Education standards are not a new concept. There have been teacher standards, achievement standards, standardized curricula, learning standards, standardized assessments, and so on for decades. Standardization in education institutions is not a novel concept, even within the sphere of ISO standards.
ISO established ISO 9001:2000 rules for the education sector in 2003, with the goal of assisting educational institutions in providing educational products and services, as the name implies. Next ISO created a successor to ISO 9001:2000 called ISO 21001 which pertains to educational institutions’ management systems, which are defined as the “collection of interconnected or interacting elements of an organization to determine policies and objectives and processes to achieve those objectives.”
ISO 21001 aims to provide a common management tool for businesses that deliver educational products and services capable of meeting the needs and requirements of learners and other beneficiaries. Although learners and educational organizations are the primary beneficiaries, it is safe to conclude that all parties concerned can gain from a well implemented management system for educational organizations based on ISO 21001 and complemented by industry best practices.
Compliance with the standard will entail a variety of mandatory activities within the scope of recognition of the management system, such as internal auditing, learner satisfaction evaluations, control of externally provided processes, products, or services, program reviews, and annual management reviews of the organization’s management systems, among other aspects to address gaps.
It is critical to underline that education field differs from many other businesses in that an effective educational process increases the likelihood of a learner’s success. ISO 21001 aims to improve the work of educational institutions that deliver, engage in, or support knowledge building through teaching, training, or research, regardless of type, size, product, or service provided. It also tries to improve student, customer, and employee satisfaction by utilizing the education management system.
The ISO 21001 standard seeks to accomplish the following goals:
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