The Quality Assurance Department (QAD) is a department of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) which operations are entwined with those of the Accreditation Department (AD) and, to some extent, with the operations of the Research Monitoring and Evaluation Department (RM&ED). The department, under the guidance of the Quality Assurance Committee(QAC), is involved in the development of various quality assurance instruments, guidelines and protocols for all pre-accreditation and post-accreditation quality assurance processes.
The pre-accreditation quality assurance activities of the department include the development of applicants’ self-evaluation instruments in the form of questionnaires, assessors guide, assessors reporting formats, applicants’ response formats, affiliation guidelines, accreditation and quality assurance standards etc. These are primarily, products of the work of the Quality Assurance Committee of the Commission facilitated by the Quality Assurance Department. The department initiates the discussions of these products through the development of working papers that are pre-approved by the Management of the Secretariat of the Commission. The pre-approved working papers are listed as agenda items for the consideration of the Committee which does further work on them and recommends them to the Commission for approval. The department, where necessary, engages the services of external consultants to draft some of these working papers. The design of the instruments and the development of standards are always guided by international best practice informed by research.
The instruments so produced are used for and guide the entire accreditation and post-accreditation quality assurance processes. The common post-accreditation quality assurance work of the department includes Academic Audit, Quality Monitoring, and Institutional Review. Sometimes, Investigative Visits and Verification Visits are also conducted.
While the academic audit exercises are purposely for checking institutions’ compliance with the minimum quality assurance standards for accreditation, the quality monitoring and institutional reviews have a supportive developmental goal that seeks to challenge institutions to pursue their vision and mission statements with a more positive quality culture attitude that embraces quality assurance as a way of life rather than an imposition. There is always an interplay of ideas over an institution’s fitness of purpose and fitness for purpose in such engagements. This challenges institutions to bet their golden coin on securing a place in the community of prestigious institutions of higher learning. This constitutes the pinnacle of attainment by the Commission.
The Quality Assurance Department is headed by a top official who reports to the Executive Secretary. The head is supported by a number of frontline staff who perform several important functions which together define what the department stands for quality assurance.