Programmes leading to higher awards in Music, Dance, Drama, Restoration and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Design and the Plastic Arts, which come under the Government of Catalonia's Department of Education, have formed part of the European Higher Education Area since the 2010-2011 academic year. Since 2012, and on commission by the Department of Education, AQU Catalunya, through its Quality Assurance Commission's subject-specific committee for the Arts and Humanities, has been the body in charge of the ex-ante accreditation, monitoring/follow-up, modification and accreditation (VSMA) of programmes leading to higher awards in the Performing Arts and Plastic Arts.
In keeping with the transparency which is required of the university institutions and the higher education centres within the framework of the European Higher Education Area, the higher education institutions should possess internal quality assurance systems and policies (IQAS) for the training programmes which are offered, and they should be formally established and publicly available. Along this line, the Department of Education and AQU Catalunya have established the bases of the AUDIT-HAS programme for the orientation and assessment of the design of the IQAS of the centres providing higher artistic studies.
To carry out the verification of higher artistic studies, consideration is given to the methodological material of the VSMA Framework and application is made of the Guide to the formulation and validation of proposals for recognised Bachelor and Master's degree programme [Catalan].
To follow up higher artistic studies, application is made of the Guide for the follow-up of higher artistic studies degrees [Catalan], which is an adaptation of the Guide for the follow-up of recognised bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the specific features of higher artistic studies.
AQU has drafted and published the Guide for the assessment of the design of the internal quality assurance system of higher artistic studies. This document has a content and a structure similar to those of the Guide for the assessment of the design of the internal quality assurance system of university education in view of the general equivalence of the higher artistic studies degrees to university degrees. Nevertheless, AQU Catalunya has adapted some dimensions to the context of higher artistic studies and has incorporated the accumulated experience of recent years in the assessment of the IQAS of university centres.