2.1 Dimensions of internal quality management

Even small VET institutions have a complex organisational structure and quality is generally produced in all parts of the institution, although some parts are more important for producing quality than others. Therefore, the first task is to distinguish between the less important and more important quality issues and focus on the particularly relevant areas for action. A typical list of quality areas including quality objectives and core tasks for quality management of a VET institution is in Box 4.


Box 4. Typical quality issues in a VET institution (see annex, Sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.30, 1.40 and 1.41)

  1. Manage the institution:
    1. involve all relevant stakeholders;
    2. improve quality of teaching and learning;
    3. adjust processes for prime service delivery.
  2. Develop the institution:
    1. agree on a vision and a mission statement;
    2. agree on quality objectives and targets.
  3. Lead the personnel of the institution:
    1. develop capacities of teachers, trainers and other staff.
  4. Aim for optimal management of resources.
  5. Develop cooperation and networking with external stakeholders.
  6. Create and develop facilities for educational supply.
  7. Observe, assess and analyse processes, results, outcomes and impacts.
  8. Strive for continuous improvement of quality.


Box 4 provides a first overview of the quality tasks to be fulfilled by VET institutions.

As teaching and learning are at the heart of quality, internal quality management of any VET institution has to focus its activities primarily on them. Figure 2 highlights the quality issues important for quality in teaching and learning.


Figure 2. Main areas for quality within a VET institution

Source: CEDEFOP.


Figure 2 refers first and foremost to delivery and continuous development of VET programmes and their main components: content of the curriculum, pedagogical methods applied and procedures to assess student performance.

The main part of the teaching and learning process is preceded by recruitment processes and professional orientation of interested students/ learners; downstream activities are conceived to support placement of students in employment or their transfer to further and higher education institutions, and to services for follow-up. In parallel to the teaching and learning process, many VET institutions offer counselling to provide additional support, in particular to migrants and socially-disadvantaged students/learners.

Management processes within the organisation aim to ensure an appropriate environment and optimal preconditions for teaching and learning. Among different management tasks, the most important for quality are promotion and further training of teachers and trainers, adequate facilities and equipment for smooth provision of teaching and training, and last but not least, efficient management of financial resources.

Quality management embraces both the teaching and learning process and organisational management of the VET institution, and a specific function or even a department is responsible for implementation and promotion of all quality-improving activities in these areas. In addition, quality management includes monitoring these activities, in other words assessment and evaluation of quality achievements, on which proposals for further improving quality of the VET institution are based.

A fully operational internal QMS covers several basic tasks or activities, applies a range of tools to assess and analyse, to illustrate and communicate plans and results achieved, and will use certain instruments to promote a quality culture within the VET institution and work in partnership with external stakeholders.



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2.1 Dimensions of internal quality management

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