The steps in the audit process were:
Each HEI submitted a self-evaluation report and audit portfolio, guided by 19 criteria specified by the HEQC.
An audit panel, comprising national and international peers, visited each HEI for several days to interview stakeholders and view facilities and further documentation
An audit report was written and sent to institutions. The audit report included commendations and recommendations for improvement. The audit report was submitted to the Institutional Audits Committee (IAC) and then to the HEQC for approval.
The institution was given 5 months in which to submit an improvement plan that indicated how it planned to address the recommendations. The improvement plan was submitted to the Institutional Audits Committee (IAC) for approval.
The institution was required to submit a progress report within three years of receiving the audit report. The progress report was submitted to the Institutional Audits Committee (IAC) and then to the HEQC for approval.
Once all the required document were approved by the HEQC, the audit was closed.
In some audits, institutions were required to resubmit their improvement plans, progress reports or both.
Instead of running another round of audits immediately, in 2014 the CHE initiated the Quality Enhancement Project with Higher Education Institutions, focussing on student success. The goal is enhanced student learning with a view to increasing the number of graduates that have attributes that are personally, professionally and socially valuable.