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 18 June, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


Novel Recipes



Quality system

core definition

A quality system is a set of integrated policies and practices that structure the management, implememtation and adaptation of quality assurance processes.

explanatory context

A quality system usually refers to the managemnt of quality assurance rather than to a system for addressing the improvement or enhancement of quality itself.

analytical review

Siakas (2006) states:

The main aims and objectives of a quality assurance system in higher education is to create a ground for visibility into the processes that support the study programme and into measurements of learning outcome, capabilities and competences (what the graduate is able to do). Also the quality assurance system needs to support a system of continuous improvement.

In an AUQA occasional paper, Woodhouse (2006, p. 14) states:

A quality system is a set of related or interacting ideas, processes or components for the achievement of quality. Thus it includes quality management systems and quaity frameworks, both institutional and sectoral. At a sectoral level, it may be called a ‘quality assurance system’.

Kisuniene (2004) states:

Quality system comprises the whole complex of quality control, quality assurance and quality assessment and encompasses all this knowledge. The whole system must be well managed.

Tempus (2001) defines quality system as:

organisational structure, procedures, processes and other necessary means for application of quality management. In order to be effective, the quality system requires coordination and compatibility of all its constituent processes and determining their interrelations.

A more generic approach states:

A quality system is composed of the standards and procedures that are developed to ensure that the level of quality desired is repeated in every unit of a product or service. (Arab British Academy for Higher Education, 2012, p. 274)

associated issues


related areas

See also



quality management


Arab British Academy for Higher Education, 2012, TLFeBOOK, Chapter 14, 'Quality Management Systems' available at, accessed 18 September 2012, still available 1 July 2019.

Kisuniene, G., 2004, Quality Assurance: Priority of the Education Reform available at, no longer at this address 10 October 2012.

Siakas , K.V., 2006, The Design of a Quality Assurance System in Higher Education – Selecting Key Performance Indicators , Thessaloniki, Greece, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki.

Tempus, 2001, Glossary of the Terms related to Quality Assurance Development of Quality Assurance System in Higher Education (QUASYS) Tempus Joint European Project, UM JEP-16015-2001, accessed 3 August 2008, not available 29 January 2011.

Woodhouse, D., 'Quality Frameworks for Institutions', in Baird, J. (Ed.) Quality Frameworks Reflections from Australian Universities, Melbourne, AUQA, AUQA Occasional Publications Number 9, available at, accessed 18 September 2012, page not available 9 January 2017.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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