5.8 Monitoring

  • 8.1 The monitoring of the quality and standards of collaborative provision takes place through a number of mechanisms:

    • Liaison Manager visits
    • External examiner reports
    • Programme Committees, and other forums/mechanisms for eliciting feedback from students
    • Annual programme review reports
    • Monitoring and review of risk registers and risk improvement plans

    Institutional partnership arrangements are also monitored by the International Institutional Partnerships Oversight Group, established in 2018-19.

  • Liaison Managers

    8.2 A suitably qualified and experienced person must be appointed (by the PVC/Dean of Faculty, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of Department/School) as Liaison Manager, for all collaborative arrangements. This is a key role in the management of the University’s collaborative arrangements; and Liaison Managers play a crucial part in ensuring that programmes are being delivered as approved, and the quality and standards of the University’s awards are being protected. They are required to provide regular reports to the relevant Faculty AESC/QLIC (or the sub-groups responsible for monitoring collaborative provision), at least after each visit to the partner, and to provide a written report on their activities in the annual programme review report. The Liaison Manager role description and person specification is available on the Chapter 5 forms and guides page - it is also included in the Operations Manual, and may be tailored, if necessary, according to the needs of the collaborative arrangements.

    8.3 In the case of the Associate College Partnership, individual Liaison Managers are appointed with respect to individual programmes; however, the Head of UK Partnerships provides an additional operational link between the University and ACP members. This includes working with Associate Deans (Strategy & Development) to agree target student numbers and financial arrangements. The UK Partnerships team is also responsible for managing and servicing the ACP Steering Group.

    8.4 For institutional (multi-Faculty) partnerships, a University-level Liaison Manager will be appointed to provide a central point of contact on cross-partnership issues.

    8.5 For articulation arrangements, the Liaison Manager should make an annual visit to the partner, to attend the examination committee and meet with students to provide advice and support to those who are planning to progress to the Brookes programme. The Liaison Manager must produce an annual moderation report (using template T5.11), covering the standards of student work and the operation of the assessment process, in order to provide assurance that the standards of student achievement on the partner programme/s remain appropriate for entry to the Brookes programme/s.

    External examiners

    8.6 External examiners must be appointed for all collaborative programmes that lead to the award of a Brookes qualification or credit (at level 4 and above). The university retains responsibility for the appointment of external examiners for collaborative provision, although the partner may make suggestions for examiners. The examiner must be independent of both the partner and the University, and is primarily acting on behalf of the University in enabling it to maintain oversight of the standards of its awards. See University Regulations: A3.7 for more detail about the appointment of external examiners.

    8.7 External examiners must approve the assignment briefs and examination papers in the same way as for home provision, and an explanation for any variation in assessment strategies for home and franchised collaborative programmes should be provided; for example, to explain how it has been tailored to the local context.

    8.8 For articulation arrangements, the external examiner for the Brookes award to which students gain entry should be provided with the Liaison Manager’s report referred to in 8.5 above (along with the samples of assessed work and other documentation associated with the franchised Brookes programme to which students gain entry) so that they may comment in their report on whether the standards of achievement on the partner programme meet the threshold for the Brookes award. The external examiner may also, if they wish, request to view samples of student work on the partner programme.

    Student voice

    8.9 All partner programmes must have a mechanism for considering feedback from students on their learning experience. The Brookes Liaison Manager should be a member of any programme committees and, as a minimum, receive the agendas, papers and minutes. Programme committee minutes should provide information to students about how their comments are to be acted upon. The standard terms of reference, which are based on those for Subject Committees for home provision, are set out in the Operations Manual template and should be modified as necessary to reflect the provision covered in the document.

    Annual programme review

    8.10 All collaborative provision is subject to the University’s annual programme review requirements, as set out in the Quality & Standards Handbook: chapter 3 Annual review is the point in the year at which programme teams should reflect on the effectiveness of delivery arrangements as set out in the Operations Manual, and the risk register and action plans should be reviewed and updated at the same time.

    Monitoring and review of risk register and action plans

    8.11 At each annual programme review, the risk register should also be reviewed by the Liaison Manager, with assistance from the ADSE, ADSD, and the Faculty Head of Finance & Planning. At this point in the year:

    • the existing risk improvement plans should be checked to ensure all actions are complete;
    • any time-expired risks should be closed down;
    • any risks carried forward should be re-assessed;
    • new risks, if applicable, should be added and assessed;
    • new risk improvement plans, if needed (for M/H risks), should be developed.

    The revised risk register, and any associated action plans, should then be approved by the Faculty Executive, and monitored as before.