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Reviews procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 16 August 2018.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure prescribes the process for the University to conduct formal reviews for the purpose of quality assurance and improvement.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to formal quality reviews by the University of organisational units and areas of activity (as defined) or any other matters as directed by the Vice-Chancellor. This Procedure does not apply to evaluations conducted by:

  1. the Internal Audit function
  2. areas of the University as part of their own ongoing arrangements for ensuring continuous quality improvement.
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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Quality Management policy.

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Section 5 - Procedures

Purpose of reviews

(5) The University conducts formal reviews of organisational units and areas of activity in accordance with this Procedure to:

  1. assure itself of:
    1. the quality of its operations
    2. compliance with the Higher Education Threshold Standards and other relevant external requirements (as appropriate)
    3. alignment with the University's strategic plan
  2. identify areas of excellence, potential and opportunities for improvement.

(6) The review process set out in this Procedure is aligned to the University's continuous quality improvement cycle: Plan, Implement, Review, Improve.

(7) Before an area of the University initiates a review as part of its own ongoing arrangements for ensuring continuous quality improvement it must notify the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education (or nominee) who will:

  1. advise whether the review should be managed by the Academic Governance and Standards in accordance with this procedure and
  2. if not, provide guidance on how to conduct the review to ensure the best possible outcome for the area and the University.

(8) Where a review under this Procedure is also intended to meet external regulatory requirements, the process set out in this Procedure may be adapted to meet those requirements. In such a case, it is the responsibility of the area concerned to ensure that external requirements are satisfied.

Timing of reviews

(9) Reviews of Faculties, and Institutes engaged in teaching and/or research and areas of activity as set out in TABLE A: ORGANISATIONAL UNITS and TABLE B: AREAS OF ACTIVITY are carried out under this Procedure generally every seven years in accordance with a schedule approved annually by the Vice-Chancellor. Unscheduled reviews of these organisational units or areas of activity may also be carried out at any time at the request of the Vice-Chancellor.

(10) The Vice-Chancellor may request that a review of any other area or matter be conducted in accordance with this Procedure at any time.

TABLE A: ORGANISATIONAL UNITS

Faculty of Arts and Education
Faculty of Business and Law
Faculty of Health
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
Institute for Koorie Education
Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation
Institute for Frontier Materials
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation
Institute for Healthcare Transformation
Deakin Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute

TABLE B: AREAS OF ACTIVITY

Area of activity Strategic Plan pillar Relevant standards for Higher Education
Access and Equity Learning, Experience 1.3.6, 2.2, 3.3.3
Built Environment Value 2
Campus Services Value 2.1, 2.3
Corporate Education Learning  
Corporate Planning and Performance Monitoring Value 6
Course Development and Renewal Learning, Ideas 3.1, 5.1
Digital Resources Learning, Value, Experience 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 3.3
External Engagement Value, Experience 2.2, 4, 5.4, 7.1, 7.2
Financial Planning and Management Value 6.2.1c, d, i, j
Governance (Academic and Corporate) including Risk and Compliance Learning, Value 6
Human Resources and Capacity Building Value, Experience 2.2, 3.2, 4.2.3
Information Resources (for staff and students) Learning, Value 2.1.2, 3.3
International Engagement Ideas, Value 1.1, 5.4, 7.1
Pathways to Higher Education Learning, Value, Experience 1.1, 1.2, 7.2
Research Management Learning, Ideas, Experience 4.1, 5.2
Research Training Learning, Ideas, Experience 4.2, 5.2
Student Experience and Support Learning, Experience 1.3, 2
Student Recruitment Value, Experience 1.1, 1.2, 7.1, 7.2

Terms of reference for reviews

(11) The terms of reference for reviews are determined by the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) with reference to the standard terms of reference set out in TABLE C: STANDARD TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR REVIEWS, and are adapted as appropriate depending on the scope and purpose of the review.

TABLE C: STANDARD TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR REVIEWS

FACULTIES, SCHOOLS, INSTITUTES THAT ENGAGE IN TEACHING AND RESEARCH
1
The effectiveness of the organisation and management of the Faculty/School/Institute, including:
a. leadership and planning
b. financial management
c. staff management, including recruitment, capacity building and support
d. relationships between areas within the Faculty/School/Institute
e. relationships between the Faculty/School/Institute and other organisational units
f. academic governance arrangements
g. quality assurance and quality improvement arrangements, including mechanisms for ensuring compliance with the Higher Education Threshold Standards and alignment with good practice
h. risk management.
2
The Faculty’s/School’s/Institute’s contribution to the achievement of the University’s strategic agenda (including strengths and opportunities for improvement) in the following areas:
a. teaching and learning:
    i. student recruitment and selection
    ii. quality and standard of courses (including external input)
    iii. quality of teaching and learning
    iv. teaching capability
    v. access support for students from diverse backgrounds
    vi. Indigenous education
    vii.facilities and resources (including use of Cloud learning resources)
    viii. learning and teaching partnerships
    ix. global connections
    x. learning/research nexus.
b. research and research training:
    i. research capability, depth and breadth and quality
    ii. international research footprint
    iii. research collaboration
    iv. quality of research training
    v. use of technology
c. external engagement:
    i. partnerships with communities, industry and government
    ii. alumni.
3 The Faculty’s/School’s/Institute’s capacity to identify and respond to the University’s future needs.
OTHER ORGANISATIONAL UNITS
1
The effectiveness of the unit’s organisation and management, including:
a. leadership, structure, planning, resource management and risk management
b. relationship with Faculties and other organisational units
c. quality assurance and quality improvement arrangements, including mechanisms for ensuring compliance with the Higher Education Threshold Standards and alignment with good practice.
2 The unit’s effectiveness in providing high quality services which contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategic agenda (including strengths and areas for improvement).
3 The area’s capacity to identify and respond to the University’s future needs.
AREAS OF ACTIVITY
1 The efficacy of relevant services, processes and activities in furthering the achievement of the University’s strategic agenda. [List as appropriate for the area of activity under review]
2 The effectiveness of the University’s planning and management of relevant services, processes and activities (including as appropriate leadership, governance, resources, risk management and communication/relationships between different organisational units involved in the area of activity).
3 The clarity and appropriateness of relevant policies, procedures and practices and their alignment with external requirements (including the Higher Education Threshold Standards) and contemporary good practice.
4 The University’s ability to identify and respond to emerging needs in the area of activity.

Review panels

(12) The Vice-Chancellor appoints review panels in accordance with TABLE D: COMPOSITION OF REVIEW PANELS and may adjust the composition of the panel as appropriate, including appointing additional members.

(13) The Vice-Chancellor seeks advice from relevant members of the Executive regarding suitable external panel members.

(14) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education appoints a secretary to support the review panel to carry out the review in accordance with this Procedure.

TABLE D: COMPOSITION OF REVIEW PANELS

Reviews of Faculties
a. One to two senior Academic staff who are not from the Faculty under review
b. Senior Professional staff member
c. Two or more external members with wide experience in a related area, including a senior Academic and, where appropriate, a member from a relevant profession or registration body.
Reviews of Schools
a. One to two senior Academic staff who are not from the School under review
b. One to two external members with appropriate experience in a related area, including a senior Academic and, where appropriate, a member from a relevant profession or registration body.
Reviews of Institutes that engage in teaching and/or research
a. One to two senior Academic staff who are not from the Institute under review
b. One to two external members with appropriate experience in a related area.
Reviews of other organisational units
a. Senior Professional staff member who is not from the unit under review
b. Senior Academic staff member who is not from the unit under review
c. One to two external members with extensive experience in relevant area.
Reviews of areas of activity As determined by the Vice-Chancellor, including one to two external members with extensive experience in the relevant area.

Performance reports

(15) To inform each review, a performance report is prepared by:

  1. an organisational unit under review or
  2. in the case of the review of an area of activity, a group of staff with appropriate expertise from relevant organisational units approved by the Vice-Chancellor, led by a member of the group nominated by the Vice-Chancellor.

(16) Performance reports:

  1. address the approved terms of reference
  2. provide relevant data and other evidence of performance (with particular reference to the indicators in relevant University plans)
  3. identify areas of excellence, potential, initiatives in progress and opportunities for improvement
  4. include progress on implementation of outcomes from previous reviews
  5. are up to 30 pages in length in the main body for reviews of Faculties and large organisational units OR up to 20 pages in length in the main body for reviews of other organisational units and areas of activity
  6. include appendices as specified in TABLE E: PERFORMANCE REPORT APPENDICES, and adapted as appropriate to reflect the activities carried out by the area.

(17) Performance reports are sent to the secretary of the review panel at least four weeks before the review panel meets and are circulated to panel members, who may request additional information.

TABLE E: PERFORMANCE REPORT APPENDICES

Faculties, Schools and Institutes that engage in teaching or research
- the unit’s organisational chart
- the unit’s governance arrangements and committees
- the unit’s implementation plan, work plan and/or other relevant planning documents (current year)
- relevant unit performance review report/s against implementation plan, work plan or other relevant plan (previous year)
- overview of the unit’s operational budget for the last three years
- the unit’s workforce plan, including targets and activities, and iSay outcomes
- the unit’s risk register
- course portfolio strategy including overview of current, new and pipelining courses
- enrolment trends by school/course/campus (including Cloud Campus) for the last three years, showing domestic and international breakdowns
- any market research into positioning, differentiation and profile
- summary of course performance data, including progression and completion rates showing domestic and international breakdowns, and graduate outcomes
- summary of student evaluation of teaching and units results including unit watchlist reports (last three years) and outcomes
- summary of internal and external teaching awards including grants
- student profile, including student equity indicators
- national surveys of student experience and graduate outcomes
- trends in research income and research publications by school (last three years)
- summary of higher degree by research enrolments, completion rates and times, graduate outcomes and survey results
- other appendices as appropriate.
Other organisational units
- relevant implementation plan and/or work plan/s for the current year
- relevant performance review report/s against implementation plan and/or work plan/s (previous year)
- the unit’s organisational structure
- the unit’s risk register
- the unit’s staffing profile and staff management plan
- details of staff attendance at training and professional development programs
- the unit’s operational budget for the last three years
- a report on the implementation of recommendations from the previous review of the area and any other relevant review/s
- other appendices as appropriate.
Areas of activity
- relevant implementation plans and/or work plans (current year)
- relevant performance review report/s against implementation plan and/or work plan/s (previous year)
- relevant organisational structure/s
- relevant staffing details
- relevant budget details for the last three years
- other appendices as appropriate.

Submissions

(18) At least four weeks before the review panel meets, the secretary of the review panel:

  1. makes the performance report available to:
    1. all University staff and
    2. where relevant, students and other key stakeholders
  2. calls for written submissions from the people to whom the report has been made available, advising them that, unless otherwise stated, submissions will as far as permitted by law be treated as confidential to encourage full and frank disclosure of information and opinion as part of the University's internal deliberative processes.

(19) The secretary of the review panel provides submissions to the review panel at least one week before the review meetings take place.

Review meetings

(20) The secretary of the review panel develops a program of review meetings, in consultation with the Chair, relevant senior managers (as appropriate) and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, to inform the assessment of the organisational unit of area or activity against the terms of reference.

(21) Review meetings are conducted in private and any oral submissions, responses and comments made by those meeting with the panel, as far as permitted by law, are treated as confidential to encourage full and frank disclosure of information and opinion as part of the University's internal deliberative processes.

Reports and responses

(22) As soon as practicable following a review, the panel develops a written report documenting the outcomes of the review and provides the report to the Vice-Chancellor. The report:

  1. is developed with reference to the performance report, written submissions, oral feedback received during the review meetings and any additional information requested by the panel
  2. identifies areas of strength and opportunities for improvement
  3. includes formal recommendations for action to address areas requiring improvement.

(23) The Vice-Chancellor approves the report for release.

(24) The responsible Executive/s are invited to respond in writing to the panel's report and in preparing the response they should consult with the relevant area(s) which were covered by the review.

(25) In the case of a review of an organisational unit involved in teaching and/or research or an academic activity, the Academic Board is invited to respond in writing to the panel's report, taking into account the Executive response/s.

(26) The Vice-Chancellor responds to each review taking into account the panel's report, the Academic Board's advice (where appropriate) and the Executive response/s. The Vice-Chancellor's response addresses each recommendation and includes follow-up actions as appropriate.

(27) The outcomes of the panel review and the Vice-Chancellor's response to the review are reported to the Academic Board (as appropriate) and the Audit and Risk Committee's at the discretion of the Risk and Compliance Manager in the case of reviews of high risk areas.

Quality improvement reports

(28) Actions agreed by the Vice-Chancellor to address recommendations are monitored by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and progress is reported in the next review of the organisational unit or area of activity, or as otherwise requested by the Vice-Chancellor or the Audit and Risk Committee.

(29) Annual reports on progress in implementing agreed actions are provided by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education to the Executive.

Information and documents

(30) Any personal information or health information collected, held or used by the University during reviews will be dealt with in accordance with relevant legal requirements including the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).

(31) Any documents generated during reviews will be dealt with in accordance with the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic) and General Retention & Disposal Authority for the Records of Higher and Further Education Institutions, Public Record Office Standard PROS 16/07.

Costs

(32) The costs of a review of an organisational unit are met by the area being reviewed.

(33) The costs of a review of an area of activity are met by organisational units as determined by the Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(34) There are no definitions arising under this Procedure.