Selection of Experts and Inclusion in Database
Expert database is the main source for the Agency to select the experts. Experts are selected during an open application process, however, Agency may involve experts that have been recommended by quality assurance agencies from abroad, employer organizations, student organizations or other policy-makers and cooperation partners.
Those interested in participating in the assessment procedures of institutions of higher education or colleges and study directions may apply by filling in the online application form on the website of the Agency.
Candidates that will be selected as suitable will be invited to participate in the expert training and might be included in the group of experts.
Training of Experts
Two types of trainings will be organized for the experts- before the on-site assessment visit and during the academic year that will be announced in advance.
Agency organizes the meeting of the group of experts before the on-site visits to the institution of higher education or college, to inform the experts on the goals and tasks of the assessment, introduce the methodology and provide an insight into the regulatory enactments regulating the higher education.
Expert training before the on-site assessment visit is focused on to the specific assessment. It takes place on a day when all the members of the group of experts have arrived in Latvia. The trainings are organized and held by the Agency staff. The group of experts is informed on the system of higher education in Latvia, the system of quality assessment of higher education in Latvia; the work and the expected outcomes of the discussion of the group of experts.
Expert training that is organized separately during the academic year covers a wider range of issues.
Working Principles of Experts Group
The work of the group of experts is subject to the following principles:
- unbiased and fact-based findings – the expert shall act in an honest and unbiased manner in their efforts to reach the aim of the assessment. When expressing their opinion, formulating conclusions or taking decisions, the expert shall rely on the facts, observations, and his/her personal competence;
- neutrality – within the assessment process of the study direction, the expert shall act independently. The expert shall not represent the interests of the higher education institution/college, the study direction or other party;
- respect towards other parties involved in the assessment process – within the assessment process, the expert shall act in good faith as a professional. The expert shall not exceed his/her powers as specified in his/her tasks. The expert shall treat the parties involved in the assessment process as persons capable of taking responsibility for their actions, therefore he/she shall rely on facts and observations;
- confidentiality – all information related to the assessment (opinions of the interviewees, the Self-Assessment Report, and additional information provided by the higher education institution/college) shall be used exclusively for the assessment process;
- collaboration – each expert, as a member of the experts group, shall be open to collaboration with other members of the experts group. The collaboration of the experts shall be coordinated by the head of the experts group. The experts group shall develop mutual understanding with the representatives of the higher education institution/college and make efforts to assist the higher education institution/college to enhance quality culture.
N.B.! All the members of the group of experts shall sign the confirmation of the absence of conflict of interests and consent that the information obtained during the assessment process shall not be publicly disseminated.