Courses council rapped

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 April, 2012, 12:00am


Up to a quarter of the members of a statutory body that vets professional and academic qualifications have not declared whether they have any potential conflict of interest with education providers, the Director of Audit has found.

The annual audit criticised the Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications yesterday for accepting members without requiring them to submit declarations of their relationships with course operators.

The report prompted lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong to urge the council to rectify the problem or risk jeopardising its independent status.

The council is the sole accreditation agency for professional training courses and academic programmes run by the private sector, with its members empowered to approve such qualifications.

But the auditors found that 25 out of a sample of 102 members had not declared whether they had any conflict of interest, such as their relationships with the management of training institutions.

One member was found to be an acquaintance of the chief executive of a school, while another sat on the advisory committee of another school.

The Education Bureau said yesterday that it welcomed the scrutiny of the auditors, as did the council, and would put improvement measures in place.