We were reading the article in FE Week with Paul Joyce (Deputy Director FE & Skills) with some interest as the Common Inspection Framework 2015 has now been in use for a couple of months and already there are certain themes that are appearing.
Quality Assurance Frameworks
Quality assurance frameworks are incredibly useful. A framework is the foundations from which to build your quality assurance activities. When a house is built the most important part of the project is to get the foundations in place and to make sure they are solid. It is the same with quality assurance and it is why frameworks, be that OfSTED, Awarding bodies, Prevent Agenda, Matrix etc, are so helpful. They provide the foundations from which to build quality assurance.
Stedfast Quality Assurance
We developed Stedfast for this very reason. We wanted a way to take a number of different frameworks and provide the platform for quality assurance activities. It was important to have a means to self-assess, reflect and think about delivery. By being able to analyse performance against a range of quality assurance frameworks a foundation can be built.
We also developed Stedfast so that there was engagement from staff. Again, using the house build as an example, it is important that everyone involved with a construction project knows about the foundations before they contribute to their speciality. Laying the foundations of a house involves more than one person and it is the same with quality assurance.
Quality Improvement Planning
Quality improvement is the result of the findings from any self-assessment. Once the strengths and areas for improvement have been identified then they need to be translated in actions. We built this feature in Stedfast in such a way that there is one overarching quality improvement plan. Why should the QIP just be a result of the OfSTED Self Assessment Report? Aren’t action from Matrix or the Prevent Guidance or Investors in People equally important?
The central quality improvement plan is a way that organisations can see and monitor all of their quality actions. How many times are improvement plans written, distributed and then forgotten about until there is a mad panic before an impending visit?
We are constantly developing Stedfast to provide support in other areas of the quality assurance process and are always keen to hear from organisations that would like to see specific areas of QA. Please feel free to contact us if you have any.