5.1 Initial Institutional Process

5.1.1     Schedule of Reviews

Each institution’s IQAP will establish a cycle, not to exceed eight years, for the review of all of its programs. It will also establish a Schedule of Reviews, which consists of the institution’s full complement of undergraduate programs and graduate degree and diploma programs, and will indicate how the cycle may coincide with any other internal reviews and professional accreditation (see Section 5.5). This review schedule should also consider all independent offerings of each program. As noted in Section 2.9.3, the first cyclical review of any new program must be scheduled to take place no more than eight years after the date of the program’s initial enrolment.

The Schedule of Reviews will reflect all program offerings, including those that are joint/inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary or at multiple sites. The Schedule will also include all modes of program delivery and can reflect independent or concurrent review of a university’s undergraduate and graduate programs, and/or with other departments and academic units. Nevertheless, it is essential that the quality of each academic program and the learning environment of the students in each program be explicitly addressed in the self-study and external reviewers’ report(s), as set out in these protocols.

5.1.2     The Program or Programs

The appropriate university authority (e.g., Vice-President Academic or the Quality Assurance Office) initiates the scheduled review, identifying the specific program or programs that will be reviewed and identifying, where there is more than one mode or site involved in delivering a specific program, the distinct versions of each program that are to be reviewed. (See Guidance for information on reviewing joint programs with other institutions.)

5.1.3     Self-study

The cyclical program review process includes the submission of a self-study document (see Guidance) that is broad-based, reflective, and forward-looking, and includes critical analysis of the program(s). The views of program faculty, staff, and students must be considered during the process of writing of the self-study. When an institution chooses to review different program levels (for example, graduate and undergraduate), program modes, or programs offered at different locations at the same time, institutions may, in accordance with their respective IQAPs, prepare separate reports for each discrete program or address each program within a single omnibus report.

The following elements for the preparation and writing of the self-study are required and must be addressed in the IQAP:

  1. Description of how the self-study was written, including how the views of faculty, staff and students were obtained and considered (see Guidance);
  2. Requirement for inclusion of the evaluation criteria and quality indicators identified in Framework Section, for each discrete program being reviewed;
  3. Program-related data and measures of performance, including applicable provincial, national and professional standards (where available), with a notation of all relevant data sources;
  4. Description of how concerns and recommendations raised in previous reviews have since been addressed, especially those detailed in the Final Assessment Report, Implementation Plan and subsequent monitoring reports from the previous Cyclical Review of the program;
  5. For the first Cyclical Review of a new program, the steps taken to address any issues or items flagged in the monitoring report for follow-up (see Section 2.9.2), and/or items identified for follow-up by the Quality Council (for example, in the form of a note and/or report for the first Cyclical Program Review in the Quality Council’s approval letter – see Section 2.6.3 a) or b));
  6. Where appropriate, any unique curriculum or program innovations, creative components, or significant high impact practices;
  7. Areas that the program’s faculty, staff and/or students have identified as requiring improvement, or as holding promise for enhancement and/or opportunities for curricular change; and
  8. Assessment of the adequacy of all relevant academic services that directly contribute to the academic quality of each program under review (see Guidance).

The university may identify any other pertinent information that it deems appropriate for inclusion. The input of others deemed to be relevant and useful, such as graduates of the program, representatives of industry, the professions, practical training programs, and employers may also be included.