Quality Office

Quality Office

The Quality Office – the operational arm of the Quality Promotion Committee – is an advisory and proactive body that supports the Rector in promoting a culture of quality in all the sectors and departments of the Athenaeum. The Office is managed by Fr. Dominic Farrell, LC, extraordinary professor (professore straordinario) of the Faculty of Philosophy. The Office deals with internal quality assessment processes with a view to promoting and improving a culture of quality within the Athenaeum.

It is worth stressing the annual painstaking activity of the Office in administering service quality assessment forms and analysing their results. Currently, the Office is institutionalising internal assessment processes in view of the next assessment cycle and in the light of the experience acquired so far.

Ecclesia semper reformanda! In our field, if we do not move forward, we move back. If there is no progress, there is regression. It would be against the love of the Church, against the love of God, and against the intimate essence of educational institutions to be satisfied with the status quo and not to do our best to make progress.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education

What is a self-assessment?

Based on the guidelines given by the Congregation for Catholic Education, each ecclesiastical university should undertake a self-assessment process on a regular basis, with a view to evaluating and improving its quality.

Why to apply a self-assessment within APRA?

The assessment and improvement of the quality of ecclesiastical faculties are required by the Bologna Process, to which the Holy See adhered in 2003 and for which it set up the Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties (AVEPRO).

The purpose of a self-assessment is to develop a culture of quality in order to achieve the goals specified in the document of the pontifical Magisterium Sapientia Christiana and in the By-Laws of APRA.

When did APRA’s self-assessment begin?

Based on the guidelines of the Congregation for Catholic Education and AVEPRO, APRA began its self-assessment process in 2010 with a preparatory stage that led, on 10 May 2010, to the setting up of its Quality Promotion Committee, its Quality Office, and ten commissions in charge of carrying out self-assessments.

Which are the bodies in charge of APRA’s self-assessment?

A Quality Promotion Committee, chaired by the Rector, was established in 2010. The current Committee, appointed in October 2013, consists of the following members:

Fr. Jesús Villagrasa, LC – Chairperson

Fr. Dominic Farrell, LC – Secretary and Head of Quality Office

Fr. David Koonce, LC – Representative of the Faculty of Theology

Fr. Jason Mitchell, LC – Representative of the Faculty of Philosophy

Fr. Francisco Ballesta, LC – Representative of the Faculty of Bioethics and member of the Quality Office

Fr. Michael Ryan, LC – Representative of APRA’s Institutes

Fr. Thomas Montanaro, LC – Data Book and member of the Quality Office

Fr. José Enrique Oyarzún, LC – Representative of teachers

Fr. Vincenz Heereman, LC – Representative of students

Plamena H. Petrova – Representative of the Administration and member of the Quality Office

Salvador Ortiz de Montellano – External member

Òscar Sastré Pérez – External member

The executive office of the Quality Promotion Committee is the Quality Office.

To obtain guidance about and methodologies for the quality assessment process, reference was made to the text La cultura della qualità. Guida per Facoltà ecclesiastiche della Congregazione per l’Educazione Cattolica.

How is the self-assessment process organised?

The process consists of the following steps:

  1. Data collection: forms completed by the relevant commissions; tables showing objective and statistical data; questionnaires;
  2. Analysis of collected data: each commission prepares a report showing the weaknesses and strengths of its own sector and putting forward improvement proposals;
  3. Drafting of the final self-assessment report: commission gathers and summarises the reports and proposals submitted by the commissions;
  4. Delivery of the final report to AVEPRO;
  5. Visit of external experts, appointed by AVEPRO, to APRA: based on the final report, the experts analyse the actual situation of APRA and provide guidance and recommendations for improvements;
  6. Implementation of improvements: improvements are included in APRA’s strategic plan and progressively implemented until the beginning of a new self-assessment cycle.
How to obtain information about the self-assessment process?

The quality self-assessment and promotion section of APRA’s website and the newsletter of the Quality Office disseminate the outcomes of the process inside and outside the academic community.

For additional information, contact:

Plamena Petrova
Member of the Quality Committee

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