Section 4 of the Samoa Qualifications Act 2010 lists seventeen functions of the Authority which can be summarized as follows:
SQA is meeting these aims by setting a national SQA QUALITY STANDARD for PSET providers comprised of ten (10) elements as follows:
To ensure PSET are of Quality, the following QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCESSES are implemented:
The following flowchart summarises the process for the SQA evaluation of provider registration applications
Provider fills and sends Provider Listing Form to SQA
Provider Listing Form received, logged and acknowledged by SQA
SQA enters Provider details on Full Application for Registration Form
SQA sends Full Application for Registration to Provider
Provider completes the Full Registration Form with relevant evidence and submits to SQA
SQA Quality Assurance Officers visits the Providers Delivery site and Prepares Report
Report submitted to CEO SQA
Report sent to SQA Board
SQA Board decides and informs the Provider of Registration status
For Registration, PSET providers will need to complete or update Section E of the Registration Form. PSET provider registration with SQA should supply specific evidence of the establishment of quality systems. This may be achieved through the provision of a copy of the provider’s Quality Management System (QMS) to SQA. QMS documents are returned to the provider at the conclusion of the registration exercise.
Each application for provider registration should therefore consist of a copy of each of the following:
SQA sends reminding letters to PSET Providers of ARR with ARR Form
SQA sends reminding notices on media
PSET Provider submits complete application with relevant evidence to SQA and pays the appropriate ARR fee
ARR fee receipted and application logged and acknowledged by SQA
SQA Quality Assurance Officer assesses the application, conducts site visit if required and prepares report
Draft report moderated
Report submitted to CEO SQA
Report sent to SQA Board
SQA Board decides and informs the PSET Provider of ARR status
Reminder of Annual Registration Renewal (ARR)
The SQA sends letters reminding PSET providers of their ARR in October of the year before ARR is due. The letters are to be accompanied by the ARR Form.
Notices to remind PSET providers of ARR will also be aired and printed in the media during November of the year before ARR is due.
All PSET providers must fill in the ARR Form. It provides the provider’s contact details and an attestation of continuing to meet the criteria for registration as a PSET provider.
SQA completes information in all Sections of the ARR Form based on information provided during the initial registration and updates received. Providers are required to update information entered in the spaces provided.
Each criterion and requirement for Provider Registration is restated in the ARR Form to check that providers continue to meet criteria for Registration as a PSET provider. Each criterion/requirement must be attributed with either YES or NO in Section E. For criterion where the attribution is NO, providers must provide an explanation for the non-compliance and requires attaching an action plan towards meeting the criteria.
Providers must also indicate if there have been changes to the information submitted for initial registration and updates forwarded to the Samoa Qualifications Authority. Sufficient evidence that the changes meet the criteria for provider registration must accompany the application. The governing body from each PSET provider will be responsible in ensuring that the provider annual registration renewal form is correctly filled out and signed.
Organisation/Provider sends application to SQA
Application received, logged and acknowledged by SQA
QA Officer carries out preliminary evaluation and requests more information where necessary
CEO SQA appoints Accreditation Panel
Documents sent out to and evaluated by Accreditation Panel members individually
QA Officer collates Accreditation Panel comments
Panel meets and visits Provider and Report prepared
Draft Report moderated
Moderated Report sent to Panel Members for Endorsement, and then to Provider
Report finalised after Panel requirements have been met
CEO submits Report to SQA Board
SQA Board decides and CEO informs the Provider and Panel members
Applications for Programme Accreditation
Programme Accreditation applications lodged with SQA should provide specific evidence of quality systems working at the PSET provider’s Faculty/Department/Programme level within the area of the application. The focus of Programme Accreditation is on specific evidence of the quality systems of the provider in a defined area – not simply provision of documented systems at the broad organisational level.
However, in order that Panel Members may judge whether the provider’s quality systems are being implemented at the Departmental and Programme level, sufficient information must be available to them concerning the provider’s QMS as a whole. Thus each Panel Member needs to be provided with a copy of the full QMS. QMS documents are returned to the provider at the conclusion of the Programme Accreditation exercise.
Each application for Programme Accreditation should therefore consist of the appropriate number of copies (at least four) of:
In situations where the Provider already holds accreditation for the programme from an overseas agency, the Provider is invited to submit a copy of the latest accreditation or quality audit report from that Agency, as evidence that it is meeting one or more of SQA’s Programme Accreditation criteria. Sufficient evidence must be submitted for SQA requirements that are not covered by the overseas Agency’s Quality Standards.
SQA will advise the Provider if more than four copies are required
For example: South Pacific Association of Theological Schools (SPATS); South Pacific Association of Bible Schools (SPABS); International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
Provider submits their Assessment Plans to SQA
SQA approves assessment plans and develops the NEM Plan and Schedule
SQA informs Providers of NEM Plan and Schedule & Selection of Moderators
Panel Moderation is conducted (including Site Visits)
Moderation Panel submits Report and all forms (1-4) to SQA
SQA follows up issues in Moderation Reports with the relevant providers and requests feedback
Feedback is considered. If report is approved, go to step 11 otherwise, Round 2 starts
The two(2) types of Moderation:
(1) Internal Moderation:
This level of Moderation involves moderation of assessments within PSET Provider. It can occur among assessors at a single site, multiple sites or among provider’s registered workplace assessors. Internal Moderation helps to ensure consistency of assessment within organisations, over time and between assessors.
(2) External Moderation:
This level of Moderation takes a national perspective of how assessment decisions and approaches are consistent, fair and valid among assessors. This type is usually conducted by a Quality Assurance/Qualifications Agency and involves the contribution of PSET Providers and Assessors. External Moderation is intended to ensure that quality of assessment activities against NCS’s is consistent, fair and valid nationally.
The following flowchart summarises the porcess for the SQA evaluation of provider registration applications
SQA informs Provider of the pending quality audit
Provider conducts a self evaluation
Quality Audit Team Leader conducts pre-quality audit visit to Provider
Quality Audit plan confirmed; Documents submitted to SQA
Documents evaluated by Quality Audit Team
Quality Audit Team visit to Provider
Quality Audit Team drafts the Report; Provider comments; Report modified if appropriate
Final Draft Report sent to SQA Board via CEO
SQA Board decides and informs Provider and Audit Team members
SQA makes the final quality audit report available to the public
The SQA sends a letter to remind the PSET provider of the pending quality audit six months prior to the audit.
The SQA Quality Audit is based on the PSET provider’s self evaluation. Self evaluation is one of the basic principle of SQA’s quality assurance. The results provide the Quality Audit Team with core information needed for quality audit. It should be part of the PSET provider’s Quality Management System.
PSET providers should use the Quality Audit Self Evaluation Form
SQA Act 2010 Part IX Section 24 Sub-section 1) Authority to conduct quality audit states:
The Authority shall evaluate a provider’s effectiveness against the Authority’s quality standards and criteria and monitor that such provider continues to comply with prescribed standards and criteria.
The quality audit is a systematic and independent examination of an organisation’s processes, documents and records to confirm alignment with identified quality standards, and whether these activities are effective. It provides a snapshot of the PSET provider’s compliance with quality standards as demonstrated during registration and accreditation. The primary purpose of SQA quality audit are to:
It also examines the impact of compliance on creating value from learning experience and, utilization of qualifications for employability and sustainability. The outcome determines whether or not the registration and accreditation status of the PSET provider should continue (See Appendix A).
The SQA conducts quality audit of PSET providers in accordance to a five year Audit Cycle. The Quality Audit focuses on Elements of the SQA Quality Standards as determined by the Authority from time to time depending on risks areas identified in quality assurance reports.
The recognition of non-formal learning will raise capacity, capability, expectations and motivation essential for building and growing a productive and proactive society.
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