Outcomes of approval meetings

3.12 A panel event will result in one of the following three outcomes:

  1. Approval - To recommend approval of the programme/s to the University’s Quality & Learning Infrastructure Committee, with or without conditions and/or recommendations (see below).
  2. Referral - To refer the proposal for further work where there are a number of significant issues to be addressed. This will allow time for the programme development team to consult more widely and further develop the proposal to address the panel’s concerns. The revised submission should be considered by a re-convened panel.
  3. Rejection - To reject the proposal because a range of substantive issues affecting several aspects of delivery and assessment need to be addressed. This decision requires the proposal to be re-submitted for development approval from the start of the approval process.


3.13 Conditions are set where essential action is required to address an issue that has the potential to put academic standards or quality of delivery at risk, or where action is required in order to meet the University’s procedural or regulatory requirements. This action must be carried out before the programme may recruit students (and legal agreements may be finalised for collaborative arrangements).

All re-submitted documentation must meet the University’s documentary standards, whether or not any other specific conditions relating to student-facing documents are set. The panel should agree the deadline for meeting any conditions with the chair of the PDT, bearing in mind the recruitment cycle for the programme. Any extensions to the re-submission deadline must be negotiated with the link QAO and ADESE/FHQAV.


3.14 Recommendations are more advisory in nature and refer to action that the panel consider would enhance the student learning experience, but where no threat is posed to academic standards or quality of delivery. Action taken in response to recommendations should be recorded in the first annual programme review report following approval. Commendations for innovative practice may be made where the panel considers that the approach being taken by a programme team represents excellent practice in teaching and learning, and is likely to have a particularly positive impact on outcomes for all their students.

3.15 A programme of study (including those delivered through collaborative partnerships) is normally granted approval for a period of five years - subject to continuing to meet the requirements of the University’s quality monitoring processes - and is expected to go through revalidation (previously periodic review) by the end of this period. However, in circumstances where an approval panel believes that - although the criteria for programme approval have been met - the proposing team may have limited capacity or resources for continuing to deliver the programme, they may consider defining a period of approval of less than five years.

At the end of a reduced approval period, the programme must be reviewed by another panel to determine whether the panel’s concerns have been addressed and the programme may continue.