Periodic Reviews typically follow a similar process to that undertaken for original approval/validation. This involves the preparation and submission of supporting paperwork at School/programme level, which is then considered by a sub-group, on behalf of ECQS, acting as a Review Panel, with a report and recommendations being produced following a site visit and discussion with the Programme Team involved. Where necessary, and if appropriate, the Review Panel will meet with the Programme Team virtually.
(a) Written Submission
On confirmation being received from Faculty for the continuation of a particular arrangement, the Partnership Team in Academic Affairs will formally notify those involved, setting out requirements for the review process, including details of the documentation to be provided.
Principally, the Strategic Management Team and Programme Team must prepare a reflective statement in relation to the programme(s) and the collaboration. Its purpose is to consider how the provision fits within the overall academic plans of the contributing institution(s) and the University; including the institution’s strategy for HE provision, to provide an insight into the operation of the programme over the period of approval. It should also include details of any modifications which are to be made to the programme(s) and the rationale for those changes, as well as look forward and highlight plans that are in place to improve the provision and the student experience. The reflective statement should show the effectiveness of quality assurance and enhancement mechanisms in reviewing and enhancing provision. Examples of good practice should also be included. The Programme Team should ensure that the documentation complies with the relevant sections of the UK Quality Code.
In addition, the Programme Team, in consultation with the University Coordinator will be asked to provide a range of supporting documentation in line with the relevant Written Submission Guidelines for Validation and Periodic Review for taught programmes Appendix 12 - Written Submissions [Validation Periodic Review] or research degree programmes Appendix 13 - Written Submissions [Research]. The Chair of ECQS, in consultation with the Director of Education and Student Services will consider any request from a School/Faculty to vary the level of documentation required.
The School/Faculty should upload the full submission, together with programme specifications and any other supporting documentation, to a SharePoint site administered by the Partnerships Team in Academic Affairs at least four weeks prior to the date of the review meeting. The Review Panel will have access to the SharePoint site. Initial comments and details of any further information requirements shall be requested from the Panel and coordinated through the Partnerships Team in Academic Affairs.
(b) Appointment and Composition of Review Panel
A Review Panel will be convened to consider the submitted documentation on behalf of ECQS. Review Panels will normally be established by Academic Affairs on behalf of ECQS during the term before the review is scheduled to take place. Its composition will be the same as that used for a Validation Panel.
No-one involved in the delivery of the collaborative arrangement/programme under review may be a member of the Review Panel. Review Panel members will receive a copy of the Guidelines for Validation/Review Panels Appendix 16 - Guidelines for Validation/Review Panels and other relevant information including a draft agenda for the meeting.
(c) The Review Visit
Review meetings will normally take place on a single day at the collaborative organisation and seek to assess the quality of the ongoing arrangement to ensure that it remains compliant with University expectations and requirements and to consider any proposed changes. There is a standard agenda Appendix 17 Validation Periodic Review Agenda and schedule of business. The Review Panel will meet in advance to consider the documentation and to identify any areas of concern and particular issues to be raised with the collaborative organisation. A tour of relevant facilities may also be undertaken, as appropriate, by the Review Panel. The Panel will then meet with appropriate representatives from Senior Management, the Programme Team (which normally include the Programme Director, University Co-ordinator and other relevant staff), and separately, a group of students. If necessary, and where appropriate, the Review Panel will meet with the Programme Team, other relevant staff, and students virtually.
(d) The Review Report
The Secretary of the Review Panel will prepare a report on the periodic review on behalf of the Panel. The report will include one of the following recommendations in respect of future approval of the collaboration:
- Approval to continue for a specified period, future reviews to take place periodically.
- Approval to continue (subject to any conditions or recommendations).
- Approval to be withdrawn (candidates who have already embarked on the programme to remain eligible for a University award).
When the report is agreed by the Review Panel it will be sent to the Principal/Director of the collaborative organisation, the Programme Director at the collaborative organisation and the relevant Head of School and University Coordinator for the programme. The University believes that it is important that the report is considered not only at the level of the delivery of the programme, but at the level of senior management and within the governance structure of the collaborative organisation.
In the case of recommendation (2) above, if the Programme Team has difficulty in meeting the conditions or recommendations specified by the Panel, they are expected to report accordingly to the Partnerships Team in Academic Affairs, giving reasons, within two weeks of receiving the report. Otherwise, the University Coordinator, on behalf of the Programme Team, will be required to provide a response to the recommendations made by the Review Panel within four weeks of receipt of the report.
The response will be considered by the Review Panel to ensure that all recommendations/conditions have been addressed.
The proposed new MOA will be finalised and agreed with the partner institution in parallel.