Peer review is one of the underpinning principles of accreditation. For this purpose, HKCAAVQ maintains a Register of Specialists with relevant experience and expertise for participation in accreditation exercises, and other assessment and consultancy work as required. At present, the Register comprises Specialists with experience and expertise covering a wide range of industries and Areas of Study and Training. There are practitioners from various industries as well as academics who have specialised knowledge and experience in areas such as organisational management, programme development, delivery and management as well as quality assurance. About a quarter of these Specialists reside outside Hong Kong. Drawing from their experience and expertise, these non-local Specialists are normally engaged to provide an international perspective in academic accreditation exercises.
Appointment of Specialists
Potential Specialists are normally identified from within HKCAAVQ’s established networks including the Industry Training Advisory Committees, trade unions, trade associations, professional bodies, local and non-local higher education institutions, and other local and international quality assurance agencies. HKCAAVQ, however, does not accept self-nomination.
HKCAAVQ has established a Specialists Selection Committee to consider and endorse, amongst other things, the appointment of Specialists. Specialists are appointed on the basis of their experience and expertise in relevant industry and/or Area(s) of Study and Training as well as in quality assurance and accreditation. Appointment is normally three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
Training of Specialists
To prepare Specialists for their roles and to keep them up-to-date, induction and refresher workshops on the accreditation process are held on a regular basis. Prior to their participation in the accreditation exercises, Specialists will be briefed about the work and their roles. At the same time, Specialists may access the Online Specialists Resource Centre to keep track of the latest development of HKCAAVQ.
Engagement of Specialists
If shortlisted, Specialists may be invited to indicate their availability to serve on the Accreditation Panels. When selecting Specialists for participation in accreditation exercises, the following will normally be considered:
Nature of the accreditation exercises;
Relevancy of Specialists’ qualifications, expertise and experience;
Training undertaken by Specialists, including that provided by other local and non-local quality assurance agencies.
Specialists serve on the Accreditation Panels on a voluntary basis and also in their personal capacity. Prior to commencing their duties, Specialists are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest and their participation in accreditation exercises is subject to a Code of Conduct which includes a commitment to confidentiality.
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