- PhD Candidates
Elaborated by: USI Quality Assurance Service
Document approved by the Academic Senate on 17.10.2019 and approved by University Council on 05.03.2021
Quality assurance at USI (USI QA)
The former internal directives for quality assurance at USI dated back to May 2007. The University Council's decision, 10 years later (June 2017), to systematize and thus initially map USI's macro-processes and processes, and the imminent institutional accreditation procedure that all Swiss universities must undergo according to the new university law, have led to a complete revision.
Here are the various stages of the planned path:
Quality Assurance Cycle
USI's internal quality assurance cycle involves three main steps:
The cyclicity is defined by the Academic Senate in agreement with the Quality Assurance Service, and takes into account the fulfilment every 7 years of the institutional accreditation according to Swiss university law.
The objective of the internal quality assurance cycle is to improve the processes and thus the organization of the university.
Stakeholders, tasks and responsibilities
The internal quality assurance cycle is carried out by the following stakeholders who have the tasks listed below. The interaction between the various players is shown in the diagram on the right, the tasks and responsibilities are shown in the table on the right. Representation of all components of USI is ensured by the primary involvement of the Academic Senate.
University Council, Accreditation Commission and Rectorate:
CCQ - Commission for the Culture of Quality of the Academic Senate:
Quality Assurance Service:
The systematic work of mapping USI processes, which began in January 2019, makes use of the online platform ADONIS, accessible internally at: https://processi.usi.ch, on which each process is depicted according to the same criteria of recognized and current use of the business process modeling standard "Business Process Model and Notation" (BPMN).
The procedure introduced for the mapping work is carried out by the Quality Assurance Service and foresees an initial personal contact with the process owner, on the one hand to explain the purpose and functionality of the mapping, and on the other to draw up an initial catalog of activities or procedures for which the owner is responsible at USI and which will be conveniently mapped as processes. The Quality Assurance Service will take care of the correct representation of the process in accordance with the needs and indications of the owner. Subsequently, the same will formally validate the process within the ADONIS platform.
(For the most current status of process mapping, refer to the Quality Assurance Service).
The first instance of process control is the self-assessment by the process owner. The objective of the self-assessment is a critical analysis of the status of a process by the process owner. The procedure is carried out with the help of a simple standard questionnaire specifically created and made available online by the Quality Assurance Service, which takes care of collecting and archiving the answers (report). Each individual process has its own self-assessment questionnaire.
Analysis and control procedure
The CCQ carries out the quality control of the processes by establishing an annual program of quality assurance and sample analysis of USI's validated processes according to one or more of the following criteria:
The Quality Assurance Service provides the necessary support to the CCQ, and proposes a set of guidelines to set up and facilitate its work.
The CCQ must establish an annual plan to be presented to the Academic Senate and must prepare at least once a year a report on the work done. The Academic Senate, on the basis of the CCQ report, will propose to the owners of the analyzed processes on the one hand, and to the USI governing bodies on the other hand, the implementation of the improvements to be introduced and possible changes or corrective measures.