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.
QIBB is focused on a quality assurance process of continuous improvement based on the four stage quality cycle. Each institution is responsible for implementing the quality assurance circle. QIBB values institutional autonomy and choice, while creating a clear framework and set of expectations around the process of quality assurance. Agreement on objectives and future development is reached through discussion between the executive managers at one organisational level and their colleagues at the next level.
As part of the four stages of the quality assurance circle, each institution carries out their own internal evaluation. QIBB includes internal self-evaluation on a voluntary basis and asks institutions to consider school management and the extent to which objectives have been met.
As part of the internal evaluation of outcomes and processes, qualitative and quantitative data are collected by using a range of evaluation instruments, tools and processes. A set of tools for standardised data evaluation are available to all VET providers on the QIBB internet evaluation platform. Qualitative and quantitative indicators (as set out in the Q-matrix) are used to check whether the intended objectives have been achieved. In addition to the internal evaluation nationwide evaluation focuses are specified for the national system evaluation every school year.
A next step will be to introduce external evaluation elements to the QIBB model. To date a peer review pilot project has been carried out, and based on this pilot phase a national peer review implementation strategy has been developed.
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.