Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/2.4 QUT Quality and Standards Framework

Contact Officer

Director, Planning and Budget, Finance and Resource Planning

Approval Date

11/10/2017

Approval Authority

Council

Date of Next Review

30/09/2020

2.4.1 Purpose
2.4.2 Application
2.4.3 Roles and responsibilities
2.4.4 Quality principles

2.4.5 Quality improvement cycle
2.4.6 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

2.4.1 Purpose

QUT’s Quality and Standards Framework is intended to guide quality assurance activities, promote continuous improvement and ensure alignment or compliance with relevant external standards, including Australian higher education standards. By utilising the quality principles along with the Quality Improvement Cycle of Approach, Deployment, Results, Improvement (ADRI), QUT’s approach to quality aims to support sustainable organisational development, establish good practices and achieve the University’s goals and priorities articulated in the QUT Blueprint.

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2.4.2 Application

This policy applies to all quality assurance, continuous improvement and compliance activities undertaken by the University and encompasses all areas of University activity, including:

  • corporate and academic governance
  • University management
  • student participation, learning and support
  • environments for learning and teaching, and research
  • learning and teaching
  • research and research training
  • representation, external engagement and reputation management
  • information and communications management.

2.4.3 Roles and responsibilities

Quality assurance, improvement and compliance with higher education standards is the responsibility of all stakeholders within the University and all policies and procedures of the University contribute wholly, or in part, to quality and regulatory requirements. The high level roles and responsibilities for quality assurances activities are provided in the following table, including the governance arrangements for the reporting of quality initiatives.

Position
Responsibility

Council

  • provides corporate governance to all of QUT’s quality assurance, improvement and compliance activities.  Council approves the Quality and Standards Framework policy

University Academic Board

  • provides academic governance to all of QUT's quality assurance, improvement and compliance activities
Other University committees
  • provide advice, as required, to Council and University Academic Board, in relation to relevant QUT quality assurance, improvement and compliance activities
Vice-Chancellor
  • accountable to Council for quality assurance, improvement and compliance with higher education standards across all aspects of the University’s management and operations
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • responsible for quality assurance, improvement and compliance with relevant higher education standards relating to academic governance, including oversight of learning and teaching, and research and research training quality activities
  • is the primary responsible officer (A/1.3.4) for compliance with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act 2011 (Cwth)
Deputy Vice-Chancellors
  • responsible for quality assurance, improvement and compliance with relevant higher education standards relating to specific areas of their portfolios, including:  learning and teaching, and student support and success; research, research training and innovation; international education and development; and information and communications technology
University Registrar
  • responsible for quality assurance, improvement and compliance with relevant higher education standards relating to corporate governance, and where activities relate to specific areas of the University Registrar's portfolio
Executive Director, Finance and Resource Planning
  • responsible for quality assurance, improvement and compliance with relevant higher education standards relating to financial management and specific areas of the Executive Director's portfolio
Executive Deans and Executive Directors of Research Institutes
  • responsible for leading the approach to quality assurance and improvement activities, as well as ensuring compliance with relevant higher education standards, within their organisational areas
Heads of School, Directors and Managers
  • responsible for implementing the University's quality system, quality assurance, continuous improvement and compliance with relevant higher education standards, within the School, organisational unit/s or University-wide functional areas that they lead
QUT community
  • responsible for contributing to quality assurance and continuous improvement at QUT, including implementing the University’s quality system and compliance with higher education standards as they relate to their respective area/s of operation

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2.4.4 Quality principles

The following quality principles along with the Quality Improvement Cycle form QUT’s Quality and Standards Framework for quality assurance, improvement and compliance with higher education standards.

a) Leadership and Governance

Ensuring activities are led by the senior officer/s with the highest level of responsibility and are governed by Council and its committees, in order to provide strategic oversight of quality and compliance activities.

b) Strategy and Planning

Aligning initiatives with the University’s intent, goals and priorities as articulated in Blueprint 5 and supporting strategic statements for education and research.

c) Evidence-Based

Using evidence-based practice and utilising qualitative information and quantitative data to identify improvement opportunities, monitor impact and evaluate the effectiveness of quality initiatives.

d) External Reference Points

Using external reference points and higher education sector benchmarks to inform the development and review of plans, policies, procedures, practices and new initiatives.

e) Collaborative Partnerships

Embracing a collaborative and inclusive approach where the University community and partners’ participation and feedback informs all phases of the Quality Improvement Cycle.

f) Customers and Partners

Actively engaging with the University community, and external clients and partners to ensure that initiatives reflect their needs and that University services are designed with the end-users in mind, as well as providing timely support and accurate information to staff and students relevant to their current or future studies, research and other engagement activities.

g) People and Culture

Supporting all staff and students in the pursuit of quality and maintenance of standards to create a culture of continuous improvement across the University that is embedded in everyday practices.

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2.4.5 Quality improvement cycle

QUT uses the Approach, Deployment, Results, Improvement (ADRI) Quality Improvement Cycle to provide a systematic and structured method to continually improve current performance, refine changes and provide insight to future success.

Approach (A)
The Approach dimension relates to the intent of the improvement activity and requires planning or designing the approach by:

  • clarifying the purpose or intent
  • developing a plan
  • understanding the needs of key stakeholders
  • setting goals and predicting outcomes - the achievement of the University’s goals and priorities
  • ensuring the approach aligns with the QUT Blueprint 5 and supporting strategic statements
  • designing strategies, structures and processes to meet the outcomes and to track progress
  • identifying measures of success
  • adopting an evidence-based approach.

Deployment (D)
The Deployment dimension relates to bringing the plan and resources into effective action by:

  • prioritising the potential area/s for improvement
  • implementing the plan
  • collecting additional evidence and information
  • communicating with staff, students and other stakeholders
  • reporting on progress
  • integrating with current practices, where possible.

Results (R)
The Results dimension focuses on completing the analysis, monitoring and evaluating the outcomes by:

  • analysing the trends developed as part of the Approach
  • measuring the effectiveness of the Approach and its Deployment by monitoring the impact of the Results against the goals, predictions and measures of success
  • making adjustments based on the Results and best-known or benchmarked performance.

Improvement (I)
The Improvement dimension focuses on identifying opportunities and areas for continuous improvement by:

  • evaluating each of the A-D-R dimensions to bring about improvements
  • examining the processes used to review and improve the activity
  • reviewing and adapting the Approach and its Deployment to achieve improvements to the Results.

The “Related documents” section provides a list of internal and external sources that can be accessed to support use of the ADRI Quality Improvement Cycle.

Quality Improvement Cycle - Approach, Deployment, Results, Improvement

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2.4.6 Definitions

Quality assurance is defined as the activities and management processes used to ensure that the services and quality of higher education provision meet the University’s goals and priorities and the requirements of the sector, including complying with quality-related standards.

Quality improvement is described as the activities and management processes in place to systematically and continuously improve the provision of higher education.

Higher education standards refer to the Higher Education Standards (HES) Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 established by TEQSA under the TEQSA Act 2011 and any other codified quality-related standards applicable to Australian universities.

Deputy Vice-Chancellors are members of QUT’s Executive Team and include the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Library Services).

Executive Deans are members of QUT’s Executive Team and include the Executive Dean of the QUT Business School, Executive Dean of the Creative Industries Faculty, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law and Executive Dean of the Science and Engineering Faculty.

Executive Directors of Research Institutes are members of QUT’s Executive Team and include the Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and Executive Director of Institute for Future Environments.

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Related Documents

MOPP A/1.1 QUT Governance Framework

MOPP A/1.3 Compliance

MOPP A/2.2 University planning framework

MOPP A/2.3 Corporate Reviews Framework

MOPP A/2.5 Risk management

MOPP Appendix 3 – Schedule of Authorities and Delegations

QUT Planning and Budget (QUT staff access only)

QUT’s compliance program and Register of compliance obligations (QUT staff access only)

QUT Blueprint 5

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

Australian Business Excellence Framework

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (National Health and Medical Research Council)

Australian Organisation for Quality – Queensland

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
11.10.17 All Council Policy simplified and updated to include TEQSA references and new HES Standards
24.08.11 All Council Periodic review - Policy revised
20.10.10 All Council Policy reviewed and modified in response to the renewal of the Blueprint, rationalisation of the top-level plans and changes to the Planning framework (A/2.2)
10.12.08 All Council Revised QUT Quality Framework (endorsed by Planning and Resources Committee 05.11.08 and Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 09.10.08)
07.07.04 All Planning and Resources Committee Revised QUT Quality Framework (replaces former Appendix 37 Quality Management System) (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 24.06.04 and University Academic Board 25.06.04)

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