Quality

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The OCE operates a quality assurance process as outlined in it’s Internal Quality Assurance Policy document (IQAP). The IQAP expresses the OCE’s commitment to the cultivation of the utmost in quality and standards, and lays out a framework for quality assurance across the following domains;

Admissions
Review of Programmes and Delivery Methods
Assessment
Individual and Departmental Responsibilities
Evaluating Quality Assurance
Student Feedback
Student Achievements
Complaints Procedure
Redress and Appeals

Please click the links for a summary of the IQAP content respective to that domain.


Admissions

This section refers to admissions to OCE programmes delivered by the OCE itself (OCE programmes delivered by other institutions are subject to the admissions policies of the other institution). The OCE strives for fairness, clarity and consistency where entry requirements are concerned. Promotional materials shall provide accurate and relevant information about courses in order to enable the prospective student to make an informed decision.

The admissions process shall be fully documented, and readily accessible to applicants and their agents/advisers. Upon successful admission, the OCE is committed to the efficient and effective integration of the entrants as students.

In the case of unsuccessful application the OCE is committed to the provision of feedback to the applicant and their agents/advisers. The applicant retains his/her right to appeal as per the redress and appeals procedure set out in the IQAP.


Review of Programmes and Delivery Methods

To compliment the learning outcomes set out by EHFA guidelines where applicable, the OCE is committed to maintaining relevance and validity in all its programmes. To deliver programmes that are of the highest quality and relevant to the local and European contexts, the OCE maintains communication with leading industry employers. This process is conducted on an ongoing basis and all data obtained is used to generate an annual report presented to the Principal.


Assessment

Assessment practices must first and foremost promote effective learning and be conducted in pursuit of the three core values of fairness, validity and consistency. They are designed to effectively measure students’ achievement of the specific learning outcomes around which the relevant programme is built.

The OCE maintains transparent and fair mechanisms for marking, with all criteria and requirements clearly set out and made available to students as soon as possible upon commencing their studies and preparing for assessment. The competence of assessors to undertake their roles and responsibilities effectively is crucial, and facilitated by staff training and continuing professional development. Existing staff members are committed to ongoing professional development via the advancement of academic qualifications and the attendance at conferences and seminars to which access is granted. The OCE maintains its trans-institutional relations in part to ensure such access.

The learning outcomes assessed are intended to define the knowledge, skills and competences of the learner in line with the appropriate level descriptors as set out by the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).

Assessment decisions are recorded and documented accurately, and decisions communicated as soon as possible to the student concerned. Students retain their right to redress and appeal.


Individual and Departmental Responsibilities

The management oversees the learning, teaching and assessment policies and procedures of the College, ensuring they are adhered to. It’s responsibilities include general academic planning, management and development of programmes, monitoring the assessment process as outlined in this document, and managing appeals and complaints.

The management is committed to the selection and recruitment of only highly-skilled staff. These staff members are to be made fully aware of all the policies of the College. It is the responsibility of tutors and assessors to provide assistance, support and guidance to the students, and to maintain accurate records regarding student performance.


Evaluating Quality Assurance

The OCE is committed to the actual achievement of quality assurance in practice, and therefore adopts a system of self-evaluation conducted using the following mechanisms;

– External audit reports
– College-wide student progress
– Feedback from students
– Feedback from former students
– Feedback from employers
– Feedback from other VET institutions


Student Feedback

The OCE acknowledges students as the prime benefactors of it’s VET programmes, and therefore considers them one of the most valuable sources of useful data regarding delivery and quality. Students are briefed about their importance in this process at the commencement of their studies, and invited to produce qualitative data regarding all aspects of the OCE student experience in the way of reports, essays, or interviews. This line of enquiry is intended to include data that is programme-specific, as well as that relating to the operation of the OCE in general.

A course delivery questionnaire is issued to all students prior to final assessment in order to obtain quantitative data regarding the level of quality experienced throughout the delivery phase of the specific programme in question, and experiences related to the OCE in general.


Student Achievements

The OCE maintains a student database in which essential personal and contact information is stored. The grades and acheivements of students is included in their personal database entry in fields that allow easy cross-referencing and query generation.

The data is updated with each graduation from the OCE, and a student achievements report generated annually. The report is intended to identify the performance of the College and it’s students as a whole, identifying trends that may warrant the modification or review of various management policies.


Complaints Procedure

Foreseen issues that may lead to complaints require specific procedures for the successful pursuit of amicable agreements. Such issues may include alleged discrimination or unprofessional practice, or dissatisfaction with facilities or services.

The complainant first and foremost raises the grievance with or about a member of staff.or management with a view to an informal resolution. Wherever possible, such greivances should be resolved informally between the parties directly involved. If this is not possible, the student must put their grievance in writing and post it by registered mail to the Principal of the OCE, whereby the Principal shall seek to resolve the issue within 30 days.

The three core values of fairness, clarity and consistency for the basis of OCE strategy for dealing with and resolving complaints. Before the expiration of 30 days the Principal will present an official reply to the complainant by registered mail.


Redress and Appeals

In cases whereby students are not satisfied with the decisions taken by the OCE in the areas of admission or assesment, they retain their right to redress. Students may exercise this right by undergoing the process of appeal.

The process must first and foremost be well documented and recorded in detail for the purposes of referral or audit. To begin the process, the student is invited to submit, in writing, their appeal together with any supporting evidence if applicable. The written appeal shall be addressed to the Principal of the OCE.

The Appeals Panel shall be convened. It is made up of the College Principal, the tutor/assessor or other member of staff most directly involved in the appeal where applicable, and an independent panel member representing any educational organisation with which the OCE exercises official trans-institutional relations, for the provision of an impartial opinion.

The student shall be invited to meet with the Appeals Panel to further present their case. The panel shall reach a decision within ten working days of this meeting, and inform the student accordingly. All decisions reached by the panel are final. If the student is still unsatisfied, they reserve their rights to all other avenues of redress via orgnisations not affiliated or in concert with the OCE.