Section 8.6 - Establishing a Partnership and Timescales for Development

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The timescale involved in the development of a collaboration will vary according to the scale, complexity and risk of the project. A project may take substantial time to progress through the development stage, especially where the proposed programmes are new programmes, or where the approval of an external, professional or governmental body is required. The following timelines and preferred deadlines are indicative of the minimum length of time a programme may take to be developed and should be seen as a guide for departments intending to submit proposals. Proposals may be submitted at later CPB meetings but proposers should be mindful that recruitment to programmes are likely to be delayed as a consequence.


Exchange, Credit-bearing Work Based Learning

Articulation, Progression, Research Collaboration, Credit-bearing CPD

Collaborative Distance Learning, Collaborative Degree (Existing)

Franchise, Validation, Collaborative Degree (New), Branch Campus

Indicative Risk



High / Very High

High/Very High

Minimum Timescale

3 - 4 Months

4 - 6 Months

9 - 12 Months Approval

(+ up to 12 months recruitment)

12 Months Approval

(+ up to 12 months recruitment)

Stage 1

Proposal Preparation

1 Month

1 - 2 Months

Autumn/Spring Term

Autumn Term

Proposal to CPB (for MOU approval)

First Available Committee

First Available Committee



Stage 2

Development Stage

One Term

One Term

Spring/Summer Term

Spring Term

Update and Review to CPB



Summer CPB

Summer CPB

Preparation for Recruitment





Final Approval (MOA signed)

Next available Committee

Next available Committee

May/September Committee

September Committee

Stage 3

Open for Recruitment

Can recruit and enrol following final approval

As appropriate for Next Academic Year

October (onwards)

Operational Development

Up to full Academic Year

Course Starts

Following Academic Year


Proposals for new partnerships may be generated by staff within departments, senior managers or by external partners themselves. However they originate, the appraisal of prospective new partners, and their periodic reappraisal, is managed by the Collaborative Provision Board (CPB) through liaison with Faculties, Academic Registry-Academic Partnerships Office, International Office (where appropriate) and Finance. Programme-level proposals, whether with newly approved or existing partners, are subject to authorisation by the Academic Board (AB).

All proposals must fit the underlying principles for the development of collaborative partnership activities. Collaborative provision must not be established solely for financial reasons and must align with University and Faculty strategic priorities and academic strengths.

Departments and potential partners are encouraged to discuss any potential collaborative arrangement with staff in the Academic Registry-Academic Partnerships Office at an early stage to become familiar with the process and documentation required.

All collaborative partnership arrangements must be negotiated, agreed and managed in accordance with the formally stated policies, procedures and academic regulations of the awarding institution. Aberystwyth University works on a risk-based approach therefore proportionate due-diligence and risk assessment will be completed before moving the project to the full approval stages. Information regarding the timeline for approving and establishing a partnership must also be provided to the potential partner at an early stage. Preliminary discussions should not be taken to imply final agreement for a proposal.

Fees apply for the development of higher risk projects such as Franchise and Validation agreements, and these should be included in the business case. Colleagues are encouraged to discuss fee arrangements for franchised and validated provision with the Deputy Registrar for Academic Partnerships at an early stage in the development of any proposal.


Academic Partnerships Development and Approval Process For Low-Medium Risk Partnership Agreement 
Academic Partnerships Development and Approval Process For Partnership Agreement