Implementation success factors

Factors for successful implementation of quality teaching criteria and standards

Consultation and Communication

Consultation and communication to gain support and approval are an important part of implementing quality teaching criteria and standards. Institutions approached consultation in diverse ways, for example;

  • working groups from some universities consulted widely at the beginning of the implementation process and used the AUTCAS framework as a starting point to generate discussion
  • working groups from other universities modified the AUTCAS framework to suit their institution’s strategic priorities first and then sought feedback at a later stage

Involving colleagues from a range of roles in the implementation team helped to facilitate progress. In particular, it was useful to involve representatives from Human Resources with roles related to appointment, review, professional development and promotion, as well as academic staff. It was also important that university leadership was involved in conversations and in communicating the strategic direction of initiatives to the wider university community.

Leadership and Timeliness

Timeliness and endorsement from leaders within institutions were important factors for success. Working groups made more progress in implementing and embedding quality teaching standards and criteria where there was already a political imperative for change. At some institutions, implementation was hindered where the project did not fit into the strategic priorities identified by the leadership or where there was instability in leadership and/or project teams.

Alignment and Consistency

Alignment between processes (e.g. appointment, performance review and promotion) is important to ensure transparency and clarity for all stakeholders including; academic staff, line managers, HR staff and relevant committee members. Stakeholders involved in writing and reviewing policy and practice related to each of these roles need to agree on appropriate terminology and processes to ensure consistency and a common understanding.

Evidence of Practice

Teaching staff need to see that the criteria and standards adopted by their institution are being applied and that as a result excellent teachers are being appropriately recognised and promoted to the various levels. It is important that excellent teachers (not just exceptional teachers) are fairly assessed and rewarded for their accomplishments. Accordingly, heads of schools, supervisors, promotion panel assessors and Human Resources staff need to be prepared to assess and judge teaching probation and promotion applications transparently against the adopted criteria and standards. For more information about bridging the gap between policy and practice in academic promotion refer to the Promoting Teaching project (