Accreditation (Professional) of Courses and/or Disciplines Procedure

Policy Procedures Accreditation (Professional) of Courses and/or Disciplines Procedure

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Intent

This procedure specifies the University approval and monitoring processes for all professional accreditations of courses and/or disciplines.

Scope

This procedure is concerned with both mandatory and voluntary professional accreditations of courses and/or disciplines.

Definitions

Mandatory accreditation – accreditation that is a pre-requisite for course graduates to be registered or otherwise licensed to practice in a regulated profession.*

Voluntary accreditation – accreditation that is undertaken at the discretion of the University.  This includes accreditation that is a prerequisite for graduates to be members of the relevant professional body but not a pre-requisite for graduates to practice in the relevant profession.*

  • Note the term accreditation as used in this policy encompasses provisional, interim or conditional accreditation and re-accreditation.

Accrediting body – the body responsible for accrediting courses and/or disciplines on behalf of the profession.

Accreditation submission – the documentation submitted by the University to the accrediting body as a set requirement of the accreditation process.

Accreditation report – the report produced by the accrediting body on the outcomes of the accreditation process.

Accreditation response – the response provided by the University to the accrediting body regarding the accreditation report.

Principles

Accreditation by professional bodies entails a significant investment of University staff and other resources and brings a range of benefits to the University, its courses/disciplines and its students.  These include:

  • recognition of graduates by employers;
  • graduate employment mobility and eligibility for professional body membership;
  • independent quality assurance and enhancement;
  • opportunities for comparisons against national and internationally endorsed standards; and
  • reputational benefits that flow from the above.

In recognition of these benefits, and of the resource impacts that may arise, the University follows the procedures set out below.  This is to ensure that accreditation submissions, outcomes and responses, as an integral part of the University’s quality enhancement framework, are approved, monitored and reviewed at senior levels within Colleges and through to Academic Board.

Procedures

  1. Professional accreditation matters will be a standing item on the agendas of the appropriate College and Division committees or, in the case of James Cook University Singapore (JCUS), Campus committee.
    1. Such matters would include: amendments required to course handbook entries on course accreditation status; timing of forthcoming accreditations, any associated concerns and steps to resolve these; submissions; accreditation visit programs; accreditation outcomes including reports, action plans and progress reports; issues arising, steps to be taken to resolve these and any parties to be advised or consulted.
  2. All course/discipline accreditation submissions, responses and action plans prepared by College staff will be approved by the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor, or relevant Dean.
  3. Visits to the University by representatives of an accrediting body for the purposes of accreditation will include an interview on completion of the visit with the Vice Chancellor and/or Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the relevant Division, or Dean where appropriate, or, where unavailable, their delegate(s).
  4. Upon receipt of the accreditation report, a copy is to be provided to the relevant Dean where appropriate.
    1. Where an accreditation report recommendations warrant, a Division/College/JCUS Campus action plan to address those recommendations will also be provided for approval.
  5. The Dean where appropriate, will consult with the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and the Chair of Academic Board on any significant risks or resource implications associated with forthcoming and/or recent accreditations.
  6. The annual Course Performance Report for each accredited course will outline the current accreditation status and any issues or actions arising.
  7. Division Academic Program Reports will include advice on any significant issues arising from accreditations.
  8. The Dean where appropriate, will ensure that the course handbook provides current, accurate information on the accreditation status of each professionally accredited course.
  9. The Dean where appropriate, will provide a certification at the end of each year regarding compliance with the provisions of these accreditation procedures.  An agreed template will be used for this certification.
  10. The Dean where appropriate, will submit proposals to initiate new or to cease existing voluntary accreditation for approval by Academic Board via Education Committee.
    1. Proposals will provide a strategic assessment of the balance between the benefits of accreditation and the resourcing required to achieve and maintain the accreditation.  The risks associated with ceasing, or failing to achieve, the accreditation should be clearly identified, along with any mitigating strategies.
    2. Proposals will be submitted at least 12 months before the accreditation is expected to take place, except where unforeseen circumstances necessitate a shorter timeframe.
    3. Where the new accreditation applies to a proposed new course, the proposal for accreditation should be submitted along with the course approval documentation so that it can be considered in the course approval process.
  11. Proposals to Academic Board for new courses or changes to existing course/discipline arrangements will outline any professional accreditation implications associated with these proposals.
    1. Where proposed changes are pertinent to professional accreditation, the Dean where appropriate, will ensure that the accrediting body receives timely advice regarding the changes.
  12. To further ensure that professional accreditation is fully integrated into the University’s Quality Enhancement Framework and that relevant Higher Education Threshold Standards can be evidenced, the Quality, Planning and Analytics Directorate will:
    1. establish and maintain a schedule of all University accreditations and hold copies of all accreditation reports, responses, action plans, progress reports and certifications by the Dean;
    2. periodically contact each Division and JCUS to update the schedule and collect copies of relevant documents;
    3. at the first meeting of each academic year, provide Academic Board, via Education Committee, with an accreditation status report that includes the accreditations scheduled for that year and the certifications on the previous year’s accreditation outcomes;
    4. advise Academic Board via Education Committee of any accreditation issues identified through review of accreditation outcomes and annual Course Performance and Academic Program Reports, including integration into the annual planning cycle, University wide themes and good practice examples.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Nil

Administration

Approval Details

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Policy Sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic

Approval Authority:

Academic Board

Date for next review:

18/04/2020

Revision History

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

17-1

22/02/2017

18/04/2017

Procedure Established - Accreditation (Professional) of Courses and /or Discipline Policy recast as a Procedure

Chair Academic Board and Manager, Quality, Standards and Policy

Keywords:

Accreditation, Course Performance Report