Procedure: Academic programs and courses accreditation
To describe the University's requirements regarding the preparation, submission and consideration of requests to establish, modify or disestablish coursework program and course proposals, and the roles of key stakeholders and committees involved in the processing of proposals.
Accreditation: A process whereby an academic program or course is assessed against predetermined criteria and a determination made about whether it meets the minimum academic standards set by the University, as articulated in University policy. Some University programs and courses are also professionally accredited, ensuring that graduates from those programs or courses are qualified.
For additional definitions of terms in this procedure and associated policy, please refer to the Policy: Glossary - student policies and procedures.
- All award programs and courses
- All ANU staff with educational responsibilities
Proposal for the introduction of an academic program
- Proposals for the introduction of academic programs are first considered by the relevant ANU College(s). The proposals are initiated on the appropriate template in the Curriculum Management System (CMS) by the relevant ANU College(s).
- If endorsed by the ANU College(s), the program proposals are submitted for Academic Quality Assurance Committee consideration via the Curriculum Management System (CMS) in line with scheduled dates.
- If endorsed by Academic Quality Assurance Committee by at least a 75% majority, the proposal is submitted for Academic Board accreditation. Academic Board considers the accreditation of academic programs in line with the ANU Strategic Plan and academic standards, as articulated in University policy.
- Once accredited by Academic Board, the Academic Standards and Quality Office publishes the program in the Programs and Courses Handbook.
Reaccreditation of coursework programs
- Each of the University's award programs is reviewed at least every five years using the University's proforma. Programs subject to professional accreditation may be reviewed using the proforma of the relevant accreditation body, as long as the requirements of the ANU program reaccreditation proforma are addressed. The review considerations include any Associate Dean (Education) approved limits on credit.
- If an academic program is not reviewed within the agreed schedule submitted annually to the Academic Quality Assurance Committee, the relevant managing ANU College(s) is to provide a rationale to Academic Quality Assurance Committee as to why the program's current accreditation term should be extended, explaining why the review has not been completed according to the schedule.
- To apply for academic program reaccreditation following a review, the relevant ANU College(s) is to submit a copy of the completed academic program review proforma to Academic Quality Assurance Committee for endorsement.
- If endorsed by Academic Quality Assurance Committee by at least a 75 per cent majority, the completed proforma is submitted for Academic Board reaccreditation.
- Associate Dean (Education) approved limits on credit in a program are re-confirmed in writing following the College review of a program.
Proposal for the disestablishment of an academic program
- Proposals for the disestablishment of an academic program are first considered by the relevant ANU College(s). The proposals are initiated on the appropriate template in the Curriculum Management System (CMS) by the relevant ANU College(s).
- If endorsed by the ANU College(s), proposals are submitted for Academic Quality Assurance Committee consideration via the Curriculum Management System (CMS).
- If endorsed by the Academic Quality Assurance Committee by majority, the proposal is submitted for Academic Board approval.
- If approved, teach out is commenced, including processes of notifying affected students.
Student workload and units for coursework courses
- The average student workload is 130 hours for a six unit course. This includes time spent in scheduled classes and self-directed study time. A student enrolled in units totalling 48 units represents one EFTSL.
- The maximum time allowed to complete a program is determined by the Coursework Awards Rule.
- The standard unit value of courses at ANU is six. Courses worth multiples of six are permitted to support internships, fieldwork, international study tours, research projects, theses, and clinical requirements.
- Zero unit courses are only permitted where an activity has to be undertaken by a student as a hurdle requirement to undertake future coursework, or to practice in a profession (e.g. Work Experience in Industry (WEI)).
- Courses of other unit values are only permitted in the Medical School, in the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, in HDR programs, and as 2 or 3 unit 8000 level courses. Where such courses are offered, further courses within the discipline must be available to students within the same session (e.g. Summer, Semester One, Autumn) such that their total units of enrolment in that session is divisible by six. Student progress must be monitored to ensure program completion within the full-time duration of the program with the exact unit value set out in the Program Orders and without overloading. Where such courses are offered in programs other than in the Medical School, the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, or in HDR programs, courses must be scheduled in summer/autumn/winter/spring sessions and taught in an appropriately intensive mode.
Course topics and repeat enrolment
- Where the title of a course does not provide a meaningful description of the content of a course, either:
- For courses in which the topic is pre-set and the same content delivered to each student enrolled in each topic (typically, lecture or seminar based courses), a topic must be assigned to that course before students can enrol. The course must not be available for student enrolment without a topic assigned; or
- For courses in which the topic is not pre-set and each student negotiates their own topic (for example thesis, readings, project, and internship courses), a topic must be entered through use of a transcript note for each student at the time that the grade is entered for the course (apart from in cases where the is KU – “Continuing Course”).
- The topics assigned under “21.” will describe the content of that offering of the course.
- To ensure the quality of recurrent offerings at the University, courses described in “21.a.” are not to be used with the same topic in consecutive sessions or years, unless that topic for the course has been reviewed and endorsed by the College’s Education Committee within the last five years.
- Where a particular topic for a course described in “21.a.” has not been offered in a prior session nor the previous year, the offering is not required to be approved by College’s Education Committee.
- Each intersection of academic organisational unit, discipline alpha code, numeric level (e.g. 1000-level, 2000-level, etc.) , unit value, and learning outcomes may only have one course as described in “21.a.” and one course as described in “21.b.”. This course can then be offered multiple times with multiple topics assigned.
- Students who successfully complete a combination of course and topic as described under “21.”, are unable to undertake the same combination of course and topic again towards an award apart from where their result in the course has been classified as “KU – Continuing Course”.
- A student enrolled in two honours plans may enrol in the same thesis course twice as described in “21.b.”, but must write on a different topic each time. Any material common to the two theses must be appropriate quoted and cited as common to the two theses in the thesis that is submitted second.
- Students may retake a course described in 26 with a different topic assigned.
- With the exception of “28.” and courses with a result of “KU – Continuing Course”, students who successfully complete a course are unable to undertake the same course or learning outcomes again towards an Award.
Transnational education programs (coursework)
- Approval for transnational education programs (coursework) is contingent on fulfilment of additional requirements.
- Proposals for transnational education programs include the completed Transnational Education Programs (Coursework) checklist and a cover memo outlining strategic alignment and intent, overseas government authorities’ approval information, if applicable, and indication of potential financial viability.
- The Academic Standards and Quality Office (ASQO) and International Admissions Office endorse the transnational program and the agreement for the transnational program prior to submission for Academic Quality Assurance Committee consideration. Additional
- The agreement for the transnational program is reviewed and endorsed by responsible areas and officers as per the Procedure: International Partnerships and Agreements, prior to submission for Academic Quality Assurance Committee consideration.
- Once accredited by Academic Board, a yearly program health check that considers enrolments, student evaluation data and quality assurance arrangements will be undertaken by the relevant college(s) and submitted to the Academic Quality Assurance Committee for endorsement and Academic Board for approval.
Programs and courses delivered in a language other than English
- Approval for programs and courses to be delivered in languages other than English that do not have as their primary purpose education in language proficiency is contingent on fulfilment of additional requirements.
- Proposals for such programs and courses address the following requirements:
- Admission standards to the program, with the expectation that standards will be the same as for programs delivered in English, but with the exception of English language requirements for admission (this requirement does not apply to courses); and
- The appointment of an external examiner who is proficient in English and the language of instruction who is an expert in the relevant discipline. Where required a registered translator may also be engaged to ensure the accurate translation of course materials; and
- Staff proficiency in both English and the language of instruction; and
- Quality assurance arrangements proposed for monitoring the equivalence of any teaching and or assessment tasks that are completed in English with those in the language of instruction and student outcomes for the programs or courses; and
- Provision of examination conditions that satisfy University requirements.
- The ANU International Office and the Academic Standards and Quality Office must endorse the proposal prior to submission for Academic Quality Assurance Committee consideration.
- New alpha codes require the approval of the Registrar.
- A request must be submitted to the Registrar by the relevant College or Colleges by memorandum to email@example.com, and specify:
- the four digit alpha code to be introduced;
- the formal discipline description;
- a brief explanation for its introduction;
- an undertaking that the code does not conflict with alpha codes currently in use across the University; and
- that other areas of the University that may have an interest have also been consulted.
- The Registrar will consider the request on the basis of the above points and also with regards to whether the new alpha code is:
- meaningful to students;
- intended to be specific to a particular program, plan, or contractual arrangement, or reflects organisational structures; and
- in conflict with existing and historical alpha codes
- An outcome is provided within 14 days of a request being received, unless further information is required.
- 4000-level course codes are used only for courses that are components of honours years, with learning outcomes at a minimum AQF Level 8.
- The course code “HONS4XXX” is used to record the final honours grade for a student, with the course code assigned to 4XXX representing all College one year honours programs. Additional courses are created for embedded honours programs where justified to Academic Board on academic or professional accreditation reasons.
Responsibility for implementation
- Academic Board has responsibility for approving the introduction, amendment to, or disestablishment of academic programs. It has responsibility for monitoring the University's academic programs accreditation framework to ensure quality assurance for academic standards, and the identification of opportunities for quality enhancement.
- Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) has responsibility for monitoring and reporting to Academic Board on the University's academic programs accreditation framework to ensure quality assurance for academic standards and the identification of opportunities for quality enhancement.
- Deans have responsibility for ensuring that proposals align with University policy and ANU College resource strategy before they are submitted for Academic Quality Assurance Committee and Academic Board accreditation.
- Academic Quality Assurance Committee has responsibility for endorsing for Academic Board the introduction, amendment to, or disestablishment of academic programs. Members of Academic Quality Assurance Committee have responsibility for monitoring the University's academic programs and course accreditation process and recommending and reviewing improvements to that process.
- Associate Deans (Education) are responsible for ensuring that proposals are fully completed, in line with University policy and supported by documentation before they are submitted for Academic Quality Assurance Committee and Academic Board consideration. They are also responsible for ensuring that changes approved by Academic Board are implemented, and for communicating opportunities to improve the University's Academic Programs and Courses Accreditation Policy and associated procedures to Academic Quality Assurance Committee.
- Academic and Professional Staff completing proposals are responsible for ensuring that proposals are fully completed, in line with University policy and supported by documentation before they are submitted to the Associate Dean (Education). They are also responsible for ensuring that changes approved by Academic Board are implemented.
- Division of Student Administration and Academic Services (DSAAS) has responsibility for ensuring that proposals are fully completed with correct nomenclature, in line with University policy and supported by documentation before they are submitted to Academic Quality Assurance Committee.
- Corporate Governance and Risk Office have responsibility for drafting and making changes required to award and degree rules, once programs have been accredited by Academic Board in consultation with DSAAS.
|Printable version (PDF)|
|Title||Academic programs and courses accreditation|
|Purpose||To describe the University's requirements regarding the preparation, submission and consideration of requests to establish, modify or disestablish coursework program and course proposals, and the roles of key stakeholders and committees involved in the processing of proposals.|
|Topic/ SubTopic||Teaching & Learning|
|Effective Date||29 Nov 2022|
|Next Review Date||29 Nov 2027|
|Responsible Officer:||Registrar, Student Administration|
|Approved By:||Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)|
|Contact Area||Division of Student Administration and Academic Services|
Australian National University (Governance) Statute 2020
Coursework Awards Rule 2020
Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.