Preamble by the Agency’s Chair

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for registering in the list of reviewers and your interest in working on a review panel of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (also the Agency or SAAHE).

The Agency regards the role of the review panels as crucial since accreditation decisions of the Executive Board are predominantly based on reviews by you, the panellists. Without well-functioning review panels and their evaluation reports, which reflect the expertise, professional outlook and objective approach of their members, the Agency could not possibly make quality decisions.  Therefore, I consider it important that the Agency establishes a professional rapport with the reviewers and ensures regular communication with them. Part of this communication will include guidance.

To prepare you for the role of a panellist, the Agency has designed this Guidance material to provide you with adequate information on the Agency’s mission, the  Slovak higher education system, the place of a review panel in proceedings and the necessary legislative framework for your work.

We greatly value your expertise, yourprofessional approach and experience in the evaluation of higher education institutions.

We look forward to our fruitful cooperation.

Foreword

Any major decision of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education accreditation proceedings relies heavily on review panels’ professional, objective, and thorough evaluation of higher education institutions. As a result, it is in the Agency’s interest to have at its disposal panellists whose professional experience, understanding of the Slovak higher education system and its quality assurance will ensure such evaluation. Consequently, the Agency has designed this Guidance material, which presents all the relevant information to help you perform your role in a professional and ethical manner.

Please note that the current internal regulations of the Agency require that a review panel candidate undertake training prior to their work on a review panel. It is therefore essential that you become familiar with the Guidance material.  Thus, we would very much appreciate your finding the time to go through it before your work as a panellist and give us brief feedback in the Feedback & Questions section.

Abbreviations

(the) Agency – the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education

ESG 2015 – the European Standards for Quality Assurance in Higher Education

HEI – a higher education institution

IS – Internal System (of quality assurance of a HEI)

RP – review panel

SAAHE – the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education

SP – study programme

Aims and outcomes

The role of a review panellist requires at least one of the following: in-depth knowledge of a specific field of study, extensive work experience, experience with quality assurance systems or being a student.  Another requirement is an adequate understanding of the Slovak higher education system and its quality assurance.

This material aims to acquaint you with the specificities of the Slovak higher education system and its quality assurance. It will cover mainly:

  • the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education
  • the Slovak higher education system
  • the work of review panels
  • types of proceedings.

By the end of the training you will be familiar with and understand the following:

  • the Agency’s structure and its role in higher education quality assurance
  • the Slovak higher education system
  • the panellists’ selection process
  • the composition of review panels and their role in accreditation proceedings
  • the Rules of Procedure for the Review Panel
  • the Conflict of Interest Regulation
  • the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • types of proceedings the SAAHE deals with
  • the legislative framework for proceedings
  • step by step procedure for proceedings

We believe the above-mentioned learning outcomes will help you towards a professional, objective, and thorough evaluation of Slovak higher education institutions.

The training takes the form of self-study. Besides information in written form and infographics, the material also includes hypertextual links to important legally binding documents and internal regulations of the Agency.