Policy Professional Accreditation of Courses and/or Disciplines Procedure

Professional Accreditation 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 procedure 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 and any conditions that are required to be met.

Accreditation response – the response provided by the University to the accrediting body regarding the accreditation report outcome and may include responses to conditions to be met as stipulated by the accrediting body.

JCU Contact – the responsible officer of JCU identified on accreditation documents as the contact point for the Accrediting Body on all matters pertaining to the accreditation.

Introduction

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

  • Enabling professional registration under the National Registration and Accreditation scheme; https://www.ahpra.gov.au/
  • Eligibility for professional body membership;
  • Recognition of graduates by employers;
  • Graduate employment mobility;
  • 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.

Procedure

Accreditation/Re-accreditation

  1. All course/discipline accreditation submissions, responses and action plans will be approved by the relevant Dean and Deputy Vice Chancellor.

  2. The Dean or Course Coordinator, as appropriate and in consultation, will submit proposals to initiate new or to cease existing mandatory accreditations and voluntary accreditations for approval by Academic Board. In the instance where the accrediting body advises they are no longer offering course accreditation and direct the University to remove all reference to the specific accreditation, then this decision and course amendment to the accreditation status of the course will be submitted to Academic Board for noting.
    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 to cease accreditation will be submitted at least 12 months prior to the accreditation expiry date, except where unforeseen circumstances necessitate a shorter timeframe.
    3. Where initiation of a 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. For an existing course, the proposal to initiate a new accreditation must be sent to the Division Academic Quality and Strategy Team to be submitted for review at Executive Committee prior to submission to Education Committee, Division Board of Studies and Academic Board.
  3. The Manager, Curriculum Management in each academic Division’s Academic Quality and Strategy Directorate, will:
    1. Project manage accreditation submissions in alignment with their accreditation schedule.
    2. Gain internal approval of the accreditation submission prior to it being provided to the accrediting body.
    3. Provide the accreditation submission to the accrediting body and hold copies of all accreditation submissions, reports, responses, action plans, annual reports and progress reports.
    4. Ensure relevant curriculum changes are appropriately communicated to the accrediting body.
    5. Communicate accreditation outcomes and requirements with appropriate college and divisional staff, including disseminating information to marketing and other areas of the university as required.
  4. The Vice Chancellor and/or Provost, Deputy Vice Chancellor Students, the Dean and other relevant senior staff, or their nominees will make themselves available for meeting with representatives of an accrediting body during a site visit.
  5. Upon receipt of the accreditation report the JCU recipient will ensure copies are provided to the relevant DVC and Manager, Curriculum Management, the relevant Dean, and the relevant Academic Head.

    Monitoring

  6. 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.
  7. The Manager, Curriculum Management in each academic Division’s Academic Quality and Strategy Directorate, will:
    1. Establish and maintain schedules of their Divisional professional accreditations of courses/disciplines.
    2. Provide annual updates to the Planning, Performance and Analytics Directorate, on all accreditations scheduled for that year and the completed annual certifications of policy compliance document.
  8. The relevant Dean where appropriate, will consult with the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students and the Chair of Academic Board on any significant risks or resource implications associated with forthcoming and/or recent accreditations.
  9. The annual Course Performance Report for each accredited course will note the current accreditation status and any issues or actions arising.
  10. Division Academic Program Reports will include advice on any significant issues arising from accreditations.
  11. The course handbook will provide current and accurate information on the accreditation status of each professionally accredited course.
  12. The relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor will provide an appropriate 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.
  13. 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 JCU Contact, in consultation with the Manager, Curriculum Management and the relevant Dean and Academic Group Head(s), will ensure that the accrediting body receives timely advice regarding the changes.
  14. 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 Planning, Performance and Analytics Directorate will:
    1. at the first meeting of each academic year, provide Academic Board, via Education Committee, with a register of all University course professional accreditations, accreditation status reports that include the accreditations scheduled for that year and the annual certifications of policy compliance as completed by on the previous year’s accreditation outcomes;
    2. 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.

Schedules/Appendices

Intention for Professional Accreditation Template

Administration

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

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Version no

20-1

Date for next Major Review

30/11/2023

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

20-1

30/11/2020

03/12/2020

Major review to reflect current practice

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer

18-1

09/03/2018

30/04/2018

Minor amendment to reflect organisational structure.

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer

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