As we enter a new year it is always a good time to reflect on the quality assurance of our courses and programmes. To accommodate this we have released a new feature in Stedfast that allows organisations to use outcomes as a basis for their quality assurance.
How outcomes-based quality assurance works
Excellent education and training providers will already use some form of outcomes to manage their delivery and quality assurance. Outcomes or objectives are added to strategic planning documents. If providers don’t have strategic planning documents, they will likely fall foul during an OfSTED inspection. Strategic planning documents will help set out the vision and plans for the organisation, and the objectives and outcomes will set out the targets that need to be achieved.
The problem is that these documents, like many others created by education and training providers, are isolated and not aligned to the quality or compliance frameworks they are working to.
What do we mean?
If you are subject to an OfSTED inspection, your key quality and compliance driver should be the Common Inspection Framework. Organisations will use this as the basis for their self-assessment report and quality improvement plan. The problem is this, like other documents, is often written in isolation – it is a stand-alone document that might refer to other planning documents but is not aligned.
The new outcomes feature in Stedfast allows organisations to create their strategic planning documents and then develop outcomes set which set out the objectives and outcomes that need to be achieved. These outcomes are then mapped to quality and compliance frameworks such as the Common Inspection Framework. The result is that organisations can effectively track which CIF judgments have been covered in other strategies.
Setting up outcomes-based quality assurance
This is very simple in Stedfast. The system administrator is able to create an outcome set. They then identify objectives and outcomes which apply to the strategy. Each outcome can also have a specific target added to it. Each outcome can also be mapped to another outcome set or top-level framework, such as the Common Inspection Framework.
The actual strategic document can then be created in Stedfast with the outcome set attached. Organisations can then view the main framework and see which outcomes are mapped to it.
What about reviewing the strategy?
Of course, it is then important to review the strategy and use Stedfast this can be done as a collaborative process. Those reviewing the strategy can comment on and score each outcome and objective. If they choose to do so, they can also identify strengths and areas for improvement that can be added to the organisation’s development plan.