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Quality Assurance: Conformance or the Pursuit of Excellence An Evaluation of the Implementation and Effectiveness of Quality Assurance in the Adult Literacy Service of the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee.

Duggan, Finbar (2007) Quality Assurance: Conformance or the Pursuit of Excellence An Evaluation of the Implementation and Effectiveness of Quality Assurance in the Adult Literacy Service of the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Over time quality assurance has developed from being a concept that was solely concerned with conformance to specifications and standards and has become a management philosophy that is concerned with the pursuit of excellence and enhancement of the quality of everything we do as part of an organization or enterprise.

In 2000, the National Adult Literacy Agency in conjunction with the Vocational Education sector and the Department of Education and Science piloted the Evolving Quality Framework to facilitate the development of quality assurance in adult basic education. The Evolving Quality Framework was implemented mostly in Literacy services of Vocational Education Committees and by 2003 it was being used by 6 out of ten Vocational Education Committees as a means of self evaluation of their literacy services.

Early in 2007 the Literacy Service of the City of Dublin VEC became an approved FETAC provider so that it could provide programmes in adult basic education that would lead to FETAC awards. This development required approval by FETAC of the Literacy services quality assurance procedures and a process of integrating the Evolving Quality Framework and FETAC quality assurance requirements commenced in each of the City of Dublin VEC's twelve adult literacy centres.

This evaluation was carried out by comparing the results of a research project in quality assurance in the literacy services with the fundamentals of an effective quality assurance system as set out by Richard Freeman in 1998. According to Freeman the 20 standards in IS0 9000 for industry are equally relevant in education.

The research problem is to establish if quality assurance in the literacy service complies with the fundamentals of an effective quality assurance system that could be applied to either industry or education. It was explored by using a combination of a self completion postal survey with some open ended qualitative questions, a focus group meeting and internal organizational documents as a source of data.

Analysis of the data indicates that many of the requirements that would be considered fundamental to an effective QA system were present but that large numbers of tutors were not fully involved in the process.

It would appear also that the process of amalgamating two QA processes is creating difficulties with communications and clarity of roles.

To avoid losing the significant benefits that the inclusive self evaluation aspects of Evolving Quality Framework brings to the adult literacy service, it is recommended that the identified difficulties be addressed before the FETAC QA system becomes embedded.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Total Quality Management
L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > Literacy
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Tim Lawless
Date Deposited: 12 May 2010 17:07
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2014 07:58
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/201

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