Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


Novel Recipes




core definition

Monitoring has two meanings:

1. the specific process of keeping quality activities under review;

2. a generic term covering all forms of internal and external quality assurance and improvement processes including audit, assessment, accreditation and external examination.

explanatory context

Monitoring is often used as shorthand to cover a range of activities related to quality assurance: see external quality monitoring (EQM) and internal quality monitoring (IQM).

analytical review

The Quality Assurance Project (undated) defines quality monitoring as:

The collection and analysis of data for selected indicators which enable managers to determine whether key standards are being achieved as planned and are having the expected effect on the target population.

A UNESCO (undated) training module links monitoring to management control :

Monitoring can be defined as an internal management process of continuous control of inputs, processes and outputs in order to identify strangths and weaknesses, formulate prctical proposals for action to be taken and take he necessary steps to reach the expected results.

The Ghana Health Service (2002) states:

What is quality monitoring? In order to assess our progress in the implementation of our QA plans we need to do monitoring. Let us now agree on a common understanding of the word monitoring. We define monitoring as the collection, analysis and interpretation of data in order to assess whether we are making any progress towards achieving our set objectives.

The Ongoing Quality Monitoring and Enhancement National Working Group (2003) states:

Ongoing quality monitoring is the process by which education providers and external stakeholders satisfy themselves that the quality of educational programmes is being maintained and improved. It includes all activity that occurs on an ongoing basis, e.g. practice placement audit by higher education institutions, contract monitoring by WDCs and annual monitoring by professional and statutory bodies

associated issues

Impact of quality monitoring

Jeffries and Palermo (2001) argue that monitoring can be positive:

This paper challenges the view that external quality monitoring leads institutions to adopt a narrow focus on a limited set of performance measures to the near exclusion of the core business of universities: learning and teaching. ...It is argued that significant organisational cultural change can be achieved.

The case study by Horsburgh (1999, p. 9) of a New Zealand educational institution confirmed that:

for quality monitoring to have an impact on student learning, the emphasis must be on curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment.

related areas

See also

external quality monitoring (EQM)

internal quality monitoring (IQM)


Ghana Health Service/Ministry Of Health, 2002, Health Care Quality Assurance Manual Cynthia Bannerman Institutional Care Division Ghana Health Service, April.

Horsburgh, M., 1999, 'Quality Monitoring in Higher Education: the impact on student learning', Quality in Higher Education, 5(1), pp. 9–25.

Jeffries, A and Palermo, J., 2001, ‘Changing minds: the potential of external quality monitoring’ at The End of Quality? Conference, Chamberlain Tower Hotel and Conference Centre, Birmingham UK, 25th–26th May 2001.

Ongoing Quality Monitoring and Enhancement (OQME) National Working Group, 2003, Summary of agreements and actions from 11th OQME Meeting held on 11 December 2003 at Avonmouth House, London, available at, accessed 13 October 2012, page not available 3 January 2017.

Quality Assurance Project, undated, Methods and Tools: A Glossary of Useful Terms,, no longer available 20 January 2012.

UNESCO, undated, Training module reforming School Supervision for Quality Improvement, Module 1 Supervision a key component of a quality monitoring system, available at , accessed 4 September 2012, page not available 3 January 2017.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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