AccreditationST. GEORGE, GRENADA, OCT. 30, 2017: As part of its mandate to accredit current and future tertiary institutions in Grenada, the Grenada National Accreditation Board (GNAB) hosted an Evaluators Training Workshop from Oct. 18 to 20, 2017, at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium.
The Grenada National Accreditation Board, which began operations in 2014, is making steady progress in the area of accreditation. Tertiary educations must now be registered with and accredited by the board.
“You must have external evaluators to do that. Part of the work plan of GNAB is to train external evaluators,” Pauleen Finlay, Executive Director of the Grenada National Accreditation Board, explained.
The three-day workshop’s overall objective is to prepare evaluators, to become part of the team who will perform the evaluative assessment of the islands two main tertiary institutions, the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) and the St. George’s University (SGU), later in 2017, with the support of the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).
Wendy Crawford-Daniel, an SGU professor and participant in the training, said, “This is a very beneficial and enlightening workshop. I was not aware of the extent to which – you know – the sort of material that has to be provided for such a review.”
The workshop focused on seven key areas including: GNAB as an External Quality Assurance Agency; the legal Authority – the Accreditation ACT; the accomplishments of GNAB; quality assurance and institutional effectiveness; an overview of the policies, principles, guidelines and procedures that have been established for the quality assurance process for institutions in Grenada; assisting institutions in their preparation for the GNAB’s registration process; a review of the registration standards and required documentation; an examination of the GNAB’s expectations for quality assessment and a review of the overall protocol for registration.
With regards to the importance of accreditation, Kishon Francis, an Assistant Lecturer at TAMCC and a participant in the workshop said, “At the end of it, these institutions would be recognized at an international level, so when students plan to further their studies, outside of Grenada, or outside of the Caribbean, our institutions can be recognized and this is the whole point of the workshop, to be ready and get ready for these changes.”
Facilitators from Trinidad & Tobago, who are versed in the area of accreditation, conducted the evaluators training workshop. They included the very accomplished Professor Compton Bourne and External Evaluator with the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACCT), Margaret Richardson.
Richardson said, “The evaluators, once trained, will have a very clear understanding of their role, as evaluators – their responsibilities – once they become part of an evaluation team; that they will need to commit their time, their resources to evaluating institutions, to ensure that they meet the standards that the accreditation board of Grenada is looking for.”
Francis, probably the youngest evaluator in training, was recently able to utilize a scholarship to complete his master’s degree, due to the accreditation board’s ability verify the validity of his first degree.
Francis said, “Because of that, I was successfully accepted in one of the top 10 schools in London, which is Brunel University.”
In terms of how soon Grenada’s two main tertiary institutions will be accredited, Finlay said, “We plan to start the registration process of SGU in November; therefore the evaluators would become registered with GNAB.”
She said the actual accreditation process for both TAMCC and SGU is expected to begin in January, following registration, and last until August 2018.