The VSMA Framework is based on the following documents:
The standards and guidelines (ESG) for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) produced by ENQA and adopted by the European Ministers of Education in Bergen in 2005 (revised and approved at the Ministerial Conference in Yerevan, held on 14 and 15 May 2015). Amongst other things, it is stated in the ESG that institutions should have a policy and associated procedures for the assurance of the quality and standards of their programmes and awards. It also says that higher education institutions should have formal mechanisms for the approval, periodic review and monitoring of their programmes and awards.
The Experimental Programme for the Monitoring of recognised Bachelor and Master's degrees (2009-2010), enabled an approach to programme monitoring to be designed by consensus between the Catalan universities and the Agency. One of the results of this programme is the document entitled Guidelines and recommendations for programme progress reports, which establishes the basis of the VSMA Framework regarding the monitoring process.
The protocol for the monitoring and renewal of accreditation of recognised university degrees, produced by the CURSA/SATUO, which sets out a series of minimum criteria and basic indicators that are common to the monitoring of the curricula of recognised qualifications in Spain. The VSMA Framework is totally compatible with the principles of action envisaged under the Protocol, with these being elaborated on and enhanced as a result of the bringing together of the ex-ante assessment, monitoring, modification and accreditation processes, together with the definition of a more complete series of indicators.
Aside from these documents, the Agency's own experience in the ex-ante assessment of degree programmes and qualifications and the review of internal quality assurance systems in higher education institutions was also instrumental in the drawing up of the VSMA Framework. This includes:
- The Pilot Plan for the adaptation of programmes and awards according to EHEA guidelines (2004-2009).
- The Evaluation Programme of Proposals for Recognised Postgraduate Programmes (2005-2008).
- The AUDIT programme, involving the implementation of internal quality assurance systems (2007 to the present day).
The VSMA Framework is compatible with the prevailing Spanish legislation, the agreements adopted in Catalonia by the Inter-university Council of Catalonia and the prevailing Catalan legislation.