Polamk granted a quality label following FINEEC audit – praise for work-oriented approach and quality system

Publication date 1.3.2024 13.49
News item

The Police University College (Polamk) passes the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) audit and is granted a quality label for the following six years.

Polamk received particular praise from the audit team for its work-oriented degree programs and comprehensive quality system.

Polamk is well-equipped to respond to changes in the security environment

The skills of Polamk’s degree program graduates are up to the requirements of working life.  The strengths of police education planning include the extensive pedagogical support enjoyed by the education personnel and multidisciplinary co-teaching. The students have wide-ranging opportunities to participate in planning the education and to provide feedback.

“Polamk builds the foundation for the professionalism of the Police of Finland, which requires close and continuous co-operation between different police units and our stakeholder groups, as well as inside our own university college community, says Director Marko Laitinen.

“The audit team backed our policy approaches, which is important. We are simultaneously a police unit and an institution of higher education. Our strong national and international networks are essential, and they add value to our operations,” Laitinen says.

Polamk organizes various types of continuing education for police and cooperating authorities to help maintain and develop their competence. The audit team sees the potential of Polamk as a high-profile unit dedicated to continuous learning and capable of meeting qualitative and quantitative competence development needs of police personnel nationwide.

Polamk and the Emergency Services Academy Finland must develop their quality management cooperation

Bachelor of Rescue Services degree students are Polamk students: Polamk has the right to grant the degree, and the Emergency Services Academy Finland has the responsibility for organizing the studies. The audit team advises the organizations to increase systematic cooperation and sharing good practices on all levels.

“The audit team identified certain measures we can use to solidify our cooperation – for example, working on our shared operating culture together with our staff and students,” say the Polamk Director of Education and Research Pasi Kemppainen and the Emergency Services Academy Finland Director of Education Minna Hirvonen.

RDI must be linked more closely to developing police activities

The integration of Research, Development and Innovation activities (RDI) into teaching must continue. The audit team recommends increasing the integration of RDI initiatives into the development of police activities. Improving the gathering and analysis of impact data as a part of Polamk’s RDI projects can help develop the societal impact of the police as a whole.

“Polamk underwent an organizational overhaul earlier this year, and one of our objectives was to further integrate RDI into education and police activities. We have already started carrying out more systematic impact analyses on our RDI projects as well, says Director of Education and Research Kemppainen.

According to the audit team’s estimation, Polamk’s quality system is functional and it covers the basic tasks of the institution. The team believes that through its systematic quality management work, Polamk can recognize its developmental needs and improve its operations accordingly. 

“Our Operational Quality Manual, which is freely available online in three languages, gives an overview of our approach to quality management and was seen as one of our strong points,” rejoices Head of Quality Management Marika Puputti.

“Over the past few years, we have invested in analyzing and utilizing data from various reviews. We could further improve this by developing our management information systems according to the recommendations of the audit team,” says Head of Quality Management Puputti.

What is an audit?

The statutory quality system audit is one of the methods Polamk uses to evaluate and develop its operations. The quality system is audited every six years. Polamk has previously participated in and passed two audits.

On 1 March 2024, the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre FINEEC granted Polamk a quality label that will remain valid for six years. Passing the audit signals that the operations and quality system of a university of applied sciences satisfy the national and European quality assurance criteria for higher education institutions. The audit focuses on the methods a higher education institution uses to maintain and develop the quality of its education and research operations as well as its societal interaction and impact. The criteria used in the audit have been published in the FINEEC audit manual for higher education institutions.

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