Conduct of approval events


3.8 Administrative arrangements for the panel meeting are the responsibility of the panel Secretary, who should ensure that the documentation for the approval panel event is circulated to all members of the panel at least two working weeks prior to the approval meeting.

The documentation should, ideally, be circulated electronically (either by email, or made available to all panel members via Google or Moodle sites).

The date of the approval event and deadline for submission of documentation should be agreed when the PDT is established, and the link QAO and the Faculty Head of QA & Validations should be notified if the PDT wishes to re-negotiate the submission deadline at a later stage.

Setting the agenda

3.9 Advice on the formulation of the agenda for the event should be sought from the link QAO. An outline agenda is available in template T2.10, which should be tailored to the event so that the scheduled meetings enable the panel to meet with an appropriate range of staff, students and other stakeholders to explore:

  1. the appropriateness of the standards set (i.e. the programme learning outcomes) and the match with the title of award;
  2. the range of internal and external consultation that has informed the development of the new programme;
  3. the rationale for the proposal, the likely demand and student entry profiles;
  4. criteria for admission to the programme, and how candidates will be assessed against them;
  5. the curriculum: its design, content, delivery and assessment, and how it promotes learning and enables students to meet the requirements of the target award;
  6. the adequacy of the programme management structures, including those concerned with academic and pastoral support for students;
  7. the suitability of the staffing, physical learning environment, and other learning resources to support the provision;
  8. For collaborative arrangements, partner staff have a good understanding of the University’s regulations, approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, and quality assurance requirements, as set out in the programme documentation and Operations Manual.

Preparing for the event

3.10 If possible - particularly for complex events, e.g. involving collaborative partners or professional bodies - a meeting should be held between the panel Chair, the link QAO and the PDT chair in advance of event, to confirm that the panel is properly constituted, the programme documentation is complete, members of the programme team are ready to meet with the panel, and, if necessary, identify any additional requirements for the event. It is also good practice for the Chair and link QAO to request all panel members to indicate, in advance of the event, the key areas they would like to explore during the panel meetings with staff and students – this will assist the panel in agenda-setting on the day of the event, facilitate the programme team’s preparation for meeting with the panel, and promote the transparency and collegiality of the process.

3.11 Before they may confer an approval decision, programme approval panels must gain evidence - from the documentation submitted and from discussions with the programme delivery team (and students and other stakeholders, as appropriate) - that the University’s programme approval criteria have been met; or that they are likely to be met within a reasonable period from the panel event, such that conditional approval may be given.