March 2013

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Mainstream online processing of teacher assessment procedures

Editorial board - AQU Catalunya

Migració sistema onlineIn February the first call for applications was made in 2013 for the issue of reports for tenure-track teachers, which will be processed in its entirety online through the Generalitat de Catalunya's on-line applications website (OVT). This call will bring to a close the process of migration from CAT 365 to the Generalitat's GSIT portal, which is accessed through the OVT and incorporates all online processing of procedures dealing with university teacher assessment, including: applications for the accreditation of research (tenured assistant professor) and advanced research (full professor); applications for pre-recruitment reports for tenure-track lecturers; and applications for the assessment of research premiums (six-year periods).

The experience with calls for applications that during 2012 were gradually integrated into the OVT on-line applications website (the accreditation of research, advanced research and merits in research) has been positive. More specifically, in the October call 265 for applications for tenured assistant professor and professor were received, with only three being made in person at AQU Catalunya. All other candidates applied through the OVT. This represents an important saving in terms of administrative work for staff at the Agency, and also in terms of time and travel for the user, who can simply download, fill out and send the forms online. All other supporting documentation must be sent within ten days. Applications can be tracked online and a text message (sms) sent to the applicant's cell phone with notification of the result of their application.

All of this can be done online and without the need for a digital identifier: if required, the platform is set up for the use of any of the common forms of digital certificate, such as the IDCAT certificate, electronic ID, a professional certificate signature, Camerfirma, etc., although this is not compulsory. If a digital certificate is not used, the only thing applicants have to do is print out, sign and send the acknowledgment of receipt form by normal post to the Agency. The process also greatly simplifies the amount of documentation to be submitted because of the integrated administrative data base for on-line data exchange (Plataforma d’Integració i Col·laboració Administrativa, PICA), which enables documents and data to be accessed in any government body, authority or entity in Catalonia and thereby incorporated into the administrative process without the need for citizens to request this. Data that can be retrieved by AQU Catalunya from any public authority through the PICA are university qualifications, personal identity documents (Spanish national ID/NIF and resident foreigner ID/NIE) and family concession certificates (large families/TFN and single parent families/TFM).


In the time that the processing of teacher assessment has been integrated into and dealt with through the OVT on-line applications website, two calls for applications have been made and completed:

  • Second call for applications in 2012 for tenured assistant professor and professor (265 applications)
  • First call for applications in 2013 for the assessment of merits in research of contract teachers and research staff (455 applications)

Practically all applications were submitted on-line and 28% of all applicants made use of a digital certificate to sign their application. In calls for applications prior to the migration to the OVT on-line applications website, the results were substantially different: in 2010, 20.48% of all applications were made on-line and only 17.77% in 2011.

Table 1. How applications have been made since the OVT has been functional
Call for applications Number of applications Submitted on-line Use of digital signature
Second call for applications in 2012, tenured assistant professor and professor 265 264 (99,6%) 63 (23,8%)
First call for applications in 2013, assessment of merits in research, contract teachers and research staff 455 455 (100%) 140 (30,8%)
Total 720 719 (99,9%) 203 (28,2%)

The first call for applications in 2013 for the issue of reports for tenure-track lecturers is currently open, and this incorporates on-line payment through the use of a credit card. This is the first time on the GSIT portal that this form of payment for processing has been made available. Fees can be paid either by credit card or with a print-out of the payment receipt at any bank.

The process of submitting documentation is much clearer now that the processing of applications for teaching staff assessment has been integrated into the OVT, with the classifications of documents and specific deadlines for each one. The mechanisms of on-line data exchange through the integrated administrative database simplify the entire process are also beneficial for applicants. In the first two calls for applications made, use was made on 968 occasions of specific products (university qualification, Spanish national ID/NIF and resident foreigner ID/NIE, and family concession certificates).

The new application forms are also an improvement for applicants: there are fewer boxes to fill out, there are components with active functions incorporated, and enhancements have been made to the lay-out and system of automatic calculation, validation and messengering.

In addition to the usual system for tracking applications via e-mail and text messages (sms), applications can also be tracked securely through the OVT.


Generalitat de Catalunya

C. de Sancho de Ávila, 125-129, 1a planta 08018 Barcelona. Tel.: +34 93 268 89 50

© 2013 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008