The following information was gathered in 2008, for more up to date information on this case study, please check the national website
Austria has launched a comprehensive quality management system which is at present focused on initial vocational education and training (IVET). This quality initiative – QualitätsInitiative BerufsBildung (QIBB) – covers teaching and learning and administrative processes in every type of school and at every institutional level in the VET school system.
The system seeks to create a culture of quality assurance by covering all schools and colleges in the VET school system: i.e. schools and colleges of engineering, arts and crafts; colleges of business administration and business schools; colleges of social and service industries; VET colleges for agriculture and forestry; secondary training colleges for nursery school teachers and colleges of social pedagogy; and part-time vocational schools for apprentices. The model covers all institutional levels e.g. schools, the inspectorate (regional level – regional education boards) as well as the Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (at national and federal level). This consistent use of one model ensures all those with an interest in VET subject their activities to the same quality assurance process.
Each institution produces a mission statement that identifies their long-term vision or strategy. It includes core messages regarding self-image and purpose, objectives, and areas of responsibility and activity (see for example some of the QIBB mission statements at www.qibb.at ). From this mission a quality matrix (Q-matrix) of measurable objectives and sub-objectives is produced and summarised in written form. This Q-matrix is used to plan medium-term development objectives and their implementation (see for example the Q-matrix of the General Directorate for VET of the Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture at www.qibb.at ).
The introduction and implementation of QIBB is a co-operative endeavour which began in 2004. As such the implementation of a consistent quality assurance process is seen as part of a management culture that involves all stakeholders. The mission of the institution and its objectives are reached through negotiation and agreement. And clearly formulated objectives that are recognisable and easy to understand for everyone are essential for ensuring high levels of commitment.
For more information on the Austrian VET quality initiative QIBB, please go to www.qibb.at. Information about quality assurance in VET in Austria can be found on the website of ARQA-VET, the National Quality Assurance Reference Point at www.arqa-vet.at