Review of Established Sealed Award Courses (Higher Education) Procedure

Policy code: AG1281
Policy owner: Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Quality and Accreditation)
Approval authority: Provost
Approval date: 29 May 2024
Next review date: 16 February 2026


This procedure describes the process and criteria for the review of all established sealed award courses that are not courses conducted solely by research.

This review process quality assures the content, teaching, academic integrity, academic standards, student experience and outcomes of Higher Education established sealed award courses at Federation University Australia and facilitates timely and purposeful improvement in a planned and systematic manner.


This procedure applies to all established sealed award Higher Education courses. This procedure forms part of the University's quality assurance framework for undergraduate, coursework related courses and Higher Degree Research courses.

According to the TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 “All accredited courses of study are subject to periodic (at least every seven years) comprehensive reviews that are overseen by peak academic governance processes and include external referencing or other benchmarking activities (Section 5.3.1)" The aim of this procedure is to ensure the TEQSA review requirements are met at Federation University Australia.

Legislative context


Term Definition
EOCR Executive Officer, Course Reviews (Academic Secretariat)
GPS Global Professional School
GRS Graduate Research School
HE Higher Education
LTQC Learning and Teaching Quality Committee
Course Review Institute/School Contact The staff member within the Institute or School with the responsibility to liaise directly with Academic Secretariat in relation to all matters relating to the course review process.
CRP Course Review Panel
Sealed Awards Higher Education courses listed in the Schedule 5.1: Current Programs Higher Education


(1). Course review schedule

The University’s Review of Established Sealed Award Courses HE Schedule is maintained by the Academic Secretariat in collaboration with the Chair, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee (Lead). The Schedule includes:

  • The date of future reviews
  • When previous reviews were held
  • When the Institute/School response to the course review report was approved by Academic Board.
  • When 24 monthly progress reports are due.

As part of the development and update of the schedule, course alignment with external accreditation and other benchmarking activities are also considered. Where possible, courses that are nested, as reviewed at the same time.  A nominated time-period will be confirmed relevant to the course review.

  • Time period 1 – Jan – April
  • Time period 2 – May- Aug
  • Time period 3 – Sept - Dec

Courses are required to be reviewed every five years from the date of commencement (not date approved). In special circumstances, such as newly emerging or rapidly changing fields of study, Academic Board may require a course to undergo a course review more frequently.

Higher Degree by Research HDR Program Review Process

The Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs review process is described in Section 7: HDR Program Review Process.

(2). Preparing for the Course Review Panel (CRP) membership and meeting date

No Activity Responsibility Steps

Formation of Course Review Panel (CRP) and sending “SAVE THE DATE” meeting invites


  1. Course Coordinator (Chair) (n=1-3)
  2. Learning and Teaching Leader/Champion (as nominated by the Director, Learning and Teaching – Level B and above) (n=1)
  3. Course Coordinator (from an alternative Institute) (n=1)
  4. Member of Centre for Academic Development (for coursework courses) (n=1)
  5. External stakeholder from industry (n=1-2)
  6. Additional members as required and deemed necessary by the Course Coordinator (maximum n = 2)

Course Coordinator

Executive Officer, Course Review EOPR

  1. The Course Coordinator collaborates with the Director, Learning and Teaching to develop a suitable CRP.
  2. The Course Coordinator completes Section 2 of the Course Review Panel Report. Section 2 lists the details of the Panel Review Members.
  3. Significant attempts must be made to fill all CRP membership.
  4. The CRP membership will be submitted to the Executive Officer, Course Review (in the form of the Course Review Panel Report).
  5. The Course Review Panel date will be coordinated by the Course Coordinator and sent to the CRP via a “SAVE THE DATE” TEAMS invites (3-hour).
  6. This needs to occur within the first month of the nominated time-period. See below for options
    • Time period 1 – Jan – April
    • Time period 2 – May- Aug
    • Time period 3 – Sept - Dec

(3). Preparing the Self Review Report for Institute Board

No Activity Responsibility Steps
1. Course Coordinator (Chair) Briefing
The Chair, LTQC will coordinate information sessions for the Course Coordinators at the commencement of the process.

Chair, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee LTQC

Executive Officer, Centre for Academic Innovation (CAI)

  1. The Executive Officer (CAI) will coordinate Course Review briefings with the Course Coordinators. This 30min session will outline the process and the expectations towards an efficient and robust system.
  2. Conflict of interest and remaining independent will also be discussed.
2. Establishing MS TEAMS environments for each Course Review EOCR
  1. Set up MS TEAMS sites and channels for each course
  2. Enrol the internal stakeholder’s part of the review and provide clear links for those required to support with data inputs

Accessing Self Review Report data inputs

The Course Coordinator will lead the completion of the Self Review Report based on data from several stakeholders and newly created artefact inputs from relevant Unit Coordinators

Course Coordinator (Overall, Item 3-6)

Student Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Analyst (Responsible for provision of item A)

Business Intelligence Analyst (Responsible for Item B)

Academic Integrity Officer (Responsible for Item C)

Course Review Executive Officer (Responsible for Item C and G)

Unit Coordinators (Responsible for Item D, E and parts of F)

Dean, Learning and Teaching, Centre for Academic Innovation (Responsible for Item of H)

  1. Data reports are required to inform the timely completion of the Self Review Report. All stakeholders will be required to upload relevant reports to a nominated TEAMS site by a nominated date.
  2. The Course Coordinator will do their best in responding to each question and nominating the Appendix as per the data input.
  3. Key stakeholders from the following areas are required to provide timely information to the Course Coordinators. This data is the in the following forms (at a minimum):
    1. Current student feedback at unit level, primarily from Student Evaluation of Learning and Teaching (See section A in Self  Review Report form)
    2. Current matters associated with analyses of progression rates, attrition rates, completion times and rates and, where applicable, comparing different locations of delivery (See section B in the Self Review Report)
    3. Current matters associated with academic integrity and appeals (See section C in the Self Review Report form)
    4. Current assessment of core units based on the university BOLD Learning and Teaching Practices (See section D in the Self Review Report form)
    5. Current assessment of the Moderation of Assessment (MoA) practices (See section E in the Self Review Report form)
    6. Current alignment with the Minimum Co-Operative Standards  (n = 7) (See section F  in the Self Review Report form)
    7. Current survey from teaching staff through M/S Google Forms (See section G in the Self Review Report)
    8. Current assessment mapping for core units (See section H in the Self Review Report)

Note 1: The Course Review Template describes more items for data collection. Listed items A-H are the minimum.

Note 2: Gathering data and developing the Self Review Report is likely to take two (2) months

Note 3: Alternative options for evidence are listed as part of the Self Review Report

Note 4: The Self Review Report is Part A. All appendices aligned to the Self Review Report are captured in a separate document (Part B - Self Review Report Appendices). Descriptions for each appendix can be summarised within the Part A document.


Submission of Self Review Report to the Institute

The completed Self Review Report (Part A and Part B) is forwarded to Institute Board/School Board for review and approval.

Chair of Institute Board/ School Board

Course Coordinator

  1. The Self Review Report is endorsement by the Institute Board/School Board. The Self Review Report will have two parts (Part A – Self Review Report Template; Part B – Self Review Report Appendices)
  2. Once approved, both reports (Part A and Part B) are forwarded to the EOCR via Course Review email: Course Reviews This needs to occur at least 10 business days prior to the CRP meeting date.

(4). Course Review Panel (CRP) meeting process

No Activity Responsibility Steps

Preparing for the meeting invitation release

There are several documents that are required as part of the CRP discussions.  See a description for each:

  • University Procedure – Updated Jan 2023
  • Self Review Report (Part A) – informed by data inputs and reflective practice
  • Self Review Report Appendices (Part B) – easy way to manage data inputs
  • Panel Notes Template - a template that CRP members can add comments as part of the preparation phase prior to the CRP meeting
  • CRP Report including Institute response section
  1. Set up the MS TEAMS files with the following documents:
  • University Procedure
  • Course Review Agenda
  • Self Review  Report (Part A)
  • Self Review Report Appendices (Part B)
  • Panel Notes Template
  • Course Review Panel Report including Institute response sections (Partly populated by the EOCR)
2. Confirming CRP Document Access   EOCR
  1. Send the formal CRP meeting invite with links to all documents
3. Pre-reading prior to CRP Meeting (Expectations of all members) All CRP members
  1. All members are required to successfully access and read all the documents. If a member is unable to access MS TEAMS, please contact the Executive Officer, Course Review on nominated email.
  2. All members are asked to develop/draft/suggest focus areas for discussions and/or draft recommendations based on the information provided.
  3. All members are required to add notes in the “Panel Notes template” This could be questions to the Course Coordinator, clarifying areas and/or outlining areas of strengths. Information collected here will be the key focus of the meeting time.
4. Deliberations at the meeting towards development of commendations and recommendations All CRP members
  1. Where the Course Coordinator is directly involved with significant aspects of course design, delivery and assessment, this needs to be declared at the commencement of the CRP meeting. Appropriate strategies to mitigate any bias needs to be decided and confirmed.
  2. The Course Coordinator follows the agenda and prompts as outlined.
  3. All members must be respectfully heard as part of meeting discussion. All member expertise is valued. The Course Coordinator will ensure equal opportunity for contribution across the session.
  4. The Course Coordinator facilitates the discussion with the CRP members. The Course Coordinator can focus on key areas, clarifying and/or responding to key questions and exploring data trends.
  5. The Course Coordinator then accesses the Course Review Panel Report and documents the agreed commendations and  recommendations for the course overall (GREEN SHADED FIELDS).
  6. It is expected that approximately 5- 10 commendations and 5-10 recommendations are developed as part of this process.  Recommendations can have a 3-12 month timespan (depending on course complexity).
  7. The Panel are thanked for their engagement and agree on the set commendations and recommendations.

(5). Development of the CRP report ready for Institute/School response and committee approval

No Activity Responsibility Steps
1. Development of the completed Course Review Panel (CRP) Report in preparation for Institute/School Board approval Course Coordinator
  1. After the meeting, the Course Coordinator considers the proposed recommendations and elaborates these into a 1-2 brief paragraphs (BLUE SHADED FIELDS).
  2. The Course Coordinator must submit the CRP Report to the next Institute Board meeting (within 6-8 weeks).

Endorsement of the CRP Report post meeting:


Institute/School Board and LTQC

The CRP Report will also have LTQC discussion.

Course Coordinator

Institute/School Board

Institute/School Board Executive Officer

Director, Learning and Teaching

  1. The updated CRP Report now requires endorsement at the Institute/School Board. The CRP Report will be placed on the appropriate agenda by the Course Coordinator.
  2. The Institute/ School Board must consider and endorse the CRP Report within 2 months of receiving it. Additional comments can be added in the recommendation section (GREY SHADED FIELDS).
  3. Once the CRP Report is finalised (All GREEN, BLUE and GREY sections are completed), the Course Coordinator is required to send the document the Academic Secretariat and place it on the next LTQC Agenda for discussion.  Two items are required for the next step: (1) Final Version of the CRP Report and (2) Evidence of Institute/School endorsement (ie meeting minutes, cover notes etc).
  4. The Director Learning and Teaching will be asked to talk to the items at the LTQC.
3. Academic Board approval via the Chair, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee Chair, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee
  1. The Chair, LTQC, provides the CRP Report for approval at Academic Board (peak governing body)
  2. The Review of Established Sealed Award Courses HE Schedule is then updated to note the course review process has been completed pending a follow up report in 24 months.

(6). Continuous quality assurance and improvement

No Steps Responsibility Comments
1. Enhancements aligned to recommendations

Course Coordinator

Unit Coordinator

  1. The level of enhancement for the course depends on the identified recommendations.
  2. The implementation of recommended enhancements may take the form of:
    1. COURSE RENEWAL PROCESS – for enhancements requiring cross-functional support and resourcing
      • Refresh (minor enhancements achievable in a short time period)
      • Reshape (minor to major enhancements that may require a slightly longer time period for development and implementation)
      • Rejuvenate (major enhancements)
    2. INDEPENDENT PROCESS – for enhancements deemed implementable by teaching staff with minimal support and resourcing.
  3. For further information regarding actioning enhancements via either of the above processes, please see SharePoint | Learning and Teaching | Existing Course Renewal Process
2. 2-Year Progress Update

Course Coordinator

Chair, LTQC

  1. A 24- month course progress report will be provided by the Institute/School against each of the recommendations/improvement opportunities identified by the CRP. The progress report will be endorsed at Institute Board and subsequently submitted to LTQC for noting. LTQC Chair, will also submit the progress report to Academic Board for noting.
  2. Where appropriate, LTQC may request the Institute/School provide further annual progress reports if recommendation implementation plans exceed 12 months.

(7). Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Program Review

This section is aligned to the reviewing HDR programs only.

1. Establish panel and timelines

The Dean, Graduate Research (GR) is responsible for initiating the HDR Program Self-review.

1.      Step Responsible Comment
1. The Graduate Research School Board GRSB is notified of intended Self-Review Dean, Graduate Research

The Dean, Graduate Research provides notice to the GRSB of the intended submission date of the HDR Self-Review to the Board.

The Board may provide the Dean, Graduate Research with advice on membership of the Self-Review Panel

2. Panel membership and Executive Officer is confirmed Dean, Graduate Research

The Dean, Graduate Research selects and confirms at least three Review Panel members. A member of the Graduate Research School will be named to act as Executive Officer.

Membership must be confirmed at least three months prior to the GRSB submission date.

The Dean, Graduate Research will act as Panel Chair, unless the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation nominates an external or alternative Chair.

3. Timelines for completion of HDR Program Self-Review Report Template are set Dean, Graduate Research, Executive Officer The Dean, Graduate Research must set clear timelines for the completion of the HDR Program Self-Review Template and Review Panel meeting. The EO will provide the Review Panel with the intended timeline and meeting invitations.

2. Undertake the Self-review and complete the Report Template

Principles for the Review 

The Dean, GR should engage with key stakeholders as part of completing the HDR Self-Review Report Template. The Dean, GR should actively seek input from key stakeholders including Business Intelligence (BI) staff, candidates, supervisors, research training leaders and other intersecting areas across the university.

This template will collect data and responses in the following key areas:  

1. Program Design

Evidence that:

  • The program supports students to achieve the appropriate AQF requirements (level 9 or 10) and any program learning outcomes, regardless of the place of study or mode of delivery,
  • The principles of the Cooperative University are upheld, and appropriate opportunities for industry-connected research are provided.
2. Performance metrics and outcomes

Provide commentary on:

  • Exploring data and trends within Federation University and how it compares with like institutions (such as Regional Universities Network) (similar size, cohort, multi-campus) for:
    1. Commencements
    2. Total enrolments
    3. Completion numbers
    4. Timely completion
    5. Attrition rates
    6. Timely attrition
    7. Progression
    8. Withdrawals
  • National and international benchmarking (where appropriate),
  • Student Evaluation of Postgraduate Programs (SEPP) results (Federation  University) and QILT (nationally),
  • Student commencement, enrolment and completion numbers and if they are tracking in accordance with the Strategic Plan,
  • Student attrition rates and time to completion, and if they are within the expected parameters,
  • How students are supported in their acquisition of the most current knowledge and scholarship, research skills, values and practices of the discipline.
  • Student engagement with the Cooperative Model
  • Whether graduates are suitably prepared for entry into the workforce, career progression or for further research opportunities.
3. Quality of supervision, staff support, and the overall student experience

Provide evidence that:

  • Supervisors meet the requirements for eligibility to supervise HDR students including being sufficiently research active
  • Supervisors undertake appropriate initial and ongoing professional development
  • Processes are in place to identify and address supervisory overload or poor performance
  • Candidates’ satisfaction with their supervisory experience is monitored and responded to Student feedback is presented through surveys (for examples via Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching data) and potential themes identified via annual HDR progress reports (as appropriate)
4. Student Support

Comment on:

  • Appropriate orientation to the University and induction as a research higher degree student are provided for domestic and international students.
  • Appropriate and sufficient ongoing training for the development of research skills is provided.
  • Students in the program are supported by an appropriate research culture and environment of research activity.
  • Students in the program receive consistent, quality supervision throughout their candidature.
  • Effective mechanisms for identification and support of at-risk students are in place.
  • Appropriate processes are available for the resolution of disputes and the management of research integrity, research data and intellectual property.
  • The observations and experiences of candidates, graduates and external stakeholders are sought and acted upon.
5. Resourcing and Support

Comment on:

  • The provision, appropriateness, and management of resources to support candidates’ research are
  • The nature and structure of the support provided by the GraduateResearch School
  • Levels of engagement, from all relevant areas of the University, in the provision and support of the Graduate Research agenda
  • The levels of financial support available to candidates via stipends and other scholarships and any reliance risks
6. Policy and operational context

Comment on:

  • The alignment of HDR programs with the University’s Strategic and Research Plans
  • The programs’ acknowledgement of, and response to (where appropriate) current national and international priorities in research training
7. Risk and Compliance

Comment on:

  • Compliance with regulatory and standards relevant to research training in Australia including, but not limited to
    • Section 4 Research and Research Training of the Higher EducationStandards Framework
    • TEQSA’s Guidance note: Research and research training
    • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
    • The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research including the Management of Data and Information in Research: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Defence Trades Control Act
    • Foreign Interference Guidelines
    • Other relevant legislation and guidelines
  • Any identifiable risks to the sustainable quality of the program, including adequacy of resources, academic and administrative management, available supervision, adequacy of facilities available to candidates.
No. Step Responsible Comment
1. Data analysis, evidence and stakeholder feedback collected

Dean, Graduate Research

Executive Officer

Information, as set out in Section 7, subsection 2 of this document, is compiled to support completion of the Report Template.

Documents and evidence should be stored in such a way that it is easily retrievable and auditable in relation to the Report.

2. HDR Program Self-Review Report Template completed

Dean, Graduate Research

Executive Officer

The Dean, Graduate Research collates the data and evidence, completing the HDR Program Self-Review Report Template.
3. EO arranges Panel Review meeting and advises panel members EO The Panel Review meeting must take place ten or more days after receipt of the completed HDR Program Self Review Report
3. HDR Program Self-Review Report submitted to Panel EO The Self-review Report and all appendices and associated documents should be made available to all Panel Members.
4. Panel members may provide written submissions Panel Members Prior to the Panel Review meeting, Panel members may provide a written submission regarding the HDR Program Self-Review Report and its findings.

3. Panel Deliberations

The Panel works constructively to discuss the HDR Program Self-review Report and to complete the HDR Program Review Panel Report (currently under construction).

The Chair can choose to nominate staff and students to contribute to the panel discussions. This may include a representative group of both candidates and supervisors from a range of Research Centres, Institutes, locations of work or enrolment and other student attributes (stage of candidature, domestic/international, part-time/full-time).

No. Step Responsible Comment
1. Panel meets to discuss the HDR Program Self-review Report Review Panel The Panel discuss the ‘HDR Program Review Self-Review Report’ and related submissions. 
2. The Panel may meet with students, staff, or other stakeholders to collect contributions to the Panel Report

Review Panel

Executive Officer

Where stakeholder meetings are required, the Executive Officer will send invitations and required documents to attendees and support the meeting/s as required.
3. Review Panel completed the HDR Program Review Panel Report

Review Panel


The Panel completes the Panel Report

4. Complete Panel Review Report Template

Once the ‘Program Review Panel Report’ is completed, it should be submitted to the Graduate Research School Board for discussion and endorsement. Once endorsed by  GRSB, the document should progress to the Learning and Teaching Quality Committee for further endorsement. Final approval is sought from Academic Board via the Chair, Learning and Teaching Quality Committee. The Panel Review Report should summarise the strengths and weaknesses of the program, assess provision in line with national best practice and provide a list required actions and opportunities for further improvement.

Acknowledgement for Section 7: Fiona Zammit, Edu Management and Consulting (July 2023).


  • Provost, as the Approval Authority, is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Quality and Accreditation), as Document Owner, is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure.


This procedure will be communicated throughout the University through:

  1. An announcement on the FedNews website;
  2. The 'What's New' page on the Policy Central Website.


This procedure will be implemented through:

  1. An announcement on the FedNews website;
  2. The 'What's New' page on the Policy Central Website;
  3. Online resources on SharePoint | Learning and Teaching | Existing Program Review Process
  4. A memo to the Executive Deans/Dean, GPS/Dean, Graduate Studies and Institute Boards/School Boards;
  5. An agenda item at LTQC and Academic Board.

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Course Review and Re-accreditation HE Document

Academic Secretariat


Executive Officer, LTQC

Course Coordinator

7 years
Course Review Institute/School Report to LTQC Institute/School Executive Officer, Institute Board/School Board 7 years