Friday, October 16, 2009


Ever been audited? You usually don’t get much advance notice and you’re left with a sinking feeling in your stomach.

Universities all over Australia get audited regularly all the time. We generally do get notified early, but that does little to dispel the butterflies.

A year from now CQUniversity will host auditors from the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) for our second review. We’re told they’ll be interested in discussing two things during their scheduled visit: our Learning & Teaching quality and Internationalisation.

So, why the butterflies? There’s good reason. If an organization doesn’t measure up against standards it risks losing its accreditation. Even if the outcomes are mixed and a University is commended for doing most things well (CQUniversity was invited in 2006 to submit six entries to AUQA’s database of good practice, the second highest number of entries from among all Australian universities), other conclusions and recommendations made in an AUQA report can be damaging to a university’s reputation.

At CQUniversity we are open and transparent about our programs and services. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from the Audit about how well, or not, we are doing in meeting our goals and servicing our students and other customers.

The upcoming Audit couldn’t come at a better time for CQUniversity, following restructures and the purchase of CMS and ongoing work throughout the organisation that is making us the most engaged university in Australia.

AUQA is not about rankings or ratings and the auditors don’t give out gold stars. They’re interested in establishing just how universities are meeting their goals, how effectively they gather information to measure progress, and how efficiently they are at identifying and addressing the issues that sometimes get in the way of achieving those goals. In addition, auditors verify that all institutions meet relevant legislated requirements and standards. The Audit team defines quality as “fitness for purpose” and they will assess CQUniversity procedures, policies, and processes.

In context of our preparations for upcoming Audit we run the risk, however, of becoming easily distracted. Let’s not lose sight of issues that resonate with our students in our communities: quality and excellence, real choice and diversity, university autonomy and academic integrity. These are the issues at the core of CQUniversity’s Strategic and Renewal Plans.

Over the next 10 to 12 months we are going to work together on the Audit preparations, not a stand-alone separate “get ready” exercise, but as part of our ongoing commitment to improvement and making CQUniversity even better. Remember we’re going to be one of Australia’s ‘great’ universities in ten years!

Whether you are a professional or academic staff member, a domestic or international student or a community stakeholder, your input to the Audit preparations and the Audit itself is vital.

The Corporate Projects Office staff will coordinate many opportunities for you to participate. Please do so.

In the meantime, re-read the Renewal Plan and the Strategic Plan. Familiarise yourself with University policy.

Most importantly, however, remember as you prepare what’s really crucial is that we look at the University’s long-term future, and the journey of renewal on which we’ve embarked. Think of the Audit simply as a useful and powerful tool that we can use to help transform CQUniversity. It is also a chance for us to show off what is great about our University.

By the way this picture is me with the cast of Bumpy Angels – a production put on by the Bachelor of Performing Arts. I really enjoyed their performances this year. This is yet another example of how we engage with our community to help cultural development.


Anonymous said...

. I really enjoyed of their performances this year.

You may wish to correct this in your blog


Anonymous said...

I think you'll that you've misspelt the acronyn in your heading.
Shouldn't it be AUQA?