What is Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance is anything that a provider does to maintain, improve and ensure the quality of the learner experience and its outcomes for the learner, while policies and procedures are the documented approach to achieving this. Quality assurance policies and procedures operate at all levels, and provide guidance to management and staff on how to approach their work.
There is a new regulatory and legal context to quality assurance including the enhanced corporate role for City of Dublin ETB. Previously City of Dublin ETB colleges and services were providers in their own right and had quality assurance (QA) agreements directly with the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC), which preceded QQI.
In 2012, FETAC was taken into the Qualification and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland (QQI) along with other previous statutory bodies. QQI is an awarding body but also the external quality assurance agency for all education and training providers in Ireland including City of Dublin ETB.
City of Dublin ETB was established under The Education and Training Boards Act 2013. Following ministerial approval, the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee was officially dissolved as of 1st July 2013 and the City of Dublin Education and Training Board was officially established. City of Dublin ETB is the statutory and primary provider of programmes of Further Education and Training (FET) in Dublin City.
In 2014, Regularisation of Arrangements Agreements were signed between all ETBs and QQI. City of Dublin ETB took on the provider role and responsibility for previous college and service QA agreements and must move towards a more ‘unified system’ of QA. This required City of Dublin ETB to move from the 22 legacy QA agreements to four consolidated QA procedures governing four services Adult Education Service and Education Service to Prisons, Colleges of Further Education, Youthreach and Training Centres.