Monitoring is an external quality assurance (QA) process of evaluation and analysis of providers' QA activities, which supports public confidence in education and training. It is an external QA process that involves both routine and once-off evaluations, analyses, observations and recording of provider activities.
The QQI Policy on Monitoring was approved in December 2014 and outlines the overarching organisational approach that QQI will take to monitoring the qualifications and QA landscape.
Providers are ultimately responsible for the quality of their provision, the implementation and evaluation of their own QA procedures and on-going enhancement.
The policy sets out three types of monitoring:
1. Provider Self-monitoring
This type of monitoring is a shared responsibility between providers and QQI. Self-evaluation and reporting on QA by providers (as per their agreed/notified procedures) is a key element of QQI monitoring.
Statutory engagements between a provider and QQI as set out in the provider’s lifecycle of engagements may generate conditions, recommendations and other actions for follow-up. Providers will internally review and follow-up on these (self-monitor) and then report on them to QQI. In this way providers will demonstrate the effective implementation and enhancement of their QA procedures. This will also help QQI to provide public information on the quality of programmes and the standards of QQI awards.
Failure on the part of a provider to internally monitor, and report accordingly, may lead to intervention by QQI, as a result of a cause for concern.
2. Routine Information Provision
Providers are obliged to routinely provide information to QQI on self-monitoring and follow up reports, system and sectoral instruments, as well as relevant information and statistical data and information about incidents or risk factors which impact on learners.
The specific information provision requirements of providers will be explained in the provider’s lifecycle of engagements. If a provider fails to provide routine information to QQI, that may be considered a cause for concern.
3. Causes for Concern
QQI may become aware of causes of concern about a provider. In such instances, QQI will seek to establish the details of the concern, investigate fully protecting the confidentiality of the sources and engage with the provider to ensure the issue(s) are addressed appropriately.
Consequences of Monitoring
The outcomes of all QQI monitoring activities may be published, including the provider’s response.
Follow-up actions and outcomes arising from monitoring will depend on the circumstances and the relationship between QQI and the provider and its activity.
It is expected that monitoring will, in general, result in positive and enhancement oriented actions by providers and QQI, arising from provider self-monitoring. QQI expects that monitoring will contribute to the dissemination of effective practice throughout Irish education and training.
For more details of each type of monitoring see the policy.