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Project Group Guidelines

Introduction

Project Groups (PGs) are created by the Board as a mechanism through which matters of common interest to APQN members are addressed. PGs should identify common areas of interest among APQN members and facilitate work on these areas with shared responsibilities from various agencies across the Region. Project areas are dynamic in nature, depending on developments that take place in the quality assurance field.

Criteria for identification of the projects

The projects are expected to serve the common purposes of APQN. Topics chosen by the PGs should be relevant to member countries/territories and the outputs should benefit the Region or part of the Region. PGs should focus on precise topics rather than broad generalizations about quality assurance issues. Project group topics are either identified by an APQN member(s) or by the Board where the Board sees a need for the Network to explore a topic in more detail either alone or in cooperation with other networks.
Projects that address the needs of only one or two members have low priority. Proposals involving multiple member agencies are given priority. Members are also encouraged to submit small projects on themes they want to explore.

The work of a project group should result in a report that will be made available on the APQN website. Outputs should be timely because new issues and developments keep cropping up in the field of quality assurance.

Project group composition

Each project is steered by a project leader, and would not normally have more than five members, drawing members from at least three different agencies within the region. No more than two PGs may be hosted by one agency. The project group members might be identified by the project group leader, based on expressions of interest and/or by specific invitation to potential contributors to the project. The diversity of the APQN members should be taken into account while constituting the project groups. The APQN Board might advise the project group leader on this, if necessary.

Making a proposal

Project proposals should be made through email to the Secretariat. Proposals will be accepted from would-be group leaders, who should be either staff of an APQN member agency or belong to the extended network of resource persons of the agency who are involved in carrying out its quality assurance activities. In all cases, the proposal must have the formal approval and support of the Head of an APQN member agency.

Applications should therefore be made via the Head of an agency who will endorse it on behalf of the agency. While routing the proposals to APQN, the agency is expected to consider the relevance of the project to APQN membership and indicate its recommendations. The APQN Board will consider the suggestions and applications and identify priority projects. The Board will invite the project leader to lead the group.

Some suggestions may come from the Annual General Meeting of APQN or from the Board itself, in which case the Board will appoint a person to head the group.

Format for presentation of project proposal

  1. Objectives/purpose
  2. Relevance to APQN Objectives/activities
  3. Methodology/Process
  4. Expected Outputs
  5. Budget
  6. Timetable
  7. Project Team

Timeline/Lifespan of project groups

Project groups are expected to provide an interim report after six months against the outcomes in the project proposal and the timetable, and complete their work with a final report after one year. On a case-to-case basis, the Board may agree to extend the project’s period of operation to another year. No PG, however, may go beyond a maximum period of two years.

Should the Board decide to continue the project a new group will be created. The Board, however, will identify at least one member of the previous group to get involved in the new PG.

Support for the project

APQN may provide seed money for a project, not exceeding US$1,000 per project. Valid reasons for which seed money may be sought include convening meetings and discussions of the project and travel within the region for completion of the project. It cannot be spent on consultancy charges.

Along with the proposal for the project, a detailed budget should be submitted and disbursements of project funds should adhere to those estimates. The APQN Board/Finance Committee may advise the project group leader on these estimates.

Should a member organization feel strongly about a project and has the resources to fund the activities of the group, it may do so.

Once the project group is approved by the Board, the Secretariat will release the money for sanctioned purposes in response to the request by the project group leader.

Monitoring the activities of the PGs

The APQN Constitution mandates that the Vice-President takes charge of monitoring the activities of the PGs and making periodic reports on these. For monitoring purposes, PGs are required to submit an annual work plan with specific time lines and projected outputs as soon as the project is approved.