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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Quality assurance

Austria

11.Quality assurance

Last update: 25 October 2022

Overview

The following table provides an overview of quality assurance (QA) measures that are used in the various education areas in Austria and that are explained in more detail in the following subsections. The most important legal bases for quality assurance are listed below the table.

Fig. 1: Overview of QA measures and processes in Austria by education areas.

EDUCATION AREAMEASURES AND PROCEDURES

Early Childhood Education and Care

External QA measures

  • cross-provincial education framework plan
  • module for the last year in elementary educational institutions
  • guideline for conveying values
  • kindergarten inspectors
  • expansion of early childhood education and care (agreement between the federal state and the provinces)
  • language proficiency assessment
  • seal of approval for the training of day-care parents
  • training standards for those working in elementary education

Internal QA measure (example)

  • self-evaluation tool “Pedagogical Quality Features”

 

 
Schools at Primary and Secondary Level

Measures across all school types and levels

  • realignment of the school supervision
  • external school evaluation
  • quality framework
  • quality management for schools (QMS)
  • activities in the field of educational monitoring

School type-specific measures

  • various QA measures as part of dual vocational training (including QML - Quality Management in Apprenticeship)

 

Tertiary Level
  • various measures regulated by the Federal Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (HS-QSR): accreditations of higher education institutions / studies and audits of internal university quality management
  • Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ Austria)
  • Quality Assurance Council for teacher training courses
Adult Education
  • Ö-Cert - Quality framework for adult education in Austria
  • Federal Institute for Adult Education St. Wolfgang
  • KEBÖ - Conference of Adult Education Institutions in Austria
  • wba - continuing education academy
  • in-service training and upskilling programmes for adult educators at tertiary level
  • IEB - Adult Education Initiative
  • NQF - National Qualifications Framework 
 

Legal Bases

Aspects of quality assurance in the different education areas are regulated in Austria in the following legal bases: 

Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

  • In Austria, the tasks and responsibilities in ECEC lie with the provinces. The provincial childcare laws cover regulations that contribute to the pedagogical quality (e.g. the staff-child-ratio, the group size, the equipment of the childcare facility, the in-service training requirements of the teachers and assistants, pedagogical supervision, etc.).
  • The agreement between the federal government and the nine provinces, which was concluded for the period between 2022 and 2027, regulates investments in the quantitative and qualitative expansion of elementary education facilities in Austria. 

Schools on the primary and secondary level

Quality assurance and development in schools and in dual VET programmes is primarily anchored in the following laws:

  • The Federal Constitutional Act explicitly obliges Austrian schools to safeguard “an as high as possible educational level while continually assuring and developing the best possible quality”.
  •  With the Education Reform Act 2017 the autonomous scope for action in the area of pedagogical, organisational and personnel control of the schools was expanded, which led to a change of tasks and responsibilities of the school management with respect to quality assurance. In addition, the school supervision was reorganised with this law. It also forms the basis for the introduction of the new quality framework, which applies to all school types on the primary and secondary level.
  • With the Federal Act on the Establishment of the Boards of Education in the provinces, these new authorities were set up which are, among others, responsible for the school supervision.
  • With the Federal Act on the Establishment of a Federal Institute for Quality Assurance in the Austrian School System, IQS was founded as a subordinate agency of the Ministry of Education. It supports the ministry in the evidence-based governance and further development of the Austrian school system.
  • The essential legal bases for quality assurance in the dual system (accreditation of training companies, quality of the LAP, Clearing Office) are laid down in the Vocational Training Act (BAG). 

Tertiary level

The laws relevant to quality assurance in the field of tertiary education are the University Act, the Act on the Organisation of University Colleges of Teacher Education, the Universities of Applied Sciences Act, the Private Higher Education Insitutions (HEIs) Act, and the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Adult education