In 2019, we made a commitment to review our approach to quality assuring education programmes. Our long established processes have been place for over a decade, so this was an ideal opportunity for us to consider the fundamentals which have served us well, and to be open to the areas in which we should change and improve.
The timing was also right as the environment in which we operate is significantly different to that which existed when we were first established: the delivery of education continues to change at pace, technology supports new ways of engaging and sharing information, and importantly, the expectations of our stakeholders have changed over time.
Working in collaboration
In developing our proposed quality assurance model, we aimed to create an environment of co-production with stakeholders. To achieve this, we established a dedicated working group with membership from across the four nations, made up of Deans of Allied Health and professional body representatives. We have also engaged with our partners, our employees and our Education and Training Committee periodically throughout this work to date.
On 11 June, we presented proposals to our Education and Training Committee. At the meeting, the Committee approved the model, and to agree to implementing it, firstly through a series of pilots. With that milestone achieved, we are now pushing forward to translate our concept into a proven method of quality assurance delivery.
Aims and objectives
We intend to be flexible, intelligent and data-led in our quality assurance of institutions and programmes. We view achieving this aim as an enabler for further investment, rather than a conclusion in and of itself. This aim should be mean we are strategically positioned to continue to develop the way we work beyond 2021. We will achieve this aim by:
- Embedding flexibility with our processes to promote bespoke and proportionate engagement with education providers,
- Utilising organisation and programme level perspectives to make our assessment of regulatory risks and issues more effective, and
- Use data and intelligence to enable more effective risk-based decision making.
- We will be piloting our new approach for six months from January 2021
- For the remainder of 2020 we will be preparing to deliver the pilot, including identifying education provider for pilot activities
- We plan to roll out the approach for the start of the 2021-22 academic year
The pilot methodology will allow us to refine our approach in real time based on a variety of feedback mechanisms. We have also built in scope to extend the pilot for a further three months if necessary, to allow for further refinement.
At its heart, we believe this approach will improve our ability to fulfil our core mission of public protection, through more effective quality assurance of the training delivered for our future registrants.