We’ve previously written about the minimum standards approach employed in Quality Assurance (QA) programs in regulated professions. Regulators must be mindful at all times of serving the public interest; ensuring that minimum standards are adhered to is certainly aligned to the public interest. In many ways this boils down to making sure our registrants don’t do anything wrong, and insisting they take a prescribed number of CEU’s every reporting cycle.
But what about also encouraging registrants to take a performance-based view of their professional practice? What about asking registrants to be the best they can be? Surely this is also in the public interest! This is what we at the CSC Collab describe as Quality Improvement (QI). We say that the addition of QI support into a regulator’s QA programming is a far better way to serve the public interest than relying on traditional QA approaches.
The Career-Span Competence Approach is based on the performance of a professional. It emphasizes that professionals should continually strive to improve performance throughout their career-span. Regulators can help in this by providing registrants with tools through which they can assess their workplace performance, and, based on the assessment outcomes undertake focussed, practical learning (of their choosing) with the aim that performance is improved.
In this way QI involves is an ongoing cycle of assessment, professional development planning, learning, and review / reassessment. It’s a continuous, never-ending cycle that should persist across the career-span, enabling a professional to be the best they can be.