QUALITY IMPROVEMENT POLICY
1.1 The College vision is to serve our communities as their outstanding provider of further and higher education and training.
1.2 This Policy outlines the College’s approach to ensuring continuing quality improvement.
1.3 The College seeks continuous improvement in the quality of all aspects of its work – support as well as curriculum areas – to impact on learners’ achievement of the highest possible standards.
1.4 The purpose of this Policy is to enable such continuous improvement through a process of self-evaluation and action planning.
2.1 This Policy and associated Procedures will involve all staff and collaborative partners including subcontractors. The management of the process will be through the existing organisational structure. Line managers will initiate Procedures within their teams and collate and monitor self-assessment reports and action plans. In the case of University accredited programmes, these are monitored through the university’s annual Academic Health process. Academic Health Reports (AHR) are generated by course leaders from course boards, student feedback and module reports. These are distributed to both the university and to line managers. A Higher Education (HE) Self Evaluation Document (SED) and Action Plan is written annually reviewing the whole of the HE provision. This is monitored by Governors who also sign off to HEFCE for oversight of quality assurance.
2.2 Quality improvement will be founded on a process of regular self-evaluation by teams and individual staff who are responsible for delivering courses and other services.
2.3 It will seek the views and perceptions of students, employers and other stakeholders for whom the services of the College exist.
2.4 Wherever appropriate, this Policy will promote the identification of quality standards and performance indicators that are consistent with external body requirements such as those expected to be measured by Ofsted or other external review organisations and against which performance can be measured, evaluated and so improved. Wherever appropriate, for Higher Nationals and University accredited programmes, this Policy will promote the identification of quality standards and performance indicators that are consistent with the UK Quality Code for HE and against which performance can be measured, evaluated and so improved.
2.5 This Policy will support the processes of peer review both internally and with external partners in the sector including training and private providers.
3 Responsibility for implementation
3.1 All employees of the College, support and curriculum of all levels and roles are responsible for the implementation of this Policy.
3.2 It is the responsibility of the Deputy Principal, Curriculum and Standards to ensure review of the Policy. It is the responsibility of all to engage positively in that review and ensure implementation.
4 Policy Statements
4.1 The Curriculum
4.1.1 To encourage continuous improvement in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment programmes, thereby making learning an enjoyable activity, increasing student retention and the achievement of individual learning goals in a timely manner.
4.1.2 To develop and sustain a range of accredited and non-accredited programmes which provide opportunities for progression to further or higher education or employment and which provide students with experiences and qualifications suited to their learning aims.
4.1.3 To ensure rigorous and consistent assessment procedures, which meet the standards of external awarding bodies and validating agencies.
4.1.4 To provide information which supports strategic planning, meets employer requirements for qualified and skilled staff and underpins achievement of entry requirements for Higher Education.
4.1.5 To ensure that the quality of the data, such as qualification aims, register completion and guided learning hours match the funding claims made to the Funding Bodies and satisfy all Audit requirements.
4.2 Support Services
4.2.1 To monitor and evaluate the procedure for advising, interviewing and counselling students at entry and throughout their College career both at College and/or in the workplace.
4.2.2 To establish standards and monitor procedures for providing a supportive and accessible range of services to students.
4.2.3 To monitor and evaluate the standard of services responsive to the needs of employers.
4.2.4 To establish and monitor service standards for the effective delivery of the College’s training programmes.
4.2.5 To provide suitable ICT, Examinations, HR, Premises, Finance, Student Support, Additional Learner Support, Safeguarding and MIS resources and services, as identified in Service Level Agreements, for all courses to enable students to succeed.
4.3.1 To review regularly the performance, training and developmental needs of all staff through the operation of the College scheme for staff review and PPDRs.
4.3.2 Through the College, departmental and Continuing Professional Development plans, to train and develop individuals upon appointment and throughout their employment.
4.3.3 To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of such training and development against the College’s strategic goals and self-assessment processes.
4.4.1 To have in place a rigorous system of quality assurance based on the regular review and assessment of the quality of the Services delivered.
4.4.2 To comply with the requirements and observe guidance on the process for performance management review and assessment, which is issued by the SFA from time to time and applicable to the Services or required by the College.
4.4.3 To make available to the College a report on its own assessment of the quality of the Services, which the College will require under the timeframe necessary for self- assessment reporting and related quality improvement frameworks.
4.4.4 Where applicable, to agree an action plan for the improvement of Services following the Planning Review or inspection by the College, the SFA or the Inspectorates.
5.1 The College Charter is summarised on the College’s e-zone. All students and staff will be made aware of the quality standards within the College.
5.2 The College Commitment to Employers is made available on the College’s Employer Services website and through its Employer Services staff and Assessors.
5.3 The process of quality control requires curriculum, tutorial support and support staff teams to meet on a regular basis to review their work, set standards and monitor user and student perceptions and achievements.
5.4 Quality control will be carried out against agreed criteria which will incorporate performance indicators. On University accredited courses, quality control will be carried out against the criteria agreed with the University.
5.5 Statistical analysis will be carried out against agreed criteria which will incorporate performance indicators.
5.6 Review will be supported by analysis of student, employer and stakeholder views and perception gathered via a range of means including questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, employers’ fora and at review meetings. In Higher Education, review will also be supported by the HE Review Boards and by bi-annual Course Boards.
5.7 The outcome of these processes will provide information:
i To inform the process of self-assessment
ii To set targets and action plans for improvement at course, department and College level.
iii To highlight issues that need consideration by the College
iv That supports the College curriculum, business and strategic planning cycle
v That supports College activity to achieve the funding targets and other external and internal targets
5.8 Feedback on actions resulting from the review process will be communicated to College staff via team and/or individual meetings.
5.9 The outcomes and action plans which result from the process will form the basis of the annual College Self-Assessment Report and Quality Improvement Plan and its HE equivalent.
5.10 The Corporation will be aware of the procedures undertaken, including key performance indicators and targets, and will receive regular reports which summarise the results and indicate action plans for improvement as well as being invited to participate in Performance Reviews and Learning Walks to enhance their knowledge.
6 College Quality Improvement Procedures
6.1 The statement of this Policy is supported by a clear set of processes outlined in detail in the Quality Improvement (QI) Framework and Curriculum Quality Procedures. There may be minor awarding body variations to this in Higher Education although the broad principles remain the same.
6.2 The QI Framework is available on the College Intranet.
6.3 The QI Framework is a dynamic document: suggestions for improvement are taken throughout the year and should be forwarded to the Deputy Principal, Curriculum and Standards for consideration.
6.4 Detailed Curriculum Quality Procedures and Service Level Agreements, updated annually, underpin the quality and improvement processes.
7 Access to Policy
This Policy is available from the Directorate, Curriculum and Service Managers and on the College Intranet.
Questions about this Policy and/or Procedures and requests for training, guidance or information on this Policy and/or Procedures, should be directed to the HR Team.
9 Mechanisms for Feedback
Constructive comment on the continued improvement of this Policy is welcomed and should be forwarded to the Deputy Principal, Curriculum and Standards.
This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Quality Improvement Framework.
11 Further Information
12 Produced/Reviewed by:
Deputy Principal, Curriculum and Standards
Date: 8 February 2017
13 Approved by:
Date: 10 February 2017
14 Approved by:
Learning and Quality Committee
Date: 23 February 2017
15 Approved by:
Date: 23 March 2017
16 Next Review Date:
17 Policy Code:
Note: Vision statement was amended following approval by Corporation July 2018.