By conducting an audit, AQ Austria certifies that the higher education institution’s internal quality management system (QMS) is effective and properly organised and supports further improvement of that system. AQ Austria is dedicated to the principle of making the HEIs themselves responsible for quality assurance and improvement in the areas of teaching, research and organisation, within the scope of their autonomy. HEIs have the competence to define their own QMS as well as their internal organisation and management processes and any related instruments. AQ Austria conducts audits at HEI in Austria and abroad.

The AQ Austria audit pursues two objectives:

  • The audit confirms the existence of a functioning internal QMS at the public university or university of applied science (FH).
  • The audit supports the university or FH in continued improvement of its internal QMS.

An audit is a peer review procedure for the purpose of assessing and certifying that the HEI’s internal QMS is properly organised and effective. The AQ Austria audit supports continued improvement of quality management in all aspects of the HEI.

The audit is based on the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), international auditing practice and the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (HS-QSG) as amended.

The AQ Austria audit is based on four standards:

  • Standard 1
    The HEI has defined qualification objectives and a quality strategy, that are systematically integrated in the institution’s management tools.
  • Standard 2
    The QMS supports the HEI in achieving its objectives. 
  • Standard 3
    Review procedures, monitoring and information systems are integral components of the QMS. 
  • Standard 4
    The QMS is based on the institution's quality culture and provides for participation by various interest groups.

Audit Guideline (PDF) (effective from 1st July 2015)

The audit procedure

The audit procedure in detail

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)

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)