and a communication centre and on-line store. Available in English and French.

Language: English
KT: ISO 9000, Standards/Standardisation

Association française de normalisation (AFNOR) web site, leading player in European and international standardization. You can find on this web site information about standardisation (services, major programmes, standards and directives, partners, etc.), certification services, training (CAP AFNOR : national leaser in training and consultancy for quality), on-line store for standards French, European, ISO, foreign standards). Available in English and French.

Language: English, French
KT: Standards/Standardisation

National Open College Network in the UK
The National Open College Network (NOCN) is a provider of accreditation services for adult learning. NOCN is a recognised national qualification awarding body and is the central organisation for 28 Open College Networks (OCNs) based across the UK.
Whilst the context of this website is from the perspective of schools and further education it does contain a document, which provides a helpful perspective, namely ‘The Rewards of Recognition: the Value of NOCN Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Development of Non-Accredited Learning’, which addresses issues of quality assurance and development of courses. This can be found under the ‘Spotlight’ banner on their front page and can be downloaded either in full format or as an executive summary. There is also information in this Spotlight section on a credit and qualifications framework that NOCN is in the process of developing

Language: English
KT: Accreditation, Flexible/Open/Distance Learning

National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education for the UK
NIACE is committed to "support an increase in the total numbers of adults engaged in formal and informal learning in England and Wales; and at the same time to take positive action to improve opportunities and widen access to learning opportunities for those communities under-represented in current provision." This is done through “securing informed debate - through research, enquiry, publication and arranging seminars/ conferences and through collaboration with providers across all sectors of post-compulsory education and training; and through fostering progression routes for adults seeking to develop pathways as learners.”
The website addresses the issues of widening participation e.g. on its pages ‘Skills for Life Quality Initiative Programme of Professional Development’ (found through the Adult Learning: A Skills Special’ button on the front page). Its many publications also cover the issues of independent learning and can be accessed from the ‘Publications’ pages. The ‘Projects and Research’ pages also point to various projects of interest regarding individual learning.

Language: English
KT: Access, Accreditation, Assessment, E-learning, Refugees, Returners, Staff Development, Student support, Vocational education, WBL

Southern England Consortium for Credit Accumulation & Transfer
SEEC, formed in 1985, is the oldest higher education consortium for credit accumulation and transfer (CATS) in the United Kingdom. Its membership includes over 25% of universities and colleges funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It serves as a reference point on credit-based learning, structures and processes through its newsletter, reports and other publications. It runs staff development seminars and workshops on the practical implementation of credit processes and applications and related curriculum issues.
The website has pages containing information on credit accumulation issues and also an overview of its various publications which cover APL and a wide variety of credit-related issues. The publications are well respected and informative.

Language: English
KT: Accreditation, APL, Assessment,Course design, Credit transfer, Evidence/competence based learning, Portfolio building< Staff development

European Organisation for Quality
The European Organisation for Quality, EOQ, says about itself that it was established in 1956, that it is an autonomous, non-profit making association and that it is the largest quality management network in Europe. Members are mainly quality organizations but also institutions, companies and individuals might become members. EOQ offers knowledge transfer, networking, training, a magazine, a website and sells quality management tools. Informative on the website are the charter, the list of memberships which has links to quality organizations all over Europe, and the announcements of events. The design of the website is not user friendly because it does not make clear who should benefit for what purpose from this website.

French Movement for Quality
21 regional associations to help the companies and French publicly-owned establishment and private to progress in the field of "Management by Qualité", in order to satisfy "au mieux" their customers, their personnel, their shareholders and their environment.
with the new challenges of international competition, the FAR/MFQ chose three priority orientations to guide its action:1)To ensure the transition from Management by Quality the Durable Development; 2) To work out new tools with the service of the Performance of the Companies and Publicly-owned establishments and private; 3) To promote l'image Quality and Performance by organizing the French Price and the Regional Prices of Quality.

Language: French
KT: Business education, Quality improvement

International quality assurance and recognition of qualifications in tertiary education in Europe
This report (pdf format/2003) provides and overview of European tertiary education, it’s core values, the role of the state and private provision in tertiary education. The development of quality assurance and accreditation in Europe is discussed as well with emphasize on development of quality assurance systems in Europe. The list quality assurance and accreditation agencies and schemes currently in operation in European countries is presented in the report. Paper gives broad explanation on trans – and international activities and developments in European quality assurance and accreditation: joint quality assessment, networking, mutual recognition, credit transfer and quality assurance. Other initiative promoting European convergence in quality assurance and accreditation is discussed in the report: the activity of the EUA, the Tuning project, role and initiatives of the European commission and future goals of Bologna process.

Language: English
KT: Quality improvement

European Foundation for Management Development: EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System)

The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) is an organisation that enables the development of people and organisations through learning and leadership. The EFMD promotes the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). EQUIS is an international system of quality assessment, improvement, and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration. EQUIS facilitates standard setting, benchmarking, mutual learning, and the dissemination across borders of good practice.

Language: English
KT: Peer review, Accreditation, Quality improvement, Selef-assessment/evaluation

National Grid for Learning (NGfL)
The National Grid for Learning (NGfL) portal is the gateway to educational resources on the Internet. The target audience of this portal includes students, lifelong learners, teachers, school coordinators and administrators and others involved in education. The site provides links to Web sites offering high quality content and information, with special reference to the UK National Curriculum. The linked sites include learning resources, games and quizzes, lesson plans and worksheets, reference material, advice, and learning opportunities.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
Report of an academic quality audit of City London University

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Report East London University
. The University's strategic approach to quality management.

EUA (European University Association) - Quality Culture Project
The report of a project led by EUA: Developing an internal quality culture in European universities, 2002-3, supported by he Socrates programme of the European Commission.  It makes no specific reference to university lifelong learning but it does contain some useful discussions on: good principles vs good practices; the concept of internal quality; processes, actors and structures; tools for development; and in the annexes some useful examples of indicators, benchmarking, asnd indicators.

Language: English
KT: Quality improvement

Introducing the NADEOSA Quality Criteria
This publication provides an overview of quality assurance in distance education in South Africa and the NADEOSA quality criteria for distance education.

Language: English
KT: Flexible/Open/Distance learning

European Foundation for Quality Management
Site offers guidance on the EFQM Excellence Model providing organisations with assistance in evaluating and measuring performance and success.

Language: English
KT: Total Quality Management (TQM), Standards/standardisation, Business education