After nearly two decades with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Kathy Maclaren is bringing her significant expertise to ACG’s Tertiary & Careers Group, where she will head the organisation’s Quality team.
Her appointment as General Manager for Quality & Academic Development underscores the importance ACG Tertiary & Careers places on quality training. The three providers that currently make up the T&C Group’s portfolio - ACG Yoobee School of Design, NZMA and NZCC (New Zealand Careers College) – are all Category 1 providers, the highest possible NZQA ranking. Her appointment aims to further strengthen the Group’s commitment to leading the country in skills-based education.
“My job is to continue to consolidate the implementation of quality self-assessment and improvement across the ACG Tertiary & Careers Group,” says Maclaren, who moves to Auckland to take up the position next month.
“As part of the leadership group, I’m looking forward to influencing the direction of the organisation, not only for ACG but as a contributor to NZ Inc.”
The new position will be a challenging extension to Maclaren’s current role as Manager, Approval and Accreditation (Strategy) at NZQA, and will enable her to focus on the whole quality assurance framework from a single organisation point of view.
“My last nine years at NZQA have been in leadership roles across different aspects of the tertiary education sector. Having been immersed in quality assurance leadership roles will assist with organisational quality development across the ACG Tertiary & Careers Group.”
Maclaren has enjoyed significant success during her time at NZQA. She was involved in the implementation of the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications (the pre-cursor to the NZ Qualifications Framework) and also worked with institutions to move to using the same currency (credits) to describe volume of learning. This was a major coup for transparency across the sector.
Other highlights have included managing change in a constrained environment, and advising and influencing other countries on their qualifications and quality assurance developments.
“It has been a privilege to be able to share the lessons that we have learned over the last 20 – 25 years.”
These are all valuable lessons that Maclaren will now be sharing with the ACG Tertiary & Careers Group, and according to the Group’s Divisional Chief Executive Feroz Ali, her wealth of quality assurance and internationalisation expertise will bring big benefits to the organisation.
“With the recent growth of ACG into the tertiary space, and with opportunities for us to grow onshore and offshore, Maclaren’s appointment complements the already strong leadership team at ACG Tertiary & Careers. I am delighted to have someone with years of experience and policy making join our group,” he said.