The Quality Assurance office is primarily responsible for quality assurance matters in FHEC as an agency (internal) and Higher Education Institutes (HEI) (external) in Fiji. The quality assurance processes is evidence based approach that ensures goals are being achieved and that policies and practices are under on-going review as part of an overall continuous improvement and quality enhancement. The FHEC is a member of APQN and internal practices are benchmarked to the INQAAHE GGP and APQN criteria. As part of quality development and ensure continuous improvement in service delivery, this section is also responsible for SEA and FBEA initiative using Malcolm Baldrige Framework.
The Quality Assurance unit is a unit within the FHEC structure, upholding QA systems and standards and with its measuring role cuts through all the secretariat FHEC sections, sub sections, Commission, Council, Commission Sub Committees, HEIs and selected stakeholders to ensure quality management and minimum standards is not compromised at any level of operation with assured outcomes, high and consistent productivity. For this, it is evident in the FHEC structure that whilst all the other units/sections/parties are directly under the Commission, the QA unit runs parallel along the operation lines from the Commission to the line of individual staff and level. Assuming this additional autonomous role, the QA unit ensures that all operations business within FHEC must be accompanied with some or full independency and autonomy for decision making in terms of hiring of external consultants, CBT assessors, EER evaluators, programme evaluators, recognition and registration committees, Fiji Qualifications Council, ISACs for the development of NQs to name a few. The QA unit also ensure that while the internal systems follow strict QA guideline at the backhand of operations, the Commission must also be quality assured through external QA agencies. For this, QA unit ensures that a mandatory cyclical external review of the FHEC’s activities is carried out at least once every five years.
The assurance of quality higher education delivered at Fiji institutions aligned to the Fiji Qualifications Framework and with accredited programmes through the efficient management of the institutional and programme accreditation with robust quality assurance processes with linkages to the industries in Fiji and abroad.
Excellence in quality assurances for FHEC as an agency and Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) for development needs of the society through engagement in dynamic knowledge creation, application, accountability and sustainability.
To ensure that FHEC and HEIs tasks are carried out efficiently, with stability and high quality in accordance with goals and guidelines and a culture of continuous quality improvement is encouraged at all levels.
The Quality Assurance office in providing culture of continuous quality improvement has the following main objectives:
- Develop and implement internal quality policy for FHEC and policy guidelines for HEIs.
- Planning activity for systematic review process of an educational institution and programs to determine standards of education, scholarship, and infrastructure are met, maintained, enhanced and ensuring that students are offered learning opportunities of an acceptable quality.
- To monitor and ensure that performances processes in all aspects of the HEIs functions are appropriate and relevant.
- To encourage self-assessment both internally and externally as a tool for process improvement.
- Conduct awareness workshop on quality assurance and external evaluation reviews for all recognized and registered HEIs.
- Develop guidelines for the External Evaluation and Review (EER) of HEI’s.
- Provide support and training on systems, processes, or documentation changes to the staff or HEIs level, as required.
- Liaise with Industry Standards Advisor Committees (ISACs) to assure HEC processes for the appointment, training and registration of assessors and moderators, and to ensure the sustainability of HEC assessment and moderation procedures.
- Deliver on-going training and ‘refresher’ programmes for assessors and moderator.
- Contribute to the maintenance of relationships and communications with key stakeholders: industries; professional bodies; relevant sections of Government; employer and employee organizations, and provider institutions, on matters involving quality assurance of standards and qualifications.
- Contribute to accreditation & review of qualifications, monitoring of national tests and moderation of assessment outcomes.
POLICIES ON QUALITY ASSURANCE
The intent of this policy is to ensure that the FHEC makes visible its quality management system that is required to realize its objective to enhance quality higher education and training for sustainable development and a knowledge-based society.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework to have in place a system for ensuring that quality outcomes are achieved and continuous quality improvement takes place in all higher education institutions. For higher education institutions, quality relates to how well learners actually achieve and the extent to which that achievement meets both their needs and those of the wide range of groups and individuals that have an interest in the outcomes of higher education in Fiji. This will ensure that higher education institutions have the competency to establish an appropriate academic environment for the planning, development, delivery, assessment and continuous review of programmes meeting their objectives and standards.