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Quality Assurance Committee (QAC)

Quality Assurance Committee (QAC)

The QAC exists to ensure that taught degree programmes meet the standards set by the Society. For pre-registration training, these standards operate at a higher level than those of the regulatory authority, which is primarily concerned with minimum threshold criteria devised to ensure that registrants are safe to practise. According to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC): “These standards are how registrants' ‘fitness to practise’ is determined.”

The responsibilities of a professional body, however, are broader in scope than those of a regulatory body. In addition to developing the profession, the expectation of the public is that the professional bodies will foster the development of new treatments and, with the aid of education underpinned by research, many old ailments will no longer present the threat to life and limb that they once did. In this arena, podiatrists can justifiably stand tall.

In order to ensure that the Society’s processes remain in line with best practice, the QAC includes two lay members who are experienced in professional education and training.

Quality Assurance Handbook

This handbook is a definitive codification of the regulations for accreditation by The College of Podiatry. The handbook shall be issued to members of the Quality Assurance Committee, to External Examiners in Podiatry, to Podiatry Programme Leads and to any non-committee visitors appointed to act for the Quality Assurance Committee.

Further copies may be purchased at a price specified by the Committee but institutions and individuals are free to photocopy it in total or in extract.
Download the Quality Assurance Handbook

The Quality Assurance Committee

This role of this committee is to ensure that the standards set by the College of Podiatrists are implemented in programmes of pre-registration training and other programmes which are linked to podiatric training.

In order to ensure that the Society remains in line with best practice, the Committee has members drawn from others professions. Currently the lay members are drawn from The Bar Council, and The British Psychological Society.

The QAC operation may be summarized as follows.

  • Appropriately qualified podiatrists draft criteria relevant to a degree programme in a particular area of the discipline

  • These criteria are considered first by QAC and, if the criteria are deemed appropriate a recommendation is made to the Board of College Governors that the criteria are adopted for use in the accreditation process.

  • Education providers prepare degree programmes which meet the criteria. For pre-registration training programmes, the programme must be validated by a degree-awarding authority, must meet the requirements of the HCPC, and must also meet the Society’s criteria. The latter is linked to personal indemnity insurance and podiatrists are so insured only if they supervise students from a programme accredited by the Society. For post-registration programmes only the degree awarding authority and the Society are normally involved.

  • Accreditation team visits the programme and forms a judgement concerning whether the programme meets the criteria. A report to this effect is produced.

  • The accreditation report is considered by the QAC and a recommendation is made to the Board of College Governors.

  • The Board of College Governors considers the recommendation and delivers one of the following verdicts: the programme is accredited, the programme is accredited subject to the satisfactory fulfilment of conditions, or the education provider is invited to resubmit the programme in revised form, following which a further accreditation event will be scheduled.

  • The QAC considers the response to any conditions and, where these are met, the programme team is advised accordingly. When conditions are not met, this is brought to the attention of the Board of College Governors who will consider withdrawing approval from the programme.

The terms of reference for the QAC

For the purposes of membership of the Society and in accordance with the relevant Articles of Association, the QAC considers recognition of pre-registration courses leading to degrees in podiatry that are registrable by the HCPC, and the academic component of training for post-registration grades of membership of the Society.