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QAA briefing seminar 15 Jan 08

Seminar details:

  • 15 Jan 08, organised by QAA, held at Aston Lakeside, reps from 10 HEIs with Audits in Autumn 08/Spring 09, various QAA Assistant Directors
  • Warwick attendees: Karen O'Brien, Jenny Bradfield, Julian Moss
  • chance for us to meet the QAA Ass. Director coordinating our Audit: Gillian King

On the Briefing Paper:

  • be careful to avoid repetition
  • relatively little flexibility in structure - make it easy for the Audit team to contruct their report
  • talk to the AD about structure of Briefing Paper
  • to an extent the Briefing Paper is a signpost to policies, procedures, regulations, evidence of why we do what we do etc
  • electronic docs are fine - provided we provide 6 PCs for the Audit
  • random ideas: how much use might we make of diagrams or powerpoint pictuers? might we use colour to help Audit team find their way round? Coloured blobs in the margin?

On evidence of policy development:

  • It may well not be in committee minutes, which is fine; it is likely that evidence of the policy debate/consideration of options may be in committee papers. If not, the Audit team will look for evidence in their meetings/discussions with colleagues.
  • Recommendations and Commendations in the final report *must* be backed by evidence.

On meetings during Audit:

The meetings are intended to be high-value, so we should field colleagues who can cover a number of bases (head of dept, member of Senate, UCU rep, personal tutor, admissions tutor etc)

On post-TQI information requirements:

Remember the Cooke Report requirements

On the student submission:

  • Should talk to our AD (Gillian King) about the overlap/change-over of the SU sabbatical officers; may be a better idea to have this year's sabbs write the Student Written Submission in the main, and then have the new Sabbs finalise it/sign it off.
  • Note: AD will prob want to meet SU people during prelim mtg
  • Tim Samson may be allowed to attend Audit meetings with SU sabbs

On Audit trails:

  • Opportunity to propose extra ones - but no expectation [so don't!]
  • Opportunity to discuss choice with AD
  • no Audit trails in areas which are subject to Ofsted, GMC or GDC inspection [but that wouldn't necessarily rule out PGT/PGR provision in WMS]

On visits

BRIEFING VISIT: team understand what we say we do
day 1: team work along
day 2: meeting with VC [alone] ~90 mins; meeting with "senior layer": c.8 of us, ~90 mins; meeting with ~8 students, ~90 mins
day 3: discuss programme for Audit visit, audit trails, further documentation required etc

AUDIT VISIT: team test whether what we say we do works or not
prob. maximum of 5 meetings
4 days of meetings
day 5: AD joins Audit Team to agree judgements and key findings

During the Audit:

Should be good opportunity for us to discuss with Audit secretary what Audit team are looking for and identify relevant evidence.

Other tasks:

JDM to do this one soon-ish: Check WMG-HKPU Briefing Paper/commentary - was there anything in there which was superfluous?

JDM to do this one soon: Prepare info sheet for collab partners

TQ to do this one Easter vacation and beyond: Gather whole year's committee agendas, minutes and papers electronically

On student representation in Audit:

  • QAA are committed to exploring the feasability of greater student involvement in the audit process
  • six Audits in Spring 2008 will have a student observer as part of this investigation