Program and course life-cycle policy

Intent

To ensure the quality, viability and relevance of RMIT University programs and courses, and their alignment with University strategy, by providing a single University-wide policy for their approval, review and continuation or discontinuation.

Objectives

To state the principles which form the basis of the University’s program and course life-cycle: that is, the cycle of processes for approval, review, continuation and discontinuation of programs and courses.

Scope

  • RMIT accredited coursework programs and courses
  • Nationally recognised training package qualifications, skill sets and accredited courses
  • Customised delivery of education and training for enterprises
  • Short courses and non-award courses

Exclusions

  • VCE and VCAL programs
  • Higher degree by research programs

Policy provisions

Principles

1. Program and course development, approval and review ensure the quality, viability and relevance of the University’s offerings, and their alignment with University strategy.

This principle is achieved when:

  • Approval and review processes verify that:
    • proposals for new programs and program offerings are based on a strong case that the program will be viable and will support University strategy;
    • market research and competitor analysis demonstrate industry relevance and viability as part of the program proposal;
    • resources are available to develop and offer the curriculum;
    • programs are consistent with the policies and procedures defining the attributes of RMIT University programs and courses.
  • Customised education services for enterprises are developed and approved with a process that ensures their quality and viability, in a timeframe that meets clients’ needs.
  • Program and course approval and review processes meet formal internal and external audit requirements.
  • All programs are reviewed on a regular cycle, with a separate report for each offering of the program (by location or delivery mode) to confirm its quality, relevance and viability against performance indicators. When a new program or program offering has been in place for three years, the review gives particular attention to whether the expectations in the initial business case have been borne out in practice.

2. Programs and courses are developed and reviewed in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

This principle is achieved when:

  • A Program Advisory Committee ensures that each program (whether proposed or current) is relevant to the needs of the relevant industry/profession, and identifies any improvements that are needed to align it more closely with those needs.
  • A Student-Staff Consultative Committee ensures that student feedback on program quality and students’ experience of the program is registered and contributes to continuous improvement.
  • All students have the opportunity to provide feedback, and student feedback is used as a central component of program and course review.
  • Student feedback is used by academic staff and their supervisors as part of the process of enhancing teaching effectiveness and to inform higher education promotion and probation decisions.
  • All staff who teach in a course are able to contribute, and are expected to contribute, to its review.
  • Program accreditation and reaccreditation by professional and industry bodies and government agencies, where relevant, are explicitly addressed in program approval and review processes.

3. Programs and courses are discontinued in such a way as to maintain a positive student experience and manage risk to the University’s reputation and achievement of its strategic objectives.

This principle is achieved when:

  • Sufficient advance warning of new and amended program proposals, and discontinuation of programs is provided to all stakeholder staff, students, partner institutions and to future students in university publications.
  • An approved transition plan and discontinuation strategy ensures that all applicants, students and any other stakeholders affected by the discontinuation are supported in a transition to the replacement program or to an alternative program within the University or elsewhere.

Overview of supporting procedures

To ensure that these principles are achieved, the following procedures are provided in support of this policy.

4. Program and course life-cycle procedure

The Program and course life-cycle procedure sets out:

  • the responsibilities of University committees and management roles for actions in the program and course life-cycle, and
  • the approval processes and documentation required for:
    • new and amended programs and program offerings
    • new courses and VET skill sets
    • delivery of customised educational services and training for enterprises
    • resting of programs, program offerings, VET skill sets and courses
    • discontinuation of programs, program offerings, VET skill sets and courses
    • transition of students where programs or program offerings are discontinued.

5. Program and course management procedure

The Program and course management procedure sets out the responsibilities of program managers and course coordinators.

6. Work integrated learning procedure

The Work integrated learning procedure sets out the processes and requirements for managing work integrated learning (WIL) activities offered as part of vocational education and higher education coursework awards, including:

  • Types of WIL
  • WIL design requirements
  • WIL program and course documentation
  • WIL agreements for RMIT students on a placement or completing a WIL project
  • WIL in practice
  • Early termination of placements.

7. Program review procedure

The Program review procedure sets out:

  • management responsibilities in the program review process, and
  • the process to be followed in program review.

8. Program stakeholder committees procedure

The Program stakeholder committees procedure sets out:

  • the responsibilities of University management roles for actions in relation to program quality assurance committees, and
  • the processes and terms of reference for:
    • Program Advisory Committees
    • Student-Staff Consultative Committees.

9. Student feedback procedure

The Student feedback procedure sets out:

  • the responsibilities of University committees and management roles for actions in relation to student feedback, and
  • the processes required for:
    • course, program and University level student feedback surveys
    • other channels of student feedback.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]