Program quality assurance policy for TAFE and Higher Education coursework programs
Intent and objectives
To provide a quality assurance and review system based in existing practice, which attests to the educational design, implementation and currency of RMIT programs, and informs School, Portfolio and university planning.
1. The approach aims to:
- be thoughtful and critical
- involve staff at all levels of responsibility
- take account of significant developments which impact on programs
- be rigorous
2. Ongoing responsibility for program quality is embedded in management practice.
3. Systematic review and external re-accreditation (where required) provide an opportunity for continuous program improvement that incorporates input from all major stakeholder groups.
Program Quality Assurance (PQA) is applied over a yearly cycle to all RMIT TAFE and HE award coursework programs, onshore, offshore and all modes of delivery, whether offered directly by RMIT or in partnership with other providers.
1.1. Principles of program design ensure programs are coherent, integrated, and enable students to achieve capabilities or competencies appropriate to the program aims. Identical awards offered in different geographic locations or by different modes of delivery must result in the same graduate capabilities or TAFE units of competency.
1.2. Local program planning:
1.2.1. Is integrated into university profile planning processes
1.2.2. Addresses the university’s strategic goals
1.2.3. Develops strategies to provide a appropriate return on investment from program delivery
1.3. Program approval processes ensure that:
1.3.1. All new HE coursework programs are subject to approval of a Program Proposal (strategic and business case) by the VCE and academic approval by the Academic Board.
1.3.2. All programs to be delivered through Open Universities Australia be subject to the approval of a Program Proposal (strategic and business case) by the VCE and academic approval by the Academic Board
1.3.3. All programs to be delivered offshore for the first time be subject to the approval of an International Implementation Plan (strategic and business case) by the VCE via the PVC (I&D). 1.3.4. Following VCE approval, all programs to be delivered offshore for the first time to be approved by Academic Board.
1.3.5. All changes to program titles are subject to academic approval by the Academic Board
1.3.6. Any proposal to amend Higher Education coursework program structure, content or delivery which involves a significant shift in demand or resources or new mode of study and/or shift in geographical location requires a program proposal to be approved by VCE.
1.3.7. Program proposals are approved by VCE before program development or re-development is progressed.
1.3.8. Program approval documentation is student-centred wherever feasible and developed in accordance with University guidelines.
1.3.9. Robust approval stages are in place to evaluate the quality of the program design, implementation, assessment and evaluation.
1.3.10. External program accreditation, where appropriate, by DEST and the VQA or its equivalent in other States is recognised
1.4. Program and Course management and reporting arrangements ensure that:
1.4.1. Operational responsibilities in relation to program quality and documentation are clearly identified by Schools and located and resourced at program level
1.4.2. Quality assurance is embedded in Portfolio and School management processes
1.4.3. The Head of School is accountable for the quality of program-related processes and practices within the School.
1.4.4. Staff capacity and development needs for effective course and program management are identified and addressed through the work planning process
1.4.5. There is continuous improvement in teaching and resources
1.4.6. Each School documents its system for maintaining program quality
1.5. The program review system is such that:
1.5.1. All programs must be reviewed each year.
1.5.2. Review processes involve analysis of program performance based on course and program data led by the Program leader with input from all major stakeholder groups to evaluate program quality, relevance and viability
1.5.3. Compliance with external regulatory requirements such as AQTF is assured.
1.5.4. Program design, implementation and assessment are attested by the program team, independent critique and external validation
1.5.5. Review processes consider all offerings of the same award across all locations and modes of delivery, focusing on program performance and development possibilities and taking account of strategic priorities of the university.
1.5.6. A brief review report is written that includes an action plan identifying issues that need to be addressed at the program level, Portfolio level and University level.
1.5.7. The program review report will inform School Planning (including work planning), Portfolio planning and the University profile planning process.
1.5.8. Each Portfolio identifies program development and re-development priorities for the following year and any program-related issues that need to be resolved at Portfolio or university level. 1.5.9. Issues identified for action are referred to the appropriate level school, portfolio, central service area) for action; are appropriately resourced; and outcomes communicated back to the Head of School or PVC (Academic) as appropriate.
1.5.10. Processes for external re-accreditation of the program will be undertaken if required by the relevant Professional Association and where feasible, aligned with internal program review processes.
1.6. Responsibility for university-wide support for, and monitoring of, this policy and associated procedures rests with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
2 Program quality assurance
Criteria measures used to evaluate program performance will be consistent with those used in the Profiles Process and are defined as:
2.1 Program Quality
2.1.1 Program quality is reflected in program design, delivery, assessment and management that:
2.2 Program Viability
2.2.1 Program viability is its cost effectiveness and sustainability. It reflects the demand for the program, how well students progress through the program and the program’s return on investment
2.3 Program Relevance
2.3.1 Program relevance relates to the program reputation as viewed by key stakeholders and to the meaningful contribution that its graduates can make to their occupation, trade, or profession and to society. It is reflected in the alignment of program content and outcomes to labour market priorities and those areas identified by Government and industry partners as being high priority.