Evolution of the LEADER Programme
In response to rising demand from ADEE membership for more avenues of engagement, the ADEE Executive Committee realised the need for the development of a quality improvement (QI) programme that could be applied in a meaningful and useful manner by academic institutions. Having consulted with its membership, the ADEE Executive Committee concluded that a formal accreditation system would not be desirable or valued by most ADEE member schools. Instead, members expressed a strong desire for a system based on ADEE structures already in place which recognises schools with continuous QI strategies, while embracing local context and regional differences.
Evolving these existing valuable structures was seen as a key focus for the ADEE Executive Committee. Any emerging initiative would need to draw on these by: combining them into a core consistent approach, enabling quality delivery of the educational experience for students and staff, facilitating peer support, and sharing of successful QI initiatives. What has evolved from this work is the LEADER Programme.
The LEADER Philosophy
The LEADER philosophy is grounded in the highly successful ADEE and DentEd Dental School visit programmes. The ADEE’s previously published Dental School Visit guidelines and the output of Taskforce III (Quality Assurance & Benchmarking: An Approach for European Dental Schools) provided the core foundation for LEADER. LEADER aims to draw on academic institutions’ existing quality assurance (QA) processes to offer an opportunity for peer review from other dental educators in Europe.
The philosophy is based on the principles of:
- Membership-focused service
- Collegiality and the sharing of knowledge between peers
- Appropriateness and applicability to local and regional context
- Evidence based best practice
- Effective risk management and minimal resource input
Participation in LEADER begins with school self assessment concentrating on areas of focus in oral health professional education, which will then form the basis and context for the programme activities to follow.