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The Quality Assurance Unit. What do they do?

The Quality Assurance team ensure that high standards are maintained on the undergraduate course.  But changes are afoot.  Margit Lear tells us a bit about the QAU and what we can expect in the coming months.

The Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) is continuing to proactively monitor and measure quality across the MBBS programme.  It uses the information and evidence it gathers to identify where improvements can be made to the course.

As a result of findings there are currently a number of projects being undertaken within the QAU which are looking at the enhancement of procedures and the student experience, including a review of the Student Evaluation Questionnaire (SEQ) and other feedback mechanisms.

In order to improve the student experience and to close the loop between students and the Medical School a new Moodle site Quality Matters: You said; We Listened has been created.  The aim of the site is to act as a conversational tool and to respond to commonly raised questions and feedback. Students present at the student reps induction for 2013/14 (and some members of the MBBS Academic Leadership team!) participated in an activity to create a poster to advertise the new Moodle site.  Look out for the winning poster design in a building near you!


The winning poster (edited!). Chosen at the student rep induction.

The SEQ is one of the integral mechanisms used by the QAU for capturing meaningful data.  Response rates have declined in recent years and a review is underway looking at ways in which the SEQ can be used more effectively.  In particular we are looking at the volume and length of SEQs whilst also looking at how the information is gathered.  The new approaches to the SEQ will be adopted in the next academic year.

The QAU website will be updated to raise the profile of the QAU and provide further information for students, including details of who the relevant reps are and how they can get in touch.  This will be available shortly.

Another key project currently being undertaken is around supporting professional development of the teacher.  The project aims to provide ideas and guidance to  teachers on obtaining feedback and providing evidence where it is required for appraisal and revalidation.  It will also help to ensure that the existing sources available, e.g. peer observation,are used more effectively.

The way in which site visits are conducted is also being reviewed.  Using information from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) , the SEQ and evidence identified in the Medical Education Provider’s Annual Return (MEPAR) we are beginning to understand more how the Trust’s are working and how we can use this to focus our visits. We look forward to working with Health Education North Central and East London (HENCEL) towards developing a cohesive postgraduate and undergraduate visit strategy.

If you have questions relating the current projects or would like to know more about the QAU please visit our website at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/quality


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