An audit may often be the root-cause of a quality improvement plan – but it doesn’t have to be. Having a robust evidence-based quality improvement process is not just for auditors – it can also help attract talented staff and students. So here’s our checklist for action planning with a difference:
If your institution has been audited recently, you should have a good handle on what your quality improvement plan should cover. However, an audit shouldn’t be the catalyst for quality improvement. Institutions should be reviewing and self-assessing continually to improve the students’ experience and their provision of quality education.
This blog is for anyone who is clear on what they are trying to achieve – and responsible for getting the whole team on the right path to achieving your goals by making continuous quality improvement part of your every day with the help of an action plan.
In these times when we are challenged to increase quality whilst having to ‘do more’ with less money, time and resources, where do we start?
Action plans provide direction and ensure that everyone in the team is on the same page in terms of what is, and what is not achievable. Good action plans create accountability and not only help to improve efficiency, but also ensure everyone is measuring and monitoring the impact of what they do (rather than just recording activities they have undertaken).
Today we’re looking at how to create a best practice action plan – and this is how we recommend you get started:
- Decide which regulatory framework/frameworks you need your action plan to provide evidence for
- Identify the data or other forms of evidence that you need to collect for the purposes of the measuring your progress against the action plan
- Chart timelines or deadlines that need to be met in line with inspections or other key dates for your institution
- Map resources that need to be allocated to support the creation, management, implementation and ongoing monitoring of the action plan
- Record milestones or growth targets expected to be achieved at key stages of execution
Prepared with all of this, you are now in a position to start populating your action-plan – and at the heart of every quality improvement action plan worth producing is robust self-assessment. Learning to self-assess effectively as an organisation is not easy and the skills to do so have to be developed but as an action-planner, here are six key things you can do to help your team:
- Streamline self-evaluations by developing a framework (read more about self-assessment)
- Ensure you have clear accountability with assigned actions, alerts and tracking
- Provide a consistent framework for lesson observations that makes it easy to track, monitor and manage improvements
- Embed a process for recording evidence and cross-reference it with your framework criteria
- Set up dashboard reporting that highlights progress against the action plan to keep all stakeholders informed and engaged.
- Widen the involvement of staff so quality improvement becomes embedded in the culture/DNA of your organisation