Quality Management Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 26 March 2013 and incorporates all amendments to 22 February 2016.

(2) The law governing quality management at the University includes:

  1. Statute 2.1 - The Council
  2. Statute 2.2 - The Academic Board
  3. Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic)
  4. Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011.

Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy sets out the University's approach to assuring the quality of its activities.

Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all activities of the University.

Section 4 - Policy

(5) The University aims for excellence and is committed to assuring the quality of all its activities.

(6) Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is:

  1. embedded in the University's planning processes
  2. supported by the University's policies and procedures and committee business schedules and action plans.

(7) The University's approach to CQI involves four stages:

  1. Plan - identify our goals and our approach to achieving them
  2. Implement - implement our approach to achieving our goals
  3. Review - measure and reflect on our performance against our goals
  4. Improve - identify performance gaps and improvement opportunities and adjust our approach as required.

(8) Each stage of CQI is carried out with reference to:

  1. the University's strategic plan
  2. the Higher Education Threshold Standards and other external requirements
  3. accepted good practice and external benchmarks
  4. stakeholder views
  5. assessments of risk.

(9) Key institutional mechanisms which are integrated into the University's CQI cycle are as follows:

  1. Plan
    1. The University's broad strategic directions are set out in the University's strategic plan which informs planning across the University at all levels.
  2. Implement
    1. Strategies and actions to achieve the goals in the strategic plan are outlined in:
      • the University's implementation plan and cascading plans for Executive portfolios, organisational areas and individual members of staff
      • committee annual business schedules and action plans.
    2. University policies and procedures provide a framework that supports the implementation of strategies and actions.
    3. The University implements compliance measures in accordance with the Risk and Compliance Management Policy and Compliance Management Procedure to ensure that strategies and actions to achieve its goals comply with legislative, regulatory and reporting obligations.
  3. Review
    1. Performance against the University's implementation plan is monitored and regular progress reports are provided to Council.
    2. Key performance data is monitored regularly by the Executive, committees and organisational areas to inform decision-making.
    3. Scheduled quality reviews of organisational areas and areas of activity are conducted and acted upon by the University in accordance with the Reviews Procedure.
    4. Internal audits and other audit activities are carried out in accordance with the Internal Audit Policy and Procedure.
    5. Reviews of risk assessments are conducted in accordance with the Risk and Compliance Management Policy and the Risk Management Procedure.
    6. Annual and five-yearly reviews of courses are conducted by faculties and institutes in accordance with the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review Procedure.
    7. Coursework units and teaching are evaluated regularly in accordance with the Evaluation of Teaching and Units Procedure.
    8. The performance of Strategic Research Centres with reference to agreed plans is reviewed three-yearly.
    9. The outcomes of institutional or thematic reviews conducted by external agencies (including the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) are monitored and inform the development of quality improvement action plans.
    10. Formal benchmarking projects are carried out in priority areas as considered appropriate.
  4. Improve
    1. The University's implementation plan and cascading implementation plans are revised annually with reference to the outcomes of review processes.
    2. Action plans to implement improvements identified through internal review activities are developed and progress is monitored in accordance with relevant procedures.

Responsibilities

(10) Quality management is the responsibility of all organisational areas and all staff.

(11) The Academic Board is responsible to University Council for providing quality assurance in respect of academic activities as specified in Statute 2.2 - The Academic Board.

(12) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education ensures that strategies and activities are in place to enhance quality management and ensure compliance with the requirements of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011 across the University.

(13) Responsibilities for managing other mechanisms for assuring and improving quality are included in relevant policies and procedures.

Section 5 - Procedure

(14) Refer to the Reviews Procedure.

Section 6 - Definitions

(15) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Benchmarking: comparison of processes or performance to best practice and performance of others in the higher education sector or elsewhere with the object of improving the University's processes and performance.
  2. Continuous quality improvement: ongoing review cycle designed to progressively improve processes, services or outcomes. Improvements are referenced to available standards, good practice and the University's own requirements to achieve its strategic goals.
  3. Quality assurance: application of processes to ensure that minimum expectations and standards of processes and outcomes are met (accountability) and to enhance their quality (improvement).
  4. Standard: a criterion or reference point against which quality can be judged.