Institutional self-assessment is considered to be a crucial quality assurance mechanism in higher education. However, the criteria employed in self-assessments tend to ignore the overall organisational effectiveness of the institution. This paper describes a study which employed the effectiveness criteria contained in the Competing Values Model of Organisational Effectiveness (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1981, 1983) to produce a set of organisational effectiveness self-rating scales for Hong Kong higher educational institutions. The scales were developed using the behaviourally anchored rating scales (BARS) procedure. The study produced scales which address the organisational effectiveness of an institution and appear to be a useful addition to the array of quality assurance mechanisms in higher education. The paper highlights the qualitative benefits of the scale development procedure and resulting scales and notes that the procedure could be employed, and the qualitative benefits enjoyed, in other higher educational systems.