What is self-assessment?

Self-assessment is arguably the most powerful means to understand and improve its educational performance. Self-assessment is a systematic process of data-driven self-reflection. It is directed towards coherent and clearly articulated goals to inform decision-making and operational practices.

The following proposal to start activities for better quality within your VET organisation aims at reviewing and adapting the PDCA cycle to your own staff. While the PDCA cycle starts with planning activities, which logically is obvious, the proposal here is to start with an assessment phase, since tackling specific problems and finding solutions for them is more likely to attract people’s attention and stimulate their engagement.

Proposals of the EQAVET recommendation

The EQAVET recommendation suggests NRPs in Member States ‘support self-evaluation as a complementary and effective means of quality assurance’. Another equally important proposal is to promote communication and create awareness among teachers, trainers and other stakeholders of existence of critical aspects within the organisation, thus generating and stimulating the need for change and improvement.

Handbook for VET providers

Supporting internal quality management and quality culture


Self-assessment is to ensure that your VET organisation identifies its strengths and areas for improvement, derives from this an improvement plan and develops and implements specific activities, thereby increasing its quality.

There is no single approach to self-assessment, which could be applied successfully to every institution. The most formal systems for external accreditation provide guidelines for self-assessment and in several European Member States not only is it a legal obligation for VET institutions to undertake

self-assessment regularly, but national authorities also provide guidelines and criteria on how to do it.

The final aim of self-assessment is to develop a long-term QMS and a sustainable culture of quality in your VET institution. Repeating selfassessment again and again allows you to measure continuously progress you have made, compare current with previous performance and provide for consistent quality development.

Conducting self-assessment in your VET institution

Self-assessment allows you to pursue various objectives, but its effects should not be exaggerated. The two foremost objectives should be to promote awareness of problems, deficits, etc., and internal communication and views exchange on what should be done. Initiation of change and improvement can be expected only as a result of this process. Before starting self-assessment three preconditions must be met, otherwise the process will not make any sense:

(a) the senior management team must support and direct the project with inner conviction and personal engagement;

(b) resources for carrying out the process must be justified and available;

(c) resources to implement improvements must be earmarked.

A four-phase process is recommended for implementation of a first selfassessment passage, which should later be repeated in appropriate cycles. Starting your activities to improve quality.  The four-phase self-assessment process is implemented through the following series :

  • Phase I: planning self-assessment

In the kick-off phase you will plan how to organise and communicate the envisaged self-assessment in your organisation.

  • Phase II: implementing self-assessment
  • Phase III: change and improve

Contributing to improvement of quality is one of the main objectives of selfassessment efforts and it is also the means to promote further strategic development of the VET institution.

  • Phase IV: ensuring continuous quality development

The final phase builds on self-assessment but goes beyond it since its main objectives are to create informed professionalism for quality within your organisation and develop towards a quality culture.

You can generate and gather a large amount of data. Analysing and making sense of this data enables better decision-making. Good self-assessment is only possible when a range of people in the organisation are involved, e.g. teachers, non-teaching staff, students and other stakeholders such as employers.

Self-assessment enables a tertiary education organisation to find out:

  • what outcomes, learners are achieving and how well
  • the value of the outcomes to stakeholders including learners
  • the effectiveness of processes in contributing to these outcomes.


We recommend Judit Lannert education researcher's lecture to everyone because it gives a perfect overview of the topic. If you want to analyze the quality of education, its levels and "actors" if you want to know more about the Research and research results, it is important to follow this lecture.

The conclusions of the presentation: there are several factors effecting the performance of the performance of the school, of the students: the size of the classes, the quality of school management, spending per students,  etc. BUT the most significant factor the le is the quality of teaching staff.