The Quality Management System of ARGE BHÖ - a success story 

The implemention of ISO in the "Bildungshäuser"

In 1995 ARGE BHÖ submitted an application for funding under the Socrates programme. A major result of this research project is the publication of the book "Qualitätssicherung in Bildungsstätten" (see Grilz, 1998). On the basis of these considerations and a critical analysis of the quality management models in use in Europe, the Bildungshäuser agreed in 2002 on the introduction of a QM system based on the DIN ISO 9001:2000 model, which has undergone a major change from an economic standard to a service standard in the 2002 version and is thus also suitable for educational institutions.

Currently 18 Bildungshäuser are certified according to ISO9001:2008. ARGE BHÖ bears a large part of the costs for quality management.

Quality Circles of ARGE BHÖ as best practice model

A Q-circle is a fixed component in the quality system of ARGE BHÖ. Twice a year, the quality representatives of the Bildungshäuser meet to exchange experiences and for further training. This ensures the consistency of quality and enables continuous further development.

Quality representatives as supporting pillar 

The quality representatives come from a wide variety of fields, mostly from the management team, and most of them have pedagogical training. The qualification and competence of the quality representatives plays an important role in ARGE BHÖ. Therefore, great importance is attached to the further training of these persons. 12 quality representatives took the opportunity in 2007 to be trained as auditors. In 2011, a further 13 persons were trained and certified. Currently 13 quality representatives are completing the training course.

ARGE BHÖ was approved by SystemCert as a training centre for quality representatives and auditors in 2011.

Internal Audit as expert discussion

Usually internal audits are carried out by the institution's own quality representatives in their own facilities. Within the ARGE BHÖ network, these are carried out by quality representatives of another member institution. This ensures that the result of the audit does not resemble an annual self-reflection, but becomes an evaluation by external education experts. For the house itself, the internal audit provides information about the effectiveness and performance of the system, whether the objectives are being pursued or not, and which improvements should be made.

The ARGE BHÖ as a learning organization

The "learning organisation" is to be understood as a procedure of a planned systematic development process that makes structures changeable (cf. Ehses/Zech 2002) The introduction of the quality management system has led to a fundamental process of change within ARGE BHÖ and in the individual educational institutions. New approaches have been and are being discussed and concrete measures derived with regard to customer requirements, employee orientation, business management processes and pedagogy. Quality management can therefore also be interpreted as an occasion and form of organisational learning and thus as an organisational development instrument (see Gnahs 2007, p. 99ff).


Meisel, K. (2005): Qualitätsentwicklung in der Weiterbildung erfordert Professionalisierung. In: Zukunft im Zentrum (Hrsg.): Kompetenzentwicklung in der Weiterbildung, Berlin, S. 19-28

Grilz, W. (1998): Qualitätssicherung in Bildungsstätten. Anleitung zur Erstellung eines Qualitätshandbuches. In: Feuchthofen, J/Jagenlauf, M/ Kaiser, A (Hrsg.): Grundlagen der Weiterbildung, Neuwied

Ehses, C./Zech, R. (2002): Organisationale Qualitätsentwicklung aus der Perspektive der Lernenden – eine Paradoxie? In: Heinold-Krug, E./Meisel, K. (Hrsg.): Qualität entwickeln – Weiterbildung gestalten. Bielefeld

Gnahs, D.(2007): Zielsetzung „Lernende Organisation“: Qualitätsmanagement als Lernanstoß für Weiterbildungseinrichtungen. In: Dollhausen, K./Nuissl, E.(Hrsg.): Bildungseinrichtungen als „lernende Organisation“. Wiesbaden



Dr. Gaby Filzmoser BA MA, Managing Director of ARGE Bildungshäuser Österreich and Quality Manager;

Ing. Rudi Planton, Managing Director of Bildungshaus Schloss Krastowitz,

Mag. Franz Jenewein, Managing Director of Tiroler Bildungsinstituts-Grillhof and former Quality Manager of ARGE Bildungshäuser Österreich