What Is Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance is a rigorous, systematic, objective, impartial, expert-based examination, evaluation and self-evaluation of how effectively a university/faculty/department/school/program is working, as part of the ongoing pursuit of higher levels of achievement and quality in the university, for action planning and continuous improvement.
Quality here is defined as excellence, reliability and consistency fitness for purpose, fitness of purpose, conformance to specifications, meeting objectives, meeting stakeholders'needs and requirements. Quality enhancement is the act of taking planned steps to bring about continuous improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the learning experiences of students.
Quality assurance is based on the principle that every aspect of the work of the faculty/department/school/university can be improved continuously and that evaluation and self-evaluation, both internal and external, are ongoing practices that serve that improvement. It is constructive and formative (rather than solely judgemental and summative), is evaluative as well as descriptive, and is evidence-based and data-driven, with evidence drawn from a wide range of referenced sources.
Quality assurance is a collaborative exercise, and one of its benefits is a consensus on goals, objectives and intended outcomes, such that there is a common benchmark set of criteria for planning and evaluating the work of the university/faculty/department/school/program. In working towards consensus, staff are involved in examining best practice in their own and others'work.