FEDE QUALITY CHARTER

FEDE QUALITY CHARTER

 This Quality Charter, voted by decision of the FEDE General Assembly on 23rd April 2010, commits all FEDE member schools to search the qualitative criteria defined below, and toaccept the possible help from the FEDE to reach and respect them.
Any student following a course in a FEDE member school must be ensured of the quality of the education, which is part of a professionalization-oriented process in a European context.

To this end, the FEDE selected and adapted part of the standards and guidelines contained in “Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area”,ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance inHigher Education), 2007, Helsinki, 2ndedition.European standards and guidelines for quality management in member schools.

The FEDE authorises member schools to use its course reference information. The FEDE can suspend this authorisation at any time in the event of a serious offence. It can also withdraw the authorisation in the event of a serious breach after granting audience to the representatives of the mandated entity. The representatives are informed beforehand of the alleged offences.

Any school that loses membership loses the right to use its course reference information. In the event of loss of official status – regardless of the reason (breach, stop of activity or suspension of authorisation) – learners can register for exams directly with the FEDE as independent candidates.

Any member school preparing students for FEDE certification must draw on these principles of quality management.

THE PRINCIPLES OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT

1. Policy and procedures for quality management

Standards
Schools must have linked policies and procedures for the management of quality and of the level of diplomas and courses they offer. They also must commit explicitly to implementing a culture that acknowledges the importance quality and quality management. To do so, schools should establish a strategy to constantly improve quality. The strategy, the policy and the procedures should be highly promoted towards the parties concerned (teachers, instructors, students, professional partners, educational services, etc.).
Guidelines Official policies and procedures offer a framework in which higher educational institutions can develop and measure the effectiveness of their quality management systems. They alsoenable better trust of the public in independent schools.
Policies include intention
declarations and the main means to deploy in orderto reach the set goal. A guide of procedures can give more detailed information on ways to implement the policy and standards useful to those who need to know the practical aspects of procedures.The policy declaration should include statements about:
•the link between educational teaching and educational research within the school;
 •the school’s strategy for quality and standards;
•the organisation of the quality management system;
•the respective responsibilities of participants andservices concerning quality management;
•the involvement of students in quality management;
•ways in which the policy is deployed, followed andevaluated.
The existence of the European higher education area is strongly dependent of the involvement of schools to guarantee that their courses offer clear objectives; that the personnel are willing and capable of handing out teaching and support to students for them to reach their set goals, and that there is a full acknowledgement of the contribution to these actions of those who showed expertise and devotion. All schools should aspire to improve the education they give students.

Approval, monitoring and periodic review of the programmes and degrees offered

Standards

The FEDE has established formal mechanisms for the periodic review and revision of referential and diplomas it offers.
To facilitate the writing of this document, the term “Teacher” refers broadly to a person in charge of an educational mission like teachers, training instructors or lecturers for professional training, the term “Student” includes learners enrolled in education courses and professional training.

Guidelines
The trust of students and other participants in higher education will be established and maintained all the more that it relies on effective quality management systems which are regularly controlled and revised and therefore ensure  true reliability and relevance. The quality management of programmes and diplomas should include:

•    the development and publication of explicit course objectives;
•    particular attention paid to the design and contents of programmes;
•    taking into account the specific needs of various offers (eg, initial training courses, continuous courses, distance learning, online learning) and of various types of institutions (academic, technical, professional);
•    the provision of adequate educational resources;
•    the review of the progress and success of students;
•    periodic and regular evaluation of programmes (by involving external members);
•    regular feedback from employers, labour market representatives and other relevant entities;
•    student participation in the quality management activities.

 

3. Evaluation of students

Standards
Students must be evaluated according to criteria, rules and procedures published and applied systematically and constantly.
Guidelines
Grading students is one of the most important parts of higher education. The results of these evaluations have a highly determinant influence on the students’ future careers. Therefore it is important that intermediary evaluations be carried out in a professional way at all times and take into account the increasing knowledge in test procedures. The evaluation usually gives useful information to schools about the effectiveness of teaching and educational means.
The grading of students should:
•    be built so as to measure the degree to which the course goals and other objectives are reached;
•    be adapted to the set objective, whether in the form of an assessment, a mock exam or the assessment of intermediary results;
•    present clear criteria for the grading;
•    when possible, have several tester opinions;
•    take into account all the possible consequences of exam regulations;
•    understand clear rules regarding student absences, illness and other force majeure cases;
•    make sure that intermediary evaluations and mock exams are rigorously organised in keeping with the institution’s rules;
•    be subjected to administrative controls to ensure compliance with the procedures.

4. Quality management of the teaching staff

Standards
Schools should have the means to ensure the quality and skilfulness of their teachers and instructors. These means should be available for controls or external audits and be subjected to commentaries in evaluation reports.

Guidelines
Teachers and instructors are the main educational resource for students. It is important that they know and understand perfectly the subject they teach, that they have the necessary skills and experience to transfer their knowledge to the students and that they be able to have a return of appreciation about the quality of their teaching activities.
Institutions need to guarantee that their recruitment and appointment procedures include ways to ensure that the recruited staff has at least the minimum required skills. The teaching staff should have the opportunity to improve and expand its skills and should be encouraged to use and promote its capacities. Institutions must provide their teaching employees with the opportunity to improve themselves. For the purpose of improving the knowledge and skills of instructors, the FEDE regularly offers courses, tools and educational support.

5. Educational tools and student support

Standards
Schools must make sure that the resources allocated to educational tools and student support are adequate and adapted to each programme proposed.

Guidelines
In addition to teachers and instructors, students rely on a number of educational resources to facilitate learning, that go from material– libraries, IT equipments – to human resources – e.g. tutors, career advisors or other participants.
The educational tools and other resources should be easily accessible to students, built according to their needs and adapted to user reactions. Institutions must control and improve the effectiveness of the student support services regularly.

6. Information systems

Standards
Schools must guarantee that they collect, analyse and use the information necessary to an effective running of their educational programmes and other activities.

Guidelines
It is important that institutions have the capacity to collect and analyse information about their own activities, otherwise they won’t be able to identify what works and what needs special care, nor the results of innovative practices. Information systems on the quality necessary to institutions depend, to some extent, on local conditions, but must at least cover the following areas:
•    student progress and success rates;
•    employability of graduates;
•    level of student satisfaction regarding the courses;
•    effectiveness of teachers;
•    profile of the student population;
•    educational resources available and their costs;
•    performance indicators specific to the institution.

It can also be interesting for institutions to compare themselves to similar organisations within the European area of higher education to better understand their own performance and deficiencies and to identify ways for improvement.

7. Public information

Standards
Schools should regularly publish up-to-date, impartial and objective information, both quantitative and qualitative on the courses and diplomas they offer.

Guidelines
In the implementation of their public service mission, higher education institutions have a responsibility to provide information on the courses they offer, the training objectives, the delivered diplomas, teaching, the learning and assessment methods used and the courses proposed to students.

The issued information should also include the opinions and employment areas of their former students, as well as the characteristics of students in training. This information must be accurate, impartial, objective, easily accessible and not reduced to promotional purposes. The institution must ensure that it meets its own expectations, remaining impartial and objective.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND COMMITMENT OF MEMBER SCHOOLS

1. Policy and procedures for quality management

•    1.1 – Chief of management: managing a school is an educational profession. Its director conducts the activity in the ethical and professional usage. In addition, he knows and respects the law.
•    1.2 – FEDE referent: the school appoints, for each academic year, a referent who is the interface between the FEDE, the school and the students.
This referent is in charge of managing student registrations to FEDE exams, of transmitting any information communicated by the FEDE to the people concerned, of the material organisation of these exams if required.
•    1.3 – Academic supervisor: the school appoints a head teacher to oversee the implementation of the courses preparing for FEDE exams and the follow up on the achievement of these courses: defining educational progress, implementing and updating the schedule, spread information to students and teachers.
This supervisor is the main contact for any questions related to teaching. The person appointed should have significant experience in teaching.

2. Approval, monitoring and periodic review of the programmes and degrees offered

Thanks to its membership with the FEDE, the school offers courses that reflect the standards and recommendations issued by the European Union and the Council of Europe. These programmes are relevant, consistent and based on professional knowledge and are regularly reviewed and updated.
FEDE  exam preparation implies respect for all the measures required by the programmes, preparation time, general and specific regulations. Improving the quality and quality management of education are the responsibility of the school.

3. Evaluation of students

At the beginning of a course, the school undertakes to provide information to students not only about the courses, but also information related to taking the exams to validate the FEDE diploma.
During the course, the school sets up an evaluation to measure the achievement of goals, thanks to clear terms and criteria diffused to both students and correctors.
This evaluation should also be an indicator of the effectiveness of the courses and teaching methods implemented.

4. Quality management of the teaching staff

The professors who provide the courses must have a skill level to ensure the quality of their performance, both in terms of educational courses and in experience in their discipline and in their teaching practice. In this case, instructors must have a diploma higher at least by 1 or 2 years to the level of the diploma prepared by the students, or a 5 year experience at the position the diploma prepares for.
The school checks, during the recruitment, that the professors and instructors have the required skills. The school should also enable them to engage in a process of continuous improvement by following the educational courses offered.
The school must keep the information on the teachers (qualifications, experience…).

5. Educational tools and student support

The school promotes the development of a student life environment contributing to the quality of the course, thanks to adapted premises and equipment as well as educational resources easily accessible such as documentation centres, computer and audiovisual equipment, eventually laboratories…
Being higher professional and professionalization education, the school engages in:
•    assisting students in his internship research
•    formalising the terms and conditions of internships in a tripartite agreement
•    drawing on the experience gained by students during the internship in their evaluation
•    developing relationships with businesses to encourage the employability and professional insertion of graduates.

6. Information systems

Schools implement an information system in order to have better knowledge and management of:
•    student progress and success rate;
•    their level of satisfaction with the courses;
•    characteristics and effectiveness of teachers;
•    the profile and characteristics of the student population;
•    the follow-up of graduates: giving that the data is a means to verify the adequacy of courses with the market expectations, observing what students become after graduation a permanent matter for school, and communicating these results to the FEDE is mandatory.

Managing this system is a job for the FEDE referent.

7. Information du public

Schools are responsible for:

•    showing their membership in the FEDE
•    providing information about the courses they offer, the delivered diplomas, the teaching, the educational methods and the evaluations used
•    issuing information about what their graduates become and publishing their stories.