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Monash University Policy Bank

Coursework Course and Unit Accreditation Policy

Purpose

To enable the University to fulfil its responsibility for accreditation of units and courses of study required for a degree or other award, as set out in Monash University (Council) Regulations, Part 5, Section 10, Clause 1(e).

Scope

All coursework courses leading to an award of the University
All units of study
All campuses and locations

Policy Statement

Principles

Accreditation is a quality assurance process under which courses and units are evaluated to determine that certain standards are met. As such, accreditation is not the same as a decision to offer a course or unit but a necessary condition for such a decision.

Course and unit accreditation is granted based upon established criteria that support high standards in the educational offerings of the University.

The course and unit accreditation processes encourage and support sound curriculum design and planning, and the development and approval of sustainable course structures.

Academic Board has overarching responsibility for the accreditation of coursework courses, majors, minors, specialisations and units. Academic Board may delegate the responsibility for approval of certain types of amendments to accredited courses to the Coursework Admissions and Programs Committee or Deans, in keeping with the principles and criteria set out in this policy.

Academic Board may delegate to Deans the accreditation of units in keeping with the criteria set out in this policy.

Accreditation of courses

Course accreditation is a cyclical process that contains the following four elements:

  1. Accredit: Initial accreditation and approval of a course as able to be offered.
  2. Monitor: Evaluation to ensure that expected quality and viability outcomes are achieved, undertaken at least once a year.
  3. Review: Evaluation of a course with respect to strategic, academic and business aspects. Course review must be undertaken within two years prior to re-accreditation.
  4. Re-accredit: Assessment of a course's continued alignment with accreditation criteria and performance as evidenced by course review outcomes.

Criteria for initial accreditation of new courses

Before the initial accreditation of a course, Academic Board must be assured that:

  • The course aligns with the academic profile and priorities of the University and the portfolio of courses offered.
  • The course meets the academic standards of the University as set out in policies, regulations and the statute.
  • The University has the academic resources (e.g. information technology, library, staffing, student support) to successfully offer and sustain the course.
  • Appropriate governance and management arrangements are in place for successful implementation, delivery and oversight of the course.

Criteria for re-accreditation of courses

Before re-accrediting a course, Academic Board must be assured that:

  • The course aligns with the academic profile and priorities of the University and the portfolio of courses offered.
  • The course meets the academic standards of the University as set out in policies, regulations and the statute.
  • There is evidence of successful offerings, high quality learning and teaching outcomes, student success and graduate outcomes.
  • The academic resources (e.g. information technology, library, staffing, student support) are adequate to continue to successfully offer and sustain the course.
  • The implementation of governance and management arrangements is appropriate for ensuring successful delivery and oversight of the course.
  • There is evidence of an appropriately conducted course review that addresses the above points, and that action has been taken as a result of outcomes and recommendations of the review.

Period of accreditation

The maximum period of accreditation for courses is seven years.

Before the end of a course's accreditation period, the faculty must either apply for re-accreditation or disestablish the course.

Conditions for ongoing accreditation of courses

Academic Board accreditation of courses is granted with the condition that faculties:

  • Seek the appropriate approval for amendments to accredited courses.
  • Monitor and review courses in accordance with university policy.
  • Report to CAPC on outcomes of course reviews and any withdrawal or loss of professional accreditation, failure to gain re-accreditation, unsuccessful applications for professional accreditation and professional accreditation with new bodies.

Academic Board may withdraw its accreditation prior to the end of the accreditation period if the above conditions are not met, or if it is concerned that academic quality standards are being breached or not maintained systematically.

Accreditation and re-accreditation of double degrees

The managing faculty of a double degree is responsible for applications for accreditation and re-accreditation.

Accreditation of courses offered outside Australia

In addition to the University's requirements, courses offered at the Monash Malaysia campus and any other locations outside Australia must meet the legislative requirements of the relevant country.

Course review

All award courses must be reviewed every 5-7 years. A shorter review cycle may be employed for strategic or operational reasons. Any applications to Academic Board for re-accreditation must be made within two years of the course review.

Course reviews must include one or more person/s external to the University.

Academic Board or the Provost may direct the Dean of a faculty to undertake a review of a course if either is concerned that academic quality standards are being breached or not maintained systematically, or for any other reason.

Approval of course amendments

Academic Board approval is required for amendments that propose courses, majors, 'stand alone' minors, specialisations, locations or partnerships that are new. Furthermore, Academic Board approval is required for any amendments that carry an element of risk to the University.

Academic Board delegates to CAPC the responsibility for approval of amendments that are substantive changes to award titles, the addition of majors, 'stand alone' minors or specialisations that do not involve a new field, course outcomes, course structures, course requirements (core units and specified electives only), or amendments that will affect other parts of the university.

CAPC may refer to Academic Board any course amendments that it considers may have strategic implications or where an exemption from policy is required.

Academic Board delegates the responsibility for approval of other course amendments to the Dean of the degree awarding faculty. For any course amendments where a double degree is involved, the Dean is required to consult with any partner faculties and provide a report on the amendment to CAPC, in the manner specified in the Course Accreditation Procedures.

The Chair of CAPC will determine the necessary level of approval where an interpretation of this policy is required for a particular amendment.

Accreditation of units

Academic Board delegates to Deans of faculties the responsibility for accreditation and re-accreditation of units.

Criteria for initial accreditation of units

Before accrediting a unit the Dean (or delegate) must be assured that:

  • There is alignment between unit outcomes, learning activities, assessment and the overall relationship to course outcomes.
  • The rationale for offering the unit is sound, e.g. by considering the unit's role within courses of study, strategic importance and overlapping content with other units.
  • Adequate resources are in place to successfully offer the unit, including academic staff, support staff, physical resources and services.
  • Mechanisms are in place for continuous monitoring of the quality and viability of the unit.
  • Where the unit involves academic content or resources of another faculty, or offering at another campus, that faculty or campus has been adequately consulted.

Criteria for re-accreditation of units

Before re-accrediting a unit the Dean (or delegate) must be assured that:

  • The unit aligns with the initial accreditation criteria.
  • There is evidence of high-quality outcomes and educational effectiveness.
  • The unit is viable.

Period of accreditation

The maximum period of accreditation for units is five years.

Conditions for ongoing accreditation of units

Deans may set conditions on the accreditation of units and may withdraw the accreditation for any reason if s/he deems it necessary.

Academic Board delegates to Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) the responsibility to direct the Dean of a faculty to undertake a review of a unit if LTC is concerned that the standards of academic quality are being breached or not maintained systematically, or for any other reason. In this circumstance, LTC will determine the particular focus of the directed unit review.

The Provost may also initiate such reviews.

Maintaining oversight and reporting requirements

CAPC and the Provost jointly report to Academic Board each year on the portfolio of courses offered by the University, including the overall performance of the portfolio (based on the annual monitoring of courses), course review schedule and any strategic considerations. The purpose of the portfolio report is to enable Academic Board to have strategic oversight of the course portfolio.

CAPC will collate updated academic course descriptions on a yearly basis with the purpose of verifying policy compliance and accuracy of description and to report amendments approved at the faculty level for each course.

The University will maintain a register of accredited courses, the period of accreditation and any conditions linked to the accreditation.

Deans must maintain records of course and unit proposals and amendments approved at faculty level. Copies of these records must be made available at the request of Academic Board or any of its subcommittees.

The Provost reports annually to Academic Board on disestablished courses and courses that have completed the teach out period in order to assure the Board that academic standards are maintained during teach out. Following completion of teach out, course accreditation is withdrawn by Academic Board.

Roles and responsibilities

Academic Board

Academic Board has overarching responsibility for the accreditation and re-accreditation of coursework courses, majors, minors, specialisations and units.

Coursework Admissions and Programs Committee (CAPC)

CAPC reviews new course proposals and applications for re-accreditation with a view to assessing alignment with the accreditation criteria, prior to consideration by Academic Board.

Academic Board delegates to CAPC the responsibility for approval of course amendments as set out in this policy.

Deans

Academic Board delegates to Deans of faculties the responsibility for accreditation and re-accreditation of units, following the criteria set out in this policy.

Academic Board delegates the responsibility for approval of course amendments to Deans as set out in this policy.

Provost

The Provost (or delegate) is responsible for the decision to offer a course. The Provost assesses the Business Case of new course proposals and course amendments (where changes significantly impact the business case), and course review reports. The Provost will advise Academic Board that the resources required to offer a course will be available.

The Provost is also responsible for disestablishing courses, as set out in the Monash University (Vice-Chancellor) Regulations and the Teach Out and Disestablishment Policy.

Supporting procedures

Coursework Course Accreditation Procedures
Coursework Course Review Procedures
Coursework Units Review Procedures

Supporting guidelines

Responsibility for implementation

Deans
Academic Board
CAPC
CPEG
Vice-Provost (Education Programs)
Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Vice-Provost (Graduate Education)
Provost
Pro-Vice Chancellor and President (Monash University Malaysia)
Pro-Vice Chancellor and President (Monash South Africa)

Status

New

Key Stakeholders

Deans
Academic Board
CAPC
CPEG
Vice-Provost (Education Programs)
Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Vice-Provost (Graduate Education)
Provost
Pro-Vice Chancellor and President (Monash University Malaysia)
Pro-Vice Chancellor and President (Monash South Africa)
Faculty Managers
University Librarian
Director, Education Business Services

Approval body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 1/2015
Date: 25-February-2015
Agenda item: 7.5

Endorsement body

Name: Coursework Admissions and Programs Committee
Meeting: 1/2015
Date: 04-February-2015
Agenda item: 8.1

Definitions

Legislation Mandating Compliance

All relevant legislative instruments that stipulate requirements with which members of the Monash community (all of whom are subject to the law) are obligated to comply.

Monash University (Council) Regulations


Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations


TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 Part 3 - Provider Course Accreditation Standards

Related policies

Disestablish and Teach Out Coursework Course of Study Policy


Collaborative Coursework Arrangements Policy


Course Design Policy

Related documents

Monash University: The Next Ten Years 


Education Strategic Plan 2011-2015


Australian Qualifications Framework 


National Qualifications Framework (South Africa)


Malaysian Qualifications Framework

Date Effective

25-February-2015

Review Date

25-February-2018

Owner

Vice-Provost (Education Programs)

Author

University Policy

Content Enquiries

Academic Programs

University Policy Use

Version Number: 1.0

Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu

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