We were reading the article in FE Week with Paul Joyce (Deputy Director FE & Skills) with some interest as the Common Inspection Framework 2015 has been in use for a couple of months, and certain themes are already appearing.
Quality Assurance Frameworks
Quality assurance frameworks are incredibly useful. A framework is a foundation from which to build your quality assurance activities. When a house is built the most important part of the project is to get the foundations in place and ensure they are solid. It is the same with quality assurance, which is why frameworks like OfSTED, Awarding bodies, Prevent Agenda, Matrix etc., are so helpful. They provide the foundations from which to build quality assurance.
Stedfast Quality Assurance
We developed Stedfast for this very reason. We wanted a way to take a number of different frameworks and provide a platform for quality assurance activities. It was important to have the means to self-assess, reflect and think about delivery. By being able to analyse performance against a range of quality assurance frameworks, a foundation can be built.
We also developed Stedfast so that there was engagement from staff. Again, using the house build as an example, everyone involved in a construction project must know about the foundations before contributing to their speciality. Laying the foundations of a house involves more than one person, and it is the same with quality assurance.
Quality Improvement Planning
Quality improvement is the result of the findings from any self-assessment. Once the strengths and areas for improvement have been identified, they need to be translated into actions. We built this feature in Stedfast to have one overarching quality improvement plan. Why should the QIP just result from the OfSTED Self Assessment Report? Aren’t actions from Matrix or the Prevent Guidance or Investors in People equally important?
The central quality improvement plan is a way that organisations can see and monitor all of their quality actions. How often are improvement plans written, distributed and then forgotten about until there is a mad panic before an impending visit?
We are constantly developing Stedfast to provide support in other areas of the quality assurance process. We are always keen to hear from organisations that want to see specific QA areas. Please feel free to contact us if you have any.