QSN Symposium: What’s in your institution’s QA framework nowadays?

Thursday 12th Dec 2019 - Thursday 12th Dec 2019

**Bookings for this Symposium are now closed**


Recent changes in the external QA environment from the OfS’s ongoing conditions of registration to the introduction of a new ‘slimline’ Quality Code have led institutions to reflect on their quality assurance frameworks and to question if they remain fit for purpose. In the past, the sector was arguably characterised by a greater homogeneity of approach, with institutions aligning processes with the perceived requirements of QAA institutional review: now there is a sense of freedom and a willingness to adopt a wider range of approaches.

In this symposium we will hear from quality practitioners who will share how their institution has adapted its QA processes as a result of the changing external environment. Speakers will present 7 minute ‘Lightning Talks’ on.

Approaches to programme approval
Approaches to annual monitoring
Approaches to periodic programme review

Colleagues from London Metropolitan University will also be sharing reflections on their recent Quality Standards Review.

We will be seeking interest from members and attendees to share institutional insights and developments with regards to approaches to programme approval, annual monitoring and review. If you would like to take on the 7 minute ‘Lightning Talk’ slots then please let us know: chair@qualitystrategynetwork.org.uk

Book early and book your train to return later so that you see the Christmas lights and some Christmas shopping in town!

This symposium is kindly sponsored by Explorance

Blue by Explorance is built to support your most important feedback processes including course/module evaluations, central and major surveys, 360 degree reviews, and more. An adaptive course evaluation solution, Blue offers flexibility, personalization, and control when gathering student feedback. Through best-in-class integration with student information systems and virtual learning environments (SIS and VLE), Blue leverages data to fully automate evaluation processes. Advanced functionalities are specifically designed to handle the most complex evaluations (e.g. cross-listed and team-taught courses) and help improve response rates.  Founded in 2003, Explorance is headquartered in Montreal with business units in London, Amsterdam, Chicago, Chennai, Melbourne and Amman. Since 2014, Explorance has been consecutively ranked as a top employer by the Great Places to Work Institute®. Explorance’s clients include a wide variety of learning organizations from various segments including academia, enterprise, consulting and government across the globe.

Event Breakdown


10:00 Registration and Refreshments
10:25 Welcome
10:30 – 10:45 Reflections on Quality Standards Review
Dr. Mandy Bentham, Director, Academic Quality and Development, London Metropolitan University
10:45  –  11:15 Approaches to programme approval

1: ‘‘Fast-Track’ Approval Process’

Its tough to balance competing pressures around curriculum approval. We need to approve new provision speedily to take advantage of recruitment opportunities and reduce demands on academic staff where risk is low but we also need to have full confidence in the quality and standards of our curriculum and avoid or minimise material change issues. Colleagues from quality, planning and marketing at the University of Brighton have sought to establish an operational model – a fast track approval process- which manages these competing pressures in order to support decision making.

Hannah Wallace, Head of Curriculum Management, University of Brighton

2: ‘A flexible approach to programme approvals? The approach at the University of London’

The University of London works in collaboration with a number of its member institutions, all higher education providers in their right, to deliver a range of over 100 distance and flexible learning undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to more than 50,000 students in over 150 countries worldwide. We draw on the academic expertise of the member institutions to deliver these programmes, many of which a developed on the basis of existing on-campus provision. Because of the unique partnership with the member institutions, we have to provide a flexible approval framework that allows for different models of academic programme approvals, taking into account processes within the member institutions while assuring ourselves that the quality and standards of the provision is upheld. Can a completely flexible approach always deliver the best outcomes? How could we improve on our processes in futu

Annemarie Dulson, Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement, University of London

3: ‘Baking Employability into our revised Programme Approval Process’

As part of its Employability-led QA initiative, King’s College London introduced a revised programme approval process in autumn 2017. This makes the consideration of employability ‘structurally unavoidable’ through the introduction of an embedding employability in the curriculum workshop.

Dr Victoria Korzeniowska, Director of Curriculum, Quality and Employability Services Students and Education Directorate, King’s College London


11:15 – 12:00 Approaches to annual monitoring

1: ‘Risk-based Annual Review: reducing effort but adding value’

Moving from an extensive, ‘one size fits all’ content for Programme and School Annual Academic Review to a streamlined template for programme and module reflection.

Catherine Cobbett, Head of Academic Quality, Leeds Trinity University

2: ‘Annual Monitoring: Shifting the Emphasis from Reporting to Reflection and Enhancement’

A recent review of annual monitoring practice at the University of Glasgow has indicated that current arrangements do not adequately capture the continuous reflection and enhancement that happens at School or Subject level. A number of recommendations will therefore be considered to improve our methods for reviewing learning and teaching provision, including the communication and reporting of activity between different layers of the University in order to support enhancement activity.

Helen Butcher, Head of Academic Standards & Quality, University of Glasgow

3: ‘We are going to need a bigger boat! Diving for Apprenticeship Data’

This ‘lightning talk’ reflects on our recent developments in monitoring data, assurance reporting and enhanced monitoring for our Higher and Degree Apprenticeship portfolio.

Lee Jones, Associate Registrar, Leeds Beckett University


12:00 – 12:45 Approaches to periodic programme review

1: ‘Periodic Departmental Review – Incrementally improving the process.’

Developing the use of data, library and services, and lines of enquiry to help panels probe in key areas of importance to the university.

Philip Brimson, Quality Manager (Validation and Review), University of East London

2: ‘Triaging approaches to Course Design, Course Development and Course Review’

Avoiding death by 1000 cuts with preventative supportive care: when professional, academic, technical and student perspectives unite in the common pursuit of designing, developing and reviewing courses.   Warwick is about to trial a new approach to providing support for academic colleagues in the design, development and review of courses.  Having produced 8 new strategies over the previous year, we are looking for a more effective way of managing the impact of necessary change to the curriculum.

Maureen McLaughlin, Director of Education Policy and Quality, University of Warwick

3: ‘Two Year Review of all QA Approaches’

Following the merger of the University’s Academic Standards and Quality Unit and Learning and Teaching Development Unit to create a new Quality Enhancement Directorate, the time if right for the University to take a holistic view of its QA processes to ensure that they are risk based, responsive and contribute to the continuous improvement of the student learning experience. This short presentation will outline some of our thinking as we launch this 2 year project and some of the challenges we foresee!

Laura West-Burnham, Academic Development Specialist, Quality Enhancement Directorate, Cardiff Metropolitan University


12:45 – 13:30 Lunch and Networking
13:30 – 14:45 Round Table Discussions:

  • To what extent has the new Quality Code influenced the development of new processes/approaches to programme approval, annual monitoring and periodic review? What elements of the new code have been helpful and or influential? Is the new code less or more relevant to new approaches to your institutional QA Framework?
  • What approaches to approaches to programme approval, annual monitoring and periodic review have changed or are due to change in your institution?
  • What challenges, successes and creative approaches to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are QSN member institutions experiencing in relation to programme approval, annual monitoring and periodic review?
  • Has Periodic Programme Review finally ran out of time? Discuss
  • Is there merit in establishing A QSN Special Interest Group (SIG) on approaches to programme approval, annual monitoring and periodic review?  What elements might future SIG meetings consider?
14:45 – 15:00 Plenary
15:00 Close

Event Details

This event belongs to the following categories:
Event Begins:
Thursday 12th Dec 2019

Event Ends:
Thursday 12th Dec 2019

Event Venue

London Metropolitan University
Sir Henry Thomas Room
Tower Building
166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB

For attendees, everyone should go to the main reception, the Sir Henry Thomas room is signed and visible from the entrance barriers. The closest tube station in Holloway road (3 minute walk)

166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB, UK

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