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Table 3 Accreditation as quality assurance and continuous quality improvement

From: The role of accreditation in 21st century health professions education: report of an International Consensus Group

  Quality Assurance Continuous Quality Improvement
Goal How can we ensure achievement of minimum standards? How can we promote excellence and innovation?
Focus What is below the standard? What can be done to improve?
Characteristics Summative Formative
Quality judgments Actionable feedback
Measurement against predefined requirements and thresholds Feedback on strengths and areas for improvement
Preventing harm to learners and patients Dissemination of innovations, leading practices, and “next” practices
Culture of episodic, high-stakes evaluation Culture of continuous enhancement
Audit model Coaching model