The audit is designed as a peer review procedure involving independent international reviewers. The reviewers assess the university's (of applied sciences) internal QMS based on the institution's self-evaluation report and on two site visits. They hold discussions with the institution's management, students, quality managers as well as with other individuals from among the teaching, research and administrative staff and from university bodies, with the aim of checking and verifying the functioning and effectiveness of the QMS. The reviewers write a report summarising the main content and findings.
The expert panel consists of a minimum of four experts. These individuals have demonstrated experience in the management and organisation as well as in quality management of a HEI. One of the experts is a student representative.
The experts' report contains observations about the institution's QMS as well as related assessments according to the individual audit standards. It includes the expert panel's recommendation on certification. The report may also include any recommendations for further improving the university's (or FH's, respectively) QMS. The university (of applied sciences) is given the opportunity to comment in writing on the contents of the report.
The Board of AQ Austria decides on certification based on the experts' report as well as the HEI's written comment. Certification is limited to a seven-year period and can be granted with conditions. AQ Austria publishes a report on the outcome which includes the experts' report, the HEI's written comment on the review report as well as the Board's decision and the grounds for it, the certification period, and, as the case may be, any conditions.
Audit Guideline (PDF)