Profile of VET organisation

Name of organization: Rīgas Stradiņa universitātes Sarkanā Krusta medicīnas koledža (Red Cross medical college of Riga Stradiņš university)

Country: Latvia

Type of VET institute: Higher vocational education


Good practice title

Excellence approach in a College

Baseline / problem

In two years we have to go through an accreditation process and our plan is to reach the status, when all our processes are in order, clean and transparent. To structure our system better, to improve College routine processes and to focus on long term needs, we decided to use excellence approach and to build an excellence culture.

As a base for excellence approach it is suggested to do a regular comprehensive self-assessment. We started with self-assessment of our organization and spotted some needed improvements. For the self-assessment we used EFQM Excellence model and its 9 criterions. Whole process was led and monitored by devoted assessment leader. During the self-assessment process, we acquired many of improvement ideas, which were prioritized to develop improvement projects and deploy them.

During next year we plan to organize our self-assessment again to see what our progress is and where we should move further.

Good practice: (Measures, instruments, criteria, indicators)

For the excellence approach implementation, we use the EFQM Excellence model, which is widely used by many different organizations in Europe. To support the process of implementation we used on-line tool GOA-Workbench®, which led us threw the self-assessment and improvement planning process.

The steps to achieve our aim were following:

  1. Decision to use the excellence approach for our College
  2. Decision to use EFQM Excellence model
  3. Introducing EFQM Excellence model to the employees, informing them about the possibility to be involved personally in the assessment process
  4. Choosing the internal assessors (employees), building the assessment teams
  5. Training about excellence approach, EFQM Excellence model and self-assessment for the internal assessors
  6. Self-assessment process, using 9 criterions of EFQM Excellence model
  7. Self-assessment report with assessment results and suggestions for improvements list
  8. Improvements prioritization
  9. Improvements projects preparation for prioritized suggestions
  10. Self-assessments result's presentation to all employees
  11. Improvement projects realization
  12. In 2017 repeated self-assessment

Before the self-assessment we decided to work in 5 assessment groups and chose the group members. Each group was responsible for a certain EFQM Excellence model criterions (for example 1. and 2. criterion) from all 9 model criterions. Every assessor group had a leader and consisted of 4 members. In each of the assessors’ groups we invited employee with a good knowledge of a certain field (e. g. housekeeping manager – partners and cooperation, etc.)

One of the first benefits was that the assessors in groups were trying to understand and discuss issues connected to their field, e. g., to read College inner normative documents, to get to know potential college students’ future employers view, etc.

The impact of taken actions we can see already in better communication and more structured work. We are still on our way in excellence implementation and we believe that in the future it will bring even more benefits to our organization.

Problems and constraints encountered and solutions found:

As most of the college lectors are practically acting doctors, who are on everyday basis working at medical institutions, our biggest concern, when starting self-assessment process, was, if we are capable of planning assessors group meetings and how much time would be needed for every group to organize the assessment.

We weren’t sure if we can finish the self-assessment in the set up term - the self-assessment process itself shouldn’t take longer than 2 months, to be sure, that it’s actual and is reflecting real problems and suggestions for improvements.

The lucky coincidence was, that we started the self-assessment process during sessions, when lectors are not so busy and we, as a result, were successful in achieving our aim – to do the self-assessment in 2 months.

Our suggestion for other organizations would be - before start the self-assessment process, make sure that all assessment participants understand the need for suggestions for improvements (what to do, why and when to do) as clear as possible, because some part of the improvement suggestions, we acquired, were too general to be included in next year work plan.