Monitoring and Authentication
Quality Assurance Services Unit
The term "quality assurance" within the education and training sectors is used to describe the processes that seek to ensure that the learning environment reaches an acceptable threshold of quality. Quality assurance is also used to describe the enhancement of education and training provision and the standards attained by participants. Consequently, quality assurance in an education and training context focuses on ensuring:
a) The education, training and related services delivered by a provider of education or training are fit for their professed purpose
b) There is trust in the integrity and value of the qualifications awarded or recognised
c) There is a net contribution of the education and training provision to the common good
d) There is accountability, openness and transparency
e) The standards of awards are appropriate
Quality assurance comprises of administrative and procedural activities implemented in a quality system so that requirements and goals for education or training service will be fulfilled. To facilitate the effectiveness of quality assurance a series of measures are systematically employed such as standard comparison, monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that facilitates error prevention.
SOLAS as an approved Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Co-ordinating Provider is required to have a quality assurance system in place that addresses the issues of data collection, curricula development, tutor training and support services. SOLAS is committed to ensuring its responsibilities as a Co-ordinating Provider are in adherence with QQI requirements and the SOLAS Collaborating Providers are in compliance with the SOLAS quality assurance systems. In this regard SOLAS has established a dedicated Quality Assurance Services (QAS) Unit.
SOLAS Quality Assurance Services Unit
The purpose of the QAS Unit is to operate and manage a systematic monitoring service that validates the effectiveness of the SOLAS quality assurance systems for pre-2016 apprenticeship programmes and CSCS and QSCS programmes. The objective of systematically monitoring is to provide public confidence in SOLAS programmes by ensuring quality assurance safeguards are being adhered to by both SOLAS and its assigned Collaborating Provider networks. Monitoring also promotes the concepts of best practices and continuous improvements as areas needing improvement or correction are identified and addressed.
The QAS Unit is committed to employing a consistency of approach and equity of treatment in the operation of monitoring activities. All monitoring activities are independent, transparent and traceable, while monitoring outcomes and determinations are evidence based.
The QAS Unit ensures all quality assurance monitoring activities are conducted by trained, competent and experienced SOLAS authorised monitors. SOLAS authorised monitors exercise their professional judgment when engaging in monitoring activities and will balance the need for consistent monitoring with the flexibility needed to respond to the uniqueness of each circumstance.