Quality Management Policy

The Quality Management Policy describes the University's approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement.

  1. Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Planning, Quality and Risk Framework
  4. Quality Management Cycle
  5. Roles and Responsibilities
  6. Review

1. Purpose

1.1 The Quality Management Policy describes Australian Catholic University's (ACU) strategic approach to quality management and continual improvement, which is guided by its Mission and Vision with a strong commitment to quality and excellence.

1.2 ACU has developed its Quality Management Policy to ensure:

  • The alignment of people and resources is guided by the University's Mission and Vision;
  • The alignment of the University's planning, quality and risk management1 systems, and their integration into all areas of the University's operations;
  • There is a clear focus on the University's stakeholders, foster cross-unit collaboration, exchange of 'best practice' and critical self-evaluation;
  • A whole-of-university approach that reflects the University's governance and organisational structure with clear responsibilities and accountabilities; and
  • There is continual improvement and innovation.

1 Please note that the University has a separate Risk Management Policy and supporting documentation.

2. Scope

2.1 The Quality Management Policy supports the development of a quality culture in which all staff assume responsibility for quality and engage in quality management at all levels and areas of the University.

2.2 The Quality Management Policy has been aligned with Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management Systems) and AS/NZS ISO 9004:2009 (A Quality Management Approach).

3. Planning, Quality and Risk Framework

3.1 The University's Planning, Quality and Risk Framework (Figure 1) aligns the planning, quality and risk activities, and is embedded within all areas of the University's operations.

The Framework illustrates the Plan-Implement-Review-Improve Cycle and the organisational characteristics required for sustained success.

4. Quality Management Cycle

4.1 The Quality Management Cycle consists of Plan-Implement-Review-Improve (PIRI) and further strengthens the University's focus on continual improvement and innovation. It is a cyclical system for ongoing review and outlines the organisational characteristics that are essential to achieve quality sustained success.

4.2 Plan

This includes all planning within the University and ranges from University-level strategic planning through to Organisational Unit and Individual Performance Plans. Goals and targets are developed that clearly align with the University's Mission and Vision. Considerations may include:

  • Analysis of the internal and external environment in order to understand the broader sector and market developments;
  • Engagement with relevant stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations and ensure a student-centred approach. This may include staff, students, alumni, the Church, employers and the wider community as appropriate; and
  • Creating a risk-aware culture, where risk and risk management are seen as positive attributes of decision-making and result in the identification of both opportunities and risks.

4.3 Implement

The University's infrastructure, resources, systems and processes are developed, deployed and coordinated in order to support the achievement of the University's goals and targets. Considerations may include:

  • The appropriate distribution and utilisation of the University's resources and infrastructure;
  • The proactive management of the University's systems and processes to ensure they are effective and efficient;
  • A strong culture and commitment to service excellence to ensure consistency and quality of service standards and efforts2; and
  • The analysis of risks and subsequent implementation of treatments to mitigate the impact of identified risks.

2 Please see the Service Matters website for more information on the Framework and service improvements.

4.4 Review

The University monitors its performance and progress at all levels in order to determine whether the established goals and targets have been met. Considerations may include:

  • Ongoing analysis and reporting of data and information to measure and evaluate the University's performance and progress in achieving the established goals and targets;
  • Undertaking benchmarking activities in order to identify and analyse best practice, both internally and externally, in order to improve the University's performance;
  • Regular audit and compliance activities, undertaken by both internal and external stakeholders and agencies, to monitor and review the University's performance as well as its compliance with relevant standards and legislation; and
  • The evaluation of risks and the effectiveness of existing treatments in mitigating both strategic and operational risks.

4.5 Improve

The University identifies opportunities and areas for improvement, which drives its commitment to excellence, continual improvement and innovation. Considerations may include:

  • Ongoing improvement and innovation, which are necessary for sustained success and can be applied at all levels of the University, through changes in technology, services, activities and processes;
  • Ensuring that learning and development are embedded within the University's culture for both individual and organisational-level advancement;
  • Using the outcomes of the review stage, such as analysis and reporting of data, to ensure decision-making is evidence-based ; and
  • Effective risk minimisation through existing and future treatments to ensure the impacts are minimised or reduced as far as practicably possible.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

5.1 The intent and application of the Quality Management Policy is embedded within the work of all University staff.

5.2 The Members of the Senior Executive3 are responsible for providing oversight of quality management at the University.

5.3 The Members of the Executive4 are responsible for ensuring that the Quality Management Policy is communicated, understood and implemented for their respective areas.

5.4 Supervisors are responsible for providing direction and clarification on how each individual role contributes to the strategic priorities of the work unit, including continual improvement and work toward excellence.

5.5 Staff are responsible for full participation, engagement, resolving issues, meeting standards and ensuring quality relevant to their role and contribution to the University in relation to teaching, research, support services, systems and processes.

5.6 The Planning, Quality and Risk Committee is the Governing Authority and oversees the University's approach to planning, quality and risk management.

5.7 The Office of Planning and Strategic Management is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and ongoing review of the Quality Management Policy and any relevant documentation.

3 Members of the Senior Executive are defined in the Delegations of Authority Policy and Register, and refers to the Vice-Chancellor, Provost, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellors.

4 As defined in the University's Delegations of Authority Policy and Register.

6. Review

6.1 In line with the University's Policy on Policy Development, this policy is scheduled for review every five years.

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Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols

ACU Strategic Plan
Delegations of Authority Policy and Register
Organisational Unit Review Policy
Organisational Unit Review Procedure
Policy on Policy Development
Policy Development Procedure
Planning, Quality and Risk Committee's Terms of Reference and Membership
Risk Management Policy
Risk Management Procedure
Service Matters Framework
ACU University Staff Enterprise Agreement