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Executive Director’s Report

2012/13 presented both challenges and opportunities for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ).

This year, we witnessed the first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) under the new 334 structure. We experienced a surge in demand for our services driven by the increased number of matriculants in the double cohort. This year, we also took part in the development of the Award Title Scheme (ATS) and Use of Credits, which marks an important milestone in the development of the Qualifications Framework (QF) to support vertical articulation.

In the face of all these changes and challenges, the HKCAAVQ continued to focus on achieving our mission and making progress and improvements across our wide range of services. In the year under review, the HKCAAVQ accredited 180 local and non-local programmes ranging from academic to vocational and in-house training programmes across QF levels 1 to 6, and assessed over 3,300 overseas qualifications, 1,800 Continuing Education Fund reimbursable courses and nearly 600 Continuing Professional Development programmes.

Driving Changes, Delivering Values
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve our efficiency we moved to a new office in Siu Sai Wan, Chai Wan, in July 2012. Thanks to the teamwork of our dedicated staff we overcame the challenges of moving and had a smooth relocation under a very tight schedule. Not only does the new office accommodate our future growth and facilitate closer communication within the Secretariat, it also allows us greater flexibility in organising workshops, seminars and different types of capacity building activities.

On the same day we moved into the new premises we implemented a new organisation structure of the Secretariat. The change to this new functional structure was the result of an extensive review of how we could better implement the Council’s statutory functions, drive efficiencies and deliver a higher quality of service. We believe the restructuring will enable us to take a more integrated approach to the delivery of our services, create synergy, and address changes and challenges holistically and effectively.

Refining the QA Model
In 2012/13, the HKCAAVQ carried out a number of initiatives to improve our quality assurance work. One of the major thrusts was the review of our Four-stage Quality Assurance (QA) Process, the accreditation model developed to underpin the QF since its launch in 2008. Following a rigorous and comprehensive review and an extensive consultation on the refined model under the leadership of a Steering Committee, the Council approved the refinements to the Four-stage QA Process in March 2013.

The refined model incorporates, among other things, the formalisation of the enabling approach via the establishment of a Facilitating Phase in the accreditation process, which aims to enhance new operators’ awareness of the accreditation requirements and streamline the process for operators with successful accreditation experience. In the second half of 2013, we will carry out a pilot programme to test the new model and your participation is important in helping us to finalise and implement these refinements.

Building Capacity
The HKCAAVQ initiated an IT Infrastructure Development Project in 2012. The plan is to develop a new and secured IT environment, incorporating an integrated database and central repository to enhance work efficiency, as well as facilitating communication and exchange of information among our staff and stakeholders.

In addition to strengthening existing work processes and services, we have also been paying special attention to the promotion and dissemination of good practices in quality assurance. Last year, we organised over 50 capacity building activities such as training workshops, seminars and briefings to strengthen providers and specialists’ quality assurance capability. We also arranged a series of consultation sessions on the publication of summary accreditation reports. As the education environment becomes more diversified and internationalised, greater transparency will help build public confidence in our quality assurance process and allow the public to make better informed choices.

Strengthening Partnership
While the HKCAAVQ continued to maintain close contacts with the local community, we also took part in different regional and international activities to build global networks and promote collaboration and partnership with quality assurance agencies worldwide. In early 2013, we renewed the Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE), Japan; together we organised a joint workshop in Tokyo to discuss the current trends and challenges in higher education in Hong Kong and Japan.

Apart from this joint endeavour, we continued to engage proactively in exchanging knowledge and experience with QA practitioners all over the world through participation in international conferences, visiting and receiving delegations from peer agencies overseas. To allow more in-depth sharing on different QA systems and work processes, we sent one of our staff for a short-term attachment to the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) of Australian Education International, and received an assessor from the Council of Private Education (CPE), Singapore. These activities help keep us abreast of world trends in quality assurance, and our effort in enhancing our international focus was recognised by the Asia- Pacific Quality Network (APQN) in its inaugural APQN Quality Awards Presentation at the 2013 Conference in Taipei.

A Fond Farewell
This is my last report as the Executive Director of the HKCAAVQ. It is my honour and privilege to have had the opportunity to serve the HKCAAVQ during its critical phase of transformation. Over the past five years, I have been blessed with the advice and guidance from the Council, and the tremendous support and strong commitment of colleagues at all levels of the Secretariat. I am also thankful for the participation and partnership of our various stakeholders.

In their different roles but sharing a common objective, our Council Members, colleagues, our partners especially the Education Bureau, and all other stakeholders including the Specialists and education/ training providers have together made the HKCAAVQ a successful external quality assurance agency recognised by our counterparts around the world. Over the years, the HKCAAVQ has lived up to its dual role as the gate-keeper and gate-opener for education and training provision in Hong Kong, and has gained recognition for its rigorous approach to quality assurance in both the local and international arena. I am confident that under the leadership of Prof William Lee the HKCAAVQ will continue to uphold its mission and core values as it moves into the next phase of development.





Prof Yiu-Kwan FAN, BBS, JP
Executive Director

Prof Yiu-Kwan FAN, BBS, JP
Executive Director


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