Exploring experiences of the re-accreditation process: a case study
Over the last decade ‘Quality’ and ‘Quality assurance’ in education have become global issues. To ensure students are provided with high quality education, educational institutions around the world have been focusing on the design and implementation of quality assurance systems. The development of national systems of quality assurance in many countries, including New Zealand, has sometimes created confusion and controversy. The conflicting perspectives of different groups, mainly governments, academic staff and administrators, and the significant voices of students, employers, and the general public, contributed to this confusion and controversy. Although each is committed to quality, their perspectives of quality differ. This study set out to explore the perceptions of the senior academic staff and administrators on the quality assurance system and the related institutional processes within the New Zealand College of Chiropractic. The study examined the participants’ understanding of the term quality and the significance of quality assurance measurements and outcomes. It explored how quality might be improved, and to what extent staff members’ involvement was required to enhance continuous quality improvement. Face-to-face interviews were used in this study to investigate the perceptions of the participants within the institution of institutional processes. Participants’ reflections on past experiences of recent self assessments and of external inspection team visits were sought and their individual perceptions on how institutional processes can be enhanced were explored. Common themes across the participants were drawn from the data collected from the interviews. The intent of this study was to explore how senior members’ experiences and perspectives of the re-accreditation processes might contribute to enhancing how institutional processes be maintained or improved through quality assurance processes? The findings are tentative as this was an exploratory study.