Comprehensive Course Review Procedure
These procedures provide the structure and processes for undertaking comprehensive reviews of all JCU coursework programs leading to an award, in accordance with the Coursework Approval, Accreditation, and Review Policy and clause 5.3 (Monitoring, Review and Improvement) of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021. Findings of the Comprehensive Course Review will be used by the Institution in ensuring continued compliance with clause 5.1 (Course Approval and Accreditation) of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.
These procedures apply to all staff engaged in coursework programs leading to an award at any JCU campus or location.
Unless specified otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this procedure are defined in the Policy Glossary.
Annual Course Performance Report (CPR) - The regular review of course performance which is used to inform quality improvement activities. Courses to be reviewed will be determined each year.
Comprehensive Course Review (CCR) - Cyclical course review (at least every 7 years) to comprehensively review each course’s quality and improvement activities, ‘fit’ and contribution to the university. This review includes scope to review the design and content of each course of study, the expected learning outcomes, and the methods for assessment of those outcomes where the data suggest this is required. The review is expected to consider the extent of student success, the contexts of the student cohort admitted to the course and takes account of emerging developments in the field of education, modes of delivery, the changing needs of students, and the identified risks to the quality of the course of study.
Approved Associated Courses (AACs) - Courses that are sufficiently similar in intent and outcomes that they can be reviewed together.
JCU is committed to conducting systematic reviews of course quality for all JCU coursework programs leading to an award. The purpose of course reviews is to ensure the academic quality of JCU’s coursework programs are of the highest quality possible, and to meet course monitoring and review obligations under the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.
A comprehensive course review will be conducted on all courses of study or groups of associated courses at least once every 7 years for the purposes of renewal (i.e., internal re-accreditation).
1. Establishing Review Requirements
Comprehensive Course Reviews are undertaken with reference to a set of Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators as listed in Appendix 1. The review commences with a First Pass assessment which determines the type of review to be undertaken. The timing of review for any particular course is determined by a 7-year schedule of reviews and annual prioritisation of reviews for the current year. The indicators, the First Pass assessment, and the schedules are all subject to regular refresh.
1.1 Comprehensive Course Review Committee (CCR Committee)
1.1.1 Academic Board will convene a Comprehensive Course Review Committee consisting of:
- Deputy Chair or Academic Member of Academic Board (as the Chair of the CCR Committee)
- Director, Academic Program Quality
- Dean, Centre for Education and Enhancement
- Manager, Quality Assurance and Evaluation
- Manager, Reporting and Analytics.
1.1.2 The Committee will meet at least annually. Its role is to:
- Maintain a schedule of Comprehensive Course Review activities
- Monitor implementation of Comprehensive Course Reviews
- Verify the type of Comprehensive Course Review required for each course
- Appoint Comprehensive Course Review Panel members including the Panel Chair.
- Identify specific foci for the Course Portfolio of Evidence, determined on analysis of the ‘First Pass’ Assessment and the course’s application for renewal.
- Assuring the fitness-for-purpose of the Panel Report and recommending approval to Academic Board.
- Maintain the fitness-for-purpose of the Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators and the First Pass Assessment, by regular review.
1.1.3 The Secretariat will be provided by the Division of Education.
1.2 Setting of Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators and First Pass Assessment
1.2.1 Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators, as listed in Appendix 1, or as amended in accordance with this procedure, provide quantifiable measures used for the purposes of:
- Evaluating the quality of course performance
- Developing a risk profile for each course based on performance against the indicator thresholds.
1.2.2 The First Pass assessment is undertaken to establish the risk profile of a course based on a weighted risk analysis of a course’s performance against the Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators. The risk score determines the type of review required and the distribution of contributing Quality Indicators influences the type of evidence required in the portfolio. There are three types of Comprehensive course reviews:
- Desktop Review (Low Risk)
- Panel Interview (Moderate Risk) and
- Panel Visit (High Risk).
1.2.3 The CCR Committee will in Q4 of each year, or as proposed by a majority of the CCR Committee, review and confirm the design, scope, and impact of the Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators and the methodology for the First Pass assessment. Amendment to the indicators or assessment will be proposed to Education Committee and Curriculum Committee for endorsement, and approved by Academic Board.
1.3 Schedule of Comprehensive Course Reviews
1.3.1 The schedule of Comprehensive Course Reviews is set in consideration of prior CCRs within the context of the 7-year cycle, external accreditation scheduling, and recommendations or conditions set down by other internal reviews or audits.
1.3.2 The Manager, Quality Assurance and Evaluation in consultation with the Director, Academic Program Quality, will in Q1 of each year, review the existing (7-year) Schedule of Comprehensive Course Reviews and as appropriate, will recommend revisions to that schedule to the CCR Committee for approval. Amendment to the schedule of Comprehensive Course Reviews will be noted by the Academic Board.
1.4 Comprehensive Course Review Course Groups and Exclusions
1.4.1 Based on the 7-year Schedule of Comprehensive Course Reviews, the Academic Program Quality Advisor will in Q1 of each year, select the list of courses and course groups (main course plus approved associated courses) to be reviewed in that year in consultation with the Manager, Quality Assurance and Evaluation.
1.4.2 Courses may be excluded from the review for that year if they are in final stages of teach-out, or are new courses in their first two years of offer.
1.4.3 Where a course is planned to be discontinued or suspended, a review may be recommended to inform future program development.
1.4.4 Courses undertaking a Comprehensive Course Review are not required to undertake the annual Course Performance Reporting process in the same calendar year. The list of courses and course groups to be reviewed that year will be approved by the Director Academic Program Quality
2. Undertaking the review
2.1 First Pass Assessment
2.1.1 The First Pass assessment provides a risk assessment based on course performance against the Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators.
2.1.2 First Pass assessment are produced by the Reporting and Analysis team at the request of the Academic Program Quality Advisor and provided to the CCR Secretariat after ‘fact checking’ and review by the Director Academic Program Quality.
2.2 Portfolio of Evidence
2.2.1 A Portfolio of Evidence, prepared by the Course Coordinator, will be submitted to support their application for internal course accreditation renewal.
2.2.2 The Portfolio of Evidence should:
- be submitted in accordance with the nominated timeframe as determined by the CCR Committee
- address issues of course quality and compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.
- respond to the First Pass Risk assessment, and where the risk rating is medium or high, provide the supporting evidence of action to redress or mitigate the risks.
- respond to the CCR focus questions provided.
2.2.3 The CCR focus questions are selected by the Manager, Quality Assurance and Evaluation, after consideration of the First Pass assessment risk rating, relevant context, and other reviews.
2.2.4 Externally accredited courses will be reviewed based on any gaps between external accreditation requirements and the Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators.
2.2.5 Table 1 illustrates the determination of the Comprehensive Course Review type and requirements based on the Risk Score from the First Pass assessment.
Table 1: Determination of Comprehensive Course Review Activity Types and Requirements
|First Pass assessment Risk Score
|Course to be disestablished or new course (≤ 2 years offers)
Simple Portfolio of Evidence
Does not require visits or meetings
Comprehensive Portfolio of Evidence
Comprehensive Portfolio of Evidence
Panel visit (1-2 days)
Panel will include a minimum of one external member.
|Comprehensive Course Review Application
|Completed First Pass Course Review report (Signed by DAPQ)
|External Accreditation report (most recent)
|Portfolio of evidence (Simple or Comprehensive)
|Focussed meetings (1-2, with academic staff)
|On-site visit/Zoom by Panel to cover a comprehensive range of course matters
2.3 The Comprehensive Course Review Panel
2.3.1 The Comprehensive Course Review Committee will appoint appropriate staff to serve on the Comprehensive Course Review Panel to undertake desktop reviews, panel interviews and panel visits as required. The Panel composition will vary across course reviews.
2.3.2 Desktop Review Panels will comprise:
- one academic staff member from another College,
- one Course Coordinator from another College and
- a member of the Academic Board or Academic Board Advisor.
2.3.3 Panel Interviews will comprise:
- one academic staff member from a discipline not affiliated with the Course,
- one Course Coordinator from another College, and
- a member from the Academic Board or Academic Board Advisor.
2.3.4 Panel Visits will comprise:
- one Course Coordinator from another College,
- the Director, Academic Program Quality,
- a member from the Academic Board or Academic Board Advisor, and
- an external expert from Alumni, industry, or another institution (proposed by College Dean and approved by Comprehensive Course Review Committee).
2.3.5 In each instance, the Academic Board member or Academic Board Advisor will chair the Panel and prepare the report and recommendations for submission to the CCR Committee.
2.3.6 The Secretariat will support all CCR Panels and provide administrative support including coordinating the collection and dissemination of First Pass Reports, and the CCR information brief as required to the undertake the review.
2.3.7 The CCR information brief provided to the Panels will include:
- Portfolio of Evidence
- First Pass assessment
2.4 The Desktop Review
2.4.1 The Desktop Review is primarily intended for those courses that require further internal review of their academic quality. It may apply to some courses that already undertake professional accreditation with external agencies. A Desktop Review will typically require supporting evidence to address a limited but specific scope of review.
2.4.2 The CCR Panel members will individually review the Simple Portfolio of Evidence, and convene virtually or physically to share their findings and to reach consensus on the determinations that should be made in the report.
2.5 The Panel Interview
2.5.1 Panel Interview reviews will consider the information sought in a Desktop Review plus additional information derived from 1-2 interviews with key academic staff. Any costs associated with the review are the responsibility of the College (or Academy as appropriate). A Panel Interview review is intended to be administratively simpler than a Panel Visit Review.
2.5.2 Panel interviews will be held with members of the senior academic management team for the course. The Panel Interview will be facilitated by the respective College (or the Academy as appropriate).
2.5.3 The Dean in consultation with the Course Coordinator will provide the CCR Secretariat with a recommended list of senior academics with management responsibilities in the relevant course to attend an interview with the panel. The CCR Committee (or it’s Chair) will determine from this list which academics will be interviewed and advise the CCR Secretariate to arrange the time and invitations for those interviews to take place.
2.5.4 Where the Panel determines, additional information will be requested.
2.5.5 Questions from the Panel will be provided to the interviewees prior to the interview based on the sufficiency of evidence provided. The panel may ask additional questions during the interviews.
2.5.6 Following the interviews, the CCR Panel members will convene virtually or physically to make determinations and/or recommendations to be included in the report.
2.6 The Panel Visit
2.6.1 Panel Visit reviews will consider the information sought in a Desktop Review plus additional information derived from a range of interviews (physical or virtual) with academic, external/industry and student stakeholders. Any costs associated with the review will be the responsibility of the College (or Academy as appropriate).
2.6.2. Panel interviews will be held with members of the senior academic management team for the course. The Panel Interview will be facilitated by the respective College (or the Academy as appropriate).
2.6.3 The Dean in consultation with the Course Coordinator will provide the CCR Secretariat with a recommended list of senior academics with management responsibilities in the relevant course to attend an interview with the panel. The CCR Committee (or it’s Chair) will determine from this list which academics will be interviewed and advise the CCR Secretariate to arrange the time and invitations for those interviews to take place.
2.6.4 In view of the risk profile of a course schedule for a Panel Visit, a comprehensive Portfolio of Evidence is required addressing all CCR focus questions.
2.6.5 Questions from the Panel will be provided to the interviewees prior to the interview based on the sufficiency of evidence provided. The Panel will ask additional questions during the interviews.
2.6.6 Following the interviews, the CCR Panel members will convene virtually or physically to make determinations and/or recommendations to be included in the report.
3.1 Every review (desktop, panel interview, panel visit) will result in a consensus report by the CCR Panel to the CCR Committee. The report will reference the Comprehensive Course Review Quality Indicators, and is expected to offer a clear recommendation to:
- Reaccredit of the course of study without conditions; or
- Renew the internal accreditation of the course of study with recommended (formative) improvements; or
- Renew the internal accreditation of the course of study with required (summative) improvements (including a 12-month and 24-month implementation plan); or
- Schedule a further Comprehensive Course review for a period less than seven years where the panel considered that a comprehensive review would be warranted based on the risks identified.
- Suspend the course for a period of time (timeframe identified); or
- Disestablish the course
3.2 Any reports containing required (summative) conditions must include:
- Definition of the matter generating the issue; and
- Specific actions to address the issue; and
- Timeframe for completion; and
- Required outcome; and
- Reporting requirements.
3.3 Where a CCR Panel Report does not meet these requirements the CCR Committee will ask the CCR Panel chair to resolve the disparity and resubmit the report.
3.4 The CCR Secretariat, on behalf of the CCR Committee sends the CCR Panel Report to the Academic Head and the Course Coordinator for ‘fact checking’.
3.5 The CCR Secretariat, on behalf of the CCR Committee will convey reports to the Curriculum Committee for assurance that the report is fit-for-purpose and subsequently to the Academic Board for consideration and approval. Where issues regarding Student Experience or Learning and Teaching matters are highlighted, the report will also be sent to Education Committee for noting. The Academic Board will determine:
- The continuation or discontinuation of the course;
- Any conditions required for continuation;
- To approve the recommendation.
3.6 The decision to reaccredit or renew courses will be made by the appropriate delegate on recommendation of the Comprehensive Course Review Committee. All courses renewed under the Comprehensive Course Review process must:
- Meet any summative conditions of renewal as required by Academic Board; and
- Formally consider any formative improvements noted by Academic Board.
- Provide action plans/progress reports with evidence of recommendations/conditions addressed, and close-out reports.
3.7 Any subsequent changes to the course that fall within the scope of the Coursework Approval Procedure, must be processed in accordance with that procedure and affiliated schedules.
3.8 Following Academic Board approval of the CCR Panel Report, the CCR Secretariat will provide the approved CCR Panel Report to the Course Coordinator (for action) and to the Academic Program Quality Advisor (for Academy records).
3.9 Within 8 weeks of receiving the approved CCR Panel Report, the Course Coordinator will, in consultation with the College Dean (or the Academy Director Academic Program Quality as appropriate), develop an action plan (if required) in response to the CCR Panel Report. The action plan will be lodged with the CCR Secretariat, who will organise for the action plan to be presented to Curriculum Committee for approval, and to Education Committee for noting (as relevant).
3.10 The College Dean (or the Academy Director Academic Program Quality as appropriate) will provide regular updates on the progress of the action plan to the Curriculum Committee.
3.11 The Course Coordinator will describe the progress of the action plan in the Course Performance Report across subsequent years.
3.12 The College Dean (or the Academy Director Academic Program Quality as appropriate) will provide a close-out report to the Curriculum Committee once all action plan items have been met.
Related policy instruments
NOTE: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academy
Date for next review
|Alignment with headline structure and professional services changes, refinement of accountabilities, align with Coursework Approval, Accreditation and Review Policy and the Coursework Approval Procedure and the Course Performance Report Procedure.
|Director, Academic Program Quality
Scheduled review of procedure and review of Quality Indicators for First Pass Assessment Report. Amendments to improve functionality
Procedure moved from Quality and Planning policy domain to Academic Management
|Quality Standards Coordinator
|Scheduled review of procedure and review of Quality Indicators for First Pass Assessment Report. Minor amendments to improve functionality.
|Quality, Standards and Policy Officer
Scheduled review of procedure – minor amendments to improve functionality
Quality, Standards and Policy Officer
Manager, Quality, Standards and Policy
quality, standards, performance review, TEQSA, AQF
Director, Academic Program Quality