Audit

Autonomous higher education institutions own responsible for its quality management, which includes quality assurance and quality enhancement in learning and teaching, research, development or advancement and appreciation of the arts., as well as administrative support. They develop and design their internal quality management system in accordance with their individual profiles and with consideration of European standards. At the center of external quality assurance according to the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education is the certification of this internal quality management system in an audit.

The Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation (AQ Austria) supports this responsibility of the higher education institutions and wants to promote the quality enhancement at the higher education institutions with their audit. When designing the audit, AQ Austria considers international experiences and examples of good practice.

The audit of AQ Austria is a cooperative process in which the higher education institution, the experts and AQ Austria are involved.

The audit by AQ Austria complies with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and also integrates international perspectives and expertise by way of using Peer Review.

Purposes of the Audit

The aim of the audit is to confirm with a certification that the higher education institution has implemented a quality management system in accordance with the statutory provisions. The quality management system supports the higher education institution in assuring and enhancing the quality of its activities. In addition, the audit should help to give impulses for the further development of the quality management system of the higher education institution.


An audit is a peer review in which the organization and effectiveness of the internal quality management system in the core areas of activities  and in the cross-sectional tasks of the higher education institution are assessed and certified. The Audit supports the further development of quality management in all areas of the higher education institution.

The reference framework of the audit combines the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ESG), international good practice in Audits and the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (HS-QSG) as amended.

The AQ Austria audit is based on five standards:

The quality management system is assessed using five standards, which define the requirements for a functioning quality management system and specify the assessment areas pursuant to section 22 paragraph 2 HS-QSG. 

  • Standard 1
    The higher education institution has an understanding of its concept of quality and a quality management strategy, which is part of its internal management. The quality management strategy includes the higher education institution's core tasks, cross-cutting tasks as well as its administrative support.
     
  • Standard 2
    The higher education institution has established a quality management system, which is derived from its quality management strategy, and has defined the structures, responsibilities, and competences for implementing the quality management system. The quality management system covers the higher education institution's core tasks, cross-cutting tasks as well as their administrative support.

  • Standard 3
    The higher education institution implements quality management measures on the basis of the defined objectives in the fields of studies and teaching and assesses their contribution to the achievement of the objectives and to the enhancement of the quality in those fields. The results of this assessment contribute to the systematic adaptation of the implemented measures.

  • Standard 4
    The higher education institution implements quality management measures on the basis of the defined objectives in the fields of research or the advancement and appreciation of the arts or applied research and development and assesses their contribution to the achievement of the objectives and to the enhancement of the quality in those fields. The results of this assessment contribute to the systematic adaptation of the implemented measures.

  • Standard 5
    The higher education institution implements quality management measures on the basis of the defined objectives in the field of human resources and assesses their contribution to the achievement of the objectives and to the enhancement of the quality in those fields. The results of this assessment contribute to the adaptation of the implemented measures.

Audit Guideline (PDF)

Audit for Art Universities and Art Schools

Together with EQ-Arts (Enhancing Quality in the Arts), AQ Austria offers the organisation of a joint quality audit specifically for Art Universities and Art Schools. This joint audit of the internal quality management system has been designed both for higher education institutions in Austria who require a periodic certification of their internal quality management system as well as for any higher education institution who is interested in using the quality audit for its further development.

Audit for Universities of Music

MusiQuE (MusiQuE Quality Enhancement) and AQ Austria have developed a joint audit of the internal quality management system with a specific focus on higher music education institutions. It is based on the audit standards of AQ Austria which are supplemented by the standards of MusiQuE, and will be implemented in close coordination of the two institutions. Both institutions understand the continuous improvement of quality to be a priority of external quality assurance and complement each other through their respective competences and experiences. The joint audit aims at Austrian higher education institutions which are subject to the regular certification of their internal quality management system, but also at institutions which wish to use the audit for their own development.

Completed audit procedures

Danube University Krems - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)
Paris Lodron University of Salzburg - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)
University of Applied Sciences - FH Burgenland - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)
University of Applied Sciences - FHW Wien - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF) (in German)
Medical University of Vienna - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF), Auflagenerfüllung (PDF) (in German)
Medical University of Innsbruck - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF) (in German)
University of Applied Sciences - FH Joanneum - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF), Auflagenerfüllung (PDF) (in German)
Lauder Business School - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)
Graz University of Technology - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)
University of Art and Design Linz - Ergebnisbericht (PDF), Gutachten (PDF), Stellungnahme (PDF) (in German)

 

Audits conducted by predecessor organisations

2010: School of Economics and Business Sarajevo - Audit (PDF)
2011: TU Graz - Audit (PDF) (in German)
2011: Meduni Graz - Audit (PDF) (in German)
2011: Meduni Wien - Audit (PDF) (in German)