Programme Planning and Validation Procedure

Higher Education Programmes
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure
Any proposal for a new higher education programme (or major revision of an existing
programme) needs careful consideration, planning and approval via the college internal
validation process before going out to the appropriate external validating body, usually
an HEI. The planning and validation process for higher education is consistent with the
college wide validation process.
College validation does not replace the annual approval process that applies to all
college courses through the completion of a PPD (Programme Planning Document).
The purposes of the higher education planning and validation process are to:
Ensure and maintain the high quality of TMC higher education programmes.
Ensure that all new higher education programmes are consistent with the college
Strategic Plan and HE Strategy.
Give staff valuable guidance and support in planning and developing a
programme and in preparing for external validation.
Provide an opportunity for the sharing of good practice.
Although the documented procedures are an important aspect of any validation, the
most crucial activity in this process is careful discussion and consideration of proposals
by members of the programme planning team in consultation with their Curriculum Lead
Manager and the HE Managers. It is also important that cross college teams which may
be involved in the support of the proposed programme are consulted, including
Guidance and Welfare and Learning Resource staff.
You are not expected to duplicate any work done to satisfy external validating bodies.
Whatever format your external validating body requires will be acceptable for internal
validations – as long as all the college quality criteria are met.
The emphasis throughout the process is on encouraging and supporting tutors to plan
and deliver high quality programmes.
We hope staff will find these guidance notes useful in helping them through the
programme planning and validation process. Any feedback on it, particularly
suggestions for improvement, would be most welcome. Please send any comments to
one of the HE Managers.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Guidance for Tutors – a three stage process
Planning and internal validation of a new programme is essentially a three stage
process as outlined below:
Stage 1 involves gaining initial approval for the new development;
Stage 2 the detailed planning and preparation of documentation for the programme and
Stage 3 the internal validation event.
Evidence should be provided that all relevant quality criteria listed in 3 below have been
met during programme planning.
Section 3 includes (in brackets) examples of possible evidence for most of the quality
criteria. The programme specification, full programme documentation and programme
section of the student handbook, if completed in time for internal validation, will provide
valuable sources of evidence for the quality criteria.
If you need support and advice at any stage in preparing a submission for validation,
please ask one of the HE Managers or your Curriculum Lead Manager.
Stage 1
1.1 Discuss proposal for new (or revised) programme with your Curriculum Lead
Manager and the appropriate HE Manager.
1.2 If approved to go ahead, develop initial proposal using Quality Criteria, Stage 1
1.3 Submit proposal to Curriculum Lead Manager and the HE Manager.
1.4 If approved to go ahead, continue with Stage 2.
Stage 2
2.1 Programme team work on curriculum, documentation and staff development.
2.2 Compile portfolio of evidence including evidence which supports the student
perspective and this should be used to inform discussions about the development of the
programme. Engagement with students is only one dimension of the process and
should be given due consideration and this will normally take place early in the planning
phase of the proposed programme.
2.3 Book date for Validation Panel via Higher Education Lead Manager.
Stage 3
3.1 Submitting tutor(s) present(s) submission to Validation Panel.
3.2 Validation Panel gives either unconditional or conditional approval. If approval is
conditional go to 3.3. If approval is unconditional go to 3.6.
3.3 Conditions are set and recorded and a timescale for meeting them agreed between
the submitting tutor(s) and the Chair of Validation Panel.
3.4 Programme team carries out further curriculum/staff development as identified in the
conditions and inform panel Chair when conditions have been met.
3.5 Panel Chair verifies all conditions have been met and unconditional approval is
3.6 Submission goes out to external validating body for approval.
3.7 Programme is added to college portfolio.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Quality Criteria Checklist (including examples of possible evidence)
This checklist will be useful both for submitting tutors and the validation panel.
Stage 1 Checklist
1. Outline programme description.
2. Clearly identified client group.
3. Rationale and demand for programme (based on market research),
including indication of how programme fits with college Strategic Plan
and HE Strategy.
(Records/outcomes of consultation with named local/national employers,
careers service, relevant HEIs, local schools, appropriate professional
bodies, students on likely feeder courses, the marketing department.
Information on any similar provision offered in the college or by other
local colleges, number of local/regional firms offering employment,
number of jobs advertised locally/nationally, existing college
programmes for which new programme would offer progression. NWDA
and SSC evidence of demand/fit with priorities)
4. Identified progression routes for programme completers.
(Specific HE programmes, specific employment prospects)
5. Appropriate accommodation and other resources identified
(e.g. IT or other expensive equipment).
6. Appropriate staff or staff requirements identified.
(List of likely programme team members, CVs detailing relevant
qualifications and experience, provisional breakdown of staffing hours)
7. Viable costings for first 2 years, including identification of programme
(Detailed financial breakdown, including staffing, equipment and
materials, HEI validation and quality assurance costs, HEFCE funding
and student fees)
8. Staff development activities identified.
(List/details of relevant events attended, list/details of events
9. Programme development time indicated.
10. Possible awarding bodies/validating partner(s)
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Stage 2 Checklist
11. Roles and responsibilities of team members defined.
12. Programme aims, objectives and level identified.
13. Marketing and recruitment strategy identified.
14. Programme leaflets/promotional material.
15. Staff recruitment (P/T & F/T) needs identified.
16. Programme admissions criteria defined in line with HE Admissions
(Programme leaflet/promotional material)
17. Pre-course guidance/admissions procedure stated.
(HE Interview Checklist and Record)
18. APL availability indicated.
19. Course structure identified.
(Programme specification, programme documentation)
20. Course content identified.
(Programme specification, programme documentation, scheme of work)
21. Range of teaching and learning methods identified.
(Sample schemes of work, sample assignments, sample teaching
22. Key/transferable skills development strategy identified.
(Programme specification, programme documentation)
23. Planned work experience (if appropriate).
(Work experience assignments/tasks, work experience monitoring
records, work experience provider information)
24. Assessment strategies and methods identified.
(Programme specification, programme documentation, sample
assessments, student/programme handbook, sample assessment
records/documents, internal verification/moderation procedure)
25. Induction programme.
(Induction timetable/programme, student/programme handbook)
26. Academic and tutorial support.
(Student/programme handbook, programme documentation)
27. Learning support available.
(Student/programme handbook, programme documentation)
28. Technician support available (if required).
29. Programme specification.
30. Procedures for course monitoring and evaluation are clear.
(Programme specification, programme documentation)
31. Schedule of programme team meetings.
32. Course complies with Adult and Employed Learner Standards.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Format for Submissions to Validating Panel
The suggested format for presentation of submissions is a portfolio of evidence, which
show how all the quality criteria have been met during the planning of the programme.
The emphasis should be on real, relevant documents (e.g. those to be used for external
validation) rather than description wherever possible. A completed programme
specification using the approved pro forma must be included. This will provide evidence
relevant to many of the quality criteria.
Evidence submitted at Stage 1 (Quality Criteria 1-10) should also be included in the
complete portfolio developed at Stage 2. This ensures that the Validation Panel
considering the submission has a full and clear picture of the planned programme.
The front page of the portfolio should contain the following information:
 Programme and Qualification title
 Programme level
 Curriculum Area(s)
 Submitting tutor(s)
 Date of submission
 Course code (if redesigned or re-submission)
 Validating/examining body
 Programme mode(s)
 Programme length
 Planned student numbers
The Validation Panel (Stage 3)
Once stage 2 planning is underway, submitting tutors need to seek a date from the
Higher Education Lead Manager for their submission to be considered by a college
Validation Panel. A Validation Panel will be made up of 4/6 members drawn from the
register of panel members (see Appendix 1), as appropriate for the programme being
considered and not including staff from the submitting curriculum area. The register of
panel members is made up of volunteers from a wide cross-section of teaching and
support staff colleagues. All have an interest in or experience of curriculum planning. A
wide range of expertise in validating, moderating and verifying programmes is
represented within the register. Appendix 1 shows the current register, which can be
added to at any time.
All panels will include: an HE Manager as Chair and a Curriculum Lead Manager.
The submission and all supporting papers are made available to panel members two
week before a panel meeting. Panel members are expected to read all the paperwork in
the light of the quality criteria and prepare questions and comments in advance of the
panel meeting.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Procedure for Validation Panel Meetings
1. Panel members meet an hour before the start of the meeting so that the Chair can coordinate questions and comments, to ensure that the meeting progresses as quickly as
2. The submitting tutor(s) present(s) the submission to the panel – a brief outline and
background, to support the paperwork.
3. The panel raises questions and comments for response by the submitting tutor(s).
4. The submitting tutor(s) withdraw(s) whilst the panel considers the submission and
reaches a decision.
5. The panel makes a decision on whether the submission is approved.
a) Unconditionally or
b) Conditionally
6. The submitting tutor(s) are informed immediately of the panel’s decision verbally.
Official written notification follows this up.
7. Notes are taken of the panel meeting and are circulated afterwards by the HE
Administrator to all concerned with a copy kept by the HE administrator.
8. The Chair is responsible for completing the Chair checklist, to ensure the correct
procedure has been followed.
i) Unconditional Approval
Submissions approved unconditionally will then go forward to the external
validating body.
ii) Conditional Approval
Submissions approved conditionally will need further development work to meet
conditions clearly specified by the panel. A timescale will be set for this work.
The Chair of the Validation Panel is responsible for verifying that the conditions
have been met within the agreed timescale.
10. Once fully approved (including by the awarding/validating body), details of the new
programme are sent to IS by completion of a PPD and marketing of the new programme
can begin.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Appendix 1: Register of Validation Panel Members
In addition to the above volunteer cross college curriculum and support staff, the register
will include ex officio all members of the Principalship and Curriculum Lead Managers.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Appendix 2: Validation Panel Documentation
College Validation Panel Notes
Date of panel:
Submitting tutor(s):
Curriculum Area:
Panel members:
Key points of discussion:
Panel decision:
Conditions agreed:
Conditional approval/Unconditional approval
Date(s) for conditions to be met:
Points of good practice:
Notes taken by:
(Please Print Name)
College validation panel – some sample questions
1. Can you outline the evidence of demand for the programme and how it was obtained?
2. Are any special facilities/resources needed for the programme? Are they available?
3. Can you outline the arrangements for monitoring and improving the quality of the
4. Could you give us a broad outline of the admissions criteria and student selection
procedure you intend to adopt? How will potential students be informed?
5. Could you outline the anticipated progression routes on successful completion of this
6. What do you anticipate as a minimum retention rate for the programme during the
year? How will drop outs be followed up?
7. Can you explain in more detail the range of assessment methods, which will be used?
8. What employer involvement is there in the development of this programme?
9. How is the programme to be marketed? What action have you taken so far (e.g.
preparation of publicity, advertising, visits to, or contact with firms etc)?
10. Can you explain in detail how the team manages work placements?
11. Will you involve employers in the programme review process?
12. Has a programme team been identified?
13. How will academic and tutorial support be provided?
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
College validation panel – Chair checklist
Programme submitted:
Panel date:
Chair name:
Chair signature
Please complete this checklist and return to the HE Administrator
1. Panel meets half-hour before submitting tutor(s) arrive.
2. Panel questions and questioning order agreed.
3. Panel member nominated to take notes.
4. Submitting tutor(s) welcomed and procedure for panel meeting
5. Following panel decision, submitting tutor(s) informed on the
decision verbally.
6. Panel notes made for records.
7. Panel decision confirmed in writing to submitting tutor(s) (copy of
panel notes included).
8. If approval is conditional, conditions are clearly laid out with a
timescale included with confirmation memo.
9. Chair (or nominated panel member) verifies conditions have been
met by agreed date.
10. Letter confirming full, unconditional approval sent.
Programme Planning and Validation Procedure 2011-12
Related flashcards

42 Cards

Civil defense

33 Cards

Create flashcards