ALEC Policies: An Update and Review

I’ve got my head stuck in our QMS at the moment… Right now I’m trolling through all of ALEC’s Policies at the moment as part of our preparation for the upcoming NZQA mandated External Evaluation and Review (EER) which is happening to us later in the year.

I’m much clearer this time around on the difference between my policies, processes, and procedures.

A good quality management system (QMS) has all of these things:

  1. Policies are like the rules and guidelines that you have to follow inside your organisation. Think of the road rules we follow for driving on the road safely.
  2. Processes and Practices give you a high level understanding of how you get something done. Think of a map showing you how to drive from point A to point B
  3. Procedures are the nitty gritty of what you actually have to do for a process or practice. Think of the turn by turn instructions you can get off Google Maps or from your GPS. This is like a to do list.

I started on this work a while back, but it always gets interrupted by other urgent but less important work (such as actually teaching).

We formulated much of this back in 2007 when we set ALEC up, but the policies have also been tinkered with over the years.

Rather than a static document, I’ve turned them into a more dynamic and living document by creating a Policies project in Basecamp, which is a project management tool we use. This means I can update live versions of the Policies anywhere anytime, and they are stored online rather than on a hard drive somewhere – or worse in a printed copy of my QMS that no one ever looks at.

Actually, if my reviewers wanted to I could share all this information with them remotely and they wouldn’t even have to come and see me…

  • If any of this policy stuff interests you please comment. I’m looking for feedback of any kind at the moment.

I’m just going to paste the policies in below. If you’re a Policy Wonk? Enjoy…


1.1 Policy on leadership

Our leaders will:

  • Set, guide, deploy, and sustain the purpose, vision, mission, and core values of ALEC.
  • Communicate and engage with ALEC’s workforce and stakeholders including learners encouraging and recognising high performance and frank communication.
  • Reflect ALEC’s values in their personal actions.
  • Create an environment for improvement, innovation, agility, and the accomplishment of ALEC’s mission and strategic goals and objectives.
  • Actively participate in personal and organisational learning including relevant industry conferences and publishing.
  • Develop other future leaders in this sector.
  • Review ALEC’s performance measures at least quarterly.
  • Develop, review, and improve ALEC’s leadership, quality, and performance management systems.

1.2 Policy on governance

With the support of external advisors and expertise as required, the governance of ALEC will:

  • Review and achieve accountability for management and finances.
  • Ensure that internal organisational self assessment (SA) and review is undertaken at least annually and external evaluation and review (EER) by NZQA as required.
  • Act to protect the interests of our stakeholders.
  • Ensure that all strategic goals, objectives, and processes are sustainable and meet or surpass relevant regulatory, safety, health, environmental, accreditation, and legal requirements.
  • Address principles of the Treaty of Waitangi as relevant and applied to our specific learning context.
  • Embody kaupapa Māori values in our teaching practice and working relationships as appropriate including ako (a reciprocal approach to teaching and learning) and tuakana-teina (mentoring approach). While we are neither a special character Maori organisation nor not-experts in Te Reo we are also committed to exploring and making connections to Māori approaches to teaching and learning that benefit our learners and stakeholders.


2.1 Policy on strategic development

ALEC will:

  • Determine strategic challenges and advantages.
  • ŸEstablish and evaluate strategic goals, objectives, and performance indicators to address these challenges.

2.2 Policy on strategic deployment

ALEC will:

  • Convert strategic objectives into action plans as appropriate.
  • Develop and deploy action plans to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Ensure that adequate financial and other resources are available to support action plans.
  • Attempt to project future performance.


3.1 Policy on learner, stakeholder, and market knowledge

ALEC will:

  • Obtain and use student, stakeholder, and market knowledge to determine requirements, needs, expectations, and preferences of learners, stakeholders, and markets.
  • Ensure the continuing relevance of ALEC’s educational programmes, consulting, and services.
  • ŸDevelop opportunities for new programs, offerings, and services.
  • Create an overall climate conducive to learning and development for all learners.

3.2 Policy on learner and stakeholder relationships and satisfaction    

ALEC will:

  • Build relationships and grow learner and stakeholder satisfaction and loyalty.
  • ŸRetain learners and stakeholders to increase learner and stakeholder loyalty.
  • Determine learner and stakeholder satisfaction.
  • ŸMaintain procedures for appeals, reassessments, and complaints or grievances.
  • ŸSet a maximum class size of 20 learners per tutor or professional development contractor.
  • ŸAdvise learners and stakeholders regarding relevant aspects of the Privacy Act including their right to access any personal information that we collect as part of our education and training or in connection with TEC, NZQA, or other compliance requirements.


4.1 Policy on measurement, analysis, and improvement

ALEC will:

  • Measure, analyse, align, review, and improve student and operational performance through the use of data and information at all levels where possible.
  • Systematically use the results of surveys and reviews to evaluate and improve processes.
  • Translate performance, measurement, and analysis review findings into priorities for continuous improvement and opportunities for innovation.

4.2 Policy on management of information, information technology, and knowledge    

ALEC will:

  • ŸEnsure the quality and availability of needed data, information, software, and hardware for our workforce, students and stakeholders, suppliers, partners, and collaborators.
  • ŸBuild and manage its knowledge assets.
  • ŸEndeavour to store all student assessment material for moderation. For practical purposes, a sample size of at least 10% of all student work (or a minimum of three learner assessments) will be internally moderated.
  • ŸStudent records including assessment material will be stored both electronically, via cloud storage in Basecamp, as well as stored in hard copy at ALEC’s office for moderation purposes and general record keeping.
  • ŸStore assessment materials that are older than one year in a secure off-site storage unit.
  • Archive student records and assessment results that are older than two years electronically.
  • Destroy hardcopies of learner work securely after two years.
  • ŸAdvise learners that ALEC prefers electronic submission of assessment materials. However, when requested, hard copies of learner assessment documents will be returned at the end of the assessment period. Otherwise, they will be stored in the Learner’s file, archived, and eventually destroyed as noted above.


5.1 Policy on workforce engagement 

ALEC will:

  • Engage, appraise, develop, compensate, support, and reward its workforce to achieve high performance.
  • ŸAssess workforce engagement and use the results to achieve higher performance.
  • Foster an organisational culture conducive to high performance, a motivated workforce, cooperation, effective communication, skill sharing, effective information flow, initiative, and innovation in the work environment.
  • Support the diverse ideas, cultures, and thinking of its workforce as long as they are not at odds with the purpose, mission, vision, and values of ALEC.
  • ŸAddress the needs and desire for learning and development identified by our workforce.

5.2 Policy on workforce environment

ALEC will:

  • ŸBuild an effective and supportive workforce environment.
  • ŸManage workforce capability and capacity to accomplish our work in a safe, secure, work climate.
  • Provide an environment that is physically safe, free from harassment of any kind, and conducive to the achievement of good work and learning outcomes.

6.1 Policy on work systems

ALEC will:

  • Determine its core competencies in relation to the mission, competitive environment, and current action plans.
  • ŸDesign its work systems and key processes to deliver value for learners and stakeholders, maximise learning and success, prepare for potential emergencies, and achieve organisational success and sustainability.
  • ŸIdentify, review, and assess key work processes, including internal and external processes.
  • ŸEnsure work system and workplace preparedness for hazards, disasters or emergencies.
  • ŸHave resources that meet the requirements specified for the delivery of Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (ALNE) courses as per the scope of our accreditation including ALEC’s enrolment and application materials, Student Information Pack, ALEC Study Guides and selected readings or other relevant texts, as well as course handouts and supplementary materials.
  • With regards to delivery at our clients’ sites, seek assurance that their delivery sites have met all legislated requirements for building codes, resource management, and occupational safety and health.

6.2 Policy on work process management and improvement

ALEC will:

  • Implement, manage, and improve its key work processes to deliver value for learners and stakeholders and achieve organisational success and sustainability.
  • Make effective use of formative and summative assessment.
  • Ensure that all learners have access to independent learning facilities including a wide range of current literature, learning materials, and other resources in print and electronic formats.


7.1 Policy on leadership outcomes

ALEC will:

  • ŸSummarize key governance and senior leadership results as relevant, including evidence of strategic plan accomplishments, ethical behaviour, fiscal accountability, legal compliance, social responsibility, and organizational citizenship as appropriate.
  • Where possible, this will include appropriate comparative data.
  • Identify results for key indicators of accomplishment of ALEC’s organizational strategy and action plans.
  • Identify results for key indicators of ethical behaviour and of stakeholder trust in the leaders and governance of ALEC
  • Identify current findings and trends in key indicators of fiscal accountability, both internal and external.
  • Identify results for key measures of regulatory, safety, accreditation, and legal compliance.
  • Identify results for key measures of organizational citizenship in support of ALEC’s key communities

7.2 Policy on learner and stakeholder outcomes    

ALEC will:

  • Summarize key learner and stakeholder-focused results and trends for student and stakeholder satisfaction and perceived value, including student and stakeholder loyalty.
  • Where possible, this will include appropriate comparative data.
  • Identify current levels and trends in key indicators of learners’ and stakeholders’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
  • Identify current levels and trends in key indicators of learner and stakeholder perceived value, student persistence, positive referral, and other aspects of building relationships with students and stakeholders, as appropriate.

7.3  Policy on workforce outcomes 

ALEC will:

  • Summarize key workforce-focused results and trends for workforce engagement and workforce environment.
  • Where possible, this will include appropriate comparative data.
  • Identify current levels and trends in key indicators of workforce engagement, workforce satisfaction, and the development of ALEC’s workforce, including leaders.
  • Identify current levels and trends in key measures of workforce capability and capacity, including staffing levels, retention, and appropriate skills?
  • Identify current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of your workforce climate, including workplace health, safety, and security and workforce services and benefits, as appropriate.

7.4 Policy on work effectiveness outcomes

ALEC will:

  • Summarise key operational performance results that contribute to opportunities for enhanced student learning and to the improvement of organisational effectiveness, including ALEC’s readiness for emergencies. Range should include segmentation of results by programs, offerings, and services; by processes and locations; and by student and market segments, as appropriate.
  • Where possible, this will include appropriate comparative data.
  • Identify where relevant current levels and trends in key measures of the operational performance of ALEC’s work systems, including work system and workplace preparedness for disasters or emergencies.
  • Identify where relevant current levels and trends in key measures of the operational performance of ALEC’s key work processes, including productivity, cycle time, and other chosen measures of process effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation.

 7.5 Policy on learning outcomes

ALEC will:

  • Summarize key student learning results and trends by learner and market segments, where relevant or as appropriate.
  • Where possible, this will include appropriate comparative data.
  • Identify current levels and trends in key indicators of student learning and improvement in student learning.

7.6 Policy on budgetary, financial, and market outcomes    

ALEC will:

  • Summarize key budgetary, financial, and market performance results and trends by student segments, stakeholder groups, or market segments, where relevant or as appropriate.
  • ŸWhere possible, this will include appropriate comparative data.
  • ŸIdentify current levels and trends in key indicators of budgetary and financial performance, including measures of cost containment or financial viability, as appropriate.
  • Identify current levels and trends in key indicators of market performance, including market share or position, market and market share growth, and new markets entered, where relevant or as appropriate.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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