The quality criteria and guidelines of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and Spanish legislation establish that universities must report their activities, the quality commitments that they have assumed and their level of compliance.
The UPM's Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos has defined quality as an essential component of its policy and training activity adopting compliance with the guidelines and criteria set out in the reference documents of the AUDIT programme run by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) as its priority objective.
Internal quality assurance system
The UPM considers the AUDIT programme to be a great opportunity to have schools deploy a complete and integral quality system for their activities and management.
Determined to rise to the challenge set out in its mission and vision, the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos' Executive Board formally committed to the UPM's, internal quality assurance system. This is a joint effort by the school to design a system that will help it to achieve and maintain the required quality of the service with the goal of setting up mechanisms to ensure that a culture of continuous improvement will gradually take root.
The UPM's Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos has participated in the first AUDIT round called by ANECA submitting the design of an internal quality assurance system that covers all the degree programmes that are taught at the school and for which it is responsible at the bachelor, master and doctorate levels. This design of this system was approved at the School Board held in March 2008. The ANECA Certification Commission’s final positive report for the IQAS submitted by the UPM's Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos was received in 2009. One of the key requirements of a quality management system is documentation. Therefore, documents, containing detailed statements of the school’s quality policy and quality objectives set out in the quality manual, and procedures outlined in the school’s process map have been developed.
In order to continually improve the effectiveness of the system with respect to its educational, research and management activity, the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos continuously amends its quality policy by both setting up and developing new processes that make up its current IQAS. These amendments are due to changes caused by the operation of the processes, changes to regulations, new circumstances within the UPM or external organizations , as well as the enactment of the plans in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos's future process map. As a result of the different activities undertaken by the IQAS, a number of improvements in processes have been implemented, although the most important improvement was the move from IQAS 1.0 to IQAS 2.0. This improvement made a significant change to the system, the key amendment being to restructure processes by involving process simplification, adaptation to current circumstances and integration within the school’s global management of the school. Improvements to the processes are now being made based on the results of this process, as illustrated by the annual quality plans.
The Quality Committee is the body that participates in the tasks of monitoring and controlling the internal quality assurance of the degree programmes taught at the school. The committee’s operating procedures were approved at an ordinary meeting of this committee on 17 May 2013.
The main functions of this committee are:
- Plan, monitor and review the school’s policy and quality goals
- Check for compliance with the processes that are part of the school’s internal quality assurance system
- Assess the development of proposals for quality improvement by the school's committees or other membership bodies
- Inspect the internal quality assurance system
The composition of this committee was approved by the School Board at its meeting of 24 February 2015 and is as follows:
- Chairperson: Dean
- Associate dean in charge of the IQAS
- Associate dean for academic affairs
- Associate dean for postgraduate affairs and student admission
- School administrator.
- The quality unit technician appointed by the associate dean in charge of the IQAS, who will act as secretary.
- A head of department or deputy appointed by the departments for a one-year period
- A head of service or deputy appointed by the departments for a one-year period
- The student representative or appointed deputy.
- A postgraduate student selected by the student representative
- External agent.
Complaints and claims system
There are different ways of filing complaints, suggestions and congratulations open to everyone.
Master’s programmes: Any observation about the operation of the Master in Software and Systems can be submitted directly to the Master Programme Coordinator.
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos: The aim of this process is for users to be able to submit any complaints, suggestions and congratulations that they would like to make with respect to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service provided by the school’s administrative units.
Complaints and suggestions management is a key system for encouraging both internal and external user participation. On this ground, the school has launched this system in order to improve the quality of the provided services.
The school’s service users may submit complaints, suggestions and congratulations in three manners:
Incidents may not be submitted anonymously. Therefore, it is very important to complete all data on the form. The description of the issue should be as specific and comprehensive as possible.
Submitted incidents will be centralized by the school’s Technical Quality Unit for proper processing and follow-up. After registration, they will be forwarded to the unit or units responsible for settling the issues. Finally, the user will be informed of the decision or any measures to be taken no later than 15 days as of submission.
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid: Users of the UPM's online services may submit any suggestions and complaints that they deem appropriate related to the electronic processing of administrative procedures.
All inquiries submitted concerning online access to Universidad Politécnica de Madrid services will be answered within a maximum period of ten days. Inquiries related to different matters will be forwarded to the respective bodies or units of the UPM, and the inquirers will be informed of this circumstance.
Users who wish to make a complaint or suggestion in this regard may do so online through the UPM's complaints and suggestions mailbox.
Students' Guild: EVALÚA is a special-purpose informative report about the teaching activity that students can use to state in writing any complaints or praise that they may have with respect to the teaching received. This procedure, approved by the UPM Students' Guild Board of Representatives, is the reporting instrument by means of which the Students' Guilds can ascertain the quality of the teaching received by their members and launch any problem-solving initiatives.
Graduate job placement
One IQAS process focuses on job placement. This master's degree has a research focus. Therefore, graduate job placement is not its immediate goal since many of the master's students intend to pursue a PhD.
Although job placement is not usually a problem, one third of master's graduates are currently admitted to the PhD in Software and Systems or PhD in Software, Systems and Computing programmes at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
The Technical Quality Unit at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos has enacted a survey-based process to monitor and gather information on graduate job placement and their satisfaction with the degree programme. This process consists of a survey that graduate students should take from one to two years after they have completed their degree programme. This is a reasonable time frame for examining graduate employment or academic life.
Master Programme Accreditation
By law, the original accreditation of official degree programmes has to be periodically renewed as of the date of their audit or the date of the latest accreditation (Royal Decree 861/2010, of 2 July, amending Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, establishing the structure of official higher education in Spain).
After the preparation of the Degree Programme Handbook and before its implementation, ANECA assesses degree programme design (Audit Report). After the degree programme has been set up, ANECA follows up its implementation (Follow-Up Report). During the third stage, degree programmes have to undergo a cyclical accreditation renewal process enacted by means of the ACREDITA programme in order to retain their status of official degree programme. In july 2016, the Master in Software and Systems obtained the accreditacion (Accreditation Report).