Second audit round of the quality systems of higher education institutions (2011—2017)
A second round of audits began in 2011. FINHEEC has modified and further developed its audit method for the second round based on the first-round feedback from higher education institutions and other stakeholders, as well as analyses undertaken by FINHEEC.
The higher education institution and FINHEEC agree on a preliminary audit time frame based on the registration.
Audits focus on the quality system that higher education institutions have developed based on their own needs and goals. The audit evaluates how well the quality system meets strategic and operations management needs, as well as the quality management of the higher education institution's basic duties. In addition, the institution's quality policy, the development of the quality system as well as the effectiveness and dynamicity of the system are reviewed as audit targets.
The second-round audits consist of the same stages as the first-round audits. The higher education institution first carries out a self-evaluation and prepares the audit material, a team of experts then visits the institution and finally the audit results are published in a report. Self-evaluation will be given more emphasis in the second round. It is expected that this will enable the higher education institution to go deeper into its operations and to link audits more closely to the strategic goals of the institution.
Audits include an element of pass/fail. If a higher education institution does not pass the audit, a re-audit is needed. Higher education institutions that pass the audit receive a quality label and are added to the register of audited institutions maintained on FINHEEC's website. The quality label is valid for six years from the Evaluation Council's meeting at which the audit decision was made.
FINHEEC has published a new audit manual for the second round of audits. The manual introduces FINHEEC's audit model and its premises.