How stakeholders see the QAA

September 29, 2000

Your article, "UEL gets rapped over staff 'neglect'", (News, THES, September 15) contained misleading references to the outcome of the University of East London's continuation audit.

The Quality Assurance Agency's report concludes with points for commendation and for further consideration. Among the latter, the university was invited to consider "the advisability" of "ensuring that it re-establishes an arrangement for analysing overall staff development needs so that sufficient priority can be given to the staff development necessary to support the institution's corporate objectives".

Any serious concern would have required the university to address this issue of necessity. This was not the case. The QAA team was concerned to "learn that the system for collating staff development and training needs... had fallen into abeyance". It is misleading to suggest that the university was criticised for its "disturbing neglect of staff development and training". Indeed, the report referred to a "lively programme of relevant staff development activities coupled with thoughtful and facilitative engagement in innovations and developments within departments and teams".

The university has been swift to address the issues and is developing a more integrated and effective approach in order to achieve the optimum level of coordination, delivery and monitoring of staff development provision.

Further, the university has revised its personal and professional development policy and operational framework. This includes an array of novel measures that the university believes will enable it to work towards Investors in People recognition.

The university is justifiably proud of the commendations it received in the report. The audit was conducted by the QAA team in a helpful and collegial spirit.

Frank W. Gould


University of East London

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