2.7 Periodic Scheme Review

1. All taught schemes (undergraduate and postgraduate, including collaborative and franchised schemes), will be subject to Periodic Scheme Review (PSR) every 5 years. New schemes will be approved for a 5 year period or until the next scheduled PSR. Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) will maintain a register of schemes to be reviewed, and Institutes will be asked to confirm that this list is accurate and current, taking account of schemes that are to be withdrawn or suspended.

2. The timeframe for PSR will be determined by QAC. Where it is feasible to do so, QAC will schedule joint events to coincide with review visits by external Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), or with the University’s internal IDPA process. If a PSRB review is conducted by a process and panel consistent with PSR, the QAC may approve the re-approval of schemes based on the report of the external body.

3. The membership of the PSR Approval Panel will be determined by QAC in discussions with the Institute, but will include the following:

(i) Chair, an experienced member of academic staff;
(ii) One academic member of staff, normally the Institute’s Director of Learning and Teaching;
(iii) An external assessor, normally a serving external examiner (normally a maximum of two externals);
(iv) A member of AQRO staff, normally the Institute QA link;
(v) A student representative from within the Institute, or from a cognate discipline.

Once the membership has been agreed by QAC, AQRO will convene the PSR panel in accordance with the published timeframe. The Institute will be invited to nominate scheme coordinators or theme leaders to attend the meeting to summarise the main aims of the scheme and to answer the panel’s questions.

4. Institutes will be required to provide the following documentation for PSR, following initial discussions at institute level committees:

(i) PSR Evaluation template, which will provide reflection on the development of the schemes since the previous PSR or initial approval, a summary of cumulative changes, and an outline of steps taken to address the inclusive curriculum;
(ii) A revised Programme Specification for all schemes under review.

The panel chair may also request copies of the following documentation in advance of the meeting: AMTS1/2 forms, external examiner reports, NSS data sets and /or any relevant PSRB reports for the previous five years. The documentation will be uploaded by institutes onto a designated PSR SharePoint site which will be hosted by AQRO.

5. AQRO will invite the Institute to nominate an external assessor(s), drawn from its currently serving external examiners. A PSR panel will normally include no more than two external assessors. AQRO will invite the external assessor(s) to submit a written PSR External Report for consideration by the panel.

6. The panel will be required to consider the following areas, in accordance with the expectation and indicators of Chapter B8 of the QAA Quality Code:

(i) Ensure the currency and validity of the schemes under review, in light of developing knowledge in the discipline area and any cumulative changes during the period since initial approval / previous PSR;
(ii) Evaluate the attainment of scheme learning outcomes by students, referring as appropriate to previous AMTS reports and data sets, and reports of external examiners;
(iii) Evaluate the continuing effectiveness of the curriculum and the assessment regime in relation to scheme learning outcomes;
(iv) Identify any areas of weakness, and make recommendations for appropriate actions.

7. The AQRO panel member will prepare a report of the PSR meeting, which will provide an outline of the discussion and a record of the panel’s decisions and recommendations. The panel will arrive at one of the following recommendations for each scheme or groups of schemes under review:

(i) Unconditional re-approval;
(ii) Conditional re-approval, subject to minor modifications being fulfilled within a given time limit;
(iii) Major restructure, which may require a Schemapp1 proposal to be submitted to ADPC;
(iv) Withdrawal or suspension.

The panel may also make University level recommendations for consideration by Quality Assurance Committee.

8. In the case of a decision of withdrawal or suspension, the Institute will be asked to submit the Schemapp7 form to the Academic Development and Planning Committee (ADPC), making appropriate arrangements to ensure that all candidates who have already embarked on a scheme may complete their studies.

9. The Institute will be invited to respond to the report by completing Section B of the PSR Evaluation, which will be reviewed by the Chair of the Panel. If the Chair is satisfied that there are no issues of concern then the decision of the panel in respect of the schemes under review shall be considered final and reported to QAC. Where there are any issues of concern the final decisions shall be referred to QAC.