2.1 Initial approval

  • Faculty Executive

    2.1.1 All new programme proposals must be approved for further development by the relevant Faculty Executive Team, or other Faculty group with the relevant authority, prior to the establishment of a Programme Development Team (PDT). 

    Initial development approval is the mechanism through which PVC/Deans assure themselves that new proposals demonstrate a fit with Faculty and University strategic priorities; and it enables them to assess and approve the allocation of resources to the development of the new programme.

    Proposal format

    2.1.2 New programme proposers must prepare a submission to the appropriate Faculty Executive or business development group, with responsibility for approving proposals for new provision.  

  • The format of such submissions will vary according to individual Faculty requirements, but they should include the following minimum information:

    • rationale for the development of the new programme, including the market rationale (i.e. why the programme will attract students in sustainable numbers)
    • the contribution of the new provision to the achievement of Faculty and University strategic objectives
    • evidence of potential market demand - the Demand Toolkit, available - together with other market intelligence resources - on the  SBPO Intranet pages, provides a good basis for structuring initial feasibility work
    • proposed membership of the PDT
    • costing model, using the template available via the forms and guides related to this chapter, and including:
      • costs of development and delivery
      • funding and fees (income) information
      • risk assessment 
  • Programme Development Team and new programme registration

    2.1.3 Once the initial development approval has been signed off by the PVC/Dean (or, in their absence, an authorised member of the Faculty Executive Team) of each Faculty to be involved in the delivery of the new programme, the PDT should be established. 

    On receipt of confirmation that Faculty permission has been given for further development – via the New Programme Registration Form (T2.1) - the link Quality Assurance Officer (QAO) will make an entry in the APQO programme approval schedule.  New programmes may, at this stage, be advertised as “subject to validation”.

    T2.1 New Programme Registration Form

    Timescales

    2.1.4 At this stage, a preliminary meeting should be held between the PDT Chair, the link QAO, Faculty Quality Officer, and Associate Dean (Student Experience) or PL(Quality Assurance & Validation), to agree on a timescale for the completion of the validation process and set a date for the panel approval event. 

    In deciding on deadlines for completion of the approval process, new programme proposers should bear in mind the application procedures that apply to their provision. 

    From a QA perspective, it is possible to schedule approval events for new programmes (and re-validations) at any time of year, according to the needs of the Faculty.  However, sufficient time must be allowed between the approval event and the intended start date, to enable effective marketing and recruitment activities to take place or – in the case of re-validations - to notify students/applicants of programme changes; and a number of deadlines are in place to help manage these processes. 

    Further guidance (G2.5) is available to explain the implications of operating outside the agreed timescales. 

    G2.5 Key Deadlines for Programme Approval and Modification