The Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) cooperated with the International Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (INQAAHE) to develop Consultant Database since 2009. The initial priority was given to strengthening a global database for (1) general quality assurance consultants; it is also a high priority to strengthen its databases;(2) consultants in institutional quality assurance; and (3) consultants for programmatic quality assurance. In order to recruit qualified consultants, APQN would send an invitation to member organizations to nominate qualified candidates for each of the three categories of consultants first. Then, all candidates will be reviewed by a Review Committee which will have oversight of the Consultant Database and will make selections from those who submit applications. Up to present, 186 experts have been included to Consultant Database after review by the international committee composed of members from both APQNand IINQAAHE.
In this context, this manual gives priority to the maintenance and enhancement of Consultant Database. Depending on the needs of the membership, the database should be maintained regularly, including selecting consultants, reviewing the utilities of the database, and improving its visibilities and functionalities. Although the database is primarily meant to serve the APQN membership, considering the need and advantages of involving experts from other regions, the database includes entries from outside APQN membership. This gives a global approach to Consultant Database.
2. Selection Process and Criteria
The primary source of all experts comes from recognized quality assurance bodies. In general, an organization which is a member of APQN or INQAAHE will be seen as a credible QA organization by APQN. Annually, APQN sends out invitations to QA organizations. The QA bodies can identify who their nominees are and the nominations need not be restricted to staff or officials of the QA organization; they can be from outside the organization and outside the region but they are the people on whom the organization is able to place trust as ‘QA consultants’. The nominating organization should notify the nominees of their nomination and seek their approval to do so. Having the QA bodies do the nominating gives APQN some level of third party testimony of the capability of the nominees.
APQN then asks for certain information of the nominee from the QA organizations which the quality assurance bodies pass onto their respective nominees. A brief bio and a curriculum vitae (CV) are required from each nominee. A CV alone may not be very helpful since it may be more academic than practical. Therefore, APQN also requires information in a structured data form. Information required in the data form includes such things as contact information, areas of expertise, a comprehensive list of national and international consultation experience etc. The information received is reviewed with respect to the selection criteria. The process of screening and refereeing against the criteria is overseen by a Review Committee.
3. Review of Nominees
The process of refereeing against the criteria is undertaken by a Review Committee(RC). The RC consists of three members - an APQN board member, an external QA expert outside the Board and a representative from APQN institutional member. The role of the RC is to review the submissions for the database and later make recommendations to the APQN Board based on the refereeing process. The RC is appointed by the APQN Board for a period of one year. The terms of reference of RC are:
1) To screen the nominations received from the QA organizations
2)To identify the potential consultants out of the nominations
3)To review the nominations
4)To make recommendations to the APQN Board
In carrying out the above functions, the RC can co-opt others from a list approved by the APQN Board and delegate certain responsibilities as necessary.
4. Flow of the Nomination and Review Process
Step 1: Invitation: APQN sends out invitations to QA organizations.
Step 2: Receiving Nominations: QA organization sends in nominations and provides some essential data about the nominations in a pre-structured template.
Step 3: Establishing a three-member Review Committee (RC) with a Convener
Step 4: Reviewing: RC reviews the nominations and selects the ones that are fit for the database.
Step 5: Refereeing process: RC are given two weeks to provide comments.
Step 6: Final selection: RC communicates report the recommendations to the APQN Board, which will be published in APQNews.
Step 7: APQN Board approves.
Step 8: Inclusion in the database and notify the nominators and nominees.
5. Database functionalities
The Database can be found at http://www.apqn.org/services/consultantsdb/.The opening page contains a few lines of general information about the database and also the search function. Visitors to the website can search the site by keyword, specialization, organization affiliation, gender, country, time that one could give for consultancy and availability during a specific period. The database needs to be reviewed annually and any changes should be signed off by the APQN board. The APQN administrator has the executive responsibility for the Database. Once a year, the APQN board will invite its members to make nominations to the Database.
6. Form to provide details of nominees
There are three parts of details of nominees which should be provided by the nominating organization. The nomination form is as follow.
|1. General Information|
|Title||□Dr. □Prof. □Miss □Mr. □Ms. □|
|Given Name(s):||Family Name(s):|
|Current Position:||Current Employer:|
|Skill||Fluent (please tick one)|
Others (please specify)
|3. Academic Qualifications and Training|
|4. Experience (Please Check as Many as Apply)|
□ Institutional quality assurance reviews/ audits.
□ Program reviews/ accreditations
□ General QA consultancy
□ Setting up of new QA organization
□ Institutional assessment
□ Training of experts / external reviewers
□ Institutional quality audits
□ Internal QA of institutions
□ Institutional accreditation
□ Self-study guidance to institutions
□ QA of cross border offerings
□ External review of institutions
□ Student feedback and surveys
□ Quality Indicators and benchmarks
□ Research assessment
□ External Review of QAAs
□ Online program accreditation
□ QA of Open learning institutes
□ Other (please specify)
|5. Examples of Experience: List of National and International Consultations / Audit / Review|
|Type of Experience||Brief Description||Location (Institution/ City/Country)||Type of Experience|
|Institutional quality assurance reviews/ audits|
|Program reviews/ accreditations|
|General QA consultancy|
|6. Professional Summary|
(Please write a professional profile of 500 words)
I certify that the information provided in this form is true and correct. The APQN is hereby authorized to register my name in its database and to release my name and the information provided in this form to its members seeking expert assistance/ consultancy in activities related to quality assurance/ Reviews.
Signed by ________________ Date _____________________________