The past year has been as challenging as it has been fulfilling. As we
enter the new era of higher education that commenced in 2012 under
Hong Kong’s New Academic Structure, the HKCAAVQ remains
committed to promoting quality enhancement, developing good
practices, building capacity and strengthening communications with
I am delighted that the HKCAAVQ has made significant progress
toward achieving many of its goals in 2012/13. Of particular note is
the review of the Four-stage Quality Assurance (QA) Process initiated
in 2011. The review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of our
accreditation model that underpins the Qualifications Framework (QF).
The Council formed a Steering Committee to undertake this review
and has during the year carried out extensive public consultation to
gather views from over 200 stakeholders on the refined model.
In March 2013 the Council approved the refinements to the Four-stage
QA Process and its progressive implementation from June
2013. While the base structure of the current accreditation model will
remain intact, the refined model will introduce a more learner-centred
philosophy, and will formalise the facilitating phase to reinforce our
“gate-keeping” and “gate-opening” roles in quality assurance.
The review has taken into account local quality requirements, the
current situation in the education and training sectors in Hong Kong,
as well as international developments in quality assurance. We are
confident that a broad cross-section of our community will benefit
from this refined model which allows the sectors to perform, to grow
and contribute to Hong Kong’s education development.
The HKCAAVQ is mindful of its statutory role in safeguarding the
quality of qualifications for local learners. In this regard, we work in
concert with the Government to ensure that our work and processes
align with the latest policies and developments in QF.
Following the launch of the Award Titles Scheme (ATS) and Use
of Credit under QF by the Education Bureau in October 2012, the
HKCAAVQ has worked to incorporate these new initiatives into
our accreditation process and to upgrade our systems for early
compliance with both schemes on the Qualifications Register (QR).
We also participated in briefing sessions and training workshops to
introduce the key concepts of these schemes to our stakeholders.
To increase transparency in our quality assurance process and to
assist the public in making better informed choices, we have made
the decision of publishing summary accreditation reports online.
During the year, we also made substantial progress in streamlining
the work processes of our accreditation and assessment services,
and made available improved guidelines and assessment tools on our
Openness and transparency are key elements for building
accountability and trust in a quality assurance system. With an
ultimate goal of protecting the rights and interests of learners, the
HKCAAVQ will continue an open dialogue with its stakeholders and
maintain our presence in the international arena to keep ourselves
abreast of current trends and developments in education and quality
Since our inception in 1990, the HKCAAVQ has moved with the times
to meet the changing requirements of our community and to help
our academic and vocational sectors to pursue continuous quality
enhancement for global competitiveness. As we take stock of our
work this year, we are glad to see positive results of our endeavours
in external quality assurance. In support of the Government’s
initiatives at developing a more integrated approach to quality
assurance for Hong Kong’s higher education sector, we have made
great efforts at developing our capacity for conducting external quality
Over the past year, we maintained close contact with the Education
Bureau, the Quality Assurance Council of UGC and the Joint Quality
Review Committee through the Liaison Committee on Quality
Assurance to share good practices and enhance consistency and
transparency in quality assurance. We also invited local and overseas
experts to conduct workshops for our staff and prepare them for
taking up the task of quality audit if and when called upon to do so.
The HKCAAVQ will continue to work closely with stakeholders at
building consensus on the scope and levels of quality audit to achieve
harmonisation of standards.
2012/13 was a fruitful year for the HKCAAVQ, during which we
have garnered recognition as a respected quality assurance body
by virtue of our robust quality assurance systems and high service
standards. The HKCAAVQ’s success hinges on the commitment and
concerted effort of our Council Members, staff, Specialists as well as
our institutional and industry partners. We are also thankful for the
unfailing support of the Government and the valuable feedback from
I should also like to express my gratitude to our former Executive
Director, Professor Yiu-Kwan Fan, who retired at the end of July this
year for his service and contributions to the HKCAAVQ over the past
five years. The Council and I wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.
At the same time, I should like extend a very warm welcome to our
new Executive Director, Professor William Lee, who assumed office
in August 2013. Professor Lee has substantial experience in tertiary
education and was actively involved in quality assurance of higher
education. I am confident that the HKCAAVQ, under his leadership,
will meet the challenges ahead and continue to play a pivotal role in
safeguarding the quality of education and training in Hong Kong.
The Honourable Martin LIAO, JP