ESTABLISHING A CO-OPERATIVE FRAMEWORK BETWEEN THE ACCREDITATION COUNCIL OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (ACTT...
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ESTABLISHING A CO-OPERATIVE FRAMEWORK BETWEEN THE ACCREDITATION COUNCIL OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (ACTT) AND PROFESSIONAL STATUTORY AND REGULATORY BODIES (PSRBs) By Rajiv Jebodh Attorney-at-Law Research Officer (Legal) – ACTT. INTRODUCTION.

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INTRODUCTION

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Introduction 2806754

ESTABLISHING A CO-OPERATIVE FRAMEWORK BETWEEN THE ACCREDITATION COUNCIL OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (ACTT) AND PROFESSIONAL STATUTORY AND REGULATORY BODIES (PSRBs)

By Rajiv JebodhAttorney-at-LawResearch Officer (Legal) – ACTT


Introduction

INTRODUCTION

The legislative mandates of Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) in relation to their Quality Assurance roles overlap with the statutory functions of ACTT

The standards applied by PSRBs to evaluate professional qualifications are generally not harmonised with those applied by ACTT

Paper will examine conflicts in the mandates of ACTT and PSRBs and suggest a possible solution to problems through the development of a co-operative framework to evaluate professional programmes and qualifications


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GENERAL FUNCTIONS OF ACTT AND PSRBs AS THEY RELATE TO QUALITY ASSURANCE

General functions of ACTT

  • ACTT was established in 2004 by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago Act, Chapter 39:06

  • Framework of the Act provides the basis for ACTT to monitor and evaluate the quality of educational programmes and qualifications, safeguard the interests of students and the public and provide an assurance of, and improvement in the quality of education and training offered to stakeholders regionally and locally.


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General Roles of PSRBs in a QA Context

  • PSRBs are involved in certifying/licensing post secondary and tertiary level education graduates as fit to practice as professionals in the relevant professional fields

  • Protecting the public interest and safeguarding the standards of professional practice are central to the statutory mandate of these bodies and their decisions as they relate to quality assurance in their related profession have implications for practitioners on a national and international level


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OVERLAPS IN MANDATES OF ACTT AND PSRBs

  • While ACTT has the statutory duty to ensure that the quality and standards of post secondary and tertiary education and training in Trinidad and Tobago meet and even exceed internationally accepted best practice benchmarks, PSRBs also make an invaluable contribution to improving the quality of tertiary education sector

  • PSRBs must ensure that training and education received by professionals would allow them to practice their skills competently while ensuring the safety of the consumer

  • Programme approval or the recognition of qualifications by PSRBs and accrediting bodies such as ACTT necessary to protect public safety by maintaining the integrity of any “Register of Professionals.”


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A look at the legislation

  • By enacting laws to govern certain professions in Trinidad and Tobago, the State has acknowledged its duty to regulate those professional services which, if improperly provided, could adversely affect the health, safety and well-being of individual citizens and the overall economic and political stability of the State


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A WAY FORWARD

  • Despite the previously discussed legislative provisions, there has been indication that certain PSRBs may well vest overarching responsibility in ACTT for the accreditation of professional programmes

  • A look at co-operative frameworks in Malaysia and the United Kingdom

    • Joint Technical Committees in Malaysia

    • UK QAA’s PSRB Forum and Memoranda of Co-operation


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Developing the Trinidad and Tobago Model

  • Since 2006, ACTT has identified as a problematic issue the overall impact and possible overlap of the different quality assurance type processes that Higher Education Institutions and subjected to by both ACTT and PSRBs.

  • Currently, steps are being made towards conceptualising the development of a framework that encourages innovation and achievement, while discouraging duplication of effort.


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CONCLUSION

  • Both the PSRB and ACTT must be open minded in its approach, accepting that whilst the PSRBs representatives may be experts in its professional field, those representatives may not necessary be experts in educational administration

  • PSRBs must also be able to provide appropriately skilled, willing and available members, not only to attend meetings, but with the motivation to build partnerships and develop an understanding with ACTT

  • Ultimately, the establishment of a system to facilitate co-operative relationship between ACTT and PSRBs will lead to a historical step forward in achieving good governance of the Higher Education Sector in Trinidad and Tobago.


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THANK YOU


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