Courses and programmes are reviewed at the end-of-course evaluation at centre level. Such reviews provide an opportunity to review assessment loads, assessment methods, and other aspects of course delivery, and where necessary amend these based on learner and staff feedback. These reviews also provide an opportunity for new module options to be identified.
If a required module is not on the programme descriptor, a request can currently be made to the QA Officer under our Programme Delivery Development Validation Policy and it may be possible to have it included to the programme under the 20% rule. The QA Development Officer screens it, and if suitable, forwards it to the Programme Approval for approval. No programme review plan is in place at this time.
Where an evaluation identifies that there are issues with a validated module this is reported to the QA Officer. In the case of a minor issues or mistakes this can be corrected quickly and a new version of the programme descriptor reissued. Where a major issue is identified or changes requested, the requested module changes are circulated for consultation, and finally approved by the QA Steering Group.
Where minor issues are identified with an AIS, these are corrected by the TSOs. A review of AISs is currently being undertaken by ETBI.
Learner feedback is an essential element to the life cycle of a course within WWETB. Feedback is sought for most courses through mid-term and end-of-term evaluations, and the information gathered can be used to address issues arising throughout the course, and informs future iterations of the course. In addition, learners can raise any concerns or feedback they may have with either the course teacher or course coordinator at any time between the formal feedback opportunities. Currently there is no process to review learner feedback at ETB-level on a systematic basis.
Internal Verification, External Authentication and Results Approval Panel Review
All centres delivering QQI assessments operate Internal Verification/External Authentication (IV/EA) processes, and have Results Approval Panels (RAPs) which review the results of the Assessment, IV/EA processes, and address any issues which may have arisen in the course of the assessment process.
Common IV, EA and RAP guidelines and templates exist for the FET programmes. Training centres and their second providers are still using the documentation developed for the TQAS. All EA reports for QQI certification (other than from the training centres) are sent to the QA Officer who reviews the findings and discusses them at the RAP meetings.
Collated findings from the EA Reports and RAP meetings is an identified areas for improvement and plans are in place to produce collate findings for feedback to centre and EAs in 2018. This process will also allow us to develop a set of common guidelines for use by External Authenticators and a guide to common EA queries that arise.
WWETB has recently completing an Executive Self-Evaluation which was a review and analysis of the current Quality Assurance procedures, practices and policies operating in its Further Education and Training services.
The Terms of Reference for the Executive Self-Evaluation (ESE) process were agreed nationally between the Directors of Further Education and Training and QQI.
The initial step in the Executive Self Evaluation process was the completion of a Governance and Quality Management Questionnaire by the Director of FET. While focusing mainly on the governance structures and requirements associated with the Quality Assurance structures in place and required by the ETB, the information provided by this questionnaire, and the detailed feedback received from the external consultant Dr Trish O’Brien, provided the foundation for an initial meeting with Dr Trish O’Brien to review her report. This initial meeting and the findings of this report were used to inform the governance section of this the Executive Self Evaluation Report
This Evaluation Report sets out, at an overview level, the current arrangements in place within WWETB. It is an “as is” description of the existing situation, with areas for development and improvement identified and listed for further consideration in the Quality Improvement Plan.
As outlined in the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012, each ETB is obliged to carry out a Statutory External Review of Quality Assurance. A draft time for this review has been agreed and WWETB plan to carry out this review in the second half of 2019 and early 2020.