BGA’s ‘Continuous Impact Model’, offers a unique process which is designed to support institutions to develop an understanding of their impact on stakeholders, and is a key element of the BGA accreditation process.
The model is designed to measure the changes in impact variables over time and establishes evidential feedback loops to improve the quality of the institution and its activities in a continuous improvement process. Schools are required to undergo the CIM once they begin the accreditation process.
Schools undergoing accreditation are assigned an Accreditation Director and an academic mentor, who play a supportive role in ensuring the School’s development and measurement of its impact metrics are used to meet BGA’s accreditation criteria.
Institutions are expected to provide relevant, measurable metrics under each dimension of the CIM. The number may vary significantly from one institution to another, but it is recommended that between 5 to 10 impact metrics are developed, where at least one references one of the UN SDG’s. Institutions are required to provide at least three years’ worth of data to effectively showcase measurable changes, though it is recommended to provide more if additional years of data are available.
Being able to effectively measure an institution’s impact on a range of stakeholders helps inform them of the institution’s various strengths and weaknesses and is important in ensuring that it is achieving its mission while building trust among stakeholders. Moreover, the CIM informs stakeholders of the steps the institution is taking to continually improve using quantitative metrics. By maintaining a high level of transparency, accountability, and commitment to higher principles, an institution can confidently and accurately evidence its status and level of quality.
The CIM is not intended to be prescriptive – an institution will work with an appointed academic mentor to develop appropriate metrics and ensure that a feedback loop is established and effective over time. The developed key metrics, and how well the institution achieves them, will ultimately determine if it will achieve BGA accreditation, as the data produced will be used in the assessment stage of the accreditation process. Institutions are expected to provide a narrative for each metric explaining why trends are either positive or negative and what potential solutions may be available (if any).
The length of time required to create the impact metrics may vary significantly from institution to institution, as some may have data readily available for the development of impact metrics, while others may have to begin the data collection process at the beginning of the pre-assessment stage. It is expected that the chosen impact metrics will be broad and will cover a wide range of different categories; however, at least one metric must specifically reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
BGA accreditation is designed to provide both quality assurance and quality enhancement mechanisms for institutions worldwide, in order to ensure the value of the qualification for potential students, graduates, employers and society. Accreditation plays a key role in informing prospective students and employers about the quality of the institution and its programmes.