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Self-assessment and QIP are clearly crucial to better inspection outcomes. At Equip, we can review and validate your Self-Assessment Reports and Quality Improvement Plans. A few tips to ensure that your QIPs do what they should do – deliver improvement.

The self-assessment and QIP can be, and should be, the key driver for improving the quality of any organisation. Unfortunately, organisations often have so many goals that they might as well have none at all, and workers are tugged in so many directions that they often feel utterly directionless. Those companies that do not fall into this trap base their improvement plans on the principles first used by the microchip giant Intel in the 1970s: define and work to a small number of OKRs – objectives and key results. At regular intervals throughout the year, managers check that these OKRs will be achieved.

So how should we apply these principles to College Quality Improvement Plans?

Firstly, make sure that your objective is the real thing that you are trying to improve. For example, the objective toimprove initial assessment’ may really be an action behind the real objective of ‘improving retention’. The objectives should be those weaknesses identified in the Self-Assessment Report. Ask yourself why you are doing something and that will most often bring you to the real objective. Why are we improving Initial Assessment? Because we are finding that weak initial assessment is a contributory factor behind the real weakness identified in the SAR – poor retention.

Secondly, when you have your real objective (keep asking ‘why are we doing this’ until you can’t provide another answer – then you have arrived at your real objective), clearly define your Key Results. In this case, ‘Improve retention on Level 2 courses to 92%’ for example.

Thirdly, track and monitor progress in-year in reaching the Key Result (92% retention) and NOT on completing the action. It is important to make sure that actions are completed but the focus should be on the IMPACT of these actions, i.e. are we going to achieve the 92% retention target?

Finally, get everyone on board with the QIP and review it regularly with your teams.

Happy QIPing !

You may also like my blog Teaching and learning in the Further Education and Skills sector: Ten tips for teachers and assessors

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