The following is a collection of AQA resources and selected external weblinks intended to assist New Zealand universities in facilitating excellent student experience and learning outcomes. These pages relate to each of the seven academic activity themes of Cycle 5, plus the overarching topic of 'self-review'. It should be noted that useful and relevant resources are not necessarily limited to those included here. In addition, because of the historical and reflective nature of audit, new or different practices may have emerged including within universities not identified here.

Please note: Where a resource does not derive from an AQA activity, we offer these on the basis that have been assessed or validated by another reputable agency. Readers should note that good practice takes place in context; any activity identified as good practice must be assessed by potential users for relevance and applicability to the context in which it might be used.


AQA audits are based on an institution’s self-evaluation, which we refer to as the self-review. This focus reflects AQA’s recognition that universities have differing priorities and values, that they are autonomous institutions, and that academic audit is intended to respect universities’ own, individual, objectives. Self-review is generally regarded as an important and useful component of quality assurance, not just with regard to audit. Self-review provides external reviewers with core information required for evaluation, but it can also lead to improvements in academic processes. Self-review is acknowledged as an important basis for quality assurance practice throughout the world. The enhancement-oriented nature of self-review is consistent with AQA’s approach to quality assurance.

There is no one right way to conduct self-review, and AQA encourages universities to conduct it in whatever way it considers most appropriate and most efficient. It is likely that a self-review for audit purposes will draw on evaluations already undertaken for the university’s own purposes – for example, reviews of processes undertaken as part of scheduled policy review; analysis of feedback from students as part of programme reviews or teaching evaluations; reviews of assessment practices as part of programme reviews or accreditation exercises. A self-review for audit should provide opportunity and incentive for a university to reflect on the effectiveness and outcomes of its own quality assurance cycle.

AQA Resources

AQA, 2013. AQA Cycle 5 Academic Audit Handbook for Universities - Chapters 6 and 7 (pages 14 - 23)

AQA, 2013. Self-review for audit - a presentation by Dr Jan Cameron, AQA Director.

Other Resources

Ako Aotearoa and NZQA, 2014. Case studies in self-assessment.

Ako Aotearoa, 2011. A tertiary practitioner's guide to collecting evidence of learner benefit.

Australian Universities Quality Agency, 2008. Self-review for Higher Education Institutions

Education Review Office (NZ). Framework and Evaluation Indicators for School Reviews. Part Two: The Evaluative Questions, Prompts and Indicators.

NZQA (NZ). Self-assessment: Tools and resources.

QAA, 2018. Resorces for Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR)

QAA, 2013. Institutional approaches to self-evaluation (IASE): Project report.

QAA, 2013. Effective approaches to evaluation in the Scottish university sector.

QAA, 2008. Outcomes from institutional audit: The self-evaluation document in institutional audit.


Last updated: July 2018