Quality management aims at providing a user and learner-orientated service and is core to any successful training providerís business and training intervention. In this article, Fransie Terblanche provides us with guidelines for compiling assessment instruments. As the learner is central in defining and assessing quality, this is a dynamic tool that can be adapted as needs change.
by Fransie Terblanche
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Fransie Terblanche is a Project Manager at Assessment College.
Fransie was involved in professional library and information education and training for more than 35 years. She chaired the Department of Information Science at Unisa for the last five years of her career at Unisa and retired at the end of May 2004.
For her Masters and Doctoral qualifications she did extensive research on professional development of staff, as well as on the use of human resources in organisations.
She read many papers at National and International conferences and represented Unisa at several subject-related and Education, Training and Development conferences and workshops internationally.
She is still involved in post-graduate research and supervision and training in her private capacity. Her special interests are strategic management, human resources management and development, project management, customer care and information and knowledge management.
She is a qualified Assessor and Moderator and is involved in assessments, moderations, alignment of learning programmes, designing of Quality Management Systems, accreditation of service providers, as well as the training of ETD practitioners.
Total Quality Management is an important core managerial instrument. Two models of quality management and assurance were identified in the literature. These are Total Quality Management (TMQ) and Conformance to Specifications (CTS). A third approach to quality is the ISO 9000 Standards, which supports the international “common language” for quality assurance worldwide. It is also used as an instrument for harmonising the application of policies and procedures in organisations.
Although an intellectual understanding of quality forms the basis of total quality management, it is only a basis or, figuratively speaking, the planting of a seed. For the seed of total quality management to germinate, the understanding of the necessity of quality in the organisation has to be transformed into a commitment to full participation by all employees on an ongoing basis. This happens through formulating policies, compiling procedures and designing applicable documentation and tools to implement the quality system, set by policies and procedures.
A relatively simple approach to implementing a quality system, that will support programme delivery and assessments, can be illustrated through the next steps:
Commitment to quality;
Compiling quality policies;
Setting up quality organisational and operational procedures;
Planning and designing for quality systems;
Monitoring and auditing operational quality;
Involving all employees in achieving quality performance;
Measuring costs of quality;
Ensuring continuous improvement.
Quality as such is a vital issue in the entire assessment practice. Quality management aims at providing a user and learner-orientated service and is core to any successful training provider’s business and training intervention. The above approach supports a quality assessment practice.
Practitioners in the learning and development field could use the following guide to attain the design of quality assessment instruments: