Coordinator, Dr. Wayong’o John W.
Robust quality assurance mechanisms and processes are essential to achieve Bomet University College core mandate. Quality remains a hallmark of BUC core mandate. It is an essential basic requirement which guides BUC employees in their work so that teaching, learning, training, research and innovations as well as other administrative functions meet international standards. The work mechanisms and processes should be as efficient as possible and continually improving. BUC employees constitute the most important resource for improving quality. Each employee at BUC is responsible for ensuring that their work processes are efficient and continually improving.
BUC top management understands the value of quality assurance in the institution. The management always works to ensure that quality is enhanced at all times. They do this by providing training and induction on quality assurance to foster collectiveness both within and across its units for employees to improve processes. The quality assurance unit takes a lot of pride in BUC’s top management vast knowledge and experience in matters quality. Bomet University College staff is trained and inducted regularly on quality assurance processes and mechanisms by the Principal and the two Deputy Principals. This has kept BUC staff abreast with the latest practices in quality assurance.
Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to continuously strive for improvement at BUC.
At Bomet University College, Quality Assurance Unit monitors its quality processes and mechanisms by:
• Developing and documenting a quality policy and quality vision, mission and objectives and ensuring that they are understood and implemented by all employees at all levels;
• Ensuring that appropriate processes are initiated and implemented to fully enhance BUC core mandate;
• Establishing internal inspection and audit in accordance with Commission for University Guidelines 2014; The constitution of Kenya 2010, The Universities Act 2012, revised 2016, the Big Four Agenda, AU Vision 2063 and the UN goals for sustainable development;
• Implementing recommendations made by Commission for University Education and other external bodies whenever they carry out an inspection at BUC.
• Providing adequate resources for implementing and maintaining the quality mechanisms and processes;
• Conducting scheduled reviews of the quality assurance mechanisms and processes to assess their continued suitability, adequacy, effectiveness and efficiency; and
• Deciding on actions for continual quality improvement.
The quality assurance unit at BUC is manned by dedicated and adequately qualified and trained personnel with well-developed interpersonal skills. The well-developed interpersonal skills provide the quality assurance personnel with persuasive, diplomatic, tactful and resilient qualities generally required of them. The unit operates independently from the operational units and it regularly performs quality review activities (self-inspection audits/internal audits) to ensure compliance within operational units with The Constitution of Kenya 2010 and Commission for University Education guidelines 2014, quality standards.
The Quality Assurance Unit, in liaison with BUC Academic and Administrative divisions ensures the following:
• Determine, develop, review continuously and implement appropriate quality documents (BUC policies including quality policy and BUC Strategic plan; BUC Five Year Master Plan and Mater Timetable).
• All BUC staff remains, properly qualified and trained for job roles for which they are made responsible. This has been achieved through training like new staff induction, ongoing quality awareness training on current global activities and other quality documents, training for changing roles within and between functional units, stakeholders engagement and training resulting from an analysis of needs including the results of audits and regulatory inspections, top management reviews and employee appraisals.
• All BUC activities and operations comply with laid down quality standards locally, nationally, regionally and internationally, ethically and regulatory requirements to achieve its core mandate.
• To maintain up-to-date data on effective quality documents.
• BUC employees have job descriptions which clearly define their roles and responsibilities.
• To maintain a personal file on each employee, containing his/her current curriculum vitae, job description, education and training records and personal and professional development plan.
• Create an auditing function, independent of the operational units and the quality control unit, to plan, conduct, and report internal and external audits and to support and monitor appropriate corrective actions and preventive actions.
• A mechanism is put in place to address customer complaints and compliments through the Public relations office, regulatory inspections as a blue print for accreditation and charter.
• Maintain a link with functional units, affiliates, and human resources for continued personal and professional development of employees.
• Through the Career guidance and Academic Advisory Unit, a link is established to make follow ups and tracer studies for BUC alumni whose feedback will be incorporated in BUC policy formation and reviews.
• Maintained a link with and between functional units and affiliates to promote standardization, improve communication, and to enhance efficiency of quality mechanisms and processes through cooperation.
• All BUC functional units are kept up-to-date with various established and emerging local, national, regional and international legal, ethical and regulatory standards.
• Continual quality improvement through internal and external benchmarking.
In conclusion, quality assurance processes and mechanisms are anchored on compliance with legal and statutory requirements. It is my view that the best practice in quality is to always seek to comply fully and do as required. After you have done it and you are asked how else you would done to your best. The answer is that is your best.
THE NEED FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE AT BOMET UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
Quality assurance is becoming more and more pivotal in the Academic and Administrative domains of Higher Education. Bomet University College recognizes the importance of Quality Assurance and Standards in all its activities as manifested in the dedicated Quality Assurance and Data Management Unit. The globalization and internationalization of BUC’s vision, mission, niche and philosophy, has warranted the creation and recognition of Quality Assurance and Data Management systems in the University College to enhance both academic and administrative processes. Key concepts such as accreditation, value for money, institution relevance, standards and recognition are paramount to the University College’s core mandate of Teaching and Training, Research, Outreach and extension and Innovation. The Unit, core to the University College, is also responsible for designing and implementation of new Quality Assurance processes and mechanisms to enable students receive high quality education, relevant to the changing times so that they can be recognized globally.
In accordance with Article 11 of the World Declaration on higher education, quality in higher education should embrace all the research and scholarship, facilities, students, building, staffing, equipment, community services, teaching and academic programmes, functions and activities. Quality assurance can be a driver for institutions to achieve excellence in higher education. It is against this background that Bomet University College is focused on providing Quality Assurance mechanisms and processes as a requirement by the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Universities Act 2012, Universities’ Regulations 2014 and Commission for University Education Guidelines 2014. Quality Assurance Unit at Bomet University College takes cognizant of the fact that compliance with the aforementioned guidelines is an assurance of improvement of its academic and administrative activities. Among other key functions, Quality Assurance Unit at BUC Assurance is a unit that has been established for the purpose of achieving continuous improvement in BUC’s activities and structures. It ensures the quality of the academic (teaching and curriculum) and structural (buildings and computers) provision of courses and allows objective review of their quality. The Quality Processes are always transparent. This transparency is dialectical thus ensuring that the institution remains transparent. The quality assurance in itself is transparent in its processes of ensuring quality. The outcome of its processes is always shared by the participants.