Quality Assurance Standards training workshop in Benin15/05/2019

As part of the 2017-2021 cooperation programme in Benin, the Association for the Promotion of Education and Training Abroad (APEFE) ran a workshop in partnership with the School of Physiotherapy (ESK) from 4-5 April 2019 in Cotonou, to provide ESK with Quality Assurance Standards training.

In Benin, the higher education and scientific research sectors are full members of the REESAO-CAMES-AUF space, a collaboration between the Network for Excellence in Higher Education in West Africa (REESAO), the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education (CAMES), and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). Jointly organised by ESK and APEFE, the aim of the workshop was for ESK to adopt the CAMES Quality Assurance Standards, in particular, the ‘Minimum standard for institutional assessment of higher education establishments’ and the ‘Minimum standard for training provision assessment’. This required some work on amending and revalidating in the workshop.

Sophie de Chambine and Dominique Bertrand (2001) give the following definition of ‘Quality Standards’ in reference to health professions:  “Quality standards are tools that support measures to improve quality; they provide a framework that determines the requirements and objectives within a given structure. These standards are used in assessment initiatives, which enables the structure to be benchmarked against these requirements and objectives.”

A Steering Committee was set up, consisting of a range of key staff members representing the different professional fields in ESK, including management, teaching staff, and support services staff from the finance, administrative, and technical teams. The Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences also attended the workshop and the Benin Association of Physiotherapists was represented as well.

The participants were first introduced to the specific methodologies of the CAMES Minimum Standards, 2018 Edition, such as quality standard purposes, terminology, and formulating and validating their usage.

The workshop then looked at each Standard in detail in order to ensure that these were understood and to ensure that ESK would adopt the tools. The CAMES standards were adopted with a few adaptations for use. ESK now has a valuable tool to carry out self-assessments and to enable the continuous improvement of its physiotherapy training provision.

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