Learning Objective One
The aim of this learning objective is to produce a critical evaluation-report on quality using a case study. Wallace and Gravells define quality as “the level to which a product or service meets the needs of the customer” (2007, p. 113). It can also be thought of in terms of value for money and maintaining standards. However, customers do not always know what they need or what should be included as part of a product. Value for money is subjective and can be complicated by preconceptions of more expensive products as being better quality and cheaper ones as being poorer quality. Moreover, maintaining standards does not mean keeping everything the same: rather, a product must be developed and improved upon in order to keep up-to-date and reflect advances in the sector. Quality can only be achieved through a process of quality assurance and dedication to total quality management (TQM) which requires long-term commitment to a culture of quality at all levels.
Quality can be observed through consistent, successful results and good customer demand. Where the education sector is concerned, learner retention and achievement, as well as Ofsted results, are the key indicators of the quality of provision (Butcher, 2003). In order to provide customers – in this case the learners – with a quality product – in this case a course - there needs to be a whole organisation attitude geared towards delivering excellence; a Total Quality Management approach: managers in further education (FE) should “promote a climate where quality is everybody’s business” (LLUK, 2005, cited in Jameson and McNay, 2007, p. 48). Planning is key to ensuring quality of provision; in order to develop a successful course planning needs to be meticulous at every level from marketing to lesson planning: a dip in quality at any level will have an impact on the product as a whole. For instance, an unsuccessful marketing campaign may lead to a low number of
References: Access to HE (2011) ‘Access to HE comparative statistics 2011’. Available from [WWW] http://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/partners/statistics/2011/AVAcompstats2011.pdf Accessed June 2012 British Deming Association (1992) Deming’s 14 Points for Management Deming, W. (1982) Out of the Crisis. London: The MIT Press Butcher, L Jameson, J. and McNay, I (2007) Ultimate FE Leadership and Management Handbook. London: Continuum International Publishing Group Ofsted ‘College inspection report’ Figure One – Deming’s Cycle (1950s) Figure Two –Three Point Cycle (Elizabeth Kingseller, 2012) Reference List Department for Business Innovation and Skills (2010) ‘A Simplified Further Education and Skills Funding System and Methodology’ Department for Education (2012) ’16-19 Funding’. Available from [WWW] http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/youngpeople/studentsupport/funding Accessed June 2012 Department for Education (2012) ‘Reducing Bureaucracy in Schools’ Wallace, S. and Gravells, J. (2007) A to Z for Every Manager in FE. London: Continuum International Publishing Group Appendix