The Quality Audit Network (QAN) has published a study Trends in quality audits. The paper, written by Dietlinde Kastelliz (AQ Austria) and Orla Lynch (QQI, Ireland), looks at recent, current and forthcoming trends in the work of QAN member agencies in the audit space. It covers the period 2013-2020.
The study reveals a trend towards the replacement of programme evaluation methodologies with institution-level audits. The main drivers for changes were and will be national legislation and a widening of the scope of the quality audit in accordance with the wider missions of higher education institutions and the concomitant changes to agency methodologies that will be required. New approaches to site visits and (self-evaluation) reports are being tested. The context-sensitivity of audits is increasing and this impacts both the scope and the methodology.
QAN was established as an informal group of audit-oriented external quality assurance agencies within ENQA. The term “audit” is defined by the network as any procedure that has the quality assurance system at the institution-level as its subject matter, regardless of whether this procedure is called institutional audit, quality audit, institutional review, institutional evaluation, institutional accreditation or is described by comparable terms.