Continuous Improvement Policy

This policy is designed to put in place a continuous improvement approach to the management of the IS Lab’s operations and people—both staff and learners. The IS Lab undertakes ongoing quality control and evaluation of all its operations to ensure maintenance of standards appropriate to the expectations of the community, including the ANSI/IACET 1-2013 Standard for continuing education and training.

Quality and continuous improvement in the IS Lab

The IS Lab’s approach to quality encompasses all its operations including governance, academic services, learner services, financial operations, facilities, human resources, and occupational health and safety. The IS Lab’s quality system is based on adherence to the following principles:

♦ A commitment by all staff to continuous improvement of processes, learning events, products, relationships, and services
♦ Input and involvement of all staff and students in identifying and implementing quality improvements
♦ Systematic use of qualitative and quantitative feedback as the basis for identifying and prioritizing improvement

Scope

Opportunities for continuous improvement derive from varied sources:

♦ Formal and ad hoc feedback from learners, instructor/coaches, and other stakeholders
♦ Complaints from learners, instructor/coaches, and other stakeholders
♦ Annual self-assessment against the ANSI/IACET 1-2013 Standard
♦ Assessment validation on a per term basis
♦ Internal and external professional development workshops

Sources of relevant data for continuous improvement

Feedback and evaluations

Learners and staff members are encouraged to provide feedback about the quality of the IS Lab’s learning events, facilities, and resources.

Complaints

When the IS Lab receives a complaint, it is dealt with under the Grievance Resolution Procedure. Any areas for improvement that may arise through handling a complaint are documented in the IS Lab Continuous Improvement Log. If an improvement is based on a complaint, it is logged in the IS Lab Complaints Register.

Self-assessment/Internal Audit

The IS Lab carries out a self-assessment against the ANSI/IACET 1-2013 Standard to measure compliance and highlight opportunities for improvement. A timely review of all policies and procedures is also carried out at this time. The following personnel are responsible for self-assessment/ internal audit in their particular areas of responsibility:

♦ Academic Programming: Diana Ascher
♦ Finance & Administration: Diana Ascher
♦ Marketing & Promotions: Diana Ascher
♦ Technology & Access: Justin Scott
♦ Operations: IS Lab Student Staff

These individuals are committed to supporting the alignment of the organization toward the IS Lab’s goals and objectives, as well as the satisfaction and welfare of faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders.

Unsolicited feedback

Any employee or client of the IS Lab may provide unsolicited feedback on the services or operations of the organization. Faculty, staff, and students also are encouraged to provide anonymous feedback, if desired.

Ad hoc continuous improvement working groups

The IS Lab establishes ad hoc working groups or teams to improve functions that are in need of action or improvement. Progress made by these working groups is periodically added to this policy document.

Internal and external workshops

Members of the IS Lab staff participate in workshops run by various relevant agencies as part of our professional development. Each person sent out for training is responsible for extending the reach of the educational experience by holding informal workshops for colleagues at the IS Lab to ensure that the information (e.g., best practices, new approaches, technological tools) is distributed throughout the organization. By inculcating this practice into the IS Lab’s organizational culture, individual professional development is amplified to influence norms for the development, implementation, and assessment of high-quality learning events that support the IS Lab’s mission.

Assessment Validation

The IS Lab has a policy and procedure for undertaking assessment validation regularly and any improvements identified are documented and evaluated. Old assessments that do not meet current standards are removed from the subject files. The IS Lab validates all assessments during a three-year improvement cycle.

Industry Consultation & Participation

The IS Lab consults with relevant industries to improve the training and assessment process. Industry consultation is carried out with industry authorities such as the IACET, the U.S. Department of Education, think tanks, and non-governmental agencies. This consultative process is an important contributor to the IS Lab’s ongoing strategic development, and includes speaking with key personnel at industry agencies about our learners’ needs, curricula, and assessments. The IS Lab also invites industry expert guest speakers for informal talks with its patrons and partners on timely topics that may inform our continuous improvement.

Recordkeeping

A Continuous Improvement File is maintained and includes:

♦ A copy of the Continuous Improvement Policy and Procedure
♦ A copy of the Continuous Improvement Register
♦ Agendas and minutes of Continuous Improvement Committee meetings
♦ Version control register master

Records of all continuous improvement activity shall be maintained for a period of at least four years after the continuous improvement action has been completed to allow for review by IS Lab management and external auditors.

Continuous Improvement Communication Process

Management holds an annual meeting during which continuous improvement issues deriving from feedback, complaints, or as part of internal audits are discussed and documented. When appropriate, action plans are developed and responsibilities assigned to support issue resolution. Minutes of the meeting are documented and posted to the IS Lab Intranet for the edification of relevant staff.