2.3 Summary of the Scheme Approval Process

1. This section provides a summary of the scheme approval process, which is described in detail in sections 2.4 – 2.6.  Staff may also find it useful to refer to the flow chart for new schemes. All proposals for new and restructured schemes, and proposed suspensions and withdrawals, should be formally discussed at the institute Learning & Teaching Committee or equivalent prior to submission to AQRO.

Stage 1: consideration of initial proposal

2. Institutes should submit the following documents supporting the initial proposal to AQRO.  Deadlines for submission of paperwork can be found here.

(i) Schemapp 1 (Section A): Proposal for a New or Restructured Scheme: Section A only is required for ADPC, and additional guidance is provided within the form.
(ii) Business Evaluation and Market Research Report: Institutes should liaise with the Planning Department in good time prior to submission of the proposal. Following this detailed discussion,  Planning Department will provide the template for this report; this is only available on request from the Planning Department.

3. ADPC will consider proposals in the context of the overall portfolio and will determine whether they should go forward to a scheme approval panel (and whether this will be an internal or an external panel). ADPC may also decide to refer the proposal back to the institute for further discussion. Institutes will be notified of the decision of ADPC.

Stage 2: approval panel

4. If ADPC determines that a full an external approval panel is required the institute should nominate an External Assessor by submitting the following:

Schemapp 2: Nomination form for External Assessors to participate in the approval of New/Restructured Study Schemes.

5. AQRO will liaise with the External Assessor and the institute to set the date for a scheme approval meeting. For both external and internal panels, institutes must submit the following information:

(i) Section B of Schemapp1 (if not previously completed);
(ii) Programme specification(s) including detailed information on the scheme structure;
(iii) Evidence of external consultation during the development of the proposal, and any other relevant information, e.g. CVs of non-AU staff involved in the delivery assessment criteria for new assessment modes and information on special facilities should be submitted to AQRO.
(iv) New / restructured module approval forms, where appropriate;
(v) Scheme/module learning outcomes mapped against assessment.

6. The External Assessor will be required to complete a written report prior to the event for consideration at an external approval panel: Schemapp4: External Assessor’s Report. This will be requested by AQRO once the External Assessor has accepted the invitation to attend the panel.

Stage 3: Outcome

7. Following the meeting of the panel, a report will be produced by the AQRO panel member in consultation with the Chair: Schemapp5 Report of a Scheme Approval Panel.

8. Section C of the Schemapp1 should be completed by the proposing institute in response to the report, providing details of amendments made to the original proposal as a result of the feedback from the scheme approval panel. No further changes should be made to Sections A and B. Section C of the Schemapp1 form and the Schemapp5 form will be reported to ADPC.

9. The following forms are also available and should be submitted to ADPC for consideration where new combinations of existing Majors, Minors and Joints are proposed, along  with changes to a title and requests to withdraw or suspend a scheme:

(i) Schemapp 6: Approval of New Major/Minor Combinations and Joint Honours Schemes
(ii) Schemapp 7: Request to Withdraw/Suspend a Scheme
(iii) Schemapp 8: Request to Change a Scheme Title