The purpose of this chapter is to consider how appraisal can contribute to the enhancement of quality in university teaching. It considers the origins of contemporary debate concerning quality and appraisal of quality in higher education. Some practicalities concerning the nature and variety of appraisal schemes and other approaches to quality assurance are considered. The model (or models) of appraisal most likely to make a worthwhile contribution to the enhancement of quality in university teaching is discussed.

The positioning of the chapter in the ongoing discussion of teaching and learning in higher education, especially when the matter of appraisal is addressed, leads one to at one of those sharp edges of the quality issue where grand schemes and fine ideals meet the individual human being. An underlying assumption must be stated: whatever its origin, or stated purpose, the only reasonable justification for the existence of an appraisal scheme is enhancement of the teaching being evaluated.

The success of enhancement activities through teaching and learning organizations which research, share practice and support development is identified as encapsulating the impulse to enhance teaching and learning, as is the advent of numerous accredited courses in teaching and learning in higher education.