The terms of reference lay down which institutions are to be included in each of the evaluations.43 The institutions are informed at least six months before the evaluation is to take place.
Here the expert panel would like to point out that as only a selection of institutions are included in each evaluation, the individual evaluations do not have national coverage either.
The institutions to be evaluated write their own self-evaluations and these are described by EVA in its self-evaluation as a central feature. The representatives of the institutions also referred to the significance of the self-evaluations. The issues raised in the self-evaluations are also those that the expert panel appointed for the project will focus on during the site visits and in its report.
The institutions’ self-evaluations are produced according to a set of guidelines – one for each evaluation – produced by EVA. These describe the themes that the expert panel want to focus on during the project. To what degree self-evaluation is steered varies in different projects, from the open and adaptable form taken by the guidelines for university audits to the strict templates, containing for instance predetermined criteria, used for accreditation. For the primary and lower-secondary sector a specific self-evaluation model has been devised, known as the ABC model.
According to EVA’s own self-evaluation, there is a great deal of discussion about introducing a standardised self-evaluation manual in which certain features would be the same for all evaluations.
The expert panel feels that this could be a good idea. A joint basic manual would create scope for comparison between different evaluations and therefore between different sectors as well. In this way coverage could be augmented indirectly, both in and between the educational sectors. Moreover a standardised manual would save a great deal of work.
As a rule a site visit will last for one day at each institution.44 The aim is to reduce the workload for the expert panel and to avoid evaluations taking more than one year to complete. For this reason not all the institutions that have completed self-evaluations are visited. Trials have been made to avoid site visits by arranging joint seminars to which several school units are invited.
During the visits the expert panel will talk to different groups of employees and students.