Open Universities Australia program approval instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction sets out the process steps for submission and approval of the following types of proposal:

  • A new offering of an existing RMIT accredited program at AQF level 5 or above through Open Universities Australia (OUA)
  • New offering of an existing nationally recognised VET qualification or accredited course through OUA
  • New offering of an existing VET skill-set through OUA.

Exclusions

This instruction applies only to approvals of programs and program offerings listed above.

Instruction steps and actions

Overview

This process should be carried out in accordance with the relevant program approval calendar: see the Program and course life-cycle instructions and forms web page for the program approval calendar relevant to each type of program proposal.

The process described in this instruction has the following stages, each of involves submission of information by the School, through College to University level; in addition, an expression of interest in offering the program or skill-set must be approved by Open Universities Australia

  • New Offerings and Discontinuations List (NOD)
  • Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 1: Approval to Proceed
  • (only if required) Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2A: Business Feasibility Approval, concurrently with:
  • Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval.[Note: For VET program proposals, once the business case has been approved, academic approval takes place by the process set out in the VET program approval instruction, steps 3 onwards.]

Instruction (including key points)

Responsibility

New offerings and discontinuations list (NOD)

The NOD tracking list, which is published as a Google document, enables all units involved in the ABC process to track the progress of proposals. Staff requiring access to the list should contact the Senior Advisor, Policy and Planning, in the Policy Research Consultancy.

1. Use the New offering form to submit the proposal to the College Pro Vice-Chancellor.

School staff proposing development of a program should consult the Deputy Dean/Head of School, Learning and Teaching about the School’s process for submitting the form to the Dean/Head of School.

Dean / Head of School

2. Endorse proposal to be added to the New Offerings and Discontinuations List (NOD).

College Pro Vice-Chancellor

3. Submit the proposal to Policy and Planning.

College Director Planning and Resources

4. Add the proposal to the NOD and submit the NOD to the Profile Steering Group for review.

Policy and Planning

5. Submit the NOD to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive.

To encourage systematic planning of proposals in advance, the VCE receives NOD submissions twice a year.

Policy and Planning

6. Endorse new version of the NOD including the proposal, or

Direct that the proposal be flagged on the NOD as not to proceed for further development.

Vice-Chancellor on the advice of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive

7. Update the statuses of proposals on the NOD list as able to proceed or not able to proceed.

Update the New offering form (NOD) with the Vice-Chancellor’s decision.

VCE secretariat

Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 1: Approval to proceed

8. For higher education programs, complete

  • the Higher Education Draft Program Details form setting out the proposed program structure, and
  • Higher Education course forms for any new courses

and submit these to Course and Program Administration to be configured.

Configure courses and program structure in SAMS; refresh program guide(s) so that program structure appears there


College Academic Development Group (ADG)


ARG Course and Program Administration

9. For VET programs, complete the VET notice of inform form and submit this to Course and Program Administration.

Program team in consultation with College VET team or College ADG.

Create the program plan code in SAMS and generate the program guide shell in the Program Guides System.

Complete VET Pro forma 1: Adding a qualification to RMIT’s scope of registration.

Course and Program Administration

Attach this, together with the training package qualification description for the qualification, to the Gateway 1: Open Universities Australia Feasibility Pro Forma in the next step.

Program team in consultation with College VET team or College ADG

10. Prepare:

a draft Gateway 1: Feasibility Open Universities Australia Pro Forma outlining a brief business case

the draft preliminary sections of the Program Guide at ‘Submitted’ status, including:

  • award title, award abbreviation, total credit points, career, duration, location, owning school, owning school URL, proposed introduction, program proposer details;
  • purpose of the program;
  • articulation and pathways;
  • entrance requirements;

program structure

Program team and School Learning and Teaching Committee in consultation with College ADG
and College Planning and Resources team

11. Undertake consultation with relevant stakeholders including with reference to the new OUA delivery row of Gateway 1: Feasibility Consultation Matrix.

Program team

12. Attach to the Gateway 1 pro forma, evidence of endorsement from the stakeholders listed in the new OUA delivery row of the Gateway 1: Feasibility Consultation Matrix.]

Program team and School Learning and Teaching Committee in consultation with College ADG and College Planning and Resources team

13. Submit the proposal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor and College Executive

Dean/Head of School

14. Endorse the proposal for submission to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive, or send back for improvement, or decline to endorse.

College Pro Vice-Chancellor and College Executive

15. Submit the proposal to Senior Advisor, Policy and Planning, for submission to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive.

Submit the proposal to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive.

College Pro Vice-Chancellor Senior Advisor, Policy and Planning

Review and decide on one of the following four outcomes:

(1) Approve the proposal to proceed directly for academic approval through Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval without further work on financial forecasts or analysis of the business case.

After this outcome, complete the remaining steps in this section, then:proceed to Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval.

Vice-Chancellor (approval of outcome)

(2). Approve the proposal to proceed for business feasibility approval through Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2A: Business Feasibility Approval subject to further work on costings or analysis of the business case.

After this outcome, complete the remaining steps in this section, then proceed concurrently to:

  • Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2A: Approval of Feasibility; and
  • Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval.

Vice-Chancellor (approval of outcome)

(3). Approve the proposal to proceed subject to significant further work on costings or analysis of the business case.

After this outcome, complete the remaining steps in this section, then: proceed concurrently to:

  • Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2A: Approval of Feasibility; and
  • Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval.

Vice-Chancellor (approval of outcome)

(4). Reject the proposal (after which further development is not supported).

Vice-Chancellor

15. Update the proposal status on the NOD.

VCE secretariat

16. Submit the expression of interest in offering the program in the OUA Program Information Management System.

College Academic Development Group

17. Update the proposal status on the NOD.

VCE secretariat

18. Submit the expression of interest in offering the program in the OUA Program Information Management System.

College Academic Development Group

19. Consider the expression of interest and either:

  • endorse it to have a business case developed for consideration by the OUA Academic Programs Committee, or
  • decline to endorse it

OUA Management Group

Academic and Business Case (ABC) GATEWAY 2A: Business feasibility approval

[Note:

  • This section of the process is only used if required by the outcome of the Vice-Chancellor’s Gateway 1 Feasibility decision. If the outcome of Gateway 1 is that the proposal can proceed to academic approval without having to pass through Gateway 2A, skip this section.
  • Where required, this process is undertaken concurrently with Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval.]

20. Where the Vice-Chancellor approved the proposal to proceed through Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2A: Business Feasibility Approval subject to further work on costings or analysis of the business case, with the Gateway 2A decision to be taken by the College Pro Vice-Chancellor:

  • Undertake further work on costings/financial forecasts or analysis of the business case.

Program team and School Learning and Teaching Committee with support from College ADG, College Planning and Resources team and Financial Services

  • Take the final decision on feasibility (approve to proceed or reject), based on the Vice-Chancellor’s indication of additional analysis and/or costings required for the decision (no specified pro forma or level of details required in these cases);
  • Report the final decision to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive (College Pro Vice-Chancellor).

College Pro Vice-Chancellor


College Pro Vice-Chancellor

Or

Where the Vice-Chancellor approved the proposal progressing beyond Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 1 Approval to Proceed subject to significant further work on costings/financial forecasts or analysis of the business case, with the matter to come back to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive for decision:

  • Develop a detailed proposal with significant further work on costings/financial forecasts or analysis of the business case, using the Gateway 2A: Business Case and Cost Analysis Pro Forma and the academic approval documentation required for Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic Approval.

Program team and School Learning and Teaching Committee with support from College ADG, College Planning and Resources team and Financial Services

  • Submit the detailed proposal to the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive (College Pro Vice-Chancellor).

College Pro Vice-Chancellor

  • Approve or reject the detailed proposal.

Vice-Chancellor’s Executive, Vice-Chancellor)

21. Update the proposal status on the NOD.

College Academic Development Group or VCE secretariat

Academic And Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2B: Academic approval

[Note: This stage of the process

  • applies only to RMIT accredited programs at AQF level 5 or above. The academic approval process for VET program proposals, once feasibility or a detailed business case has been approved, is set out in steps 3 onwards of the VET program approval instruction.
  • is undertaken concurrently with Academic and Business Case (ABC) Gateway 2A: Business Feasibility Approval, where the outcome of the Gateway 1 decision requires the Gateway 2A process.]

22. Draft

  • remaining program guide sections in the Program Guide System and
  • course guides in the Course Guides System for any new/amended courses (alternatively, if program team are unfamiliar with the Course Guides System, course guides may be drafted in Word for later entry in the Course Guides System by the College ADG).

Program team drafts and College Academic Development Group reviews

23. Submit proposal to College Academic Development Committee.

Documentation required for this submission comprises a College ADC cover sheet, program guide draft and course guide drafts for any new courses; also a copy of the Gateway 1 Feasibility template and (if there is one) the Gateway 2A submission for reference;

The ADC may endorse the proposal, or require changes and resubmission, or decline to endorse.

Program team with support from College Academic Development Group

Record the outcome on the NOD.

College Secretariat

24. Submit proposal to the College Board.

Documentation required for this submission comprises a College Board cover sheet, program guide draft and course guide drafts for any new courses; also a copy of the Gateway 1 Feasibility template and (if there is one) the Gateway 2A submission for reference.

The College Board may endorse the proposal, or require changes and resubmission, or decline to endorse.

Record the outcome on the NOD.

College Secretariat

25. Submit proposal to Policy and Programs Committee (see Documentation required by academic committee for RMIT accredited coursework program proposals).

The committee may endorse the proposal, or require changes and resubmission, or decline to endorse.

College Secretariat

Record the outcome on the NOD.

Academic Secretariat

26. Submit proposal to Academic Board (see Documentation required by academic committee for RMIT accredited coursework program proposals).

The Board may endorse the proposal, or require changes and resubmission, or decline to endorse.

Change program guide to approved status and record the outcome on the NOD.

Policy and Programs Committee secretariat

27. Submit the business case for the program in the OUA Program Information Management System

College Academic Development Group

28. Consider the business case and either:

  • approve the program to be offered through OUA, or
  • decline to approve it

[Note: the OUA Academic Programs Committee meetings three times a year.]

OUA Academic Programs Committee

29. Enter full program and course details in the OUA Program Information Management System.

College Academic Development Group

[Next: Supporting documents and information]