chapter  2
BS5750: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A KEY ISSUE
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BS5750 has become virtually synonymous with the discussion of quality assurance. Its potential for tackling the quality issue has been raised, and to a lesser extent accepted, across the spectrum of commercial and professional sectors. Indeed, the 1991-2 annual report of the British Standards Institution (BSI) confidently announced the spread of the philosophy to ‘solicitors, a general practitioners’ surgery, an insurance company and firms in banking and finance’ (1992:13). And to this can be added examples from manufacturing, from those sectors detailed in chapter 1, and, of course, from education. BS5750 has made this advance within the context of a growing focus on managerialism. The standard is often discussed alongside more general programmes of TQM (see chapter 1). It is, though, despite points of affinity, distinct from it. This chapter will concentrate squarely on BS5750 and its present incarnation as a quality strategy for education. The attention that it has drawn dictates that it should be looked at in some detail: the ensuing discussion addresses key aspects of its content and the difficulties thereof. It also examines the setting of institutional priorities within which they need to be considered.