Guidance for Colleges on Approval Audit

Although Schools now have the authority to scrutinise and approve all course proposals, Colleges should undertake spot-check activity to ensure that the standard of proposals and related documentation remains high and adheres to the published procedure.

A monthly summary report, which will be emailed to all College approvers, will indicate which course proposals have been made live in the month[1]. College approvers should choose a sample of proposals to spot-check. The number in the sample is likely to vary as some months will have few proposals and some will have many proposals, but the sample should cover a range of:

  • Types of proposals (new, amend, withdraw).
  • Course levels.
  • Schools and Subject areas.

College approvers should check the following aspects of the proposal in particular:

  • That all necessary consultations have been carried out, considered and, if appropriate, responded to, prior to the proposal’s submission to College.
  • That all additional resources have been agreed.
  • That the aims and ILOs are appropriate to the level of the course, and give the reader sufficient detail.
  • That learning and teaching and assessment information is clear, and that the contact and study hours are appropriate for the credit rating.
  • That the course specification as a whole gives a clear description of what the course is about.

If any proposal is found to be deficient or missing any supporting documentation, a request should be made to the proposer to make the necessary changes and resubmit them as a new proposal.

An annual report should be produced by the College for submission to the first Academic Standards Committee of the session (usually October), indicating which proposals have been spot-checked. It should either state that the proposals were found to be in order or, where this was not the case, detail what the deficiencies were found to be and how these have been resolved.

If colleagues experience significant difficulty, or there are questions/concerns about the process, please contact Ruth Cole (Academic Policy & Governance) in the first instance.

[1] Only live courses should be spot-checked, as those at the proposal stage may change prior to approval. This also prevents a proposal being spot-checked twice (at the ‘proposal’ and ‘live’ stages).