Development of a quality management system framework for dental assisting education in South Africa
Muslim, Tufayl Ahmed
MetadataShow full item record
There has been a call from society for both the provision of a quality education and for a quality “student” who can contribute to the economy and citizenry of South Africa. It therefore makes sense for any educational structure to develop and adopt, strategies and systems in order to meet these new calls, and to provide technologically relevant education that will meet the demands of modern society. This has led to a renewed need for consistency, conformity and quality within higher education. Concerns about students’ capabilities have been raised, and have led to questions about the accountability of higher education institutions. A quality management system framework may ensure that these higher education structures are able to deliver a quality education to their external and internal customers. This research investigated the current quality management systems used in dental assisting both locally and world-wide, and then developed a quality management system framework to suit South African conditions. An action research study, using data gathered from a purposive census sample, and data obtained by means of a mixed-method approach, was conducted in two phases. A preliminary study (Part A) was conducted amongst the four South African dental assisting education programme providers and deficiencies in the quality management systems of these programmes were identified. The preliminary work (Part B) in this study consisted of a comparative analysis of the quality management systems of a convenience sample of dental assisting education providers in twenty countries. Both good practices and deficiencies in practices were identified. A further review of the literature identified possible solutions to improve the quality of the dental assisting education programmes, and was used as the foundation for the development of the Dental Assisting Higher Education – Quality Management Framework (DAHE-QMF). The results of the preliminary study - the comparative analysis and the literature review - revealed that the development and implementation of a quality management system framework for dental assisting in South Africa could lead to an improvement of the standards of training, and thus the competence of the student. The framework will be presented to the four programme leaders at the four Universities of Technology that offer dental assisting education for their consideration of partial/total adaptation of the framework.