HE Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance is about the School being certain that it:
- provides the best possible learning experience for higher education students and complies with equal opportunities best practice
- ensures that its degrees are of a standard that accords with the highest standards nationally (see QAA website for national qualification frameworks, credit guidance and subject benchmarks)
- is open and transparent about what it does, and is accountable to students, and to funding bodies
- fosters accountability within the internal and wider academic community
- complies with policies and procedures established to ensure good practice in learning, teaching, and assessment
- identifies what good practice is, and contributes to its development and dissemination;
leading to quality enhancement by which:
- the School ensures that the quality of the learning and teaching experience which it provides continues to develop and improve.
The School’s approach to the management of academic standards is informed by four main considerations:
- Regulatory & Policy framework
which take into account best practice highlighted in the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education and, in the case of the School's research degree programme, the requirements of the validation agreement with City, University of London.
The School’s approach to the management of learning opportunities is informed by:
- The appointment of appropriate people to teach and the appropriate organisational structures to support teaching
- Ensuring there are appropriate facilities and services to support learning
- Selecting students who are able to benefit from the School’s teaching and facilities.
Programme approval and review follows the following process:
- Pre-approval - consideration within the management structure of strategic fit and resource implications
- Approval (validation) - requiring full programme and module specifications accompanied by contextual information about the programme’s development, the resources to deliver the programme. Approval is via the relevant Programme Board, an internal validation panel including at least one external peer and one student reviewer, and the Academic Board.
- External accreditation by professional, regulatory and statutory bodies, where relevant and annual monitoring (see HCPC website).
- Annual review (via submission of an Annual Programme Evaluation report to the Programme Board, the Academic Board and in the case of the doctoral programme, the City Course Board).
- Annual student evaluation of programme and modules.
- Periodic review (revalidation) ~ every 3 to 5 years (determined at approval), which revisits the totality of the programme design to ensure appropriateness of learning outcomes and delivery mechanisms; approval mechanism as validation.
Robust and objective assessment is a key mechanism for assuring standards. The assessment process involves:
- Assessment criteria for all forms of assessment approved at validation/revalidation;
- Initial assessment decisions taken by two or more individuals either via moderation or panel assessment;
- Formal approval and use of External Examiners for each programme. The External Examiners attend a selection of assessed performances, sample written assessment and attend the assessment boards providing an independent viewpoint on the comparability of standards with the rest of the higher education sector. At the end of the assessment cycle they prepare a report for consideration in which they are asked to provide commentary and judgements;
- A two tier examination board structure (Programme Assessment Boards and School Board of Examiners) for the consideration and ratification of student results where External Examiners attend at both levels.
- 'Reality-check' of Principal Study module mark spread-sheets before the Programme Assessment Board by instrument department heads;
- Consideration (at both Programme Board & Academic Board) of the full External Examiners’ reports and the School’s draft responses.
Staff should note there is a maximum timeframe of six-weeks for giving feedback to students on any assessment undertaken.
Assessment appeals are administered by the Assistant Registrar (Quality); details of the process and the proforma are available on the School intranet.
For help or assistance relating to quality assurance matters please contact Registry firstname.lastname@example.org.