Quality

UTAS Quality Management Framework

A quality management framework in a complex organisation such as a university describes an integrated approach to strategic goal setting, planning, budgeting and management across the whole institution. It is the overall policy and procedural framework within which quality outcomes are pursued and maintained in every aspect of UTAS' activities.

The UTAS Quality Management Framework was developed by the Quality Committee. Central to this framework are the Quality Management Governance Level Principle and Quality Management Policy. These two documents were approved by Council in December 2010, having been endorsed by the Quality Committee, Planning and Resources Committee and Academic Senate.

The Quality Management Framework was developed to address three core issues.

  1. The new national higher education regulatory system, centring on the creation of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) will progressively impose greater compliance and reporting standards on higher education institutions. A new focus on standards (across all areas of activity, not simply teaching and learning) will be a key element of this, requiring institutions to put in place arrangements to allow them to demonstrate compliance with internally and externally generating performance criteria. The Quality Management Framework is an important foundation for such arrangements.
  2. Integration between UTAS and the AMC means that the combined UTAS has a need and an opportunity to reflect on the quality arrangements inherited from the predecessor institutions and to draw on the experience and expertise of both to build a more comprehensive and systematic approach than was previously available.
  3. A Quality Management Framework ensures all organisational units and their activities meet organisational goals, achieve best practice processes and procedures, and attain excellence in outcomes. The UTAS Quality Management Framework not only furnishes the University with the tools to lift standards and perform at the highest levels, but also supplies the means to demonstrate to all stakeholders that it has done so.

The principles for quality management at UTAS are set out in the Quality Management Framework (Governance Level Principle 13). These are that quality management should be:

  • Aligned with and responsive to national and state legislative and regulatory requirements.
  • Aligned with University strategic objectives.
  • Student and stakeholder focused.
  • Based on a commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Systematic and internally consistent.
  • Applied across all activities and organisational units.
  • Underpinned by sound leadership and constancy of purpose.
  • Based on an ethos of subsidiarity, or devolved responsibility, with all staff expected to participate.
  • Predicated on evidence-based decision making.
  • Based on mutually beneficial relationships with partners.
  • Aligned with UTAS environmental, social, cultural and economic goals.
  • Resourced for success.
  • Reliant on all staff having access to professional development in quality assurance processes.

The Governance Level Principle and Quality Management Policy (PDF 164 KB) also explain the structure of the UTAS Quality Management Framework and specify how this framework operates. At UTAS, the Quality Management Framework:

  • Ensures that we satisfy the needs and expectations of students and other stakeholders.
  • Guarantees that we meet or exceed threshold or minimum requirements in all areas (regulatory, academic and administrative).
  • Achieves our aspiration to excellence in all that we do.
  • Embodies our commitment to reflective practice and continuous improvement.
  • Is a whole-of-institution framework that links strategic direction setting, planning and quality.
  • Is driven by the Mission, Vision, Values and Goals laid down in the Strategic Plan.
  • Reflects the nested hierarchy of organisational levels from the Council, through the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Management Team and Academic Senate, to Faculties, University Institutes and Divisions, to Schools and other subsidiary units and on to individual academic and general staff.
  • Further reflects the two-way nature of effective quality management influence from Council to individual staff member and from individual staff member to Council (that is, both top-down and bottom up).
  • Involves the alignment of all functional, organisational unit and individual staff member plans with the University Strategic Plan.
  • Is underpinned by a University-wide governance and policy framework of ordinances, rules, governance level principles, policies and procedures, supported by local level procedures, guidelines and work instructions.
  • Is further supported by performance management and professional development programs.
  • Emphasises the two essential and fundamentally intertwined dimensions of planning for quality and improving quality.

To be compliant with the UTAS Governance Level Principle and Quality Management Policy, each administrative and academic organisational unit develops and maintains local processes that meet the relevant principles and provisions, while whole-of-organisation requirements remain the responsibility of the Council, the Senior Management Team and the Academic Senate. The Provost has overall operational responsibility for quality at UTAS.

The following articles are available to explain key aspects of the development and implementation of the UTAS Quality Management Framework: