When planning a quality project you shall probably face certain risks that you should try to avoid:
Quite often the construction of quality systems takes place in isolation from the core processes of the organisation. Whatever the aims of your quality development, integrate the quality processes into and embed them in the basic work and practices of the organisation. In lifelong learning organisations these include e.g. teaching and learning, curriculum design as well as various issues of delivery and administration.
- Once we start the quality assurance, we tend to go deep into each and every detail of the structures and processes. This will block up both the quality work and daily service production. Therefore, keep your head cool and concentrate on the key issues. The autonomy of the academic professional will never disappear.
- We do not describe and regulate the key roles, issues and steps of our work so as to make them inflexible and unchangeable. The risk of the “beauty of the similar” is not at all unusual. In lifelong learning, make sure that you have the practical freedom to create innovative learning environments.
On the other hand, assuring quality supports the development of your organisation with remarkable benefits:
- Documentation is an organic element of quality assurance. Constructing the written form of the organisational memory backs up both the orientation of new staff as well as a knowledge base for all the members of the organisation. The challenge is to find the most appropriate level of documentation – do not try to document everything, but the key issues that are relevant.
- The various approaches of quality assurance are similar in that they look at structures and processes as functional entireties. In networked project organisations it is not always so easy to see the forest from the trees. Quality work helps us here.
- The documentation and the total approach advance the transparency of our work. A wide and critical look at the whole and the sections sets the scene for both quality improvement and enrichment of the working climate.