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Non-Credit Bearing Courses
(NCBCs)
Guidance 3(xxii)
Non-Credit Bearing Courses (NCBCs)
1 Purpose
The University recognises that NCBCs extend access to higher education and
lifelong learning, meet regional needs and advance economic, social and cultural
participation. To this end this procedure sets out the quality assurance procedures for
NCBCs to ensure the quality of design and delivery of NCBCs.
2 Scope
A non credit-bearing course is a programme of study, delivered in the name of the
University by or under the auspices of a School or Corporate Service of the
University; such a course is not credit-rated within the University's Academic Credit
Scheme, and completion of it does not itself contribute towards a qualification of the
University unless it is subsequently assessed as part of a claim for AP(E)L. All
courses which are not for credit will be clearly designated as such in all publicity,
advertising, handbooks and internal documents for the absence of doubt and to avoid
confusion for students about the credit-weight of courses provided by the University.
For the purposes of the procedures, non credit-bearing courses have been
categorised into three types:



NCBC category A: NCBCs that are intended to facilitate student entry onto
Middlesex University credit bearing programmes (either by directly qualifying
students for admission, or by preparing students for qualifying assessment).
These programmes typically act as recruitment routes onto University credit
bearing programmes; and could reasonably be regarded as part of the
University’s academic provision. A Certificate of Achievement may be award to a
student who has successfully completed an assessed non-credit bearing course,
which does not fulfil the requirements for a University qualification
NCBC category B: Provision not intended to provide progression routes onto
Middlesex programmes, and for which there is assessment. A Certificate of
Achievement may be awarded to a student who has successfully completed an
assessed non-credit bearing course, which does not fulfil the requirements for a
University qualification
NCBC category C: Provision not intended to provide progression routes onto
Middlesex programmes, and for which there is no assessment. A Certificate of
Recognition may be awarded for confirmation of attendance, participation or
completion of approved activities.
For clarification, NCBCs do not include conferences, academic workshops or
seminars, or staff development provision not linked to the three categories above.
The university does not expect or require existing non-credit programmes to become
credit-bearing over time of necessity; equally, provision of NCBCs is not invariably an
indication of the intention of develop subsequent credit-bearing provision. The
university recognises that there is a case for NCBC provision determined by the
market, by curriculum, by engagement with emerging areas of professional practice
and student groups, and by wider considerations. NCBCs may be delivered by a
variety of means including summer school, asynchronous and synchronous online
learning, distance learning, periodic classes, closed CPD workshops forums and
classes, workplace specialist briefings and short courses and by other means.
Communication development and skill development projects explicitly linked to
consultancy (for example, specialist workshops for in-company practitioners resulting
from company-commissioned consultancy by MU staff) is not regarded as a NCBC.
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/Assets/guiance3xxii.doc
2013/14
Non-Credit Bearing Courses
(NCBCs)
Guidance 3(xxii)
3 Responsibilities
3.1 All categories of NCBCs
University
Academic Registry will determine and publish a policy and procedure for the
provision of certificates issued to students who follow and complete NCBCs offered
by Schools and Corporate Services. In addition, Academic Registry will compile,
maintain and have ready for public inspection an accurate and up-to-date list of all
NCBCs delivered by or under the auspices of the University and make returns of
such NCBCs to such public agencies as are entitled to receive them as and when
required. AQS shall conduct periodic audit of NCBC provision and provide training to
all Schools and Services offering non-credit bearing programmes.
School/Service
Schools/Services will provide Academic Registry with an accurate list of NCBC
activity.
3.2 NCBC category A
University
APAC will agree the quality assurance and regulatory requirements. These will
normally be the same to those that apply to credit bearing provision, unless the
School/Services requests exemptions or amendments. Such exemptions or
amendments must include rationale for APAC to approve.
School/Service
The School or Service with responsibility for the delivery or quality assurance of the
courses will submit an APAC form (Appendix 2a) to APAC. In the case of courses
delivered by a Service, but quality assured by a School, then the APAC form should
be jointly submitted. Quality assurance for courses will normally reside within a
School, unless the Service concerned is approved for such academic quality
assurance activity by AC.
3.3 NCBC category B and C
School/Service
Primary responsibility for quality assurance is located within the Schools or Service
responsible for delivery or quality assurance of the NCBC. Deans of School and
Directors of Service are accountable for the detailed implementation of policy in this
respect.
4 Procedures
4.1 NCBC category A
4.1.1 Programmes
NCBCs within this category will be treated in a similar way (in terms of programme
quality assurance including validation, review, monitoring, appointment of external
examiners etc) to credit bearing provision with suitable exemptions or adjustments
made to reflect the precise nature of the provision. New programmes, or those due
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/Assets/guiance3xxii.doc
2013/14
Non-Credit Bearing Courses
(NCBCs)
Guidance 3(xxii)
for review, will submit proposals to APAC (with appropriate adjustments to the APAC
form agreed with AQS). Exemptions from, or adjustments to, the academic quality
procedures, and any regulatory requirements, as they apply the NCBC, will be
agreed by APAC on a case-by-case basis (which may obtain guidance in these
matters from AQS (in the case of the procedures), and from Academic Registry (in
the case of regulatory matters).
4.1.2 Partner approval
For delivery via partnership, partners must either be:



institutionally approved;
category 1 or 2 articulation partners (in which case an extension of approval
is required using the process as detailed below), or
be approved to deliver category A NCBC (process as detailed below)
4.1.2.1 Extension of articulation partner approval to approval deliver non-credit
bearing courses (NCBCs)
In addition to having a current category 1 or 2 approval, the school/service that is
quality assuring the provision will prepare a report in accordance with the form:
Extension of articulation partner approval to approval deliver non-credit bearing
courses (NCBCs) and pass to AQS who will make a recommendation to the Deputy
Chief Executive who will approve the categorisation.
4.1.2.2 Approval to deliver non-credit bearing courses (NCBCs)
The process for approving to deliver category A NCBC provision where the
prospective partner is not an institutionally approved partner, or a category 1 or 2
partner with permission to deliver category A NCBC articulation partner is as follows.
The school/service that is quality assuring the provision will prepare a report following
the format of the template form: Proposal for approval of a partner to deliver noncredit bearing courses (NCBCs) and pass the completed form to AQS who will make
a recommendation to the Deputy Chief Executive who will approve all such partners.
The institution will be added to the collaborative partner register as an NCBC
category A partner.
4.1.3 Monitoring of partners
Partner monitoring will be that as applied to partners delivering credit bearing
programmes (as detailed in section 5).
4.14 Review of partners
Partner review will be that as applied to partners delivering credit bearing
programmes (as detailed in section 5), other than in the case of category 2
institutions, which will be additionally be subject to the review process as detailed in
section 10 of the LQEH.
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/Assets/guiance3xxii.doc
2013/14
Non-Credit Bearing Courses
(NCBCs)
Guidance 3(xxii)
4.2 NCBC category B and C
4.2.1 Courses
Schools (or services that quality assure provision) must have in place appropriate
mechanisms for the quality assurance of B and C NCBCs. The quality assurance of
NCBCs category B and C provision will follow these local processes. These local
processes must include:



an approval process for the approval of programmes - which would include:
o approval by an in-house expert – who will also conduct visit to the
delivering partner to review resources and other arrangements,
o a review of completed Programme Proposal - NCBC Categories B
and C and the accompanying Programme Details – NCBC categories
B and C forms,
monitoring of provision on an annual basis, and
processes to ensure that appropriate signed agreements are in place.
Schools/services must maintain accurate records relating to these processes and
relevant documentation shall be made available for audit and review purposes.
4.2.2 Partner approval
If partners are not:



institutionally approved partners, or
category 1 or 2 articulation partner with permission to deliver category A
deliver non-credit bearing courses (NCBCs) – please see above, or
approved to deliver NCBC category A programmes – please see above
then they must be approved to deliver NCBC categories B & C provision.
The process for approving partners to deliver category B or C NCBC provision is as
follows. The school (or service if a service rather than a school is quality assuring the
provision) will prepare a report in accordance with the template: Proposal for
approval of a partner to deliver non-credit bearing courses (NCBCs)) and permission
to proceed will be through the school/service local quality assurance mechanisms.
The institution will be added to the collaborative partner register as an NCBC
category B/C partner.
4.2.3 Monitoring and/or review of partners approved to deliver NCBC
categories B & C provision.
In the case of partners that are not already subject to the ongoing processes of
monitoring and/or review (as detailed in section 4.1 above), then the school or
service quality assuring the provision will put in place a review process which will be
equivalent to that for the review of category 2 articulation partners.
4.4 Further advice
Colleagues may obtain guidance on these matters from AQS (in the case of the
procedures), and from Academic Registry (in the case of regulatory matters).
http://www.mdx.ac.uk/Assets/guiance3xxii.doc
2013/14
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