EQAP Director's Opening Remarks at the presentation of the first EQAP-SPC micro-qualification accreditation certificate to the Fiji National University
Pro-Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching, Professor Pounder
Members of the Senior Management Group
Manager Programme Design and Standards, Mr Parneet Singh
Manager National Productivity and Industry Innovation, Mr Amrish Narayan
Staff of the Fiji National University and the Pacific Community (SPC)
Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to bring greetings from the Educational Quality and Assessment Programme at the Pacific Community as we join with the Fiji National University today to mark a milestone event. The accreditation of the micro-qualification “Plan and manage projects at the workplace” is the culmination of a significant collaborative effort on the part of the FNU and SPC and it also holds the distinction of being the first accreditation arising out of the agreement signed between the two organisations in June last year.
The 2019 Agreement between SPC and Fiji’s National University provides a platform for the formal recognition of short courses or skill sets as micro-qualifications, allowing students who successfully complete the course to have official recognition of their skills and knowledge. That recognition in turn supports individuals as they increase their skills and leads to opening doors for further employment and advancement in their chosen areas of work. The recognition also provides a platform for trainees to get recognition of their skills and to qualify for future study opportunities in their pursuit of higher-level qualifications.
While we are celebrating with the presentation of the Accreditation Certificate here today, regional recognition and accreditation is much more than a certificate and a registration on the Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards. Regional accreditation of a micro-qualification such as Plan and Manage Projects At The Workplace represents successful completion of a thorough quality assurance process, allowing prospective students the confidence to know where the micro-qualification sits on the regional qualifications framework and that it will be widely recognised because it meets a well-defined set of quality standards.
In the process of arriving at accreditation, members of the Qualifications team in EQAP provided training to FNU staff on how micro-qualifications (MQ) are developed and assessed. The team went through the requirements for accreditation and the essential features of a micro-qualification. Based on that knowledge and understanding, the FNU team packaged the training course as a micro-qualification and submitted it for evaluation. Following the first step, internal evaluation by EQAP qualifications officers, necessary revisions were identified and communicated back to FNU who addressed those requirements.
In the next step of the process an industry expert on Project Management, the topic of the micro-qualification, was engaged to do an independent evaluation of the MQ against the standards set out for quality assurance of regional micro-qualifications. That independent review resulted in further recommendations to strengthen the MQ which were also taken up by the FNU team. Once finalised, the “Plan and manage projects at the workplace” package was sent to an independent accreditation committee who vetted the MQ package and scrutinized both the credentials of evaluator and process undertaken as part of their role in quality assurance. The accreditation committee raised questions that were then addressed and the committee made the recommendation for accreditation to the Pacific Board for Education Quality (PBEQ).
The PBEQ was provided with the reports and recommendation for their final review as laid out in their terms of reference and endorsed the accreditation of the micro-qualification. It is because of all of the efforts of all the individuals involved that we are able to gather here this morning to celebrate the formal accreditation of this first Fiji National University regionally recognised micro-qualification. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Professor Pounder, Mr Amrish Narayan, Mr Parneet Singh and FNU and look forward to continued collaborative successes into the future.