2.6 Initial appraisal process

2.6.1     Secretariat check

The Quality Assurance Secretariat will confirm that the Proposal and associated reports and internal responses to them (as set out in Framework Sections 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 above) are included in the submission. If there is missing information or defects of substance, the Quality Assurance Secretariat will return the Proposal to the university for revision or amendment and resubmission. Otherwise, the Proposal and accompanying documents will be forwarded directly to the Quality Council Appraisal Committee.

2.6.2     Appraisal Committee reviews and recommends

The Quality Council’s Appraisal Committee will focus its review on the following elements of the submission:

  1. Overall sufficiency of the External Review Report(s);
  2. Recommendations and suggestions made by the external reviewers, including on the sufficiency and quality of the planned human, physical and financial resources;
  3. Adequacy of the internal responses by the unit and Dean(s) to the recommendations, or otherwise for single department Faculty; and
  4. Adequacy of the proposed methods for Assessment of Teaching and Learning given the proposed program’s structure, objectives, program-level learning outcomes and assessment methods. (See Evaluation Criteria a) and b))

Based on this review, the Committee may seek further information from the university[1], in which case it will provide a rationale for the requested information. Requests for and responses to additional information will normally be in the form of written correspondence but teleconference or in-person meetings between the university and the Appraisal Committee may also be considered in order to expedite the process.

In rare instances, the Appraisal Committee may determine that the original external review was inadequate and therefore invite further input from an external expert, either through desk review, or in person or virtual site visit.

If no further information is required, the Appraisal Committee will make a recommendation to the Quality Council. The Quality Assurance Secretariat will convey the proposed recommendation of the Appraisal Committee to the university (see Section 2.7.1).

2.6.3     Quality Council decision

After considering the recommendation of the Appraisal Committee, the Quality Council will make one of the following decisions:

  1. Approved to commence[2];
  2. Approved to commence, with report; [3]
  3. Deferred for up to one year during which time the university may address identified issues and report back;
  4. Not approved; or
  5. Such other action as the Quality Council considers reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.

The decision of the Quality Council will normally be made within 45 days of receipt of the university’s submission, provided that the submission is complete and in good order, and that no further information or external expert advice is required. Where additional information is required by the Appraisal Committee, one of the four possible recommendations (see above) to the Council will be made within a further 30 days of receipt of a satisfactory response. The Quality Assurance Secretariat will convey the decision of the Quality Council to the university.


[1] This may include a request for the submission of faculty CVs if the External Reviewers’ Report does not provide sufficient commentary on evaluation criteria a), d) and e). [2] The Quality Council may provide a note regarding an issue(s) to be considered at the time of the program’s launch, or for its first cyclical program review, or for audit. [3] The with report condition implies no lack of quality in the program at this point, importantly does not hold up the implementation of the new program, and is not subject to public reference on the Quality Council’s website. The requirement for a report is typically the result of a provision or facility not currently in place but considered essential for a successful program and planned for later implementation.