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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2007

Yass A. Alkafaji

Quality assurance review programs are created to provide assurances to the public that all accountants maintain a high level of competence in public practice. However, not…

1807

Abstract

Purpose

Quality assurance review programs are created to provide assurances to the public that all accountants maintain a high level of competence in public practice. However, not all countries require such programs. The purpose of this research is to compare and contrast quality assurance review programs in different parts of the world in order to identify similarities and differences in these programs. In addition, the paper attempts to explain why some countries adopt quality assurance programs while others do not have such programs.

Design/methodology/approach

A request for information and a survey were sent to the accounting regulatory bodies who are members of the International Federations of Accountants (IFAC). In total, 44 countries responded to the survey, of which 33 have formal quality assurance programs. The survey results were analyzed to identify similarities and differences in the design and implementation of such programs and to draw conclusions from this analysis.

Findings

Analyses of the questionnaires indicate that quality assurance review programs among countries share some common features, but vary significantly in many other areas. It was also found that countries with significant stock markets tend to require quality assurance programs of their accounting firms while countries of less significant stock markets tend not to require such programs.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions are based on the countries which responded to the survey. More countries did adopt quality assurance programs subsequent to the date of a survey in 2002.

Practical implications

Harmonizations of accounting and auditing standards have come a long way as a response to market globalization. Regulators, such as the IFAC, Securities and Exchange Commission and its counterparts, are demanding that such programs be implemented. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of such programs in selected countries, and thus regulators may benefit from its findings.

Originality/value

The paper is the first of its type. The paper will help regulators and auditing firms to gain knowledge of the quality assurance programs of selected countries and establish policies in light of these results.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Lynne Wyness and Stephen Sterling

This paper aims to present an overview of the design and implementation of a curriculum review undertaken at Plymouth University, UK, to gauge the incidence and status of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an overview of the design and implementation of a curriculum review undertaken at Plymouth University, UK, to gauge the incidence and status of sustainability in degree programmes across the curriculum. The paper outlines the methodological approach taken, reviews findings and summarises the effects and limitations of the exercise.

Design/methodology/approach

Rather than creating a criteria-based auditing tool, which might have been interpreted by academics as top-down evaluation of practice, emphasis was placed on self-evaluation of how the degree programmes were implementing sustainability in a number of broad areas, such as curriculum content, pedagogical approaches and student engagement. A review tool was created and distributed to all undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in the four campus-based faculties in the university. In particular, the review was designed to contribute the institutional annual submissions to the Learning in Future Environments index.

Findings

The paper discusses findings in some key areas relating to curriculum content, pedagogical approaches, partnerships and student engagement. Some of the obstacles and limitations identified by programme leaders in implementing education for sustainable development are discussed and areas of future consideration are included.

Originality/value

The review contributes to the limited national and international examples available of institution-wide curriculum reviews in the arena of education for sustainable development. The discussion of the problems, benefits and implications will be of value to other higher education institutions considering undertaking their own curriculum review.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1980

Michael J. Earl

Program review, or program audit, is becoming an accepted technique in computer auditing. This paper describes the technique and examines whether it has a legitimate role…

Abstract

Program review, or program audit, is becoming an accepted technique in computer auditing. This paper describes the technique and examines whether it has a legitimate role in both external and internal audit work. A program review methodology is suggested and user experience is reported and analysed. It is suggested that internal auditors in particular may value program review and are relatively well placed to exploit it.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Sheelagh Wickham, Malcolm Brady, Sarah Ingle, Caroline McMullan, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl and Ray Walshe

Ideally, quality should be, and is, an integral element of education, yet capturing and articulating quality is not simple. Programme quality reviews in third-level…

Abstract

Purpose

Ideally, quality should be, and is, an integral element of education, yet capturing and articulating quality is not simple. Programme quality reviews in third-level education can demonstrate quality and identify areas for improvement, offering many potential benefits. However, details on the process of quality programme review are limited in the literature. This study aims to report on the introduction of a standardised programme review process in one university.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a standardised template, the annual programme review (APR) process captured student voice, external examiner reports, statistical data and action/s since the previous review. Following completion of programme reviews across the university, the APR process was itself evaluated using questionnaires and focus groups.

Findings

Findings showed that the programme chairs understood the rationale for the review, welcomed the standardised format and felt the information could inform future programme planning. However, in the focus group, issues arose about the timing, ownership and possible alternate use of the data collected in the course of the review.

Research limitations/implications

This case study demonstrates the experience of APR in a single third-level institution, therefore, limiting generalisability.

Practical implications

APR offers a comprehensive record of the programme that can be carried out with efficacy and efficiency. The study illustrates one institution’s experience, and this may assist others in using similar quality evaluation tools. Using APR allows quality to be measured, articulated and improved.

Social implications

Using APR allows quality, or its lack to be to be measured, articulated and improved in the delivery of education at a third-level institution.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates the experience of the introduction of an APR process in one higher education institute. Programme review is an important and essential part of academia in the 21st century. At third level, quality assurance is, or should be, a central part of academic programmes and delivery. The review of the first implementation has provided valuable information that will inform future programme review processes. Academic programmes grow, evolve and need to be reviewed regularly. It is hoped that the information reported here will aid others developing academic review procedures.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Lynne Bowker

This paper aims to investigate the potential benefits and limitations associated with aligning accreditation and academic program reviews in post-secondary institutions…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the potential benefits and limitations associated with aligning accreditation and academic program reviews in post-secondary institutions, using a descriptive case study approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes two Canadian graduate programs that are subject to both external professional accreditation and institutional cyclical reviews, as they underwent an aligned review. The process was developed as a collaborative effort between the academic units, the professional associations and the university’s graduate-level quality assurance office. For each program, a single self-study was developed, a single review panel was constituted, and a single site visit was conducted. The merits and challenges posed by the alignment process are discussed.

Findings

Initial feedback from the academic units suggests that the alignment of accreditation and program reviews is perceived as reducing the burden on programs with regard to the time and effort invested by faculty, staff and other stakeholders, as well as in terms of financial expenses. Based on this feedback, along with input from reviewers and program evaluation committee members, 14 recommendations emerged for ways in which an aligned review process can be set up for success.

Practical implications

The results suggest that aligned reviews are not only resource-efficient but also allow reviewers to provide more holistic feedback that faculty may be more willing to engage with for program enhancement.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to the existing body of knowledge about conducting aligned reviews in response to external accreditation requirements or institutional needs. It summarizes the potential benefits and limitations and offers recommendations for potential best practices for carrying out aligned reviews for policymakers and practitioners.

Article
Publication date: 29 March 2019

Christine Armatas and Christine F. Spratt

The purpose of this paper is to describe examples of the application of learning analytics (LA), including the assessment of subject grades, identifying subjects that need…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe examples of the application of learning analytics (LA), including the assessment of subject grades, identifying subjects that need revision, student satisfaction and cohort comparisons, to program curriculum review.

Design/methodology/approach

Examples of analyses that address specific questions that a curriculum review wishes to address are provided, together with examples of visualizations from the analyses to aid interpretation.

Findings

The results show that using LA as a part of curriculum review can provide insights not possible with the traditional curriculum review methods and can yield useful and actionable insights.

Research limitations/implications

The work in this paper illustrates another important application for LA and demonstrates the value this approach has for informing curriculum enhancement at the program level.

Practical implications

The analyses described provide insights not possible with traditional curriculum review methods. However, the challenge remains to develop analytic tools that can assist teachers to conduct LA independently.

Originality/value

LA have been used to predict grades or identify at-risk students (Gaševic et al., 2016), but there is little research on its use for curriculum evaluation (Méndez et al., 2014). This paper addresses this gap and provides examples of its application in program curriculum review and the insights it can provide.

Details

The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4880

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Lynne Bowker

Using a descriptive case study approach, this paper aims to validate academic librarians’ perceptions that they are marginalized by faculty during academic program reviews

Abstract

Purpose

Using a descriptive case study approach, this paper aims to validate academic librarians’ perceptions that they are marginalized by faculty during academic program reviews, and recommends ways for the two groups to collaborate more effectively to make program reviews more meaningful.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes a case study at a Canadian university where the six types of documents produced as part of the program review process for ten graduate programs were analyzed using corpus analysis tools and techniques, such as keyword generation and key word in context analysis. For each program, documents were examined to determine the volume and nature of the discussion involving libraries in the self-study, library report annex, site visit itinerary, external reviewers’ report, academic program’s response and final assessment report.

Findings

The empirical evidence from the corpus analysis validates the findings of previous perception-based studies and confirms that librarians currently have a minor role in program reviews. Best practices and gaps emerged, prompting five recommendations for ways in which academic librarians can play a more meaningful role in the program review process.

Practical implications

The results suggest that programs are not currently putting their best foot forward during program reviews, but this could be improved by including librarians more fully in the program review process.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to the existing body of knowledge about the role of academic librarians in the program review process by providing direct and empirical measures to triangulate previous perception-based investigations that rely on surveys and interviews. It summarizes limitations of the current institutional quality assurance process and the benefits to be gained by involving librarians more in the process. It offers recommendations for policymakers and practitioners with regard to potential best practices for facilitating librarian involvement in academic program reviews.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Ruth Tennant, Cristina Goens, Jane Barlow, Crispin Day and Sarah Stewart‐Brown

There is a growing policy imperative to promote positive mental health as well as prevent the development of mental health problems in children. This paper summarises the…

Abstract

There is a growing policy imperative to promote positive mental health as well as prevent the development of mental health problems in children. This paper summarises the findings of published systematic reviews evaluating such interventions. A search was undertaken of ten electronic databases using a combination of medical subject headings (MeSH) and free text searches. Systematic reviews covering mental health promotion or mental illness prevention interventions aimed at infants, children or young people up to age 19 were included. Reviews of drug and alcohol prevention programmes and programmes to prevent childhood abuse and neglect were excluded because these have been the subject of recent good quality reviews of reviews. A total of 27 systematic reviews were included. These targeted a range of risk and protective factors, and a range of populations (including parents and children). While many lacked methodological rigour, overall the evidence is strongly suggestive of the effectiveness of a range of interventions in promoting positive mental well‐being, and reducing key risk factors for mental illness in children. Based on this evidence, arguments are advanced for the preferential provision of early preventive programmes.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Jane Barlow, Doug Simkiss and Sarah Stewart‐Brown

The aim of this article is to summarise the available evidence from systematic reviews about the effectiveness of interventions to prevent or treat child physical abuse…

Abstract

The aim of this article is to summarise the available evidence from systematic reviews about the effectiveness of interventions to prevent or treat child physical abuse and neglect. A computerised search was undertaken of major electronic databases up to December 2005 using key search terms. Only systematic reviews were included in which the primary studies evaluated the effectiveness of targeted or indicated interventions for child physical abuse or neglect. A total of 31 systematic reviews were identified and 15 met all the inclusion criteria. They covered a range of interventions/services, including home visiting, parenting programmes, multi‐component interventions, intensive family preservation services, family‐focused casework and multi‐systemic family therapy. There was limited evidence of the effectiveness of services in improving objective measures of abuse and neglect, due in part to methodological issues involved in their measurement, but good evidence of modest benefits in improving a range of outcomes that are associated with physical abuse and neglect, including parental and family functioning and child development. The results also showed some interventions (eg. media‐based and perinatal coaching) to be ineffective with high‐risk families. The evidence provided by these reviews has clear implications for children's services in the UK and other western developed countries.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Walt Crawford

While bargains abound in the personal computing field, they must be evaluated considering your needs—and it is sometimes hard to distinguish between inexpensive and merely…

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Abstract

While bargains abound in the personal computing field, they must be evaluated considering your needs—and it is sometimes hard to distinguish between inexpensive and merely cheap alternatives. The author discusses low‐priced software alternatives, noting how to look for bargains and a few specific examples. The PC‐related media scene continues to change, as does the slice of it reviewed for “Notes on the Media.” In the second portion of this article, the author offers some typically opinionated notes on some current publications. The author concludes with the usual roundup of comparative reviews and other notes on the PC literature for January‐March 1995. It was a big quarter for printer reviews, with few desktop computer comparisons—and life's about to get more interesting for those who prefer the Macintosh operating system: the clones are coming!

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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