Experts

The role of an expert

With a view to implementing accreditation processes as a key component of external quality assurance, ANQA makes use of the services of highly qualified experts, who carry desk-review and site visit, form the basis on which they submit their final report.

The selection of peer-review experts is one of the most important steps of the accreditation process to be taken, inasmuch as the recognition of accreditation decisions by education stakeholders mainly depends on the level of adherence to both the selection criteria of external experts and the implementation of established procedures.

The peer-review panel is made up of specialists and students who are selected according to clearly defined procedures developed by ANQA and ratified by the Board of Trustees. The panels are composed of local and international experts who are well-known highly qualified specialists with sufficient expertise in the implementation of quality assurance processes.

A large number of factors come into play in the selection procedure of experts: they are selected according to the adequate degree of spoken and written communication skills (communication skills both in speech and in writing) as well as skills at conducting meetings   and focus group discussions, analyzing and synthesizing a wide range of information. In choosing an expert, there are also a number of important personal characteristics to consider, especially the ones that will ensure an unbiased and objective evaluation.

To effectively apply the above-mentioned skills and competences in accreditation processes, ANQA periodically conducts trainings for expert panel members.  

Who can apply?

ANQA forms two panels of experts to perform institutional and programme accreditation processes.

Expert panels are composed of:

  1.  academic staff representatives;
  2.  representatives from the field of education management;
  3.  international experts;
  4. students;
  5. representatives and employers from professional or specific field of industry, 

International experts are selected from the expert pool of an authoritative international accreditation (quality assurance) agency or from the international expert pool of ANQA.

Academic staff representatives should:

  • have experience in academic programme assessment and/or institutional or programme accreditation;
  •  have proven professional expertise;
  • have experience in review processes and education quality assessment;
  •  have experience in education management (desirable);
  •  have international experience in teaching, research or evaluation;
  •  have experience in academic programme development, monitoring, methodology and review;
  •  participation in trainings on accreditation or audit procedures.

Representatives from the field of education management should:

  •  have experience in professional review processes;
  •  have experience in policy and procedure development processes;
  •  have international collaboration experience;
  •  participate in trainings on accreditation or audit procedures;

Students engaged in review panels should:

  • be either senior undergraduate students or Master’s students with some experience in social activities;
  •  have participation in trainings on accreditation or audit procedures.

Representatives from professional or specific field of /industry should have:

  •  experience in professional review processes; 
  • experience in employing and working with university graduates (in the field of human resource management);
  • experience in review processes and education quality assessment;
  •  international experience, 
  • experience in education management; 
  • as well as, participation in trainings on accreditation or audit procedures. 

Experts involved in the accreditation of higher education institutions should have recognized qualifications on the level of a PhD or status of an assistant and associate professor or higher. For the accreditation of institutions, delivering vocational education and training (VET) experts should have at least recognized qualifications at the Master’s level or should be certified education specialists.

Language Proficiency
Local experts should be fully proficient in both spoken and written Armenian. At least one of the local experts in the panel should demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency in the English language.
Experts should also have knowledge and skills in applying institutional and programme accreditation criteria and standards.

All experts should have:

  •  an in-depth knowledge of the RA accreditation criteria and standards, policies and procedures and their practical application skills;
  •  an in-depth knowledge of the ESG and their practical application skills;
  •  an in-depth knowledge of ANQA evaluation methods;
  •  necessary skills at making reasonable interpretations and practical applications of accreditation criteria appropriate for a specific situation.

 Experts’ Personal Qualities

An expert should:

  •  be perfectly willing to consider alternative ideas and points of view;
  •  make sound and impartial judgments, demonstrate analytical skills, and have tenacity; 
  •  have the ability to perceive situations in a realistic way through understanding complex operations and the role of individual units within an organization; 
  • be able to prioritize;
  •  be honest, fair, sincere and discreet;
  •  be diplomatic – tactful in dealing with people;
  • be observant – perfectly aware of the activities, customs of the surroundings; 
  •  be able to make right smart decisions, based on reasonable conclusions, and thorough analyses; 
  • be self-reliant; be able to act independently while interacting effectively with others.

Experts should possess the aforesaid qualities so that they can:

  • collect true facts, relevant details, sound bases, and supporting evidence;
  •  remain loyal to the purpose of the assessment;
  •  perform the assessment process without any deviation;
  •  react effectively in stressful situations;
  •  arrive at conclusions generally accepted by all the members of the panel and base those conclusions on objective evidence collected during assessment processes;
  •  remain loyal to confirmed conclusions even if they are under pressure to change them, especially when there are no reasonable grounds.

 

How to become an expert?

In order to become an expert, the candidate should send  his/her CV to experts@anqa.am e-mail.

The initial selection of candidate experts is being made by the committee formed from ANQA’s experienced staff, who base their selection on the data presented in CVs. Selected expert-candidates are provided with a “Login” and “Password” to fill in the electronic survey of ANQA’s expert’s database (http://experts.anqa.am).

Based on the electronic survey data, expert-candidates are called for an interview during which they submit all the necessary documents validating the information provided by them. Candidates selected as a result of an interview are included into the expert pool, which ensures their participation in the trainings organized by ANQA.

Candidates who successfully complete the trainings acquire the status of an external expert and are registered in the expert pool by ANQA.   

ANQA provides ‘refresher’ training sessions and periodic short training courses for the experts whose nominations have been approved by the TLI under review. These trainings are designed to keep experts updated on new and evolving procedures and requirements. Such trainings are conducted by ANQA professional staff, coordinators, and sometimes by the most qualified experts before the site visit.

Before experts undertake the study or assessment of documentation submitted by the educational institution, they must disclose any professional, financial and work-related interest that could be construed as a conflict of interest. They must inform ANQA in writing about any problem that might provoke a conflict of interest with the institution and must sign an agreement whereby any kind of conflict of interest is excluded.