The expected norm is that proposals for new programmes and modules and for substantive changes to existing provision are formally approved during semester time (that is, when timetabled committee meetings are held). Moreover, an adequate period should be allowed for marketing and administration related to student records.
On occasion, however, it is necessary for approval of new programmes or modules to occur rapidly so that schools may capitalise on opportunities that arise out of step with timetabled committee meetings. Schools and programme teams may also need to make substantive changes to programmes and modules (including withdrawal) outside the normal reporting and approval process. Accordingly, the following procedures may be adopted under 'emergency powers' delegated to the office bearers of the institution.
These procedures normally only apply in periods when it would not be possible to involve the Quality and Academic Standards Committee the relevant School committees in making a decision. They should only be used with good reason and a note of explanation should be provided with the documentation submitted to the Quality and Academic Standards Office.
- Staff should consult the 'normal' procedures for either Programme Approval or Changes to Taught Provision with the aim of ensuring that as much as possible of these processes are captured in the use of emergency powers.
- For new programmes, relevant documentation must have been produced with the involvement of External Relations. Regarding new modules and changes to programmes and modules, External Relations and Registry should be kept informed of developments as soon as possible so they can make administrative changes in good time. All documentation must be approved by the Dean and the Associate Dean (Quality and Academic Standards) or the Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching). The normal consultation with Professional Services should be handled through direct approaches to heads of relevant units.
- The Director of Quality and Academic Standards or the Director of Academic and Corporate Governance must confirm that the relevant documentation has been completed satisfactorily.
- Thereafter, approval in lieu of Senate will be confirmed by the Director of Academic & Corporate Governance or the Vice-Principal for Learning & Teaching.
- From that point forward it is possible for External Relations to make offers to prospective students for new programmes and for revised programme specifications to be included in Registry databases.
- The appropriate documentation should be submitted to the School Board (or designated School committee) and approvals conformed retrospectively by the Quality and Academic Standards Committee.
The Emergency-Powers-pro-forma must be used in all cases for approval.