LEADER - The Dental Education Excellence Programme
In response to a rising demand from our members the ADEE Executive Committee realised the need for the development of a quality improvement programme that could be applied in a meaningful and useful manner by our European Dental School members.
Having consulted with members, the ADEE Executive concluded that a formal accreditation system would not be desirable or valued by most ADEE member schools. Within the dental education arena ‘Accreditation’ is viewed as being the responsibility of the regulating body at the country level. However, members expressed a strong desire for a system that grew on the existing ADEE structures already in place, which recognises those schools engaged in the continuous quality improvement cycle.
Many stressed the value and benefits attained by Schools from the DentEd and ADEE School visit programmes. Others stressed the importance of the role of the ADEE Taskforces particularly Taskforce I (The Profile and Competences for the Graduating European Dentist) and Taskforce II (The Curriculum Structure, Content, Learning & Assessment in European Undergraduate Dental Education). These documents have become the foundation of dental education throughout Europe and indeed further afield. Others such as Rohlin et al (2002, p74) stress and emphasise the uniqueness of regional and continental differences and the importance of embracing such difference in successful continuous quality improvement initiatives.
Evolving these existing valuable structures was seen as the key focus for ADEE. Any emerging initiative would need to draw on these by;
combining them into a core consistent approach that enabled quality delivery of the educational experience for students and staff
sharing and communication of successful quality improvement.
What has evolved from this work is the LEADER Excellence Programme.
LEADER: Leading European Academic Dental Education Research
LEADER was formally launched at the 2014 ADEE General Assembly by ADEE President Professor Damien Walmsley. In launching LEADER, Prof Walmsley expressed confidence that it would provide guidance to dental schools as they engage with continuous quality improvement and deliver for schools a recognised and valuable symbol of their commitment to quality education delivery.
Additionally LEADER itself will be subject to constant evolution to reflect the changing European dental education arena.