Appendix 1: Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance

Mission

The Quality Council is the provincial body responsible for assuring the quality of all programs leading to degrees and graduate diplomas granted by Ontario’s publicly assisted universities and the integrity of the universities’ quality assurance processes. Through these practices, the Quality Council also assists institutions to improve and enhance their programs. In fulfilling its mission, the Quality Council operates in a fair, accountable and transparent manner with clear and openly accessible guidelines and decision-making processes, and through reasoned results and evidenced-based decisions.

Mandate

The roles and responsibilities of the Quality Council, while respecting the autonomy and diversity of the individual institutions, are to:

  • Guide Ontario’s publicly assisted universities in the ongoing quality assurance of their academic programs;
  • Review and approve proposals for new graduate and undergraduate programs;
  • Ensure through regular audits that Ontario’s publicly assisted universities comply with quality assurance guidelines, policies and regulations for graduate and undergraduate programs;
  • Communicate final decisions to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities;
  • Review and revise, from time to time for future application, the Council of Ontario University’s quality assurance protocols in light of its own experiences and developments in the field of quality assurance;
  • Liaise with other quality assurance agencies, both provincially and elsewhere; and
  • Undergo regular independent review at intervals of no longer than eight years.

Membership of the Quality Council

There are nine voting members of the Quality Council as follows:

  • One member, who shall serve as Chair, external to OCAV but chosen by OCAV1
  • Two OCAV members, one from a medical/doctoral university and one from a non-medical/doctoral university
  • One Graduate Dean2 or equivalent from a COU member institution
  • One Dean of a Faculty from a COU member institution
  • Two representatives from COU member institutions not otherwise represented on the Quality Council
  • One member from outside Ontario with significant experience involving a post-secondary quality assurance organization
  • One citizen member appointed by the COU through its Executive Committee
  • The Executive Director, Quality Assurance is ex officio and non-voting
  • The Chairs of the Appraisal and Audit Committees are ex officio and non-voting

At least one member of the Quality Council will be bilingual and no two members can be from the same institution.

Except as provided above, all members of the Council will be appointed by OCAV, on the advice of the Quality Assurance Secretariat, following an open nominations process. Members will be appointed for three-year terms, normally renewable once.

Appraisal and Audit Committees

The quality assurance process will be undertaken by an Appraisal Committee and an Audit Committee with responsibility for making recommendations to the Quality Council on the approval of new programs and on the audits of existing programs.

Members of these committees shall be senior academics with experience in the development, delivery and quality assessment of both graduate and undergraduate programs. At least two members of each committee will be bilingual. The Executive Director will be an ex officio member of these committees and the Quality Assurance Secretariat will convene meetings and maintain records.

Footnotes

  1. Candidate pools may include former OCAV members, former Deans or Vice-Provosts with experience in quality assurance, former Executive Heads and others with significant experience in quality assurance at the university level.
  2. "Graduate" dean means those individuals who have principal responsibilities for the overall direction of graduate programs at their institution.
  3. "Undergraduate" dean means those individuals who have overall responsibility for undergraduate programming within a Faculty or – as may be the case – across the institution.