Quality & Procedure Policy
Management of Quality
The term “quality assurance” is used to describe the processes that seek to ensure that the learning environment reaches an acceptable threshold of quality. UNESCO defines quality assurance (QA) as “an ongoing continuous process of evaluating (assessing, monitoring, guaranteeing, maintaining and improving) the quality of an education system, institution or program.” We are committed to providing high quality programmes, supports and services which, at a minimum meet, and if possible, exceeds learner needs and expectations, the requirements of QQI and standards of best practice. In order to achieve this, we are continually working to improve programmes, processes, and supports though the implementation of a responsive QA system. The assurance of quality is the responsibility of all governance units, management, staff and tutors, with overall responsibility residing with the Board of Directors. Our QA system spans corporate domains (e.g., governance, health and safety, equality and diversity, data protection) and academic domains including programme development, monitoring, admissions, teaching, learning and assessment. The system is set out simply and comprehensively in a QA manual and a suite of supporting documents.
Aims of the QA System
- Identify and promote best practice.
- Enhance the learner experience.
- Help to standardise practice.
- Demonstrated compliance with QQI’s guidelines.
- Demonstrate commitment to ongoing quality enhancement.
- Identify gaps in quality.
- Supports staff development.
- Facilitates communications within TEAM LM.
- Help to ensure regulatory and legislative compliance.
- Protect the integrity of programmes leading to awards on the NFQ.
Scope of the QA System
Our QA system is designed as a comprehensive, integrated system which supports and assures quality provision and is underpinned by the following pieces of legislation.
- The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) ACT 2012
- Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) 2019
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018
- Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
- Employment Equality Acts 1998–2015
- Equal Status Acts 2000-2015
It is designed to meet the requirements set out in the following QQI guidelines.
- Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines published by QQI (April 2016).
- Sector Specific Quality Assurance Guidelines – Independent/Private.
- QQI Quality Assuring Assessment Guidelines for Providers Revised 2013.
Our QA manual is structured to be coherent with the sections in the Core Guidelines to help to ensure and demonstrate compliance. It is formatted to match the chapter headings set in Section 2 of the Core Statutory Quality Assurance (QA) Guidelines developed by QQI for use by all Providers.
- Governance and the Management of Quality.
- Documented Approach to Quality Assurance.
- Programmes of Education and Training.
- Staff Recruitment, Management & Development.
- Teaching and Learning.
- Learner Support.
- Assessment of Learners.
- Information and Data Management.
- Public Information and Communication.
- Self-Evaluation, Monitoring and Review.
The QA system applies to all who work with or on behalf of TEAM LM in the delivery of training including members of staff and tutors, and to the learners. It also applies to those who are responsible for governance and to those who have direct responsibility for assuring quality.
Our legal, financial and quality advisors guide and update us on changes and amendments to relevant legislation around health and safety, equality, revenue, employment and data protection and regulations.
Programmes of Education and Training
TEAM LM strives to provide training that will raise the knowledge level and competence of staff working with hazardous products, animal remedies and pesticides to comply with national and EU legislation. In order to achieve this, we work in conjunction with stakeholders to develop programmes to meet identified learner needs. We deliver these programmes in a healthy and safe environment using appropriate methods. To facilitate continuous improvement, we review programmes regularly.
Staff Recruitment, Management & Development
Quality is achieved by recruiting, developing, and resourcing a team of staff and tutors who have appropriate expertise and competencies, a strong sense of purpose, are learner-focused and are appropriately supported and managed. We seek to employ skilled and qualified staff who work with learners in a supportive, collaborative manner and are responsive to their learning needs and concerns. Tutors must have relevant practical industry and training experience. We facilitate a supportive environment for staff and tutors that allows them to carry out their work effectively and enhances the teaching and learning environment. We ensure that all applicants for positions are treated fairly and with respect and are chosen on the basis of their ability to do job for which they have applied. We facilitate a work environment that promotes dignity and respect for all; staff, tutors, learners and stakeholders.
Teaching and Learning
We aim to create a learning environment that supports and facilitates the professional development of learners. We provide a positive, empowering, inclusive environment that enables learners to achieve the best possible outcomes that adds value to their work for them and their employers. Our pedagogy is learner-focused and based on a range of learning methodologies to suit a range of adult learner styles. Our tutors use an appropriate mix of teaching methodologies and styles to suit learners varying learning styles. Our tutors encourage peer-to-peer learning, discussion and group sessions in a facilitated classroom environment. Our approach to teaching and learning focuses on empowering the learners to take responsibility for their own learning based on sound principles of adult learning. We identify the diverse needs of learners at the application and induction stages, and we address each request for reasonable accommodation of a case-by-case basis. We have a procedure in place for facilitating diversity and providing reasonable accommodation.
Assessment of Learners
The assessment system in place is: –
- Understood fully by learners and all members of the programme team.
- Designed with the learners and the programme needs in mind.
- Secure and consistent in implementation.
- Valid for the purpose of certification by QQI.
- Fair in terms of access and process.
- Underpinned by procedures and practices that are fair and transparent.
- Internally verified as consistent across all assessment activities and assessment results recorded accurately.
- Externally authenticated as consistent with national standards.
- Consistent with QQI assessment policy and designed to meet the following QQI guidelines;
- Quality Assuring Assessment, Guidelines for Providers, Revised 2013.
- FETAC Guidelines for Internal Verification.
- Quality Assuring Assessment Guidelines for External Authenticators.
- QBS Quick Guide for Certification V1.
- QQI Key Dates and Information – Awards and Certification (published annually).
Supports for Learners
In keeping with our aim of providing learner-centred training, we provide a range of supports for learners designed to help them succeed and benefit from their learning. We are committed to equality of access and attainment and recognise the value of diversity and aim to treat each person equitably, respectfully, and with integrity. We aim to provide training which is accessible to learners with additional or diverse needs applicants insofar as this is possible and practicable.
We regard the data we generate and hold as an important resource and a key asset that we must manage and secure effectively in order to ensure that TEAM LM operates to a high standard, and we deliver quality programmes. Reliable information and verifiable data support and facilitate informed decision-making and helps us identify what we are doing well and where there are gaps. Staff and contractors who are responsible for data collection, storage, security, maintenance, dissemination, and data quality must do so in a systematic, planned, and secure way. Maintaining the quality of this data is crucial so that internal and external decision-makers have confidence and trust in the decisions they make.
Public Information and Communication
Effective communication is defined as communication between two or more persons in which the intended message is:
- Properly encoded.
- Delivered through appropriate channel/s.
- Received, properly decoded and understood by the recipient.
Principles of Effective Communication
- Effective communication builds trust and drives engagement.
- Effective communication is less about talking and more about listening.
- Effective communication is timely and responsive.
- Effective communications are objective, up to date, easily accessible and designed with the audience in mind.
We are committed to providing bespoke information to staff, tutors, learners, clients, QQI and other stakeholders and to seek feedback from them about our programmes. We aim to ensure that our communications are of a high standard. We intend to create an environment of trust, mutual respect and transparency. Our policy is to guarantee that the information we publish in any format is compliant with the terms of Section 67 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 QQI which requires provider institutions to specify:
- Details of the award.
- Name of the awarding body.
- Title of the award.
- Whether the award is recognised within the National Framework of Qualifications.
- Level of recognition.
- Whether the award is a Major, Minor, Special Purpose or Supplemental.
- If completion of a programme does not entitle the learner to an award.
- Statement of the procedures for access, transfer and progression which apply to the programme.
- Self-Evaluation, Monitoring and Review
We are committed to continually monitoring and evaluating our programme offered, the further education and training landscape and the marketplace for our programmes in order to ensure high quality programmes and to identify opportunities for development and improvement. Ongoing monitoring and regular review and evaluation are essential to ensure that we are meeting the requirements of learners, staff, tutors, other stakeholders and QQI and that our programmes are updated for regulatory and legislative updates and changes. Our review and evaluation processes facilitate continuous change and improvement, help us to identify best practice and stay abreast of developments that impact on our programmes. To ensure effective and thorough self-evaluation and monitoring we take the views of all stakeholders; learners, graduates, staff, tutors, employers, QQI, external authenticators and governance units into account and regard them as central to the processes. We also involve independent experts who contribute to objective and independent evaluation and bring an external perspective.