When implementing a new QA system in 2014, NVAO conceived the Appreciative Approach as the underpinning philosophy of its new QA methodology. Previous QA methodologies were primarily compliance-led, always starting from normative standards. The Appreciative Approach has shifted the focus from the standards towards the context of the assessment. It takes this context as the starting point and in this context works towards standards.
Implementing the Appreciative Approach has had several consequences for all aspects of QA procedures, e.g. for the role of institutions, for the mindset of all involved, for the organisation of the site visits, for the training of panel members, for the involvement of students, and for the format of the assessment reports. The new QA system cultivates institutional autonomy while also engaging institutions more. Their new responsibilities have direct consequences on QA within higher education institutions and for the way students are engaged.
This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.