4.4 Process management

Smooth management of processes is crucial for quality-oriented VET institutions. Processes are defined as sets of interrelated or interacting activities repeated in time to deliver a service for students and other stakeholders of a VET provider by transforming input into output. Essentially, process management means that all activities performed regularly in an institution are implemented in a previously discussed, planned and controlled way, results are measured and evaluated and processes can be improved.

Design of a process management system starts with identification and definition of a VET provider’s core processes, critical to attainment of the organisation’s objectives and satisfaction of its customers (for example, see Figure 3 in Chapter 3). Next, interconnections and interactions between these processes should be mapped, to determine process boundaries and create a transparent and organised system of processes, resulting finally in elaboration of a process map for the whole VET institution (see annex, Section 1.33). The next step includes definition of individual process ownerships and determination of roles and responsibilities in maintaining and improving the relevant processes. Finally, establishment of a process management system includes designation of evaluation procedures for each process, comprising definition of performance criteria and indicators as well as appropriate instruments for measurement.


Box 31. Typology of processes in VET institutions

Core processes comprise a VET provider organisation’s main activities, from recruitment and enrolment of students to organisation of teaching and learning, and from assessment of performance and support for graduates to management of partnerships with external training sites.

Support processes are carried out to support the core processes and include, for example, recruitment of appropriate teachers and trainers, their further training, IT facilities and media support for teaching and learning.

Management processes are those that govern a VET provider organisation, and in relation to quality management they include strategic planning, resource allocation, setting objectives and targets, and distribution of roles and responsibilities.


It is important for quality of a VET organisation to review periodically its process map and introduce changes in both existing and new processes.


Box 32. Managing the core processes

Managing the core processes is crucial for creating a quality culture in VET providers. For this reason, institutions should focus on definition, management and improvement of their core processes – while support and management processes should play a role of strengthening the core processes.


Elaborated process descriptions ensure a standardised approach to activities performed in a VET institution as they allow control over who is doing what, why, when, where and how.

An elaborated process description should contain the following elements:

  1. name, purpose and objective of the process;

  2. name and position of the process owner;

  3. scope of the process: activities and operations covered;

  4. steps of the process: starting point, set of sequential steps, results;

  5. tasks to be performed at each step;

  6. persons responsible for execution of tasks in each step;

  7. indicators and instruments for measuring the process performance.

Far more than textual descriptions, graphical visualisations (such as flowcharts) help people to understand the processes, thus supporting operational performance of the organisation. Staff should be trained in how to define processes and write descriptions and understand and use existing process descriptions.



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4.4 Process management

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