In developing this policy the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
Course Reaccreditation Policy
This policy sets out the principles and process for reaccreditation of UC courses. Regular review of courses through reaccreditation is part of the University’s Quality and Standards Framework. Reaccreditation provides quality assurance and facilitates improved performance with a view to attaining international and national excellence.
The reaccreditation process enables Academic Board to review the effectiveness of each course to ensure the strength of the University’s academic program. Academic staff are encouraged to reflect on courses in the light of evidence and initiate improvements.
This policy applies to all award courses accredited by the University of Canberra.
The University is responsible for the quality of courses accredited by Academic Board.
Course reaccreditation is the University’s overarching course quality assurance process.
University processes that contribute to the quality of UC courses include:
accreditation and reaccreditation of courses by Academic Board;
annual course reporting and ongoing faculty oversight of course offerings;
faculty and University scrutiny in the development of new courses and approval of course and unit change;
consideration by the University Education Committee (UEC) of course proposals with strategic or policy implications before Academic Board approval;
professional accreditation or recognition of courses where applicable;
use of course advisory groups to provide regular stakeholder feedback;
student satisfaction surveys as part of Course and Teaching Evaluation and Improvement (CATEI);
peer review and assessment moderation and benchmarking;
annual faculty visits and evaluations by senior executive; and
mechanisms such as special purpose reviews where needed.
Award courses of the University will comply with the Australian Qualifications Framework. AQF compliance is verified at initial accreditation and in the reaccreditation process.
The University monitors course performance through Annual Course Reports and mechanisms such as the CATEI process. Annual Course Reports provide multiple years of performance data, to identify trends, with external benchmarks where possible. Faculties examine the data and act to improve performance where needed.
All courses will be regularly reaccredited by Academic Board. The Board has delegated authority to accredit courses of the University under Council Resolution No. C32/3 of 25 May 1994.
Courses will normally be reaccredited every five years. However, the process may be initiated for a particular course or course group at any time on recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
The reaccreditation process examines academic performance and planning in the context of the University as a whole. All aspects of a course including strategic, business and academic will be considered.
Evidence of evaluation against external standards is required. Where courses are not professionally accredited or recognised, faculties should implement alternative approaches to external review.
The decision to reaccredit a course will be based on:
alignment of the course with University strategic directions and disciplinary profile;
comparison with other institutions, national and international benchmarks, peer review and moderation (eg against discipline standards);
performance evidence in Annual Course Reports;
faculty advice on strategic issues and faculty, course and disciplinary context;
stakeholder feedback through student surveys (reported in Annual Course Reports), course advisory groups and other means such as the employer survey; and
other relevant factors such as professional accreditation.
While each course is considered individually, courses will normally be grouped for reaccreditation purposes reflecting disciplinary and professional boundaries and the University’s organisational structure.
Performance standards will be clear. Courses are assessed against agreed criteria to identify high-performing and under-performing courses.
Reaccreditation provides a threshold level of review for all courses. Courses considered to be under-performing will receive greater scrutiny on the principle of risk-based proportionate regulation.
Academic Board may resolve to reaccredit a course for five years, reaccredit provisionally or subject to conditions, accredit for a shorter specified period or not reaccredit a course.
Course under-performance will be addressed through faculty action plans. The ViceChancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may institute a Special Purpose Academic Review or review panel in particular circumstances.
The University will protect the interests of enrolled students in outcomes of the reaccreditation process. Teach-out will be provided for any course to be removed from the academic program.
Reaccreditation applies to courses not course components although Academic Board may make recommendations relating to majors, minors or units.
Faculties will be consulted on the requirements, process, timing and schedule for course reaccreditation and any changes to the reaccreditation process.
This policy is governed by University statutes and rules including the University of Canberra Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2010.
Courses at the University of Canberra will comply with the Higher Education Standards Framework of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
Reaccreditation as a means of quality assurance for UC courses replaces the Course Group Review process in operation from 2005 to 2010. A full cycle of Course Group Reviews was completed in 2011. Regular reaccreditation of courses was suggested by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) in 2008 and included in the University’s Quality and Standards Framework in 2010. The reaccreditation process is focused on performance. It encompasses external standards and benchmarks and is integrated with other quality measures such as annual course reports, faculty reports as part of CATEI and course advisory groups.
Documents related to this policy are:
UC course policies (diplomas, associate degrees, undergraduate courses leading to bachelor degrees, honours degrees, postgraduate coursework courses, combined coursework masters courses, higher degrees by research)