Approval processes

  • Type A changes must have the consent of the relevant Programme Lead or Subject Coordinator, and be approved by the Faculty Head of Quality Assurance & Validations or Associate Dean Education & Student Experience (ADESE); and should be logged by the Faculty AESC/QLIC quality sub-group.

    Where they consider that a requested Type A update actually constitutes a Type B change, the Faculty quality sub-group should refer it back to the Module Leader, who should follow the appropriate approval process as set out below.

    In the case of module level changes, the Module Leader must provide the PL or SC and the Faculty Quality Officer with an updated module descriptor (and, if necessary, programme specification).

    Once the update has been agreed, the Faculty Quality Officer should submit the change request to Student Records and Curriculum Management (SRCM) using the SRCM Curriculum Change Request form; and the updated module descriptor/s should be submitted to SRCM at the same time. Updated programme specifications (if applicable) should be lodged with the APQO and SRCM, via the link Quality Assurance Officer.

    Type B changes require submission for approval by the Faculty AESC/QLIC (via the quality sub-group), and proposals should be presented by the Module Leader, Subject Coordinator or Programme Lead (as appropriate) on the Request for Changes template (T2.13). NOTE: the process for obtaining approval for variations from the Regulations is set out in the New awards and variations section of the handbook.

    Type B changes may also require some internal or external consultation, as appropriate to the changes being proposed - this may include consultation with students, external examiners, accrediting bodies, or other interested parties. The Faculty link QAO can advise on the level of consultation which should take place. If required, consultation report/s should be provided, using template T2.14. If a consultation report is not required, the Module Leader, Subject Coordinator or Programme Lead (as appropriate) should provide a summary of any feedback they have had from students on the changes. This may take the form of a short account of the discussion at the Subject Committee or - where the change has come about as a result of student feedback - a statement to this effect.

    Once the change has been agreed by the programme team at a Subject Committee, the Request for Changes form, together with the updated module description and (if necessary, programme specification), should be forwarded to the Faculty Quality Officer, who will arrange for the proposal to be considered by the Faculty QLIC/AESC quality sub-group.

    The FQLIC/AESC quality sub-group must consider whether the documentation provides evidence that an appropriate consultation process has been undertaken, and that the rationale for the change is robust. Where new compulsory modules are being introduced, the panel must check that the modules contribute to the achievement of the programme learning outcomes and that the proposed curriculum change does not substantially alter the nature of the award.

    A short report will be added to the Request for Changes form, by the Faculty Quality Officer, to summarise the key points raised by panel members and to indicate their decision. The form will then be submitted to the FQLIC/AESC for endorsement. Once Faculty approval has been granted, the form should be submitted to the APQO and SRCM, along with updated programme specifications, via the link QAO. Updated module descriptors should be submitted to SRCM via the link Curriculum & Student Information Manager.

    Students must be notified by the Subject Coordinator/Programme Lead when changes affecting their programmes of study have been approved; and the relevant external examiner/s must be notified of any changes to module assessment strategies prior to the next assessment period for the amended module/s.

    CVs of new staff appointed by the partner to teach on an existing collaborative programme should be submitted to the Liaison Manager and considered for approval by the Faculty AESC/QLIC. The summary staff CV template (T5.9) should be used for ACP provision and may also be used for other partnerships. The outcome of the FAESC/QLIC consideration should be reported to the APQO via the link QAO, for recording with the definitive programme documentation – the Operations Manual must also be updated.

    For the approval of additional delivery locations for existing collaborative arrangements, i.e. the same partner will be delivering the same programme/s at a new location, a site visit will be undertaken by an appropriate member of University staff, plus a secretary (usually a QAO, unless alternative arrangements have been agreed with the Head of APQO) who will write a report to notify Faculty AESC/QLIC. Template T5.14 may be used, but the format of the report is likely to vary, depending on the nature of the provision concerned (for example, specialist facilities may need to be evaluated for some provision), and Faculties should consult their link QAO to agree on the agenda for the visit, and the personnel who will need to be involved in the visit. Note: If a proposal involves the addition of new teaching staff as well as a new delivery location, an approval event should be held.

    Revalidation of existing programmes follows the same process as set out for the approval of new programmes. Key differences are that:

    • external panel membership may not be required in some cases, for example, the modification of an existing programme for a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship.
    • the Request for Changes form (T2.13) should be submitted with the Submission Document, to record any changes which will be required to existing modules as a consequence of the re-validation of a programme.

    Programme teams are not obliged to go through the business case process for revalidations, but – other than in the case of PSRB-driven revalidations – it may be useful to do so, in order to ensure there is robust consideration of the market for a re-designed programme by the Faculty Executive. Advice on whether this is required should be sought from the Faculty ADESE and the Faculty Planning Partner. As with new programmes, sufficient time must be allowed between the re-validation event and the intended start date for the revised programme to enable effective marketing and recruitment activities to take place and to notify students/applicants of programme changes.