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Accreditation Concept and Processes in Malaysia

The development of unified standard among different qualifications is only realized quite recently in Malaysia. However, there are a number of teething problems
that needs to be tackled among the main providers of training and education as well as the main stakeholders such as professional bodies and Ministries.

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Accreditation Concept and Processes in Malaysia

  1. 1. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona Accreditation Concept and Processes in Malaysia by Prof. Dr. Jailani Bin Md. Yunos, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Wan Mohd Rashid Bin. Wan Ahmad, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Noraini Binti Kaprawi, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Wahid Bin Razally Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) Introduction The development of unified standard among different qualifications is only realized quite recently in Malaysia. However, there are a number of teething problems that needs to be tackled among the main providers of training and education as well as the main stakeholders such as professional bodies and Ministries. This paper will discuss the framework of the Malaysian Qualification Framework and its underlying concept before going into subset of the framework; the standards and qualifications of teacher training in Malaysia. Malaysia Qualification Framework (MQF) In Malaysia, a unified system of qualifications was designed offered on a national basis by all educational and training institutions which include colleges, universities, vocational institutions, professional organizations and other higher educational institutions in both the public and private sector as well as workplace training and life long learning experiences. MQF secures the standards of qualifications and reinforces policies on quality assurance; which ensures accuracy and consistency of nomenclature of qualifications; supports flexible education by providing typical learning pathways and recognizing prior learning (RPL); encourages partnerships between public and private sector, links non degree with undergraduate and postgraduate levels; encourages parity of esteem among academic, professional and vocational qualifications; establishes a common currency for credit accumulation and transfer; provides clear and accessible public information; facilitates, where applicable, the presentation of the intended outcomes of qualifications in forms that enable professional bodies to gauge their contribution to professional formation and articulates links with qualifications from other countries. The MQF also provides transparent criteria and standards of all qualifications
  2. 2. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 2 to ensure accuracy and consistency of nomenclature, reinforce policies on quality assurance, recognize lifelong learning efforts, continuing professional development and workplace training, unify qualifications awarded by providers operating under different Acts or mechanisms within or outside the formal education system, including e-learning, encourage partnerships between public and private sectors, link non degree with undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications, provide typical learning pathways in support of flexible education, encourage parity of academic, professional and vocational qualifications and facilitate the articulation of equivalency of qualifications from other countries. Table 1 shows the three principal elements of the MQF which is qualifications, providers and the educational sectors in which the qualifications are awarded. By uniting these three elements, the MQF encourages partnerships between public and private sector and among non degree, undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well encouraging parity of esteem among academic, professional and vocational qualifications. A qualification is a public certification by an accredited provider that indicates a person has successfully completed a specified set of learning outcomes with a particular purpose and at a particular level, which are properly assessed and quality assured. It marks the achievement of positively-defined outcomes – not as compensation for failure or by default. There are three educational sectors in which qualifications are awarded (Table 1). The first sector is skills sector, which provides training in skills that are technical and industry related. The skills are cumulatively attained through progressive stepwise training. Beginning from the level of semi skills, the training continues progressively to skilled production right up to supervisory, executive and managerial functions. The competencies are 30% theoretical and 70 % practical based. The second sector is vocational, technical and professional sector, which provides education that, covers a wider range of competencies and responsibilities with a vocation or occupation as the endpoint. The education enables a person to practise or to be licensed in specific occupations or vocations such as technician, real estate agent, registered financial planner, unit trust agent, police inspector, health inspector and so on. Some qualifications may have significant autonomy in professional judgment. The last sector is academic and professional sector that provides intellectually challenging knowledge, skills and attitudes that enables a person to assume responsibilities with significant autonomy in professional judgment.
  3. 3. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 3 Table 1: MQF Qualifications LEVEL SKILL SECTOR TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL SECTOR LIFE LONG LEARNING EDUCATION SECTOR ACADEMIC & PROFESSIONAL SECTOR 8 Doctoral Doctoral 7 Diploma & Certificate Post Graduates Master Degree 6 Diploma & Certificate Graduates Degree 5 Advance Diploma (General Degree) Advance Diploma (General Degree) PPPT 4 Diploma Diploma PPPT 3 Skill Certificate 3 Certificate PPPT 2 Skill Certificate 2 PPPT 1 Skill Certificate 1 PPPT
  4. 4. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 4 Figure 1: Proposed Educational Pathways in Malaysia The SKM Qualification Framework The 1991 Cabinet report on training has resulted in the introduction of SKM qualification which is based on the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS). Each candidate for the certification is assessed to determine the fulfillment of the needs as specified by NOSS. With the implementation of SKM (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia) or Malaysia Skill Certificate, new opportunities are opened for school leavers to be gainfully employed. The SKM also give opportunities for workers who prior to this do not have qualification to show despite having years of experience. This is made possible because one of the routes to obtain SKM is the accreditation of prior achievement. Through this route candidates’ experiences are assessed and verified and they can be awarded SKM if they meet the requirements stipulated. It is the hope of the Government that by having SKM, a large fraction of school leavers will be productive and motivated workers who will contribute to the national development. Based on the proposed educational pathways by MQF (Figure 1), graduates with Malaysian Skill Certificate will be able to pursue their (PengiktirafanPembelajaranTerdahulu) PPPT/APEL(AccreditationPrevious Education&Learning Advance Diploma Advance Diploma Skill Cert 3 Skill Cert 2 Skill Cert1 Skill diploma Technical & Vocational Certificate Diploma Technical & Vocational Certificate & Post Graduate Diploma Postgraduate Professional Awards Fellow Master Craftsmanship STPM/ STAM Basic Matriculation Bachelor Degree (honors) (3-5 Years) Ph.D & Doctorate Professional Master (4 Years) Master: by research, by course or mix. SPM & Other recognized certificate Certificate &Graduate Diploma 4 2 3 5 6 7 8 Notes: STPM(Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia)or Malaysia Higher Learning Certificate; STAM (Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia)or Malaysia Higher Islamic Certificate; SPM (Malaysia Learning Certificate)
  5. 5. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 5 studies at any higher education institution and obtained the Bachelor degrees (Table 2). Thus, no limit has been set for graduates with skill certificates. Therefore, SKM Qualification Framework: 1. provides alternative and equally attractive career development path parallels with the academic –based certification; 2. promotes lifelong learning and upward mobility for skilled workers especially those who are already in the business; 3. produces highly competent, highly qualified and highly skilled workers; 4. adds value to the existing vocational and academic programs so that graduates are more marketable; 5. provides common platform for trainees from both public and privately run programs to obtain the same standard of qualification; 6. enhances the corporate image of training institutions; and 7. enhances the status of skilled workers in the country. The National Dual Training Scheme (NDTS) was approved for implementation by the Cabinet in May 2004 and placed under NVTC as implementor provides a more flexible training methodology in which trainees will spend 70%-80% of their time in industries or workplace and the other 20%-30% in training institutions under various government ministries and agencies.. The Concept of Accreditation The thinking of underlying philosophy and learning philosophy form an important development of accreditation concept. The question of Why described by Ornstein (1993) linked between the philosophy and the concept of accreditation.(Table 2). The idea of accreditation came about with the changing aim of education of Reconstructionalism to improve and have social reform in the society. Researchers on curriculum development as a technical scientific model also reflect the aspects of Curriculum Legitimisation, Needs Analysis, Task Analysis, Learning Objectives, Implementation Plan, Evaluation, Review, Maintenance and that it is an integrated parts of a compendium. Therefore, there is a strong basis that accreditation concept to include the curriculum development model and its integration with the major components of players such as teachers, society, researcher and students themselves. (Macdonald,1971)
  6. 6. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 6 Table 2: The Educational Philosophy of Accreditation Concept Philosophical Base / Educational Philosophy Aim of Education Knowledge Skills Accreditation Concept Idealism / Essentialism To promote the intellectual growth of the individual; to educate the competent person Essential skills and academic subjects; mastery of concepts and principles of subject matter Basic Learning Skills; Thinking skills No accreditation; Freedom and democracy Realism / Perennialism To educate the rationale person; to cultivate the intellect Focus on past and permanent studies; mastery of facts and timeless knowledge Thinking skills; Basic Learning skills; Problem solving skills Have the idea of accreditation Pragmatism / Reconstructionism To improve the society; education for change and social reform Skills and subjects needed to identify and ameliorate problems of society; learning is active and concerned with contemporary and future society Problem solving skills; Psychomotor skills; Communication skills; Thinking skill; critical thinking skills Have the idea of accreditation (Source : Adapted from Allan C Ornstein & Francis Hunkins (1993). Curriculum Foundation, Principles and Theory. (2nd Ed.). Allyyn and Bacon: Boston) The Framework of Accreditation Figure 2 demonstrates a general model of Quality Assurance (QA) in which accreditation is part of the system. The QA of a programme is reflected in the level of QA maturity as well as the degree of assessment associated. A matured programme may not require third party accreditation visit as the internal mechanism is capable of doing the surveillance audit. However, at a Programme level, the cycle involves the process of Accreditation, Monitoring as well as Screening Audit.
  7. 7. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 7 Figure 2: The QA Model (Adapted from the Malaysian QA Model) The number of variables increases as the level of assessment moves towards the macro level. At modular level, Learning outcomes and Learning Volumes Variables are particularly important, however, the introduction of other important variables such as governance, facilities and staffing are required. The aim of any accreditation process will be the matured level of QA in which only a surveillance audit is required. Degree of Assessment Micro Institutional Audit Cycle Programme Acc. Cycle Macro QA Maturity Self Acc. Cycle Modular Acc. Cycle A1: Establishment Audit A2: Screening Audit A3: Compliance Audit A4: Surveillance Audit M/P1: Provisional Accreditation M/P2: Programme Accreditation M/P3: Programme Monitoring M3 P3 P2 A2 A3 A4 A4 M2 A2
  8. 8. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 8 On implementation, the inter-relationships between the learners, facilitators and environments are illustrated in Figure 3. The figure also explains the variables that a provider of training should understand and perform which may resemble the framework of accreditation preparations. Figure 3: Institutional Quality System for Accreditation In other words, for the development of reliable and quality programmes that could be accredited, the institution has to follow the minimum criteria, illustrated in Figure 3 which involves the following; 1. Vision, Mission And Learning Objectives 2. Programme Design And Teaching-Learning Approaches 3. Assessment Of Students STAFF, PHYSICAL FACILITIES, FINANCE, MATERIALS, TECHNOLOGY, SUPPORT SERVICES, ETC GOVERNANCE & ADMINISTRATION/MANAGEMENT DELIVERY STUDENTS EFFECTIVE TEACHER Program Design Learning Outcomes Institutional Vision, Mission & Goals National & Global Aspirations
  9. 9. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 9 4. Students 5. Academic Staff 6. Educational Resources 7. Programme Monitoring,Evaluation And Improvement 8. Leadership And Governance 9. Continual Quality Improvement The Processes of Accreditation Figure 4 depicts the process of recognition starting from the application by institution to the recognition process that is chaired by the Minister of Higher Education. When the MQA bill is passed, every processes will have to go through the MQA which acts as a one-stop agency for accreditation of any programmes described in the MQF. However, for professional bodies, they are responsible for the accreditation processes and the outcome of the visit will be brought to the council meeting before the JPA is informed of the result. The accreditation processes such as TVET programmes must comply with the MQF requirement; via professional body formed or through the Institution itself. Summary The concept of accreditation has its root in the philosophical base of Pragmatism and the framework is based on the current processes adopted in Malaysia. While there are other forms of accreditation processes, the MQF will ascertain that all providers and professional bodies abide by the criteria set. The Malaysian approach towards the accreditation may provide some insights to other learning environments and profiles such as the training of technical teachers. However, further work on new development on TVE curriculum development approach and delivery such as learn and work process (Spöttl , 2004) and others should continue.
  10. 10. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 10 Figure 4: RECOGNITION PROCESSES BY JPA INSTITUTION PROGRAMME EVALUATION FROM AD-HOC TECHNICAL COMMITTEE MINISTER APPROVAL (JKTK) JPA JKKT ( TECHNICAL) MQA (FUTURE) Notes : 1. MQA – Malaysian Qualification Agencies 2. JPA – Public Service Department 3. JKKT – Jawatankuasa Kecil Kelayakan Teknikal 4. JKTK – Jawatankuasa Tetap Kelayakan
  11. 11. 3nd International TT-TVET EU-Asia-Link project Meeting, UAB Barcelona 11 References: Allan C Ornstein & Francis Hunkins (1993). Curriculum Foundation, Principles and Theory. (2nd Ed.). Allyyn and Bacon: Boston Asian Development Bank (2004).Improving Technical Education and Vocational Training Economic Planning Unit (2006), Ninth Malaysia Plan. System of Technical & Vokational-Training in Malaysia (TVET). htm. Macdonald J.B. (1971). Responsible Curriculum Development, in Eisner. E.W. ed., Confronting Curriculum Reform. (Boston: Little, Brown) Mohan Perera et. al (2003), Teaching environmental issues in technical and vocational schools in Asia, UNESCO, Paris, France N. S. Tiwana and Neelima Jerath, PSCST, Chandigarh, India Punjab State Council for Science and Technology Chandigarh, India Spöttl, G.(2004). ‘Work process orientation of the TEVT system and consequences for NOSS – an instrument for the development of occupational profiles’. Report for Berufsbildungsinstitut Arbeit und Tecknik (biat), Universitat Flensburg, Germany. Strategies for Asia , Thomas George (2006), Training for Trainers: A Malaysian Perspective.nternational Conference on Technical And Vocational Education and Training 22-23 August 2006, The Hyatt Regency Hotel, Johor Bharu. Zakaria Kasa and Ab. Rahim Bakar (2006), Vocational and Technical Education and Career Development: Malaysian Perspectives.