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Approval and Maintenance of Award Programs (Higher Education)

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Under Review - With Editor 5 August 2021

Approval and Maintenance of Award Programs (Higher Education) Procedure

Policy Code: LT1252

Purpose

This procedure describes the processes used to approve the following for higher education programs and courses:

  • New award programs
  • Modifications to award programs
  • Discontinue award programs
  • New courses
  • Modification to courses
  • Discontinue courses

Scope

This procedure applies to the approval and maintenance of all higher education award programs (including higher degree by research) and courses that are newly created, to be modified or discontinued.

Definitions

TERM DEFINITION
AB Academic Board
APC Academic Programs Committee
APC Academic Programs Committee
CLIPP Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice
CUP Centre for University Partnerships
CRICOS Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students
HECC Higher Education Curriculum Committee
New Program A program not currently listed on Schedule 5.1 of the University's Legislation
Program A program is a course of study/research leading to the granting of an official award or qualification of the University contained in Schedule 5.1 of the University's Legislation. A program contains subsidiary elements variously referred to as courses, competency units or modules
Statute 5.1 The Schedule The Schedule, Statute 5.1, lists all sealed awards which can be awarded by the University. The Schedule is maintained by the Manager, Registrar Services and includes all qualifications/courses included on the Scope

Actions

As part of the planning process, it is important to factor in the deadlines below before proposing/changing programs and courses.

Activity Deadline
Domestic Admissions New/amended programs approved after April will not be included in CourseSearch (previously known as the VTAC guide).
International Admissions Programs are opened for applications 12 months in advance for international students. Therefore, programs to be offered to international students must be approved at least 12 months prior to the commencement date
Domestic Marketing

Program approvals should align with marketing plans 12 months ahead of the intake year. e.g. A program approved in 2022 > Market throughout 2023 (includes appropriate budget allocation) > intake year is 2024.

To be included in the domestic course guide (published & digital) new programs must be approved at HECC by September

International Marketing To be included in the international course guide (published & digital) new programs must be approved at HECC in February. This ensures locations, fees, intakes and CRICOS codes are confirmed by April.
Timetabling If new/amended programs are approved after April, timetabled classes and rooms may not be available/meet requirements of expected delivery and the activities in Staff Workload Planner will not be accurate.  This could have significant impacts on sessional budgets. 
Student HQ If amended programs are approved after September, students may be enrolled into incorrect subjects. Student HQ will be required to review individual study plans and contact students to withdraw and re-enrol into subjects in the updated structure.
Summary  
Action 1 – Completing an Initial Program Proposal and Business Case Form for Submission to Academic Programs Committee For a summary of this process, please see the Workflow for Proposed New Programs (Forms section)
Action 2 – Developing a Program Proposal for Submission to Higher Education Curriculum Committee
Action 3 – Submitting for Consideration by Academic Board and Council
Action 4 – Creating a New or Modifying an Existing Course  
Action 5 – Modifying an Existing Program  
Action 6 – Rebadging an Existing Program  
Action 7 - Discontinuing an Existing Program  
Action 8 - Discontinuing an Existing Course  

1. Completing an Initial Program Proposal and Business Case Form for Submission to APC

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Developing Initial Program Proposal Dean of School
  1. Complete the Initial Program Proposal and Business Case Form (Contact the Program Support Team for forms) and include:
  2. Title of program, year of introduction and locations of offering
  3. Brief description of the proposed program and its relationship to strategic priorities and partnerships
  4. Overview/Rationale for the program, including demand for graduates and competition
  5. Business case for the viability  of the program including demand, expected enrolments, staffing required, resources and special requirements

    NOTES:

    - Maximum length for the Initial Program Proposal is 5 pages

    - Data and Reporting may assist with providing load and demand data  for inclusion in the program proposal

    - Financial Services may assist with development of financial data

    - It is recommended that the Discipline Leader discuss the proposed program with their School’s Product Marketing Specialist to obtain specialised marketing advice to inform the business case.

B. Submitting the Initial Program Proposal for approval Dean
  1. Approve the Initial Program Proposal
  2. Submit to APC for consideration
C. Approving the Initial Program Proposal APC
  1. Consider the Initial Program Proposal
  2. Approve or reject the Initial Program Proposal
  3. If approved request School to develop a full Program Proposal for Higher Education Curriculum Committee
  4. If the Initial Program Proposal is not approved, the School will be advised accordingly including reasons
D Forwarding the approved Initial Program Proposal APC Executive Officer
  1. Approved Initial Program Proposal or extract gets forwarded to HECC for noting at the meeting at which HECC will discuss the new program proposal

2. Developing a New Program Proposal for Submission to Higher Education Curriculum Committee

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Developing a Program Proposal School
  1. If the Initial Program Proposal is approved by APC, complete the Curriculum Approval Form: Higher Education and include:
    • Program title, program code and post-nominal (as per the Nomenclature of Sealed Awards Policy and Federation University Post-Nominals Index), program aims, program learning outcomes, modes of offering, admission requirements, availability to international students, professional accreditation requirements, practicum/workplace learning
      • NOTE: Contact Program Management and Completions for a new program code.
    • The academic rationale for the program and learning outcomes that meet the Australian Qualification Framework standards for the level of the program, and other academic standards as required (eg accreditation, discipline standards):
    • An outline of the proposed curriculum, including a list of both existing and new courses to be included with mapping of program learning outcomes to courses.
    • All course outlines are to be included in the submission (refer Course Outline Form).
  2. Document the pedagogical practices within the program (e.g. use of problem-based learning approaches, work-integrated learning opportunities):
    • Indicate where the School has developed co-operative arrangements with other institutions in this field and whether articulation with their programs has been considered
    • Provide information on the relationship between the proposed program and any similar programs offered at the University
    • If another School is to be involved in this program, indicate how this will occur and the level of agreement that has been reached between the Schools
  3. Outline specific pathways and articulation arrangements
    • Employer and Professional Advice:
      • List employer groups or professional associations from whom advice has been sought
      • Provide information concerning any experts in the field who have acted as consultants and/or members of the program development
    • Professional Registration/Accreditation:
      • Indicate whether the program will, or is intended to, lead to professional recognition, accreditation and/or registration - a statement is sufficient
      • Explain whether it is anticipated that the program meets the requirements of the appropriate professional bodies at state, national and international levels
      • Indicate whether these bodies also require separate accreditation/registration of the program

NOTE: Individual course outlines need to be included in the submission to Higher Education Curriculum Committee. Program learning outcomes developed in each course need to be mapped to course learning outcomes which must be mapped to assessments to demonstrate constructive alignment. Any new courses in the new programs require approval by Higher Education Curriculum Committee.

B. Submitting the program proposal to School Board for approval Dean
  1. Submit Curriculum Approval Form: Higher Education electronically to School Board for approval
  2. If the program proposal is approved, submit to Higher Education Curriculum Committee for approval
  3. If the program proposal is not approved, the proposer will be advised of the reasons for rejection
C. Submitting the program proposal to Higher Education Curriculum Committee for approval School Board
  1. Submit the program proposal to Higher Education Curriculum Committee:
    • The complete application and the School Board minutes electronically for approval to proceed to offer
    • A representative from the School may be required to be present to speak to the program proposal
  2. If not approved by Higher Education Curriculum Committee, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection. A revised submission may be invited for consideration for a future HECC/HECC sub-committee meeting as determined by the Chair of HECC.

3. Submitting for Consideration by Academic Board and Council

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Submitting the program proposal to Academic Board for approval Executive Officer, Higher Education Curriculum Committee
  1. Upload the Program Proposal to the University’s approved records management folder for Academic Board
B. Considering the program proposal Academic Board
  1. If the program proposal is not approved by Academic Board, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
  2. If the program proposal is approved by Academic Board, submit to Council for approval
C. Submitting the approved program proposal to Council for approval Academic Board
  1. Submit the program proposal to Council for approval
D. Considering the application University Council
  1. If the application is not approved by Council, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
  2. If the program proposal is approved by Council, commence the ratification and implementation processes below.
E. Ratifying the new program Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Once final approval has been granted to the School, the program will be added to Schedule 5.1 and the University approved student management system
F. Undertaking program implementation processes Dean
  1. File the Curriculum Approval (HE) Form and other related documentation utilising the University’s records management process
  2. All superseded documentation should be retained in accordance with the University’s records management processes
  3. Update marketing material and the University’s website information
G. Delivering to international students International
  1. Advise Program Management and Compliance of CRICOS codes so they can be added to the University approved student management system before it can be delivered to international students onshore in Australia

4. Adding a New or Modifying an Existing Course

4.1 Adding a New Course

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.

Completing the new course forms

 

School
  1. Complete:
    • Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education) - new course Part A
    • Course Outline HE Form (including Course Handbook Entry)
    • Refer - Guidelines for Course Outline (HE) Form
    • Refer - Supplementary Guidelines (Learning Outcomes and Assessment)
    • Refer – Course Handbook Entry instruction
  2. If a course code or title is changed, even if there is no change to the course curriculum, submit as a new course, and discontinue the current course if it is no longer required

B. Submitting forms for consideration Dean
  1. Submit the Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education) with Course Outline to School Board
  2. If the application to add a new course is not approved by School Board, the School/Program representative will be advised of the reasons for rejection
  3. If approved, School is to submit the complete application and School Board approval documentation to Higher Education Curriculum Committee for approval
  4. If the application is not approved by the Higher Education Curriculum Committee, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
  5. If a series of new or modified courses over a period of 1 year in any way affects greater than 33% of the structure of any programs, a program modification form must also be completed and forwarded to Higher Education Curriculum Committee for approval - Refer to Action 5 of this procedure
  6. If a new or modified course affects the structure of any program, a revised copy of the program structure (including any revised program rules) must also be forwarded to Higher Education Curriculum Committee along with the new course documents. All new courses need to be approved by Higher Education Curriculum Committee or a HECC sub-committee. For new courses not associated with a new program or program modification, a Context Statement must be provided, using the Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education), explaining why the new course is needed and how it will be used. If the course is to be listed in the program structure, a copy of the updated program structure must be included
C. Adding or amending the University approved student management system Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Add/amend the University approved student management system using the approval documents submitted to Higher Education Curriculum Committee

4.2 Modifying an Existing Course

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.

Completing the course modification forms

 

School
  1. Complete:
    • Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education) -  Modified Course Part C
    • Course Outline HE Form (including Course Handbook Entry)
  2. If a course code or title is changed, even if there is no change to the course curriculum, submit as a new course, and discontinue the current course if it is no longer required
B. Submitting forms for consideration Dean
  1. Submit the course modification forms to School Board
  2. If the application to modify an existing course is not approved by School Board, the School/Program representative will be advised of the reasons for rejection
  3. If approved, School is to submit the complete application and School Board approval documentation to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for noting.
  4. If a series of modified courses over a period of 1 year, in any way affects greater than 33% of the structure of any program, a program modification form must also be completed and forwarded to Higher Education Curriculum Committee for approval - Refer to Action 5 of this procedure.
C. Adding or amending the University approved student management system Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Add/amend the University approved student management system using the approval documents submitted for noting to Higher Education Curriculum Committee

5. Modifying an Existing Program

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Completing the Program Modification form School
  1. If the Program Modification includes the introduction of new courses, all new courses must be approved as outlined in Action 4.1 of this procedure. If the change only involves an adjustment to the teaching semester in which a core course will be delivered, a program modification is not required. An updated program structure with a brief explanation of the change (1-2 sentences) must be noted by School Board.
  2. If more than 50% of the courses in a program are to be
    modified (defined as 50% modified course titles and/or codes,
    or new courses substituted), then the item should be treated
    as a new program and a new program code will be required.
  3. If the program already exists and will be superseded by the
    new program, the new program will not be required to be
    submitted to APC, and the procedure should be followed from
    2.A.2
  4. Complete:
    • The Program Modification Form
    • Refer to the Program Modification Checklist
B. Considering the application to Modify Program/s Dean
  1. The application must be approved by School Board before proceeding to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval
C. Submitting the completed application to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval School Board
  1. Modifications to deliver a program on-line for the first time will need to demonstrate that learning tasks and assessments are suited to this mode of delivery and be accompanied by all course outlines demonstrating this
  2. A representative from the School may be required to attend the Higher Education Curriculum Committee meeting to speak to the proposal
  3. If the application is not approved by the Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection and may be invited to revise and resubmit
D. Updating the University approved student management system Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Update the University approved student management system
E. Submitting the approved application to Academic Board for approval Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee
  1. Following approval by Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, submit the complete application to Academic Board for noting
F. Submitting the approved application to University Council Academic Board
  1. Following consideration by Academic Board, submit the complete application to University Council for noting

6. Rebadging an Existing Program

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Completing the Program rebadging form School
  1. If a program is only being rebadged and / or has minor changes that don’t involve changes to content/learning outcomes/delivery then the only form required is a Rebadging of Award Form. Where a rebadged program also involved changes to content/learning outcomes/delivery then the forms required are:
    • Rebadging of Award Form
    • The Program Modification Form
    • Refer to the Program Modification Checklist
      • NOTE: Contact Program Management and Completions for a new program code
B. Considering the application to Modify Program/s Dean
  1. The application must be approved by School Board before proceeding to Higher Education Curriculum Committee for approval
C. Submitting the completed application to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval School Board
  1. A representative from the School may be required to attend the Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee meeting to speak to the proposal
  2. If the application is not approved by the Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
D. Submitting the approved application to Academic Board for approval Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee
  1. Following approval by Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, submit the complete application to Academic Board for approval
E. Submitting the approved application to University Council Academic Board
  1. Following consideration by Academic Board, submit the complete application to University Council for approval
F. Updating The Schedule 5.1 – Current Programs and/or The Schedule 5.1.1 – Non-Current Programs Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Following approval by Academic Board, the new program details are to be added to The Schedule 5.1 – Current Programs and, if replaced, the old program details moved to The Schedule 5.1.1 – Non-Current Programs
  2. Update the University approved student management system

7. Discontinuing an Existing Program

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Completing the Program Discontinuation form School
  1. Complete the Program Discontinuation Form
B. Considering the application to Modify or Discontinue Program/s School Board
  1. The application must be approved by School before proceeding to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval
C. Submitting the completed application to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval School Board
  1. A representative from the School may be required to attend the meeting to speak to the proposal
  2. If the application is not approved by the Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
D. Submitting the approved application to Academic Board for approval Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee
  1. Following approval by Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, submit the completed application to Academic Board for approval
E. Considering the application by Academic Board Academic Board
  1. Following consideration by Academic Board, if the application is not approved, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
  2. If approved, the complete application will be submitted to Council for approval
F. Updating The Schedule 5.1 – Current Programs and/or The Schedule 5.1.1 – Non-Current Programs Manager, Registrar Services
  1. All discontinued programs are to be moved from The Schedule 5.1 – Current Programs to The Schedule 5.1.1 – Non-Current Programs
  2. Update the University approved student management system

8. Discontinuing/reactivating a course

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Completing the course discontinuation form School
  1. Complete the Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education) Part B –Discontinued Course
B. Considering the application to Discontinue Courses School Board
  1. The application must be approved by School Board before proceeding to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval
C. Submitting the completed application to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval School Board
  1. A representative from the School may be required to attend the meeting to speak to the proposal
  2. If the application is not approved by the Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, the School will be advised of the reasons for rejection
C. Adding or Amending the University approved student management system Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Add/amend the University approved student management system using the approval documents submitted to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee
D. Updating The Register – Discontinued courses Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Following approval by Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee, the Discontinued Course is to be added to The Register - Discontinued courses
  2. Update the University approved student management system
E. Reactivating a course after it has been discontinued School Board
  1. The application must be approved by School Board before proceeding to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee for approval
Manager, Registrar Services
  1. Add/amend the University approved student management system using the approval documents submitted to Higher Education Curriculum Committee/HECC sub-committee and remove from the Discontinued Course Register

Responsibilities

Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.

Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by Academic Board.

Academic Secretariat is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this procedure as directed by the Chair, Academic Board.

Forms

Implementation

The Approval and Maintenance of Award Programs (Higher Education) Procedure is to be implemented throughout the University via:

  • Information Sessions; and/or
  • Training Sessions

Promulgation

The Approval and Maintenance of Award Programs (Higher Education) Procedure is to be communicated throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' website and through the University Policy - 'Recently Approved Documents' webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  • Inclusion on the University Policy, Procedure and Forms website; and/or
  • Distribution of emails to appropriate staff

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period

Master Set of Curriculum Approval records submitted for approval or accreditation including:

  • Initial Program Proposal
  • Business Case Form
  • Program Proposal Approval
  • Curriculum Approval Form: Higher Education
  • Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education)
  • Course Outline
  • Guidelines for Course Outline form
  • Course Description (HE)
  • Course Modification Form
  • Adding a New or Amending an Existing Program
  • Program Modification Form
  • Rebadging of Award Form
  • Discontinuation of Program Form
  • Supporting Documentation
The University’s approved records management system Dean Permanent

Unapproved curriculum records, draft and working papers including:

  • Program Proposal and Business Case Form
  • Program Proposal
  • Curriculum Approval Form: Higher Education
  • Course Outline form
  • Course Modification Form
  • Course Establishment and Variation Form (Higher Education)
  • Program Modification Form
  • Program Discontinuation Form
  • Supporting Documentation
The University’s approved records management system Dean Destroy 3 years from date of last action
School Board Agenda and Minutes – Master Copy The University’s approved records management system School Board Executive Officer Permanent
Higher Education Curriculum Committee Agenda and Minutes – Master Copy The University’s approved records management system Curriculum Committee Executive Officer Permanent
Academic Board Agenda and Minutes – Master Copy The University’s approved records management system Academic Board Executive Officer Permanent
University Council Agenda and Minutes – Master Copy The University’s approved records management system University Council Executive Officer Permanent