QED Advisor nominated for LIFT Award

By | News, Resource

QED advisor,  Joanne Powell, has been nominated for a LIFT (https://liftireland.ie/) award in the leadership category of Competence. Her nomination included reference to her “love for learning and self improvement and implementing change for the betterment of the organisation” and also noted that she “is highly respected and hugely trusted because of her competency.

LIFT Ireland is a social enterprise aimed at increasing the level of positive leadership in Ireland.  All nominations are being reviewed in the coming weeks, with the shortlist being announced in early January, before the live awards ceremony (date tbc).  To learn more about the LIFT values and LIFT process, visit https://liftireland.ie/about/

Email QED to learn more

AABS Deans’ & Directors’ Forum 2022

By | Conference Update, Resource

AABS Deans’ & Directors’ Forum 2022


The AABS (Association of African Business Schools) forum for Deans & Directors was almost three days of learning, meeting people, amazing conversations and discovering.  While QED, specifically our Joanne, attended the conference as a speaker and below are the takeaways from the Forum:

1. Sometimes if you don’t disrupt, you may end up getting disrupted! 

In his keynote, Prof Fred Olayele (Carleton University, Canada) spoke to the need for those involved in business education to take a step back and really think about not just WHAT they do, but also HOW they do it.  A key challenge lies in policy innovation and the fact that forging a ‘more dynamic economy’ across Africa requires (in addition to research etc) more openness to experimentation, testing, piloting and prototyping – all with the focus of creating more innovative approaches to the policy development process.

Key Question: What can business schools (not just in Africa) do to ‘move the needle’ in terms of business sector innovation? 

2. Peter Diamandis’ 6D Framework 

Kevin Allen spoke around exponential organisations and the challenges therein. There was so much to digest, but it was good to be reminded of Peter Diamandis’ 6D framework to describe the basic roadmap of technical innovation.  The 6 Ds are: Digitize, Deceptive, Disruptive, Demonitize, Dematerialize, and Democratise. An explanation of each is available at https://www.diamandis.com/blog/the-6ds

Key Question: Where does the use of technology within << Test Organisation >> sit on Diamandis’ 6D Framework and what else should/could your organisation (or department) be doing to move further along the technical innovation roadmap? 

3. Fast beats Slow 

What a privilege it was to listen to both Tim Mescon and Jon Foster-Pedley on the topic of Deanship.  Our take-away was watching how both these leaders shared an incredible richness of experience and wisdom with humility, lack of ego and generosity. There was much to choose from, but we think the focus on being clear on your purpose and really working to explicate the distinctiveness of your organisation were some of the key points. We were particularly struck by Tim’s reminder that “fast beats slow” – and the need to be agile and nimble (rather than large) so that the organisation can adapt to the changing context.  Whilst the challenge was posed to deans and directors, there is a sense that this guidance is valid for all of us in some way within our own individual roles.

Key Question: What small thing could you do within your role (whativer your organisation) to improve adaptability in a changing context? 

For advice and further details on any of the above, please contact the QED Accreditation Team at info@QEDaccreditation.com.



Accreditation Fees & Costs – Nov 2022

By | Resource

Accreditation Costs

There are several facets to the costs of accreditation:
  1. Payments made to the relevant accreditation bodies and comprise a mix of membership fees, accreditation fees and other expenses etc.  These are relatively fixed and easy to estimate (see link below).
  2. Staffing and advisory costs to support accreditation.  These are harder to estimate, and depend on several factors. For example:
    • Will there be an accreditation team with sufficient time and experience to manage the full accreditation process?
    • Are there additional faculty allowances given to accreditation?
    • Will the School require some external input, to support the internal resources?
  3. Investment Costs:  These vary hugely from school to school and naturally depend on each School’s strategic priorities.  Of course, strategic investment costs are not always linked to accreditation: Some strategic decisions will be made regardless of accreditation plans.  Others may only be made as a consequence of accreditation.

QED has listed the costs and fees associated with each of the accreditation bodies (#1 above), valid as of 11 November 2022.  These can be viewed here.

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AACSB Business Accreditation Standards: Updates 2022

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AACSB Business Accreditation Standards: Updates 2022

AACSB significantly updated its Business Accreditation Standards in 2020.  Since then it issues annual amendments and updates – usually on 1 July.

QED’s overview of the updates made as part of the 2022 publication, together with an assessment of the significance of the change can be found in this downloadable PDF file.

Many of the updates reflect clarification and additional explanation. However, there are a small number of changes which could potentially impact schools (particularly those schools that are pre-eligibility). As always, QED recommends that all schools within an AACSB accreditation process (whether initial or renewal) should review and ensure they have understood the changes and clarifications.

NB: QED’s material represents QED’s interpretation of the AACSB Updates.  We always recommend that you view the updated standards directly – which are available from AACSB’s website in the following formats: 

As above, QED’s summary of the updates across the key documents is available in this downloadable PDF file.

For advice and further details on any of the above, please contact the QED Accreditation Team at info@QEDaccreditation.com.

Updates from EFMD Conference 2022

By | Conference Update, Resource

Updates from EFMD Conference 2022

In June 2022, we attended EFMD’s Annual Conference in Prague.  The theme of the event was “What brought us here might not get us there” and it’s fair to say that the conference focused heavily on reminding us of the need to continually reflect and adapt in a constantly changing world.  We could have picked multiple points to share – but (as always) we’ve confined ourselves to just three broad areas:

Faculty Models – Connecting Research and Teaching
Patrick De Greve (Vlerick Business School) and Mark Smith (Stellenbosch Business School) presented an interesting session on employment models for faculty.  There was lots to ponder, but my key take aways were:

  • Strive to have ‘healthy’ faculty models that include aspects of each of research, teaching and service (in varying proportions, depending on misson, faculty interest etc).  Ensure there is a strong empathy and respect for each of the teaching and research activity.  One is not ‘superior’ to the other and one of the best ways to build this empathy and respect is to ensure that everyone participates in each activity to an appropriate extent.  (This may be challenging for schools that are developing very specific ‘research’ vs ‘teaching’ pathways).
  • Alternative faculty ’employment’ models are workable and can faciltate more flexible faculty management outside the normal.business school model – especially in the context of building industry links. Vlerick Business School’s ‘Partnership’ model uses an academic entrepreneurship framework to build a body of  ‘partner’ faculty with strong committment to the School, but who sit ‘outside’ of the School.
  • It is important to be able to say ‘goodbye’ to those faculty who don’t have a committment and ‘fit’ for the School’s strategy and vision.

Key Challenge: Do Business School faculty models fully serve their mission and strategic priorities?  If not, what type of model might work (do we need to think ‘outside of the box’)?  

The challenge of  internationalisation within constantly changing geopolitical climates was a key theme of a session by Caron Beaton-Wells (Melbourne Business School) and Delphine Manceau (NEOMA).  In addition to advice around developing range and depth of partnerships; and using digitalisation to complement internationalisation activity; my key take-aways were:

  • Geopolitical instability is likely to remain a  disrupter internationally (the only constancy is change itself!).  This reinforces the need to build more versatile and resiliant models of internationalisation – but always keeping students “at the heart” of communities.
  • Be smart and strategic when building international relationships.  One tip was to use the public development plans of countries to build relevant initiatives in preferred (geographic) regions.  There are often opportunities for collaboration across areas of mutual benefit.
  • If not already in place, adapt curricula to prepare students to be leaders in a world where geopolitical challenges are a constant.

Key Challenge:  How are Business Schools placed to manage and adapt to geopolitical instability – both in terms of a) internationalisation activity and b) preparing students for a world of geopolitical instability.  Remember, EFMD provides a potential model to examine and reflect on internationalisation across the entire school: See EQUIS Standards 2022 (especially pages 73-74) and Annex 10 of the EFMD Programme Accreditation Process Manual Annexes.

EFMD Updates
The EFMD team presented an update on each of the key accreditations.  Most of these are covered within the most recent QED summaries of updates to each of EQUIS and EFMD Accredited (Available on the QED website for download).   The following additional points are also relevant:

  • Face-to-face peer review visits are expected to be resumed in 2023 (both EQUIS and EFMD Programme Accreditation).
  • Within EQUIS, the guidance for ERS is sometimes ‘suggestive’ in tone (e.g. “A school could.do x, y, z...”.  As Schools become more mature in the integration of ERS principles across all activities, it is anticipated that the guidance will become more ‘expectant’ (e.g. “A school should do x, y, z..“).  This is not unexpected, but continues to signal EFMD’s committment to supporting schools to develop quality ERS strategies and frameworks.
  • EFMD Accredited are about to launch three free webinars (open to all EFMD Accredited Schools).  Invites will be sent directly to the Schools and these will focus on each of internationalisation; Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs); and ERS.

For advice and further details on any of the above, please contact the QED Accreditation Team at info@QEDaccreditation.com.






AMBA: New MBA Criteria 2022

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New AMBA MBA Criteria 2022

AMBA is committed to revising its MBA Criteria on a five year basis.  The previous criteria were issued in 2016, but the Covid 19 Pandemic delayed the issue of updated standards in 2021.  These have now been published (18 May 2022).  QED’s overview and summary of the updates made as part of the 2022 publication can be found in this downloadable PDF file.

NB: This document represents QED’s interpretation of the revised AMBA MBA Criteria 2022.  We recommend that you view the updated documents directly – which are available from AMBA’s website:

Currently (18 May 2022), all other documents remain unchanged and can be accessed on the AMBA website.

As above, QED’s overview and summary of the updates made as part of the 2022 publication can be found in this downloadable PDF file.

For advice and further details on any of the above, please contact the QED Accreditation Team at info@QEDaccreditation.com.