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One of ITP Quality's functions, since 2000, has been academic audit in the ITP (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics) sector. In the past three years there has been a shift in the focus of external Quality Assurance, to allow ITPs to manage their own quality assurance and academic quality processes. 

The ITP Quality audit process is based on the 12 ITP New Zealand academic standards which were developed by the ITP sector. The first round of audits completed by ITP Quality in 2001 were focus audits against ITP New Zealand Standard 2: Development Of Qualifications And Educational Programmes. 

The second round of academic audits began in 2001 and will be completed by end of 2004. These audits are against all of the ITP New Zealand Academic standards.

The audit process allows for a team of 3 or 4 auditors to be appointed to each Institution. All teams consist of a Lead Auditor, an Academic Auditor (from the ITP sector) and an Industry/Community Auditor. Those Polytechnics teaching at degree level are also required to have an NZQA Auditor on the audit team. The academic audit visit takes 3-5 days on site at the ITP, with the team examining a cross-section of up to 12 selected programmes.

When an Institution has successfully met the twelve standards, ITP Quality grants the award of “Quality Assured Status” for a period of four years. Provisional Quality Assured Status may be granted to Institutions that have met all of the standards but where significant corrective action is required on a high risk non-compliance. Provisional Quality Assured Status is usually granted for twelve months once the high risk non-compliances have been eliminated and requires the Institution to undergo another full audit within that twelve month period.