Skip to main content

Quality Assurance

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

Paid Sick Leave
Panel Data
Parental Involvement in Childcare
Pareto Efficient Allocations
Pareto Improvement
Parliament of Canada
Parliamentary Accountability
Parliamentary Budget Officer
Parliamentary System of Government
Partial-coverage Program
Participation in Public Governance
Participative Policy Analysis
Path Dependency
Pay for Performance
Perfect Complements
Perfect Substitutes
Perfectly Competitive Market
Performance (in public management)
Performance Audit
Performance Budget
Performance Criteria
Performance Expectations (in public management)
Performance Indicator
Performance Measure
Performance Measurement
Performance Measurement Strategy
Performance Monitoring
Performance Reporting
Performance Story
Performance-Based Regulation
Period Costs
Periodic Inventory
Perpetual Inventory
Perry Preschool Project
Person with Disabilities
Physical Capital
Pigouvian Tax
Planning-Programming-Budgeting System (PPBS)
Pluralist State
Policy Actor
Policy Analysis
Policy Capacity
Policy Community
Policy Consistency
Policy Convention
Policy Convergence
Policy Development
Policy Diffusion
Policy Entrepreneurs
Policy Feedback
Policy Goals
Policy Images
Policy Instrument
Policy Learning
Policy Network
Policy Outputs vs. Outcomes
Policy Reversal
Policy Statement
Policy Transfer
Policy Window
Political Culture
Political Economy
Political Economy of Information
Political Parties
Positional Good
Post Modernism
Post-secondary Education
Prescriptive Regulation
Presidential System of Government
Price Discrimination
Prime Minister
Primus Inter Pares
Principal-Agent Problem
Prisoner's Dilemma
Private Good
Private Member's Bill
Problem Definition
Problem Recognition
Problem Structuring
Procedural Fairness
Procurement Policy
Productivity in the Public Sector
Professional Program
Program Activity Architecture
Program Audits
Program Evaluation
Program Logic
Progressive Tax
Project/Program Objective
Property Tax (and Assessment)
Proportionality Principle
Provider Capture
Public Accounts
Public Administration
Public Choice Model
Public Good
Public Interest
Public Interest Group
Public Management
Public Policy
Public Revenues
Public Sector Management
Punctuated Equilibrium
Qualification Standard
Qualified Auditor’s Opinion
Qualitative Methods
Qualitative Research
Quality Assessment
Quality Assurance
Quality Management
Quality of Life (QoL) Indicators
Quality Services Initiative
Quantitative Measuring
Quantitative Research
Quantity Equation
Quantity Tax
Quantity Theory of Money
Quasi-experimental Design
Quasi-Fixed Factor of Production
Quick Ratio

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is an all-embracing term referring to an ongoing, continuous process of evaluation (assessing, monitoring, guaranteeing, maintaining, and improving) the quality of a higher education system, institutions or programs. (Vlasceanu et al. 2004, 74)


As a regulatory mechanism, quality assurance focuses on both accountability and improvement, providing information and judgments (not ranking) through an agreed upon and consistent process and well-established criteria. Many systems make a distinction between internal quality assurance (i.e. intra-institutional practices in view of monitoring and improving the quality of higher education) and external quality assurance (i.e. inter- or supra-institutional schemes assuring the quality of higher education institutions and programmes). Quality assurance activities depend on the existence of the necessary institutional mechanisms preferably sustained by a solid quality culture. Quality management, quality enhancement, quality control, and quality assessment are means through which quality assurance is ensured. The scope of quality assurance is determined by the shape and size of the higher education system. Quality assurance varies from accreditation, in the sense that the former is only a prerequisite for the latter. In practice, the relationship between the two varies a great deal from one country to another. Both imply various consequences such as the capacity to operate and to provide educational services, the capacity to award officially recognized degrees, and the right to be funded by the state. Quality assurance is often considered as a part of the quality management of higher education, while sometimes the two terms are used synonymously. (Vlasceanu et al. 2004, 74-75)

Vlăsceanu, Lazăr, Laura Grünberg, and Dan Pârlea. Quality assurance and accreditation: A glossary of basic terms and definitions. Bucharest: UNESCO-CEPES, 2004.

Page Created by: James Ban on 6 July 2015.


Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance