A one-day capacity building workshop on quality assurance and accreditation organized by the National Accreditation Board (NAB) for Nursing and Midwifery Training Colleges (NMTC) across Ghana came off on Wednesday, 26th February, 2020 at the Conference Hall of the Tertiary Education Building adjacent to NAB. The sole aim of the workshop was to address the seeming quality assurance and accreditation challenges faced by Nursing and Midwifery Training Colleges in their respective institutions.
Addressing the participants in the welcome statement, the Executive Secretary of NAB, Dr. Kingsley Nyarko noted that NAB is a regulatory institution with the mandate to accredit and supervise the activities of tertiary institutions in Ghana of which the Nursing and Midwifery Training Colleges are included. He continued that the main aim of NAB is to promote quality education in tertiary institutions and to get this achieved, the board periodically visits the institutions to assess and evaluate their quality assurance and accreditation issues. The Nursing and Midwifery Training Colleges which fall under the Health Training Institutions are very vital institutions because of their mandate to train health professionals for the health services, and a more reason the workshop is of immense importance to aide them to keep up to the standards, because, without Nursing and Midwifery Training Colleges adhering to the minimum standards of quality assurance and accreditation in terms of accreditation status of programmes and institutions, right curriculum, learning and teaching facilities, lecturers and others, the health of the public would be at risk, he posited. He further advanced that he hoped at the end of the workshop the participants would be properly sensitized, and the board also enlightened and their work improved by the concerns and suggestions of the participants.
For his part, the Head of Quality Assurance of NAB, Mr. Emmanuel Oware Nyarko, placed emphasis on four thematic areas; Institutionalizing Internal Quality Assurance (QA) in Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs), Quality Assurance Standards, Requirements and Measurements, External Quality Assurance Schemes and Approaches and New Developments in Quality Assurance. He postulated that despite the difference between quality assurance and quality control, they are mostly erroneously used interchangeably to refer to ways of ensuring the quality of a service or product. He clarified that quality assurance makes sure you are doing the right things, the right way all the time while quality control makes sure the results of what you have done are what you expected. He further posited that quality assurance is an important unit in educational institutions because it is a means through which an institution can guarantee that the standards and quality of its educational provisions are being maintained and enhanced, and also a continuous process of evaluating the quality of a higher education system, institution or academic programmes.
Speaking on Accreditation of Tertiary Institutions In Ghana, NAB’s Head of Accreditation Department, Mrs. Colette Hukpati touched on the Need for Accreditation, Process of Accreditation, General Provisions of Accreditation, Obligations of Accreditation and Maintaining Accreditation. She emphasized that for a tertiary institution to operate and also to run any of its programmes, the institution must first secure an accreditation for its operations and the run of any of its programmes. She continued that an operation of an unaccredited institution or programme is unlawful and should be avoided because of its huge negative effects. In furtherance, she opined that Institutions found to be operating without accreditation are sanctioned by the Board and also certificates of graduates of such unaccredited institutions are not recognized as legal documents by the board, to seek for employment or use as a qualification to further ones’ education.
Taking his turn, Chairman of Quality Assurance Committee of NAB, Prof. K. B. Omane-Antwi noted that Quality Assurance is simply all activities undertaken in institutions to predate and prevent poor quality. He continued that institutionalizing internal Quality Assurance at the Tertiary Institutional level is a huge necessity because it helps ensure that students have appropriate academic experience, the quality and standards of awards in principle and delivery is assured, national and regulatory standards are met and products are trained to the level of international benchmarks and standards. In advancement, he posited that Nursing which is a human-caring profession is a complex, complicated and coordinated process of interpersonal interactions, individual-system relationships and group, cultural, political and social community connections, and as a result must ensure quality assurance in the training of those who decide to join this extraordinary profession.
The workshop drew over three hundred (300) participants, and attendees were particularly Principals, Quality Assurance Officers and Programme Coordinators of the various Nursing and Midwifery Training Colleges.