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Quality assurance is more than mere compliance with customer requirements. It is to assure that product design, production and performance is soundly rooted in modern…
Quality assurance is more than mere compliance with customer requirements. It is to assure that product design, production and performance is soundly rooted in modern technology. This means that production is fully rationalised, costs are minimised, and customer satisfaction is maximised. In this article, we analyse the basic relationship of quality assurance and advancing technology in the creation of competitive products and services. The various impacts of modern technology on traditional inspection and quality control at the individual workplace and quality assurance of software will be included.
Claiming that quality assurance in Europe is a growth industry, the paper looks at this development from three angles: Has quality assurance become a science? Is it being…
Claiming that quality assurance in Europe is a growth industry, the paper looks at this development from three angles: Has quality assurance become a science? Is it being practised? And how can quality assurance be successfully introduced? The paper concludes that quality assurance cannot yet be considered ‐ nor does it need to become ‐ a science, meeting the usual criteria of a scientific discipline. In spite of this, quality assurance has to be based on sound scientific evidence. There are encouraging signs of this happening: while there is no long research tradition in quality assurance, the number of studies is increasing and their quality is improving. On positive action, the paper finds the situation brighter. There is both political will and professional acceptance. WHO's European member states have accepted as a part of their overall health for all policy a specific target which requests them to build effective mechanisms for ensuring quality of patient care. The increasing professional interest and political will have resulted, among other things, in laws, quality assurance programmes, training programmes, national societies and journals. Views on quality and quality assurance have broadened; consumer views are being accepted as part of quality; the outcomes of care are emphasised; quality assurance is being extended from hospitals to primary care and nursing homes, and from medical care to nursing care and physiotherapy. Based on lessons learned from the past experiences, the last section of the paper makes recommendations for the successful introduction of quality assurance. The importance of demonstrating a need, the involvement of all those concerned and the provision of feedback are emphasised.
Internal auditing assumes an increased responsibility for the evaluation of entity operations as a service to management and the board of directors. Quality assurance…
Internal auditing assumes an increased responsibility for the evaluation of entity operations as a service to management and the board of directors. Quality assurance review is the process through which assurance is obtained that the internal auditing department’s work is done in accordance with the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. This study examines the current practices of quality assurance review in South Africa. Although not all organisations surveyed do perform internal auditing quality assurance reviews, the organisations that do, benefit from them. Various methods are used in practice to perform internal and external quality assurance reviews. This study provides information on the processes and procedures used in quality assurance review programmes.
In recent years price‐based competition has given way to quality‐based competition in world markets. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of quality…
In recent years price‐based competition has given way to quality‐based competition in world markets. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of quality assurance programmes — its challenges and opportunities. In this article we discuss those challenges for improved quality assurance within the management framework, existing support systems and a strategy to design and implement a quality assurance certificate programme.
Sustainability assurance services are carried out in a competitive market where a wide range of assurance providers operate without the need for any specific professional…
Sustainability assurance services are carried out in a competitive market where a wide range of assurance providers operate without the need for any specific professional qualifications, competencies or skills. Assurance providers have heterogeneous professional backgrounds and experiences that lead to substantial diversity in sustainability assurance quality levels. This paper aims to provide an understanding of sustainability assurance quality. From a legitimacy perspective, the authors focus on the choice of assurance providers by exploring why a company voluntarily chooses an incumbent financial auditor to jointly provide audit and sustainability assurance services. The authors argue that to avoid the legitimacy threats undermining stakeholders’ confidence in the sustainability information disclosed, companies should only choose their incumbent financial auditors to provide sustainability assurance services when these auditors possess the professional attributes associated with sustainability assurance quality.
This study develops regression models for an international sample for 2007–2016, where the authors analyze why a company voluntarily chooses an incumbent auditor to jointly provide audit and sustainability assurance services from a legitimacy theory perspective.
Evidence confirms that the choice of incumbent auditors as assurance providers is more likely when these providers are more specialized in the industry. The authors also find that independence does not play a significant role in this decision. Therefore, an assurance provider’s industry specialization can be understood as an attribute that is associated with sustainability assurance quality and one which limits the legitimacy threats caused by a lack of sufficient sustainability knowledge.
Given that companies have complete freedom when choosing their assurance providers, the selection of a high-quality incumbent auditor is an indirect measure of social commitment and a mechanism to improve public trust. The results confirm that it is fundamental for firms to understand the situations when choosing an incumbent financial auditor to provide sustainability assurance services is the best way to ensure firm legitimacy while obtaining higher sustainability assurance quality due to the spillover effect. This paper provides useful evidence for firms and managers who can become aware that the legitimacy threat associated with the auditing profession’s questionable competence to conduct efficient sustainability assurance engagements can be reduced if they hire an incumbent financial auditor with greater industry specialization. For assurance providers, the results are especially useful, as they should know that companies will be more likely to choose their incumbent financial auditor when that auditor possesses certain professional attributes, like industry specialization. The ability to assimilate and exploit the knowledge gained through auditing activities can be improved even more by specialization, which enhances sustainability assurance quality.
From a social perspective, stakeholders perceive industry specialization as an indicator of the professional skills necessary to increase both the real and perceived quality of sustainability assurance services, thereby limiting the legitimacy threat arising from a lack of sustainability knowledge. The evidence also provides valuable results for regulatory bodies, as it shows that firms are not able to address the legitimacy gap caused by stakeholders’ perceptions that incumbent financial auditors can easily be controlled by companies. Thus, doubts arise as to whether this joint provision undermines auditor independence. Precisely, these doubts about assurance provider independence can erode public confidence in assurance and devalue the quality of the service. The results of this paper highlight the need to strengthen regulation on sustainability reporting and assurance. The advances and relevance of sustainable development in recent years and in future agendas require a firm commitment to sustainability reporting and assurance of quality, reliability, integrity and confidence.
First, this study contributes to recent empirical studies that focus on the role of sustainability assurance services in the legitimation process of corporate sustainability reporting. However, while that research analyzes how the legitimacy theory explains the voluntary adoption of sustainability assurance, this paper adds to the literature by presenting evidence about why certain incumbent auditors are appointed to carry out sustainability assurance services. Second, this paper contributes to the sustainability assurance quality literature. Third, unlike previous studies that have regressed various client-specific and institutional factors that influence firms’ decisions to choose assurance providers, this study contributes to the research by providing knowledge about a set of professional features that may explain the decision model of assurance providers selection from a legitimacy perspective.
For a number of years external auditors have advocated theextension of a peer review system to include internal auditingdepartments in order to improve the quality of an…
For a number of years external auditors have advocated the extension of a peer review system to include internal auditing departments in order to improve the quality of an audit. A study is provided which explores how one company, a Fortune 500 manufacturing firm, implemented a quality assurance review programme and how the Institute of Internal Auditors has reacted to demands of its members towards implementing such reviews.
This chapter examines the development of a quality assurance system for undergraduate education as one aspect of the transformation of education policy in China. The…
This chapter examines the development of a quality assurance system for undergraduate education as one aspect of the transformation of education policy in China. The central structure of the chapter is the process/stages of policy development and implementation, with particular attention to the changes over time in central control versus institutional autonomy. The Chinese government has moved to a “steering at a distance” approach with ex post accountability, giving institutions of higher education greater autonomy for undergraduate education. Government authority continues to be strong, however, even though the mechanisms of control have changed. This study provides an analysis of quality assurance in Chinese higher education and the changing relationship between government and campuses, using the lens of policy development and implementation.
This chapter offers a systematic review of research into quality assurance and quality management in higher education. It begins by considering quality as theory and…
This chapter offers a systematic review of research into quality assurance and quality management in higher education. It begins by considering quality as theory and discusses the methodology applied. The origin and meaning of the terms quality assurance and quality management, as they are used in higher education, and their application and practice, are then discussed. The issues and critiques that have been raised concerning quality assurance and management are identified, before some conclusions are reached.
This paper aims to determine how quality assurance practitioners in Vietnam describe their levels of professional knowledge and related skills, as well as identifying…
This paper aims to determine how quality assurance practitioners in Vietnam describe their levels of professional knowledge and related skills, as well as identifying factors that interfere with the development of these skills.
Semi-structured were conducted with 22 quality assurance practitioners who were directly involved in quality assurance policy-making and implementation.
Thematic analysis identified that internal challenges for quality assurance staff were mostly related to their lack of knowledge, skills and experience in this area. Limited capacity in English communication was also reported as a major challenge for Vietnamese quality assurance specialists.
The paper concludes that regular capacity-building programmes can help quality assurance staff gain the necessary knowledge and skills to improve their work performance.
Why evaluate quality in Library and Information Science (LIS) schools? From a historical perspective, quality assurance always has been considered a strategic issue by LIS…
Why evaluate quality in Library and Information Science (LIS) schools? From a historical perspective, quality assurance always has been considered a strategic issue by LIS schools for improvement of the teaching and learning experience and for accountability. Internationalization has added a new role to quality assurance in LIS. In terms of the context of the World Trade Organization General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO-GATS), LIS is increasingly recognized as part of the knowledge sector. The WTO-GATS has approved a multilateral framework that sets out rules for the conduct of international trade in services, including educational services. The GATS includes both general rules—for example, those related to the transparency of trade-related regulations—and a framework for specific commitments under which countries choose whether, and under what conditions, to allow access to their markets for foreign suppliers. The provisions in the GATS related to trade regulations and ways countries choose to allow access to their markets are relevant to the recognition of international standards or qualifications for professionals. Although not mandatory, international standards are encouraged, both for quality assurance of LIS school offerings in general, and for recognition of a specific LIS school outside its home country. Additionally, in the context of an increasingly internationalized job market, employers need reliable information on how to evaluate specific higher education degrees and assess degrees recognized and granted in their domestic market. The goals are to facilitate the mobility of students and to increase employability. The need to reinforce the comparability of higher education internationally through quality assurance systems is now becoming more pressing.