External quality audits 2022
Article 4 of the Charter requires SRG to have regular quality inspections carried out by external specialists with the appropriate qualifications and experience. For the period 2020 to 2022, the team led by Professor Vinzenz Wyss from Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) was entrusted with this task. The audit team issued a very good report for 2022.
In 2022, the ZHAW audit team examined one editorial department in four enterprise units of the SRG: RSI Gameshow "Zerovero", RTR television news programme "Telesguard", RTS news offer for a young audience and SRF podcast "News Plus". As for SWI swissinfo.ch, its entire offer was audited.
The auditors examined four areas: "communicated quality principles, quality objectives and standards", "training, staff and organisation", "quality-assurance process" and "audience concept, audience involvement". They have all achieved good to excellent results.
The audit team states in its evaluation that the SRG quality assurance system works very well and overall meets the requirements. It notes that the Quality Assurance Managers of the national Specialist Group have implemented the requirements from the previous audits well and have further developed the quality assurance system in the five enterprise units. Overall, the audit team issued a very good report about the SRG quality assurance system.
Quality assurance is an ongoing process that must be continuously adapted to new circumstances. The audit team sees potential for optimisation in the following areas:
- Employees should be explicitly involved when documents with quality objectives or quality assurance processes are adapted.
- Regarding personnel development, some enterprise units could align their annual Performance Appraisal (PA) with the SMART model (SMART: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related).
- In the «Act-phase» of the PDCA cycle (PDCA: Plan, Do, Check, Act) a systematic procedure should be followed to define measures from monitoring and findings in a traceable way.
- The monitoring of audience reactions on social media platforms should also be a subject of quality assurance if the editorial office or organisational unit itself does not have a profile on these platforms.
The Quality Assurance Managers have noted these recommendations and planned measures to implement them.
After the completion of the first series of audits, the call for tenders for the upcoming external quality audits took place in summer 2022. In future, the audits will only take place every two years. Several providers applied for the quality audits in 2024, 2026 and 2028, but it was the team led by professors Ulla Autenrieth, Matthias Künzler, Franziska Oehmer-Pedrazzi and Edzard Schade from the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (FHGR) that was selected. The FHGR convinced the SRG's quality expert group with its competences and its proposals for the planned procedure. The reallocation of the audits is an excellent opportunity to check whether the results of the first three audits are confirmed.