Five Facts About Spot Checks in Quality Assurance

1. Spot-Checks vs. Accreditation Assessments Spot-checks differ from regular assessments conducted for registration and accreditation purposes. These visits focus on assessing higher education institutions' compliance with minimum standards upon which they were registered or accredited, but they do not provide a comprehensive evaluation like accreditation assessments.

2. Monitoring Compliance Spot-checks are primarily monitoring exercises that sample specific aspects of minimum standards to ensure ongoing adherence. They do not result in scores or pass/fail outcomes for institutions. They serve to verify that institutions continue to meet the requirements of their registration or accreditation status.

3. Frequency of Spot-Checks Ideally, spot-checks are conducted on an annual basis. However, budget constraints may affect their frequency. When significant deficiencies are known to exist, NCHE prioritizes conducting spot-check visits.

4. Conducting Spot-Checks Spot-checks are meant to be unannounced, but a short notice, typically no more than a week, may be provided to ensure the availability of key personnel. NCHE assembles a team of expert reviewers (quality auditors) who specialize in relevant aspects, accompanied by the NCHE secretariat team to coordinate the process effectively.

5. Action Following Spot-Checks After a spot-check visit, a report is sent to the institution for review. The institution provides feedback, and the report is approved by the Council. The institution is then required to create an action plan within 21 days to address identified gaps. Follow-up visits are scheduled to oversee the plan's implementation, and in cases of significant non-compliances, meetings with the institution's top management are arranged to discuss critical issues.

Spot-checks have contributed to enhancing the quality of higher education by ensuring institutions' ongoing compliance and fostering deeper engagement between NCHE and the institutions regarding matters of quality and standards compliance.

Contact Us

Area 47 Msokera Street
Next to Chitukuko Petroda Filling Station
Private Bag B371
Lilongwe Malawi

Tel: +265 1 755 884

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between registration and accreditation?

click for answer and more questions

Q: Can institutions that have failed accreditation continue offering higher education programs, or do you close them?

click for answer and more questions