In October 2007 the “Austrian Reference Point for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training” was newly established at the OeAD – as a National Reference Point in the EU network EQAVET and as a “hotbed of development” and support structure for the then still young quality management (QM) system of schools of vocational education and training – QIBB.
Under the name ARQA-VET we, a small team, have since developed, tested and implemented a number of important cornerstones, concepts and tools together with the Ministry of Education for the 700 schools of vocational education and training: A peer review procedure (on a voluntary basis) for QIBB, two further education courses for those responsible for QM (the QUALI-QIBB courses were offered for six years with and at university colleges of teacher education), an analysis tool for quality culture at schools (Q-KULT), and most recently we have developed and introduced IFB online, a tool for obtaining individual feedback that no longer only focuses on vocational education and training but for the first time on all 5,700 schools in Austria.
The change of name to “Reference Point for Quality Assurance in General and Vocational Education and Training” (OeAD | RQE) on 1 January 2021 also signals the transition to a new phase, which we have been working towards since 2018. In the course of the education reform legislation of 2017 and the changed governance structure in the education system it was determined that the two QM systems of general education (SQA) and vocational education and training (QIBB) would be further developed into a new joint QM system. Since then we have been significantly involved in all development work, we can already show the first implementations, and the new quality management system for schools, QMS, will shortly replace the two established QM systems at the beginning of the school year 2021/22 (see www.qms.at).
We were in the development team for the new quality framework for schools, which came into force at the beginning of 2021, we assisted in the development and implementation of siQe (internal school quality assessment), we lead the editorial team of the new QMS website and we have taken the lead in developing a QMS-specific in-service training and further education programme with the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) and the university colleges of teacher education, which has just been piloted.
As it says on qms.at’s homepage: Quality sets an example at schools!
Author: Franz Gramlinger