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Programme accreditation entails the evaluation of higher education academic programmes in accordance with the HEQC’s programme accreditation criteria, which stipulate the minimum requirements for programme input, process, output and impact, and review.
Institutional audit, on the other hand, which is also within the HEQC’s jurisdiction, evaluates an institution’s policies, systems, strategies and resources for quality management of the core functions of teaching and learning, research and community engagement, using the HEQC’s audit criteria. Quality management encompasses arrangements for quality assurance, quality support and enhancement, and quality monitoring, and covers aspects of input and process as well as outcomes.
The HEQC’s accreditation and audit systems form part of an interconnected quality assurance system. This connection is evident in institutional requirements for achieving self-accreditation status.10 The HEQC’s decision about self-accreditation status will be informed by evidence of programme quality deriving from a range of sources, including evidence from audits. Self-accreditation is one of the HEQC’s key strategies for facilitating the move of the higher education system towards a greater measure of quality assurance self-regulation.