ISO & System Accreditation

Together with TÜV NORD CERT GmbH, ASIIN offers a coordinated procedure for higher education institutions for both system accreditation and quality management system certification in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 9001 standards.

The Project

The idea was originally suggested by a higher education institution that has been granted its ISO 9001 certification for many years. The aim was to establish a standardised quality management system which is in line with both ISO 9001 and the requirements for a German system accreditation, thus creating positive side effects such as synergies during audits and avoiding overlapping work.

The two project partners spent several months analysing the feasibility of the approach and aligning criteria and assessment procedures on both sides. Auditors were present as observers on both sides.

The Result

A coordinated procedure for the ISO-9001 certification and system accreditation covering the quality management of higher education institutions is possible, and protects educational resources as compared to doing two separate procedures.

The synopses of ISO 9001 and the criteria for system accreditation are collected in a brochure that me make available on request.

Principles for Coordinating Both Procedures

  • The ASIIN approaches for system accreditation and ISO 9001 certification share a systematic view of the quality-oriented management of a higher education institution. “Quality management” is part of a management approach that coordinates, reviews and orients all activities within and of an institution towards fulfilling the objectives defined by the institution itself and other parties, while at the same time ensuring further development of its own objectives. The “quality management system” is the systematic interaction of established procedures, measures and tools aimed at selected or all processes with which the higher education institution renders its services.
  • Both evaluation approaches share the view that the audited institution defines the content-related quality of teaching and learning, the learning outcomes for the degree programmes as well as shaping the quality management. By doing so, it is in a position to express its strategic orientation, profile and integration into the social context. The quality-related responsibility of a higher education institution being audited includes a self-evaluation and self-reflection as fundamental steps of the external audit and certification procedures.
  • Both approaches are based on the assumption that the higher education institution – every educational institution – operates within a social context: In order to achieve the quality aimed for, it is crucial whether and how internal and external relevant stakeholders are involved in the planning, management and implementation of quality assurance processes.
  • ASIIN and TÜV NORD CERT agree that there are a number of suitable ways to organise and illustrate internal quality management in educational institutions. The offer for a coordinated procedure for an ISO 9001 certification and a system accreditation in Germany is only one of several external quality assessment options for higher education institutions.