One of the purposes of the INQAAHE Guidelines of Good Practice (GGP) is to provide criteria for use in the self and external evaluation of external quality assurance agencies (EQAs). The INQAAHE Board encourages the use of the Guidelines for this purpose.
Good practice in quality reviews requires independent administration of the review, including such aspects as identification of panel members, preparation of the site visit program and selection of interviewees. Thus, in the case of the review of an agency, these functions should be handled by an independent person or organisation, and not the agency itself.
Therefore, as a service to members, INQAAHE organises, on request, reviews of the operation of member agencies. The INQAAHE Secretariat assumes the practical responsibility for organising the review, ensuring good practice in the review process and selecting and briefing the members of the panel to be responsible for the review.
The INQAAHE Board decides whether the review is of a type that INQAAHE is capable of supporting. The INQAAHE Board takes the responsibility of ensuring a thorough review process.
The review starts when a QA agency submits a request for an external review to the INQAAHE Secretariat.
The INQAAHE Secretariat informs the INQAAHE Board about the submission and the Board will decide if the agency is eligible for a review. The INQAAHE Secretariat informs the applying agency about the outcome. If the outcome is positive the INQAAHE Secretariat will propose a time schedule for the review.
The applying agency has to pay INQAAHE 15,000 USD for the review. The fee is needed to cover the honoraria for panel members and the services of the INQAAHE Secretariat. In addition, the agency under review will pay for the travel, accommodation and meals of the panel.
The agency is responsible for the practical arrangements with respect to the review, including booking of and paying for travel and accommodation and organisation of the site visit based on instructions from the panel.
A contract between the agency and the INQAAHE Secretariat will be signed to stipulate the mutual rights and duties, including the timing for the review and the payment of the fee.
A self-evaluation report submitted by the applying agency provides the basis for the site visit carried out by the panel. The self-evaluation report should refer to the GGP for the purpose of the review.
The INQAAHE Secretariat invites at least three members to join the review panel. The panel is composed of one chair, one secretary and at least one other expert. The agency under review may indicate that there are special qualifications needed for panel members.
After the contract is signed, the fee is paid and the necessary documents are submitted the following timeline applies:
A. Time between the submission of the report and the actual site visit: 2-3 months
B. Time between the site visit and the submission of the external review report: 1 month
C. Time between the external review report and decision of the INQAAHE Board: 1 month