Does your Training Provider Quality Assure its Training?
Some educational institutions have adopted Quality Management
Systems to improve quality, or perhaps to improve their
ability to market themselves. This type of approach is most common in
vocational education institutions. Accreditation is an important mechanism of quality assurance within education. institutions have to be accredited by the appropriate body and it reassures workplaces and learners that the provider is at least meeting certain standards of quality. The message has been made clear over the last while; don’t train with providers who aren’t accredited. This is however, not enough for genuine quality assurance.
In addition to accreditation from Umalusi, a SETA or Higher Department of Education, we should ask if our Training Provider quality assures its own training. This self-monitoring should be a continuous practice. It should review quality to ensure the learner receives the very best. A combination of external and internal monitoring of quality is ideal for all Training Providers to implement. The information gathered from the monitoring process incorporates recommendations, remedial action and other general information that contributes directly to the improvement of quality.
The summative assessment i.e. at the end of a training programme, is important but it’s also not enough. It is at too late a stage to assess the effectiveness of the training. This is especially true for programmes such as ABET/AET which are relatively lengthy and comprehensive. Allowing learners to write final examinations for example, without having monitored the progress and the quality of the programme, may just set them up to fail. The summative assessment is vital to for exit level competencies, but it’s crucial that there is monitoring during and throughout the training programme, long before the final assessment.
Objectivity and Statistics Gathered
Internal monitoring must include the highest possible degree of objectivity. The quality assurers could include independent contractors or suchlike and information from internal monitoring must be professional and developmental in its nature. Analysis of statistical information is important in facilitating the identification of problems and trends in the programme as a whole. An example of such an analysis might be the reasons for absenteeism, or failure to complete a specific outcome in the recommended time allocation. This in-depth information is vital for the Programme’s success. In addition, it the problem is addressed this can prevent problems escalating beyond repair.
Quality Assurance by Triple E Training
According to Paula Whitaker of Triple E Training, many providers do not take self-evaluation seriously enough. She says, “Monitoring the training process is essential to making the training meaningful and keeping it on track. The most effective training programmes all have a built-in monitoring system.”
Triple E Training’s Quality Assurance is not elaborate or scientific. It needs to “talk” to the outcomes of the training, and therefore it looks at the qualities of the facilitators, the progress of the learners and the Programme, the standard of learning materials and the learner’s well-being. And it is used consistently. The more consistent the monitoring, the more meaningful the information will be. Monitoring training allows Triple E Training to reconcile what was planned for training and what was achieved. Quality Assurances gives Triple E Training the reassurance that the facilitators and project managers are in the very least:
- Planning Well
- Managing the Programme
- Inspiring the learners
- Encouraging Self-improvements in Facilitators and Learners.
So make sure that your Training Provider Quality Assures its Training
Training Providers should complete self-evaluations regularly and indeed report these to workplaces. It is in fact the perfect way to ensure the clients know that quality is monitored and value is indeed added to the learning event. If you’re the client, you should insist on it.
Quality Assurance in Education, Issues in Education Policy, Number 5
Stephanie Matseleng Allais: Centre for Education Policy Development