Presentation on theme: "The quality contract: Experts and agency rules Panel presentation at ENQA/NOKUT Workshop on Assessing educational quality: Knowledge production and the."— Presentation transcript:
The quality contract: Experts and agency rules Panel presentation at ENQA/NOKUT Workshop on Assessing educational quality: Knowledge production and the role of experts Oslo February 2008 Christian Thune
February 2008 Christian Thune 2 My background: Former agency head responsible for recruiting and applying experts according to agency rules and procedures Present QA expert aiming to achieve freedom of operation and expression And with a drafting responsibility for the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance
February 2008 Christian Thune 3 Why regulation of experts? The need for consistency and comparability of reviews If the balloon goes up the agency is the target - not the experts Experts, but not necessarily in quality assurance methodology and processes Experts may lack feeling of co-ownership with standards or criteria defined by agency Experts sometimes with a conservative bias towards institutions or programmes Experts as potential loose cannons (idiosyncrasies, hobby horses, tunnel vision) Experts with limitations in understanding their role Conflicts of interests
February 2008 Christian Thune 4 The European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance Insistence that the experts undertaking the external quality assurance activity have appropriate skills and are competent to perform their tasks The exercise of care in the selection of experts The provision of appropriate briefing and training for experts The use of international experts Participation of students
February 2008 Christian Thune 5 Models of regulation of experts Large quality assurance system: UK (QAA) Panel members recruited (mostly) from universities Comprehensive formal training into corpses of assessors QAA staff member in the panel and with responsibility for drafting of the report Code of standards for experts
February 2008 Christian Thune 6 Models of regulation of experts Small quality assurance system: DK (EVA) Ad hoc appointment within a broader expert concept Regulation through Formal contract Terms of reference for reviews Elaborate manuals for site visits Agency ownership of the drafting of report Clear division of labour in the process
February 2008 Christian Thune 7 Further points for consideration What advantages are there respectively with focus on primarily training of experts (UK) or formal regulation (DK)? Is it basically an issue about, who owns the words? Could the panel chair have a key role as the agencys ally and not merely the representative of the panel What role does the fee play? If there is regulation sanctions should be possible, but which? And finally: Given that the clear majority of experts fulfil all expectations for a qualified contribution, how heavy a regulation system does an agency need to regulate a minority?