Quality assurance approaches
|Learning and Teaching in Practice|
|Module 3: Teaching context and learning design|
|Quality assurance||Introduction | Tertiary education in NZ | The qualifications framework | Quality assurance approaches | Quality assurance in education | Summary|
Two different approaches are commonly used for quality assurance. These are known as the compliance model and the continuous improvement model. The PDSA cycle fits into the latter model.
The compliance model
In general, the compliance model involves:
- A written system of policies and procedures (a quality management system) which tightly defines how organisation functions should take place
- Regular checks on compliance - ie that activities have closely followed the policies and procedures. These checks (often called audits) often take place annually.
- A system of reporting on compliance - e.g. in the minutes of meetings.
Who's responsible? generally, those in management roles monitor compliance with written policies which include procedures and processes for reporting on quality assurance.
The continuous improvement model
As its name suggests, this model focuses on ongoing review of quality and development of improvements. The model was originally developed by Dr Deming and based on the work of his mentor, Walter Shewhart (The W. Edwards Deming Institute, 2016).
Who's responsible? in general, all staff work collaboratively on quality improvement through regular meetings ('quality circles') to discuss issues and changes needs for improvement.
The PDSA cycle shows a continuous improvement process involving four stages:
- Plan: a plan is developed
- Do: the plan is implemented
- Study: information is gathered on the implementation and its effectiveness reviewed
- Act: changes are identified from the information gathered.
Note that the cycle is an endless loop!
The W. Edwards Deming Institute. (2016). PDSA Cycle. (2016). The W. Edwards Deming Institute. Retrieved from https://deming.org/management-system/pdsacycle