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Accreditation and Quality Assurance - what is the link?

Alignment with the Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines

In September 2011, the University Council approved revised procedures for Professional and Statutory Body Accreditation which can be accessed here.

The Quality Office retains a masterlist of academic programmes which are subject to external professional and statutory body accreditation. The list is updated annually and published on the Quality Office webpage to fulfil a requirement of the QQI Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines (§10.1 (p.20)).

In September 2021 the Quality Office published, for the first time, a masterlist of professional service areas that are subject to Professional Body or Industry Accreditation/Award Scheme.

Revised procedures for School and Programme reviews seek to ensure that the learning environment for off-campus learning i.e. professional placements is quality assured in accordance with §5.4 (c) (p.14 ) of the Core Statutory QA Guidelines.

Information in the Annual Faculty Quality Report (AFQR)

The Annual Faculty Quality Report (AFQR) contains information on the outcome of Accreditation Processes and this information is used by the Quality Office to complete the Annual Quality Report (AQR) to QQI which seeks the following information on Accreditation Programmes:

  • The number of students on programmes subject to professional and statutory accreditation process
  • Date of most recent accreditation visit and a link to the accreditation report if in the public domain
  • Date of the next review

Academic Policies and Procedures

Programmes that are subject to professional and statutory accreditation often have specific policy requirements that need to be addressed in:

  • New Course Proposals - i.e. curricular requirements, placement or practical hours/duration
  • Admission & Transfer - Garda Vetting; Infectious Disease Testing, English Language; Eligibility
  • Fitness to Practice Policy
  • Health & Safety e.g. Safety Statements

Streamlining preparation for Quality Review and Accreditation Review Visits

Part 1 of the Annual Quality Report is available from the Quality Office website to all Schools and Programmes undergoing an Accreditation visit. This is regarded by QQI as Trinity's Institutional Quality Assurance Procedures and contains information which School and Programme staff can use to complete the assessment against Accreditation Standards, thus reducing the burden on staff and streamlining reporting processes.

Quality Office staff are available to meet with School and programme staff preparing for an Accreditation visit. Schools and programmes are asked to include the Quality Officer in the schedule to meet with the Accreditation Team in order to provide a link to Institutional Quality, the external legislative environment with QQI, and to meet the requirements of the Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines with respect to off-campus learning as outlined above.

The Quality Office is happy to schedule the timing of Quality Reviews to optimise the inputs and recognise the outputs of Accreditation visit processes, where possible.

In preparing the Terms of Reference for a Quality Review of a School, consideration is given to avoiding areas of overlap addressed by Professional and Statutory Bodies, where appropriate.

In addition, Programmes subject to Professional and Statutory Body Accreditation are exempt from Trinity's Quality Review Procedure for Academic Programmes.