Standardisation: the challenges

Standardisation: the
challenges within a newly
merged centre
Jessica Borley: Head of Quality
Perth College, UHI
Benefits of a Merger
Economies of scale
Opportunity for synergies
Greater efficiency
Greater profitability/less expenditure
Improvement to standards
Corporate Challenges
 What do you think the main challenges of a
merger are from a corporate perspective?
Corporate Challenges of a Merger
 Autonomous Institutions which have different:
Corporate Cultures
College Vision and Mission
Guiding Principles
Governance structures
Management structure - hierarchical or flat. Who would take
the lead?
 Corporate/Operational planning cycles
 Different Awarding Bodies for HE
 How will it affect students expectations?
 How will it be perceived by the public?
Operational Challenges
 What will the College need to consider when
planning standardisation of operations?
Operational Challenges of a Merger
Capacity of staff workloads
Same awards, different structures, different delivery
Academic contracts may differ
Same roles, different responsibilities
Rationalisation – portfolio, staffing, resources
Software compatibility e.g. SITS/Banner, CELCAT
Governance structures – responsibilities for quality?
Policies, Procedures, Processes – similar but not the
Challenges of Standardisation
 What are the considerations you will need to take
into account in standardising operations?
Challenges of Standardisation
 Mapping of existing process and systems
 Writing of new/revision of policies and processes:
 What is mandatory/controlled
 What is flexible
 Same or equivalent output?
 Standardisation (levelness) activity for moderation
and marking
 Software compatibility
Managing Change : Managing Expectations
Change is outside staff ‘comfort zone’
Communication is key
Consult staff and students, and other stakeholders
Maintain staff and student awareness i.e.
communicate changes clearly and in a timely way
 Be aware of how change affects people
 Workloads – does it really have to be changed at all
or now?
Best steps forward
 Big decisions:
– who leads/manages provision
– does rationalisation mean redundancies?
 Identify early who will be involved
 Plan a timeline for changes and stick to it
 Learn from best practice, don’t just stick with current
practice that you are familiar with

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