A Bridge Towards Knowledge
How to Write Vision and Mission Statements
Definition of a Vision
A Vision is defined as 'An Image of the future we seek to create'. It is a dream.

Definition of a Mission
A Mission is defined as 'Purpose, reason for being'. Defined simply "Who we are and what we do". It is the vehicle which leads to the vision.

What is the difference between Vision Statements and Mission Statements?
  • The definition for Vision Statements is a sentence or short paragraph providing a broad, aspirational image of the future. Vision Statements therefore contain details of the university's future - its vision ( the future plans with aims and objectives )These types of Statements focus on tomorrow.
  • A good definition for a Mission Statement is a sentence or short paragraph which is written by the organization which reflects its core purpose, identity, values and principle business aims.
  • Mission Statements therefore contain important information about a company in a nutshell. This should include the University mission ( what the PU does, its products, its services and its customers).
How long are Vision Statements?
A good statement is a sentence or short paragraph consisting of two to four sentences.

Some hints and tips on How to write a Vision Statement for those working in organizations, institutions and establishments:
  • Take your time when writing a Vision Statement. Its a hard but very important task, learning how to write a Vision Statement takes time! It needs to be positive and inspirational
  • Get the 'feel' of Vision Statements by checking out Petra University Vision and Mission Statements at PU website .
  • Most importantly: your vision and mission MUST go down- top i.e. : Vision and Mission of the Department MUST be in consistent with the Faculty's and the Faculty's MUST be in consistent with PU's.
To make Life Easier:
Your Vision is :
to be a ...... what : (describe) ... to provide ..... what : (describe) for ... what ... in the field of .... what ...
Your Mission is ... what you do ... for whom ... and how .

Compiled by
Yousef Bakr
Quality Assurance Manager
QA Framework Implementation Plan
Dr. Raed Shadfan

This document illustrates an implementation plan of the QME system adopted from this general framework to help Deans and their associates to apply the framework within their faculties.


In view of the increasing calls for placing Quality Assurance (QA) programs within UOP nationally and internally, the QAC proposed a general framework to induce QME systems to govern the consistency and quality of delivery within higher education institutions. The idea in brief is to:
  • Identify institutional activities,
  • Order them in processes with distinguished aims that achieve the set of internal/external references selected for the model,
  • Appoint a management structure for each process,
  • Draft the process procedures,
  • Build the system records,
  • Define a set of (metrically or otherwise) measurable objectives and intended outcomes for each process to fulfill its aims,
  • Conduct periodical reviews to examine the degree of achievements and attainments of process objectives (compliance) and outcomes (performance),
  • Map the objectives to the process references (conformance) and to compare outcomes to internal/external benchmarks and intended outcomes (system efficiency).
If aims are not fulfilled, then the process is improved through a series of corrective,preventive and/or enhancement actions to improve process implementation. If, on the other hand, the aims are fulfilled, then aims, objectives and intended outcomes are reviewed and replaced by ones of even higher levels. This cycle will induce the needed continuous enhancement of the process and its outputs in terms of consistency and quality.

The Faculty QME system Model

The previously explained QME system structure can be applied to any process implemented within the university; this section is intended to adopt this general structure to create a faculty model.

Goals and Aims

The main goal of developing a faculty QME system is to put in place a robust management system that will monitor, manage and enhance the quality of the faculty provisions. Faculty provisions mainly refer to the degree programs offered by the faculty (e.g. a BSc. in Computer Science.) For a faculty QME system to be effective and useful as a model, it should be made:
  • Comprehensive (includes as many faculty processes as possible).
  • Dynamic (it is a live system that keeps on developing and enhancing).
Another major goal to achieve is to build a QME system that is easy to use. Generally speaking, introducing QM measures implies an added bureaucratic burden on existing staff. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable when implementing the proposed QME system in the faculty. What can be done is to introduce the system with minimum amount of bureaucracy, to introduce it at a paste that will allow easy transition and to allow staff to actively participate in building the system and thus control the level of bureaucracy needed within the system. Bureaucratic burden can also be considerably reduced by the extensive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Implementation strategies and plan

To achieve the previously said goals and aims, the implementation strategy will be based on:
1.     Extensive staff induction and training on the design and use of the system 
        and spreading the QA culture.
2.     The involvement of every faculty member in designing and executing the
        system by organizing them in the various management entities (committees)
        needed to handle and control the processes within the system.
3.     Establishing a QM unit within the faculty to promote, monitor, manage and
        sustain the system, retain its records and draft faculty audit reports and
        measure compliance, conformance, performance and efficiency of faculty
4.     Devising a time plan that allows staff to absorb QA culture and QME system
        notation and to adapt to the use of the system.
5.     Minimizing the system bureaucracy and maximizing the use of ICT when
        designing and implementing the QME system (as much as possible).
The implementation plan can be summarized in the following steps:
1.     A good starting point is to identify the set of references for the faculty model from outside the faculty needed to be conformed to by the system. For the FIT model, this would include:
a.     Vision, Mission, Goals, Objectives and Intended Outcomes (VMAOIOs) of the
        university as defined by the university top management board.
b.     External references. For example, for the faculty of IT, external references
        would consist of (but not limited to):
    •   Jordanian MoHE accreditation directives and benchmarks.
    •   ABET – CAC (USA) program specific standards and accreditation requirements.
    •   ACM (USA) standards and references for computing curricula.
    •   QAA-UK guidelines, codes of practices and benchmarks.
    •   ISO9000:2000 standards applicable to non-academic and administrative Processes.
c.     University’s own references such as university policies, rules, quality manual
        and benchmarks.
2.     Next, the faculty’s own references are drafted by adopting the references mentioned earlier and adapting them to the disciplines of the faculty. This consists of the following activities:
a.     Drafting VMAOIOs of the faculty as a whole (as an example see the document
        titled "Suggested VMAOIOs for the Faculty of IT" I have drafted sometimes 
b.     Drafting the Aims and Objectives of the various faculty departments.
c.     Deciding on the aims, objectives and intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for
        each program offered (see the document I have prepared on the differences
        between objectives and ILOs the way I understood this subject!).
d.     Deciding on the faculty’s policies and guidelines on issues not covered by
        references in point 1 above.
3.     The system is then initiated by identifying its scope (the set of processes) that needs to be implemented in order to fulfill the stated references (see for example the hypothetical system scope prepared for the Faculty of IT I have prepared earlier and included below). The set of system references scope is usually decided by the highest management rank in the faculty (the Dean and the faculty council).
4.     At this stage, the Dean and the faculty council will appoint an internal QM unit headed by a coordinator called who (together with his/her team) will be responsible for:
a.     Promoting the system by disseminating awareness on the system and
        spreading the culture of QM within the faculty.
b.     Initiating, supervising, administrating, managing, monitoring and maintaining
        the system.
c.     Scheduling and performing periodical internal-audits and reviews.
d.     Establishing compliances and conformances.
e.     Measuring collective performance and efficiency.
f.      Holding management review meetings.
g.     Reporting compliances, conformances, performances, efficiencies,
        corrective/preventive actions and enhancements to the top management.
h.     Supervising and engineering the induced changes and enhancements to the
5.     Once the set of the processes are identified, a management entity (e.g. faculty council, department council, staff committee or individual personnel) is then appointed for each process to carry out the following tasks:
a.     Clarify the aims and goals of the process, which state the intent and purpose
        of the process and should be outlined to fulfill the faculty’s own references
        (refer to point 2 above) in the first instance, in addition to the other
        references from outside the faculty (refer to point 1 above). The process
        management entity will be responsible for preparing a matrix of conformance
        to map the aims and goals to higher references.
b.     Select related benchmarks or intended outcomes as applicable. As stated
        earlier, benchmarks are either internal (set by the university) or external (set
        by an external auditing body, for example QAA guidelines).
c.     Identify the objectives (deliverables) of the process that are needed to fulfill
       the process aims and goals. As stated earlier in the general framework,
       objectives should be formulated with a set of measurable parameters with
       defined metrics as much as possible. A matrix of conformance that will map the
       objectives to their respective aims and goals (and other references as
       necessary) will also be prepared by the process management entity.
d.     Prepare the procedure(s) of the process that will systematize the delivery of
        the objectives and build the structure of the system records. This will require
        listing the activities and tasks that will achieve the objectives of the process
        in a step-by-step manner to form the procedure. The majority of the steps
        will include designing forms and/or logs to be filled by the operator (a person
        who is implementing the procedure). Forms are designed in a manner to guide
        the operator during the execution of the related step. Logs are designed to
        assimilate aggregated data and form summaries that will aid the operator to
        check the status and progress of the procedure. Filled forms and logs will
        compose the records of the system and will constitute the evidences needed
        during audits.
e.     Develop the set of statistical methods that will be used to measure
        compliance and performance. This will include statistical formulae that can be
        applied on the produced records and/or statistical indicators induced by
        means of surveys directed to those considered as stakeholders of the process
       (e.g. students, instructors, prospective employers, alumnae…etc.).
f.      Monitor and control the implementation of the process procedure(s) and
        maintain its records. In most cases, the management structure will be directly
        involved in the execution of the procedure and will have a major role in
        building and retaining the records of the system.
g.     Hold stirring meetings as needed to foresee the correct implementation of the
        procedure(s) and iron out any related problems.
h.     Perform periodical self-audits to ensure the adequacy and integrity of the
        records built during the execution phase of the procedure(s), and establishing
        compliance by applying the previously formulated statistical methods and
        objectively deducing the degree of how close/far the objectives had been
        achieved at the end of each process cycle.
i.      Measure the periodical performance of the process. This is done by applying
        the statistical methods developed earlier to measure the process outcomes.
        Performance is then compared to the pre-selected benchmarks or intended
        outcomes to measure the related efficiency of the system.
j.      Hold a review meeting at the end of the process cycle to discuss the results
        of the self audit during that cycle. Review meetings will result in correction
        actions, preventive actions, system enhancements and/or revising the
        process elements. These conclusions will be formally fed into the system
        through the communication procedure in the form of Action Requests (AR). An
        AR contains the summery of the change actions needed to enhance the
        system and the related parties involved/affected. It is collected by the QM
        unit who will engineer the change process and follow up its implementation
        with the related parties until it is finally executed and closed (filed). ARs
        produced in a review meeting of a certain process could affect that process
        or other processes across the system. They could also affect the choice of
        references that regulate the QME system as a whole.
6.     Once the system is in place, implemented, its records are built and self-audited; the
faculty is ready for internal/external audits to validate process implementation and gain accreditation/certifications for the institute.
The above implementation plan is illustrated in the attached figure.

System documentation levels

The proposed QME system would result in the following 5 documentation levels:
1.     Quality Manual which includes faculty VMGOIOs, polices and inter-relation of
        processes and matrices of conformances.
2.     Management Manual which includes organizational structure and chart,
        management hierarchy, process management entities.
3.     Procedural Manual which includes process procedures and related forms &
4.     The System Records which includes filled forms and logs following the
        implementation of the various processes, including auditing.
5.     Technical Hand Book which includes the various holdings of the faculty
        (library, machines, personnel, courses, suppliers, labs, lecture rooms ... etc.)
Scope of the model:

The scope refers to the identification of the set of processes that characterizes the QME system. There are two distinctiveness sets of activities that are generally performed at the faculty:
1.     Academic Activities: These include all the activities related to the teaching
        and learning functions within the faculty.
2.     Supportive Activities: These include all the activities related to the
        management of the faculty needed to support the academic activities.
Based on this distinction, a typical scope of the faculty QME system that would fulfill its vision, mission, goals, objectives and intended outcomes could be devised as follows:
1.     Main Academic Processes:
a.     Curricula Design, Content & Organization (CDCO): Courses, Tracks and
b.     Teaching Affairs (Teaching Modes).
c.     Assessments.
d.     Students Affairs, Progression and Services.
e.     Learning Resources.
f.      Research.
2.     Main Supportive Processes:
a.     Faculty Meetings and Review Meetings.
b.     Communication (internal and external).
c.     Document Control.
d.     Personnel (HRM).
e.     Purchasing.
f.      Maintenance and Calibration.
g.     Internal auditing.
h.     Finance.
i.      Promoting & Marketing.
j.      Outreach.
k.     Outsourcing Services.
The above main processes have been worked out based on the typical functions of any faculty with provision to meet internal/external academic references and to fulfill the vision and mission of any common university. The aims of the main academic processes would be adopted and formulated to fulfill the specific VMGOIOs of the institution. The majority of the main supportive processes (from 2.a to 2.k above) have been stemmed from the ISO9000 standards, borrowed as needed for the function of the faculty. The rest are related to the faculty role in sustaining itself and outreaching the society (see the Scope for IT faculty document as an example).


This document has presented a faculty QME system based on a generic QME system framework that will monitor, manage and enhance the quality of the faculty provisions. The model incorporates appropriate academic references mixed with ISO9000 methods that are used as a vehicle to quality assurance. An implementation plan and strategies for system implementation and a basic system scope are also included. It is foreseen that by developing and deploying an adequate faculty QME system, the faculty will achieve efficient and effective approaches in directing and controlling its various activities within the faculty, particularly those criteria associated with quality and fulfilling its vision and mission .
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