Peer-Review

a. Peer review

When the self-assessment report is finished and the peer-reviewers are set, the peer-review process begins as the next step  based on a peer-review guideline. For each criterion, the reviewers assess whether the rating of the organisation is reasonable with regard to the provided proof and description by the organisation. Within the process, it is not only assessed whether the required documents and proof are provided but also the provided information is reviewed on comprehensibility and possible areas for improvement are identified.

Three criteria need to be satisfied for a positive result of the peer-review, namely:

  • clarity (ease-to-understand) of provided information
  • comprehensiveness of provided information: relates to the question if all necessary information has been included to back up the rating of a criterion within the self-assessment
  • validity: validity is related to the question, if the rating of a criterion is reasonable in light of the provided proof

However, not the programme/course or the institution are reviewed directly. Also, no peer-review team visit at the organisation is included as such a visit would likely be too time and resource consuming for most of the Capacity Building Organisation, especially smaller ones operating in developing countries.

b. Revision and clarification requests

If data or details are unclear or unsatisfactory, peer-reviewers will have to ask the organisation via the Open ECBCheck Administrative Office to provide missing or update incomplete parts of the self-assessment report. The additional data or details have to be provided within an acceptable timeframe defined by the Administrative Office. Depending on the amount of revision necessary the timeframe is suggested up to two weeks.

c. Peer review report

The peer-reviewers then write a peer-review report based on the provided self-assessment and materials to proof the results. This peer-review report contains three main areas.

  1. Firstly, the reviewers provide the organisation with a summary of the self-assessment review including most importantly all criteria where the peer-reviewers disagreed with the self-assessment rating with a corresponding reason.
  2. Secondly, the peer-review report includes a recommendation, whether an institution or a program should be awarded with the Open ECBCheck label that is considered by the Open ECBCheck Awarding Body.
  3. Thirdly, the peer-reviewers write a detailed learning report that highlights those shortcomings and contains improvement possibilities and suggestions. As learning is one main goal of Open ECBCheck, the learning report should provide the receiving institution with advice and best practice for each of the criteria where improvements are suggested.

As soon as the peer-review report is completed it is submitted to the attention of the Administrative Office.

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