Validation of new collaborative franchise programmes Procedures manual

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					Validation of new collaborative franchise
Procedures manual

                                     Quality Support
                                     September 2006
Contents                                                                                   Page
Validation                                                                                 4
Introduction                                                                               4
Timescales for new programmes                                                              4
Development of a new programme proposal                                                    4
Planning approval                                                                          4
Programme code                                                                             5
Preliminary meeting                                                                        5
Required documentation                                                                     6
Programme document                                                                         6
Programme specification                                                                    9
Minor changes to a programme                                                               9
Draft student handbook                                                                     9
Students’ comments on the proposal                                                         10
Scrutiny of the programme documentation at pre-validation                                  10
The validation process and event                                                           10
Briefing pack for the validation panel                                                     10
The validation panel                                                                       11
Composition of the validation panel                                                        11
Roles and responsibilities of panel members                                                12
Agenda setting meeting                                                                     12
Programme for a validation event                                                           13
Involvement of a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB)                        13
Outcomes of a validation event                                                             13
Post-validation activity                                                                   13
Event report                                                                               13
Responses to conditions                                                                    13
Production of definitive documentation                                                     14
Responses to recommendations                                                               14
Overview report                                                                            14
Appendix 1: Contact details                                                                15
Appendix 2: Process flowchart for validation of new programmes                             16
Appendix 3: Form for use in nominating an external advisor                                 17
Appendix 4: Criteria for approval of an external advisor                                   18
Appendix 5: Summary paper on the academic infrastructure                                   19
Appendix 6: Record of the preliminary meeting                                              21
Appendix 7: Standard title page for a programme document                                   23
Appendix 8: Staff CV – template                                                            24
Appendix 9: Guidance on the style of a student handbook                                    25
Appendix 10: Guidance on the contents of a student handbook                                27
Appendix 11: List of university policies and strategies and external reference points to   29
be considered by the programme team
Appendix 12: Guidance for the chair of the validation event                                30
Appendix 13: Guidance for internal panel members and panellists from partner               32
Appendix 14: Guidance for external advisors                                                33
Appendix 15: Guidance for the event officer                                                34
Appendix 16: Template for comments from panel members                                      35
Appendix 17: Recommended agenda and criteria for a validation event                        37

Appendix 18: Recommended programme for a validation event     39
Appendix 19: Recommendations from a validation event          40
Appendix 20: Validation event feedback                        41
Appendix 21: Template for a validation report                 42
Appendix 22: Responses to conditions                          44
Appendix 23: Guidance on approving programme specifications   45
Further information
Appendix 24: Glossary                                         46


1. Validation is the quality assurance process used to scrutinise a proposed programme of study in
order to assure Academic Board that it meets the University’s expectations of standards and
quality. Validation is conducted through a process of peer review whereby an informed and
impartial panel considers a proposal for a new programme in order to confirm that it meets the
required standards and offers high quality learning opportunities for students.

2. The validation of a programme is managed in three distinct phases, as follows:

   a) Development and documentation of the proposed programme of study
   b) Validation process including a discussion meeting known as the ‘event’
   c) Post-event activity

3. All collaborative programme validations are co-ordinated by the Quality Support team (QUS),
through the Quality Support Manager (contact details in appendix 1), who will manage the process
through to the validation and post-validation activity.

4. This Procedures Manual is intended to provide detailed information about the validation process
for a collaborative franchised programme. Franchised programme is a term used to identify a
programme where the curriculum content is the same as a programme being run by Liverpool
John Moores University (LJMU). As such, the emphasis on the validation of these programmes at
partner institutions is the ability of the partner, specifically the staff and physical resources
available, to be able to deliver the programme. A flowchart of the validation process can be found
in appendix 2. All validation events will normally be held at the partner institution

Timescales for new programmes
5. It is essential that all involved understand the timescale for introducing and validating a new

6. The completion dates for each step of the validation process, needed to guarantee adequate
time for successful development and marketing of a new programme, can be found at:

7. For new collaborative programmes, Planning Development Committee (PDC) approval must
ideally be achieved by January of the preceding year in which the programmes are starting. This is
to ensure appropriate time for validation and any conditions to be met before students are

Development of a new programme proposal

Planning Approval
8. Programme teams and link tutors will have been working with members of the Collaborative
Partnerships team (CPT) to ensure that collaborative programme proposals are ready to submit for
approval to the Director of School and the Dean of Faculty, the appropriate panel (i.e. Partnerships
Panel or Consortium Management Board, CMB) and then the PDC.

9. All new programme proposals must receive planning approval within the faculty from the
Director of School and the Dean of Faculty. The Dean will determine whether new proposals are
in line with the university/faculty strategic plans and will judge the viability and risk implications of

the proposals. The Dean will confirm that, subject to validation, the programme can be introduced
within existing resources or will grant approval for those requiring additional resources to proceed
to validation.

10. The Dean is then responsible for obtaining final confirmation of approval from PDC. For
collaborative programmes, the completion of the due diligence process by CPT is an essential part
of the process and PDC will not grant approval without the completion of due diligence. Further
information on the due diligence process can be found in the Collaborative Manual on the CPT
web-site (

11. Approval by PDC requires submission of a completed Programme Proposal Proforma (PPP)
located, with guidelines, at: :
In order to complete the programme approval form, it is necessary for the Programme Leader in
conjunction with the Director of School, the Dean, link tutor and CPT to have developed a
business case for the proposal. The business case should cover market analysis, planning
projections and include a risk assessment and specify the resource requirements and their costs.
Programme teams must be able to demonstrate that there is a market for the proposal and that
risks can be managed. Particular attention must be paid to the requirements for learner support
resources, including any needs for site licences for computer software and for off campus
support. Specific requirements must be agreed with the Director of Learning Information Services
(LIS) prior to submission of the PPP. For collaborative proposals these requirements are subsumed
within the due diligence process and the partner programme leader is supported by the project
leader and/or link tutor.

12. Development of the proposal will be managed via the School; a minimum level of
developmental support will have been identified by the School. This is to assist with the ongoing
development of the programme, particularly ensuring that the documentation is produced in the
appropriate format for LJMU validations (paragraph 23). The partner programme leader developing
the proposal should ensure that this support is utilised.

Programme Code
13. As soon as a programme has been approved by PDC, an OSS programme code will be
allocated by Academic Planning (APT). This programme code should be used on all
correspondence with APT regarding that specific programme. This is to ensure that appropriate
validation outcomes can be matched to the correct programme. Once a programme proposal has
been confirmed by PDC, the Quality Support Officer (QSO) will receive notification APT of this
approval and will convene a preliminary meeting with the relevant members of staff.

Preliminary Meeting
14. The Quality Support Officer (QSO) will convene a preliminary meeting with relevant staff. The
purpose of the meeting is to:

    • Outline the process of programme review
    • Confirm schedule of activity
    • Discuss panel and programme team membership (including external representation –
      further details in appendices 3 & 4)
    • Discuss programme issues, including variances and PSRB requirements
    • Discuss documentary requirements
    • Identify sources of further information about University and national requirements

15. The following practical arrangements will be discussed:

   •   Involvement of Learning Information Services (LIS) representatives. The QSO will contact
       the appropriate LIS representative after the preliminary meeting to discuss providing an
       update resource report for the programme
   •   Securing and using comments from students on the proposal
   •   External input into evaluation of the programme and suggested amendments
   •   Timing and duration of the review event
   •   Suggested venue for the review event
   •   Anticipated numbers at the review event
   •   Input of programme specification onto ProdCat

Required documentation
16. Programme leaders must provide the agreed number of copies of programme documentation
to the QSO by at 3 least weeks before the validation event. This is to enable the QSO to circulate
the documentation and receive comments from panel members, which will identify the agenda for
the validation event. The following documents must be produced for the validation:

   •   Programme document
   •   Module proformas (as an output from ModCat)
   •   Programme specification(s) (as an output from ProdCat)
   •   Draft student handbook
   •   Staff CVs (appendix 8)

17. Although a considerable amount of this documentation will exist as the LJMU documentation,
it must be provided separately with all the relevant partner details shown. All documentation must
specifically refer to the collaborative partnership being validated, i.e. not duplicates of the internal

Programme Document
18. The programme document must include a fully completed standard title page, which is shown
in appendix 7. The programme document provides information for the panel about the
management of the proposal and is intended to supplement information contained in module
proformas, programme specifications and student handbooks. The document must demonstrate
how the proposal meets internal requirements and is aligned with external requirements, including
subject benchmark statements and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ),
see appendix 5.

19. The following table indicates the information requirements for the programme document,
programme specification, student handbook and module proforma. Where information within a
field is required in both the programme document and the student handbook, the emphasis of this
information should be different. For example information concerning induction within the
Programme Document should outline the strategy employed and how induction will be managed.
In the Student Handbook information will relate to what the student can expect at induction.

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Institutional Context
Institution’s development and mission and the fit with LJMU’s mission
Strategic objectives and HE strategy
HE profile; existing HE provision, HE student profile
Links with local community, employers and education providers
Organisational structure and framework for making policy (include policies and procedures
Quality management and enhancement for the higher education provision

Programme Rationale, Aims & Objectives
Programme rationale leading to the aims and objectives stated in the programme specification.
Relation of the aims and objectives to the strategic aims of the University and the partner institution.
Relation of the aims and objectives to the needs of employers and national needs
Progression opportunities and anticipated employment options for graduates (c.f. employability)
Intended learning outcomes of the programme and levels
Recruitment: marketing and publicity: confirm that evidence of market demand has been
considered: enrolment targets (min and max); admissions process; enrolment process
Criteria for admission
Profile of students: target profile; details of AP(E)L; provision for direct entry; strategies to extend
Disability Discrimination Act and Equal Opportunities
Strategy for widening participation
Induction arrangements (pre-entry, point of entry, ongoing)
Standards: how standards are set for the programme and level within the programme.
The influence and consideration of appropriate subject benchmark statements and the qualifications
descriptors in the FHEQ and UMF
How scholarly activity and research will be reflected in the curriculum and used to maintain currency.
Any unique or innovative features of the programme.
Structure and Curriculum
Structure of the programme
How Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body (PSRB) requirements are addressed.
Opportunities for work based and work related learning: demonstrate how the curriculum fosters
and embeds employability
Programme coherence and progression: the relationships between modules: progression between
levels and between elements in levels must be clear and coherent; implications for progression if
students vary their pace/mode; illustrate how modules contribute to level/programme learning
How the programme has been developed to reflect relevant and current curriculum content,
maintaining the balance of breadth and depth.
Identify where opportunities for Personal Development Planning (PDP) are provided and
demonstrate how PDP is to be supported. Further details at
Learning and Teaching
Details of the programme’s learning and teaching strategy that demonstrates that the curriculum is
holistic and coherent, inclusive and accessible, fosters a deep approach to learning and is linked to
research and scholarship
Strategy for use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and other learning technologies
Relation of learning and teaching strategies to programme aims and objectives, to learning
outcomes of modules and to students’ backgrounds, to enhancing student employability (cf.
widening participation agenda)
Development of teaching approaches within each level and between levels; the development of the
learning capability of students across the levels of the programme
Identification of any innovative approaches to teaching which will be used on the programme

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Programme team strategy for the development of learning and teaching – reference to any existing
Learning and teaching activity within the programme and planned activities
Evaluation of the balance between individual and group work, practical and theoretical activity; direct
contact and individual study
Development of relevant skills as indicated in the Subject Benchmark Statement (SBS)
Development of students as autonomous learners
Quality of learning and teaching: systematic approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching
and learning
Learning resources: identification of learning support for the programme and facilities that will be
The assessment strategy.
Details of assessment methods used to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated.
How the programme meets the LJMU Requirements and Guidelines for Implementing the
Assessment Review Recommendations
Assessment plan: nature, balance and patterns, including demonstrating the availability of alternative
assessments to meet the needs of a range of students with disabilities
Strategy for the development and assessment of non subject specific transferable skills, including
the team’s approach to assessment of personal development planning (PDP)
The role of ICT in assessment

Measurement of attainment of academic standards: indicate how attainment of the specified
standards will be measured
Clearly defined assessment criteria

Provide details of explicit guidance on grading performance within a module

Management and organisation: arrangements for the organisation and management of assessment;
student workload; use of assessment criteria; staff workload; details of marking and moderation
procedures, if different from the Assessment Requirements and Guidelines
Assessment feedback strategy including the programme team’s approach to diagnostic and
formative feedback
Management and Organisation
Overview of the operation of the mechanisms of quality assurance which will be in place for
monitoring and evaluation of the programme
Management of the programme: identification of the key roles and responsibilities; brief information
on programme structure and mechanisms to facilitate programme management; liaison with LJMU
Student participation: student feedback mechanisms, informal and formal, to inform programme
management and development; student representation in the programme management structure (It
is not necessary to include specific details of Boards of Study and Assessment Boards if they
comply with standard university procedures which are given at
Identification of key roles involved in managing the partnership; arrangements for formal/informal
communication with LJMU
Student Guidance and Support
Institutional support: provide brief details of what is available at the partner institution and at LJMU

Local support: information and guidance, timetabling, assessment requirements, student
Identification of specific needs of student groups eg international students, part-time students,
mature students, students with disabilities.
Demonstrate how the programme plans to provide opportunities and support PDP at each stage of
the programme.
Accessibility of staff, operation of open door policies, academic guidance and pastoral support.
Student workload – arrangements for monitoring.
Independent learning – development of a student-centred approach.
Demonstrate how the programme team is addressing and implementing the learner support
Details of how complaints, grievances and appeals are considered.
Data Protection Act (1998) Information

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 List of academic staff: reference to brief staff CVs in programme document (see appendix 8).
 List of support staff (technical and administrative).
 Identification of specialist resources to support the programme.
 Evaluation of suitability of teaching accommodation

 Evaluation of additional resources, where allocated

 Details of learner support resources, including access to e-resources, subject software and off-
 campus support

Programme specification
20. One standard template is used across the university for all programme specifications. CPDs
will only require a shorter version of the template. Development of programme specifications is
undertaken via the Product Catalogue. Further information is available via

21. The programme specification can be used as a source of information for students, employers,
teaching teams, internal reviews, external examiners and professional and statutory regulatory
bodies. It is considered best practice to seek comments from potential employers, where
appropriate, on the programme specification during the curriculum development phase. The
programme specification will be reviewed and approved as part of the validation event.

22. Guidance on developing the programme specification is available on the QUS web site. The
Academic Enhancement Managers in the Learning Development Unit can further support
development of the programme specification. Following approval of the programme specification
by the validation panel (subject to any necessary changes) Product Catalogue should be updated
by the programme team and the programme specification approved by the QSO.

Minor changes to a programme
23. Any subsequent minor changes required to the programme specification between validation
and programme review, will require Faculty Quality Committee (FQC) approval, via ProdCat. (See
appendix 9 for a summary of the procedure for making minor changes)

Draft student handbook
24. The student handbook provides all the key information for students. A draft copy of the
handbook has to be produced for the validation event. Guidance on the style of the handbooks can
be found in appendix 9 and guidance on the information to be included is contained in appendix

25. Following completion of the validation process a copy of the draft student handbook will form
part of the definitive documentation stored on the University shared drive (Q:).

Students’ comments on the proposal
26. Consideration by students should normally take place early in the planning and development
phase of the proposal. The programme leader needs to ensure that there is appropriate student
input from existing students in the area. This consultation must be confirmed in the validation
documentation and noted in the event report.

Scrutiny of the programme documentation at pre-validation
27. The objective of the process is to ‘get it right first time’ and that it is not desirable to have
conditions and recommendations. However panels will not avoid these, where necessary,
considerable importance is attached to a thorough process of pre-validation. Any incomplete
documentation will be sent back and the relevant meeting will be cancelled.

28. All documentation from the programme team has to be approved by a pre-validation process
before it can be considered for validation. This process will be managed by QUS. The pre-
validation panel must consider the technical requirements of the validation documentation; it must
ensure the adequacy of documentation, approving, where appropriate, that the proposal proceeds
to full university validation. It is not anticipated that the process will explore issues that are more
properly discussed during the validation event, for example, student support.

29. Pre-validation panels will consist of 3 panel members, a Chair and 2 other representatives, one
of whom will be a faculty representative (although not from the school involved with the proposal).
A representative from CPT will be invited to attend, faculty quality representatives are invited to
attend with the programme team. One member of the pre-validation panel may go forward to the
validation event. It is not necessary for the whole programme team to attend a pre-validation, the
programme leader and link tutor will be invited to discuss any queries regarding the
documentation. The deadline for receipt of pre-validation documentation will be agreed with the
QSO at the preliminary meeting.

30. Pre-validation panels must examine:

   •   Module proformas: does a proforma exist for each module? Are they accurate, up-to-date
       and complete?
   •   Programme specification: that the programme specification is complete and relevant
       information has been entered into each of the fields in the template
   •   Programme document: that the programme document contains the specified materials
       (paragraph 22 above) with appropriate evaluative commentary
   •   Draft student handbook – that this contains the specified information as listed in appendix
       10 and is written in a style appropriate to the programme (Appendix 9)
   •   That the proposal demonstrates how the programme is aligned with the Academic
       Infrastructure (programme specifications, FHEQ, subject benchmark statements, Code of
       Practice, see appendix 5)
   •   That the proposal demonstrates how the programme meets the requirements of LJMU
       policies and strategies (Appendix 11)

31. Pre-validations will normally take place at least 6 weeks before the validation event. The pre-
validation panel may specify amendments or additions to documentation that will need to be
provided for the review event.

The Validation Process and Event

Briefing pack for the validation panel
32. QUS will prepare a briefing pack of information to be sent with the programme proposal to
the validation panel. The programme leader will receive details of the programme for the day and
details of panel membership. This pack cannot be prepared until after the programme
documentation has been received. The briefing pack will contain:

    •   Briefing paper
    •   Programme documentation
    •   Procedures manual for the validation of collaborative franchise programmes
    •   Reference to the completion of the comments form and a copy of the template for
    •   Feedback form for comments to be completed by panellists immediately after the event
    •   A list of panel members and their roles
    •   The programme for the validation event
    •   Web addresses for Guides from LDU
    •   Relevant subject benchmark statement(s)
    •   LIS report
    •   Pre-validation report
    •   Maps
    •   Financial claim forms (if appropriate)

33. A copy of the (unsigned) contract from CPT will be available in advance of the validation event
for the panel Chair and Event Officer.

The validation panel
34. A validation panel will be established to consider each programme proposal and has a vital
role in managing risk. The validation panel is responsible for:

    •   Assessing at the point of initial design that the programme will meet the university’s
        expectations of standards and quality
    •   Ensuring that students will be provided with the learning opportunities to achieve identified
        and agreed intended learning outcomes
    •   Ensuring that the programme proposal is in line with national expectations and national
    •   Ensuring adherence to university policies (appendix 11)
    •   Identifying good practice in design and delivery and recommending methods of
    •   Exploring issues relating to the discipline, the validity and appropriateness of the structure
        and content of the programme
    •   Recommending approval or non-approval of the proposal to PQSP which will act on behalf
        of the Quality and Standards Committee and the Academic Board

Composition of a validation panel
35. A validation panel should comprise of:

•   1 Chair
•   1 Faculty representative (member of staff from the faculty presenting the proposal, though not
    from the school involved with the proposal)
•   2 panel members from other faculties or partner institutions
•   1 external advisor
•   1 Quality Support Officer as event officer

A representative from the CPT will be invited to attend, faculty quality representatives are invited
to attend with the programme team.

Roles and responsibilities of panel members
36. All members of validation panels (except external advisors) will have attended compulsory
training organised by the Centre for Staff Development (CSD). These training events will be run
annually, either as an updating event for those already involved in validation and review, or as an
introductory event for those that are new to the processes.

37. Chair: senior member from a faculty or service team, other than that of the proposing team,
who will have prior experience of chairing validation events, and who should have extensive
experience of collaborative programmes. The chair is responsible for managing the conduct of the
meeting, ensuring all aspects of the proposal are fully and properly considered and that all
participants are afforded the opportunity to contribute to discussions. (Appendix 12)

38. Faculty representative: member of staff from the faculty presenting the programme proposal
(although not from the school involved with the proposal). The faculty representative will be able
to contribute experience as a faculty member in respect of quality and standards. (Appendix 13)

39. Two panel members from another faculty or partner institution: members of staff who have
experience of collaborative validation events, or will have been on appropriate training organised
by CSD. One of whom may be a senior technical or administrative officer. (Appendix 13)

40. External advisor: one external advisor to provide the subject expertise on the panel. This will
be a representative from another HEI. The external advisor is expected to objectively judge
whether the proposing programme team have the capability to deliver the programme. (Appendix

41. Event officer: a QSO will act as the event officer and will be a full member of the panel. The
event officer and the chair will liaise to ensure the smooth running of the day. The event officer
will draft the agenda for discussion during the day and provide advice and support to the panel on
the quality criteria to be addressed, the protocols of validation and university policies to be
adhered to. The event officer will ensure that all panel member comments received before the
event are circulated to all panel members. The event officer has final responsibility for booking
rooms, organising refreshments and setting up of panels. The event officer will be responsible for
producing the validation report. (Appendix 15)

42. All panel members will be expected to provide the event officer with written comments on
the documentation before the validation event; these inform the agenda for the meeting.
Guidance and a template for comments will be provided in the briefing folder that the panel
receive in advance of the validation event. (Appendix 16) Suggested agenda and criteria for a
validation event are shown in appendix 17. Ideally, a draft agenda will be drawn up by the event
officer and the chair and have been shared with the programme leader(s) prior to the event.

Agenda setting meeting
43. The QSO will communicate (either by email or meeting) with the chair of the event (and
programme leader if possible to arrange) regarding the event and to discuss agenda setting. It is
recommended that this takes the form of a short agenda setting meeting attended by the QSO
and the event chair, and observed by the relevant programme leader(s) from the partner
institution, if possible. Observation by the programme leader(s) is intended to help ensure
transparency of the process in order to limit anxiety and to help the event to be mutually
respectful. The meeting should occur 1-3 days prior to the event and to be informed by the written
comments submitted by panellists in advance.

44. The programme leader and team have responsibilities during the validation event, which can
be summarised as follows:

   •   Programme leader: ensure that team is motivated and engaged with the process and that
       appropriate student input has been secured
   •   Programme team members: engage with process and contribute equally to discussion

Programme for a validation event
45. An example programme for a validation event can be found in appendix 18. This will have
been discussed and agreed at the earlier preliminary meeting. A set of likely agenda
items/question is shown in appendix 17 for use by the chair and the panel.

Involvement of a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB)
46. Professional body input to the validation event will have been discussed and identified at the
preliminary meeting and appropriate action taken to ensure the correct involvement of the PSRBs
in the validation event.

Outcomes of a validation event
47. The possible outcomes of a validation event are:

   •   Approval, with/without conditions and/or recommendations for standard length of approval
   •   Approval for a fixed period, with/without conditions and/or recommendations
   •   Rejection, with detailed reasons

48. The validation event will conclude with verbal feedback to the programme team. The
outcomes will be a specified period of approval (normally five years, though this may differ in
exceptional circumstances) with any attached conditions and recommendations where necessary.
If a proposal is rejected, detailed reasons must be given in the validation report. Any conditions
arising from a validation event will be detailed points of action that must be fulfilled satisfactorily
by a given (agreed) date. The panel and the chair will agree how responses to conditions will be
considered, whether by the whole panel or by approval of the chair only.

49. Panel members and programme leaders will be asked to complete a feedback form after the
validation event, in order to identify any issues and any items of best practice from the process.
This can be found in appendix 20.

Post-Validation Activity

Event report
50. The confirmation process for the event report will be clearly specified to ensure standard
approach and timely notification to APT for OSS updating. Approval may be by the Chair, or by the
full panel. The conclusions of the validation event will be written immediately for approval by the
panel and sent to the programme leader for completion of any outstanding action. QSOs will
inform PQSP of all event outcomes. A template for the validation report can be found in appendix

Responses to conditions
51. All responses to conditions should be returned to the QSO (using the template in appendix 22
to show where/how the conditions have been addressed). The QSO will ensure they are approved
through the process agreed by the panel. If further action is identified, this will be relayed to the
programme leader, with a new timescale for production of the further information. If no
responses to conditions are received by the relevant deadline, this will be reported to PQSP for

consideration. Failure to comply with conditions means that the programme details are not
updated on OSS and the programme is not in approval, cannot run or have students enrolled on it.

Production of definitive documentation
52. One of the outcomes of all validation events will be the production of definitive

53. The definitive documentation (Electronic-version only) should be forwarded to the QSO by the
date specified in the event report. The definitive documentation will be:
           • An updated (if necessary) programme specification(s),
           • Updated module proformas,
           • Student handbook
           • Updated (if necessary) programme document.

The electronic version will be checked and approved. Then the programme team will provide one
hard copy of the final version that will be kept by QUS. The electronic files will be stored
electronically on a shared university computer drive. This drive will hold all the formal
documentation of each programme across the university and each member of university staff shall
have read access to the files.

Responses to recommendations
54. Recommendations are not requirements, but they are issues that may necessitate action by
the programme team. Programme leaders are requested to respond to recommendations in the
first Programme Self-Assessment and Action (PSAAD) document that they complete (appendix
19). The programme team’s response should show consideration of the recommendations and the
outcomes of these considerations. It is expected that the programme team will indicate how the
recommendations have been considered and whether (or not) any action is being taken to
incorporate them in the programme.

Overview report
55. At the end of each academic year, the Quality Support Manager will produce an “overview
report” of the validations and reviews that have taken place for collaborative programmes that
year. Event reports, feedback forms and completed recommendation templates will inform the
writing of the report.

56. This report will be considered by the PQSP, for receipt of any additional comments and in
order to specify any required action. The report will then be forwarded to the QSC, with a list of
items requiring action. QSC will consider the report along with the reports from the six faculties
and specify any action to be taken at institutional level.

Appendix 1: Contact details

Department                   Name(s) and contact details
Academic Planning Team       Director: Mark Power 0151 231 3790 email:
                             Head of Academic Planning (Programme & Logistics): Wayne Turnbull 0151
                             231 3149 email:
                             Planning & PSP Officer: Debbie Hughes, 0151 231 3123 email:
Collaborative Partnerships   Director: Ian Graham 0151 231 2060 email:
                             Head of UK Partnerships: Julie Hargreaves, 0151 231 3739 email:
                             Head of European & International Partnerships: James Winter 0151 231
                             3158 email:
Faculty Quality Officers     Business and Law: Amanda Stewart-Reilly, 0151 231 3285 email:
                             Education, Community & Leisure: Janet Flexney 0151 231 5217 email:
                             Health and Applied Social Sciences: Jagori Banerjee 0151 231 4227
                             Media Arts & Social Sciences: Lucy McKenzie 0151 231 3655 email:
                             Science: Alison Topping, 0151 231 2473 email:
                             Technology and the Environment: Debbie Richardson, 0151 231 2482
Learning Development         Academic Enhancement Managers: Peter Steer, 0151 231 3284 email:
                             Monica Mason, 0151 231 3152 email:
Quality Support Team         Director: Anne Miller, 0151 231 3127 email:
                             Quality Support Manager: Trish Barker, 0151 231 3228 email:
                             Quality Support Officers: Kris Barrow, 0151 231 3742 email:
                             Sally Roberts, 0151 231 3227 email:
                             Assistant Quality Support Officer: Vicky Jones, 0151 231 3764
                             Administrative Assistant: Mark Bibby, 0151 231 3767 email:

Appendix 2: Process Flowchart For Validation Of Collaborative Franchise Programmes
     Partner (with support from
                                                                              Quality Support team                                               Notes
          CPT & Faculty)
                                                                     Note 1
                                                            Planning                                                                         1.This
                                                           approval for                                                                      does not
                                                           programme                                                                         include
                                                          development.                                                                       CPDs.
                Refer to                                                                                                            Note 2
               Programme                                                                                                                     2. This is a
                                                                                                              Manage New
                 Leader                                                                                                                      related
                                     NO                    Is approval                                        Approvals/Closure              process that
                                                              given?                   YES
                                                                                                              Manage and Plan                will work in
                                                                                                              OSS Programme                  parallel to
                                                                                                              Structure                      this process
                                                                                                              Note 3
                                                                                                                    Submit to                3. The
                                                                                                                    Planning &               efficiency of
                                                                                                                   Development               this process
                                                                                                                    Committee                is based on
                                                                                                                                             the policy
                                                                                                                                             that all
                                                                                                                       Approval              information is
                                                                                                                        given?               recorded at
                                                                                                                                             the earliest
                      Note 4
                                                                                                                           YES               opportunity
           PL prepares/                              Set up          Externals are            preliminary
                                                                                                                       Passed to QUS
         revises document                            panel            approved                meeting for
                                                                                              Prg. Team                                      4. This is all
                                                                                                                                             related to the
          Pre-validation                                                                                                                     proposal, based
             process                                                                                                                         on guidance in
                                                                                                                                             QUS manuals
                                                                                                                         Note 5
                                                                                                                                             5. From this
                                            PL sends          Briefing pack for                                Validation                    document the
              Is this                                                                   Validation
                               YES        documents to            validation                                    Report                       following will
    NO      approved?                                                                    Event
                                              QUS                produced.                                                                   be produced:

                                                                                                                                             - Summary
                                                                                                                                             Report to
                                                                                        Is approval           Note 6
                                                                                                                                             - Collaborative
                                                                                           given?                                            Overview


                                                                                         Are there
                           Leader makes                       YES
                                                                                        conditions?                               NO          6. If rejected
                                                                                                                                              at this point,
                                                                                                                                              then the
                                                         Passed to Quality                                                                    must start the
                                                                                             NO                                               process
                                                          Support Officer.

                                                                                         Definitive                                           7. APT will
                                                              Are the                                                                         make the
                                                                                     documentation and
                 NO                                           actions         YES                                                             programme
                                                                                     Student Handbook
                                                            signed off?                                                                       active on OSS
                                                                                        sent to QUS
                                                                                                                                              when notified.

                                                                                                     Note 7

                                                                                       QUS informs
                                                                                      using validation                            END
                                                                                      completion form

Appendix 3: Form for use in nominating an external advisor

To be completed and submitted to the Quality Support Officer for approval

Programme being validated:

Partner institution:

Link faculty:

Link school:

Proposed date of validation:

Details of proposed external advisors

Name and title:

Present post:

Address for correspondence:

Telephone number:

Email address:

Main area of teaching/research:

Reason for selection, including relevant experience pertinent to the validation process:

Rationale for proposal, if nominee does not meet the criteria specified:

Programme leader signature (by signing you are indicating that you have read the criteria for
external advisors and that, to your knowledge, the nominee meets the criteria)

Approved by Quality Support Officer:


Appendix 4: Criteria for approval of an external advisor

External panel members make an important contribution to the university’s validation process in
terms of:

    •      Providing relevant subject expertise
    •      Making comparisons with similar provision elsewhere within the sector
    •      Ensuring that students are adequately prepared for future career development
    •      Identifying best practice

All validation panels must include one external member. Programme leaders should complete the
application form and return it to the QSO. The QSO will consider the nomination and the
programme leader will be informed of the decision. Once the nomination has been approved, the
QSO will contact the proposed panel member.


    •      Nominees must have current academic or professional experience and subject expertise –
           to be able to advise on new modules, the appropriateness of the programme and its
           comparability nationally
    •      Nominees must be independent of the programme development
    •      Nominees will not be current or previous external examiners (within the last 5 years)
    •      Nominees will not be former employees/students of the university (within the last 5 years)
    •      There should be no close association between the nominee and the
           programme/School/Faculty/partner institution, or any other factors which may compromise
           objectivity (e.g. placement tutor, research collaborator, relative, consultant, board member,
           close friend, employee of a competing institution in the field)

It is recognised that in some new and highly specialised areas the number of individuals working
in the field is very limited and this can cause difficulties in selecting external panel members. In
such cases a nomination may be for someone who does not fit all the criteria. In these cases an
explanation should be provided.

Appendix 5: Summary paper on the academic infrastructure

The academic infrastructure incorporates the following elements:

   •   The Code of Practice for Assurance of Quality and Standards within HE
   •   Programme Specifications
   •   The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
   •   Subject Benchmark Statements

Code of Practice
The Code comprises a series of inter-related sections (10 in all) addressing the management of
quality and standards in HE and is structured into a series of precepts and outline guidance The Code is not designed to be prescriptive
but rather to provide a framework that can be used by institutions in the management of quality
and standards. The QAA will consider the extent to which individual institutions are meeting the
expectations of the precepts and will report on how effectively individual institutions are meeting
these expectations and are discharging their responsibilities for the academic standards and
quality of their programmes and awards.

Programme teams have a responsibility to ensure that their programmes meet the expectations of
the Code of Practice, particularly in such areas as assessment and placement learning. The School
scrutiny process and the validation panel members have a role in ensuring that the Code is

Programme Specifications
A programme specification should be a concise description of the intended outcomes from a
programme of study. The programme specification should provide specific information about an
individual programme, outlining how the outcomes are to be achieved and demonstrated. The
programme specification can be used as a source of information for students, employers, teaching
teams and internal review panels, external examiners and professional and statutory regulatory

The programme specification produced by the programme team for validation will be reviewed
and approved by the validation panel as part of the validation event.

Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
The Framework is designed to enable consistent use of qualification titles by identifying five levels
and describing the outcomes of the main qualification at each level. It is intended to enhance
understanding of achievement at each level; to maintain national and international comparability;
assist in the identification of progression routes; provide important reference points for
institutions. The framework comprises five levels - three at undergraduate and two at

   •   Level 1; Certificate; C Level – Certificate of Higher Education
   •   Level 2: Intermediate; I Level – Foundation Degrees, ordinary degrees, Diplomas of HE
   •   Level 3; Honours; H level – Honours degrees; graduate certificates and diplomas
   •   Level 4; Masters; M Level – Masters degrees, Postgraduate certificates and diplomas
   •   Level 5; Doctoral; D Level - Doctorates

The FHEQ is not a credit framework, nor is it dependent on the use of credit.

The framework can be used to provide a reference point to make judgements about the
appropriateness of learning outcomes and student achievement in relation to the level of the
qualification awarded.

The FHEQ should be used (and referenced) by programme teams to ensure that the outcomes are
appropriate for the intended award and that the qualification title conveys accurate information
about the programme of study.

Subject Benchmark Statements
The statements make explicit the general academic characteristics and standards of degrees in
the UK. There are statements available for 42 subjects at undergraduate level written by groups
on behalf of subject communities, providing a means to describe the nature and characteristics of
a programme in a specific subject. To date, Business and Management is the only subject area to
have a statement at Masters level.

Benchmark statements are an external reference source when designing new programmes and
can be used during internal quality processes to review programme learning outcomes against
agreed general expectations about standards. The benchmark statements are one of the external
reference points used during external review. Programme teams are required to make reference
to available benchmark statements and to use them in the design and development of provision.
The programme rationale in the validation documentation should contain information about why
and how the statements have informed development.

Appendix 6: Record of the preliminary meeting

The event officer will record the agreements made at the preliminary meeting and circulate these
notes to all participants of that meeting.

Date of the preliminary meeting:

Event Details
OSS Programme Code:

QUS event no:
Date of PDC Approval:
Programme title & award:

Partner institution:
Programme leader:

Link tutor:
Present at the preliminary meeting:

Link Faculty:

Link School:

Date of submission of pre-validation
Date of pre-validation:
Date for submission of the validation

Date of the validation event:

Duration of the event:

Required number of copies of the
programme documentation:

Panel membership (names):

1 Chair
1 Faculty representative
2 Representatives from other faculties or
partner institution
External advisors (2 nominees)
Event Officer

Suggested venue for the event:

Procedures manual to be referred to
Discussion and planned action in respect

Involvement of LDU
Technical requirements
Programme specifications
Assessment requirements and
Curriculum design guide; Learner
Support guide; Personal Tutoring
Information about academic
LJMU Strategic Plan
UMF details
Liaison with LIS
Confirmation received from LIS in
cases requiring use of the Off
Campus Gateway or specialist IT
External input to curriculum
Process for pre-validation scrutiny
Nominations for external advisors
Details of any PSRB involvement

Appendix 7: Standard title page for a programme document

Programme title

Programme leader

OSS programme code

Award/s (including exit awards)

Level of study

Maximum and minimum duration of programme in years, months or weeks (final award)

Mode of attendance

Main site of which programme to be delivered

Start date

Expected first conferment

Link faculty

Link school

Link tutor

Other schools providing service teaching

Professional body/awarding body relationship to note

Identified variances (insert date of LTAP consideration)

Date of faculty/university approval

Confirmation of:

i.     Faculty approval. Date…………………………………….

ii.    Planning Development Committee approval received. Date…………………………

iii.   Student consultation, state process:…………………………………………..

iv.    Pre-validation approval received to proceed to university consideration. Date……………….

Appendix 8: Staff CV - template

This should only be a brief curriculum vitae, a maximum of 2 pages in length.

Name and title:

Present post:

Main teaching activities: especially those relating to the programme under validation, including list
of modules in programme being validated.

Other duties: list all key administrative/academic responsibilities

Academic qualifications (including accredited teaching qualifications):

(list date, award, classification and awarding body/university)

Professional qualifications:

Research interests/profile (last 3 years only):         brief indication of key topics and any current

research projects including research grants and awards

Publications (last 3 years only). List total number of refereed publications to date including articles

and list all refereed publications in the last three years.           List total number of unrefereed


Consultancy (last 3 years only). List activities during the last three years

Professional membership/involvement (last 3 years only):

External professional activities (last 3 years only):

Appendix 9: Guidance on the style of a student handbook

Consider the Readership

•   What is the purpose of the handbook?
    Firstly it is a key information source for students on a programme.
    Secondly a validation document.

•   Who are the students?
    Age, social or professional background
    Full-time or part-time
    International students

Some student handbooks look a little like they were written by one member of a
programme team, for other members of the programme team. All the necessary
information may be there, but it is perhaps not clearly stated, or may be full of
educational or subject-specific jargon, which may be daunting for a new student. The
purpose of the handbook is to present information clearly, accessibly, and in a way
which is genuinely student-centred.

A secondary consideration may be that you are producing a handbook as a central
piece of review documentation. Rest assured that if such matters as programme
structure are clear to a new student reader, they would be equally clear to a validation
panel. Any validation-specific details, such as entry requirements ought not to be
included in the handbook.

There is no such thing as a generic ‘student’. An awareness of the readership includes
a recognition that different programmes may have very different student profiles with
regard to such factors as age, gender, mode of study and regional or national origin. It
can be appropriate for student handbooks to reflect some awareness of these factors
in terms of style and content.

Consider the Content

•   There is no definitive University template for a student handbook, although there is
    a list of minimum standard content

•   What other documents will students receive?

•   Which document is the best location for particular kinds of information?

What constitutes essential information for students should follow from the usual
considerations involved in programme development, such as curriculum design and
content, teaching and learning styles, programme resources, student support and
guidance etc.
Moreover, the handbook may not be the only document given to students. It may be
appropriate to have separate guides, e.g. to assessment, or study skills, or whatever, in
addition to the student handbook. The content of module handbooks may also be
considered alongside the student handbook.

Consider the Style, Tone and Structure

•   Awareness of the readership

•   Presentation to fit the programme ethos

•   Contents pages and pagination

•   ‘Front loading’ key information

•   Layout

•   Fonts

•   Graphics

The University is a bureaucratic institution, and we easily lapse into a kind of jargon
when writing official documents. Student handbooks usually require a friendlier
tone, or one that is appropriate to the programme. Such considerations also apply
to the visual appearance of the handbook. Design handbooks may be stylish,
Sports Science may be sporty, business programmes may require a polished and
professional appearance. Such considerations may seem to be of secondary
importance, but they are part of the way in which we can enhance the student
experience and reflect the quality of our programmes.
Some further considerations:

•   Contents pages and pagination - handbooks need to be navigable!

•   Vital information should be ‘front loaded’ - What students need to know early
    in a programme is best featured towards the front of the handbook.

•   Layouts are best when clear and uncluttered - Consider margin width, the
    visual impact of white spaces, the effective use of diagrams, etc.

•   Fonts – Ariel is generally considered the most accessible font. Avoid using a
    clutter of fonts as this can be distracting and is not Disability Discrimination Act
    (DDA) compliant.

•   Graphics - Appropriate graphics are good, but an explosion of clip art is not!

Programme teams should follow the design guidelines specified on the Corporate
Communications website:

Appendix 10: Guidance on the contents of a student handbook

The student/programme handbook should contain, at a minimum, the following information:

   •   Welcome letters from the partner and LJMU
   •   Partner institution structure and the relationship with LJMU
   •   Who does what within the institution to support student learning: where to go for help at a
       programme level and at central support level. Roles and responsibilities of personal and
       other tutors, including LJMU link tutor details where applicable
   •   Programme specification: it is crucial to include the original validated version, modified for
       any approved changes, even if you add this as an appendix and use more student friendly
       text in the body of the handbook
   •   Where to obtain detailed information on module content: if these details are not in the
       handbook state where they can be found. Module synopses in the handbook are useful
   •   Module registration checking details and the process for checking registration details:
       students need to be aware of the expectations on them for checking their registrations
   •   Teaching and learning and assessment information, explain different types of teaching and
       learning methods and the assessment strategy for the programme: this needs to be an
       evaluative section on the methods used. Also, needs information regarding the use of the
       VLE and how this fits into learning and teaching methods
   •   Assessment criteria: including how marks are transferred to grades, e.g. what does a 2:1
       imply in terms of knowledge, skills, grasp of theoretical structure etc
   •   Programme’s approach & arrangements for PDP, if applicable
   •   Details of the academic referencing system used on the programme, if applicable
   •   The programme team’s strategy for assessment feedback: indicate how feedback will be
       given – oral/written and the timescale within which students can expect to receive
   •   Details of how to find the full assessment regulations, appeals procedures, details
       regarding academic impropriety: ensure correct URLs are given if appropriate, if there are
       differences in the regulations to UMF regulations these need to be stated, needs to be
       explicit which regulations the programme is operating under
   •   Role of assessment boards, including explanation of the role of the external examiner in
       assessment generally and specifically at the assessment board
   •   Reporting of assessment outcomes: how students get the information, e.g. whether
       posted on notice boards, from tutors, mailed out

•   Date on which results will be published that year: state month the students can expect to
    receive their results
•   Programme’s approach and arrangements for PDP
•   Students’ timetable: Handbook should show when each module runs and should also refer
    to where students can get the specific details of when modules are taught. For part-time
    programmes where modules are run only in particular years this information may have to
    cover a period greater than one academic year.
•   Details of essential procedures that the student will need to know: where to submit
    coursework (the university has a minimum expectation that students will be given receipts
    for major pieces of coursework), how to enrol & register on modules, what to do in cases
    of ill health or difficult circumstances affecting your studies, any attendance requirements,
    details of personal mitigating circumstances procedures, penalties imposed for late
    submission of coursework, AP(E)L procedures
•   Responsibilities of the committees concerned with student issues
•   Where and how student representatives can play a role within the programme: including
    details of meetings with the link tutor and the purpose of these meetings
•   Information on the LRC or equivalent: this section should contain information regarding the
    local resources and regarding access to LJMU resources where applicable.
•   Information on the student union: details of local student union if applicable and details of
•   Disability Discrimination Act part IV (SENDA information): details of how partners will
    support students with disabilities
•   Data Protection information: details regarding what the partner and LJMU use student data
•   Details of the student complaints procedure: need to explicitly show the local process in
    operation, then the LJMU process. Needs an explanation regarding the two tier system
    available to the students
•   Details of the students’ certificate, e.g. state that this will show LJMU and the partner
•   Optionally, programme teams may find it helpful to students to include a FAQ section and
    a section on career planning

Appendix 11: List of University policies and strategies and external reference points to be
considered by the programme team

A list of policies can be found at


   •   Planning process
   •   UMF Regulations
   •   Learner Support recommendations (including PDP)
   •   Widening Participation/Admissions Policy
   •   Work related learning (including employability)
   •   Learner Support Recommendations
   •   Assessment Recommendations and Guidelines
   •   LTA Strategy
   •   University Strategic Plan
   •   Programme Specifications
   •   Risk management
   •   OSS
   •   External examiner nomination
   •   AP(E)L
   •   Equal Opportunities


   •   PSRB requirements
   •   QAA Academic Infrastructure
   •   Disability Discrimination Act part IV (SENDA)
   •   Race Relations Amendment Act 2000

Appendix 12: Guidance for the chair of a validation panel

Chairs are responsible for the following:

Before the event:

   •   To study the programme proposal in detail and supply written comments to the event
       officer one week before the event (using appendix 16)
   •   To inform the event officer, in advance, if they have any issues or concerns and resolve
       any problems or queries regarding the proposal or the event before the event date
   •   Normally, to meet with the event officer 1-3 days before the event to set the draft agenda,
       based on the written comments submitted in advance by panellists. This meeting will
       normally be observed by the relevant programme leaders to promote transparency,
       confidence and mutual respect

During the event:

   •   Organising the panel and planning in advance, on the basis oF the written comments
       received, who will take certain issues
   •   Clarifying and enabling the role of any PSRB representative(s)
   •   Ensuring that external panel members understand the process
   •   Ensuring that the event runs smoothly and to time
   •   Setting a constructive dialogue with the subject team from the outset
   •   Encouraging everyone to participate, but not allowing individual panel members to
   •   Being prepared to cut short contributions which are unproductive
   •   Ensuring that all key areas of concern are explored by the panel
   •   Ensuring that any thin or misleading responses to questions are probed
   •   Ensuring that university policies are adhered to
   •   Eliciting and evaluating panel members’ conclusions
   •   Praising and recording positive elements/good practice
   •   In conjunction with the event officer, to compose the panel’s conclusions and ensure that
       conditions/recommendations are clear and achievable
   •   Feeding back outcomes to the team at the conclusion of the event
   •   Recording praise for good practice shown during the event
   •   Thanking all participants for attending the event, their preparation and contribution to the

After the event:

   •   To agree with the event officer the wording of the outcomes (if not finalised at the event)
   •   To provide feedback to the event officer
   •   To agree the report of the event with the event officer
   •   To consider the programme teams response to any conditions
   •   To ‘sign-off’ the approval following resolution of any issues on conditions, etc

Qualities needed:

   •   Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills
   •   Awareness of programme proposal: awareness of overall standards of the award proposed
       (e.g. FHEQ)

•   General awareness of university policies and procedures including:
       University admission requirements
       UMF regulations
       AP(E)L policies
       Work-Based Learning Policy
       Learner Support Recommendations
       Programme Specifications
       Assessment Guidelines and Recommendations
       QAA Code of Practice
       Subject Benchmark Statements;
       Professional/Statutory Body involvement

Appendix 13: Guidance for internal panel members and panellists from partner organisations

Before the event:

   •   Read the documentation in good time
   •   Provide written comments to the event officer one week before the event (using appendix

During the event:

   •   Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself – you were invited on to the panel because you have
       a contribution to make, so do contribute
   •   Engage in discussion regarding the design of the curriculum
   •   To assist in identifying excellence in the provision
   •   To seek evidence of coherent and consistent development of academic and intellectual
   •   Check that you don’t ramble during meetings – do try to keep your contributions clear and
       to the point and allow the programme team time to respond
   •   Be transparent – the process should have no ‘hidden agendas’ or surprises

Qualities needed:

   •   Awareness of programme proposal: awareness of overall standards of the award proposed
       (derived through the UMF and the academic infrastructure)
   •   General awareness of policies and procedures including:
           University admission requirements
           UMF regulations
           AP(E)L policies
           Work-Based Learning Policy
           Learner Support Recommendations
           Programme Specifications
           Assessment Guidelines and Recommendations
           QAA Code of Practice
           Subject Benchmark Statements;
           Professional/Statutory Body involvement

Appendix 14: Guidance for external advisors

The expectations of the external advisor are:

   •   To provide written comments to the event officer one week before the event (using
       appendix 16)
   •   As subject experts, to examine the proposal’s aims, outcomes, content and assessment in
       the context of the QAA Subject Benchmarks and PSRB standards and the Framework for
       Higher Education Qualifications, to ensure that the proposal has taken these into account
       and focuses on academic standards
   •   To bring a national perspective to the proposal and judge the quality of the provision
   •   To make comparisons with similar provision at other HEIs
   •   To ensure that standards are such that they prepare students for subsequent career
   •   To assist in identifying excellence in provision
   •   To seek evidence of coherent and consistent development of academic/intellectual skill
   •   To scrutinise for each module, the outcomes, syllabus and reading list in detail, to be able
       to confirm approval of these
   •   As industrial/professional advisers, to seek evidence that, given a student has experienced
       and developed the above skills, they are relevant and appropriate
   •   As industrial/professional advisors, to consider whether the proposal meets the need of
       the profession, is concerned with current issues in the profession and is forward looking in
       relation to the way the profession is developing

Appendix 15: Guidance for the event officer

The expectations of the event officer are:

Before the event:

   •   To plan and co-ordinate programme development with the programme leader
   •   To ensure documentation is received and circulated to panel members
   •   To co-ordinate written responses from panel members
   •   Normally, to meet the chair 1-3 days before the event, to set the draft agenda, based on
       comments submitted in advance by panellists. This meeting will normally be observed by
       the relevant programme leaders to promote transparency, confidence and mutual respect.
       The draft agenda should be shared with programme leader(s)

To have knowledge of:

   •   University admission requirements
   •   UMF regulations
   •   AP(E)L policies
   •   Work-Based Learning Policy
   •   Learner Support Recommendations
   •   Programme Specifications
   •   Assessment Guidelines and Recommendations
   •   QAA Code of Practice
   •   Subject Benchmark Statements
   •   Professional/Statutory Body involvement
   •   Any other relevant university or external policies

During the event:

   •   To be a full member of the panel
   •   To be prepared to advise the panel chair and members
   •   To assist the chair with managing the conduct of the meeting
   •   To draft the agenda for discussion during the day
   •   To be prepared to intervene, via the chair, where points of fact, information or order will
       help the proceedings
   •   To keep track of emerging issues
   •   To ensure that an accurate record of discussions and decisions made is kept

After the event:

   •   To agree with the chair the wording of the outcomes (if not finalised at the event)
   •   To produce the event report for approval by the chair and, where appropriate, the panel
   •   To co-ordinate receipt of the programme team’s responses to the conditions
   •   To ensure appropriate university processes are completed for approval of the programme

Appendix 16: Template for comments from panel members

Panel members should receive the documentation at least 3 weeks before an event. Panel
members are requested to read documentation in advance of the event and to return this form
indicating areas you wish to explore during the event, in relation to the criteria in Appendix 18. This
form should be returned to the event officer at least one week before the eventand will be used to
inform the agenda for the meeting.

Please insert your name here:

Name of programme

Date of event

Based on the evidence provided by the documentation, please comment on the
Are intended learning outcomes being/ likely to be obtained by students? Are quality
and standards being/likely to be achieved and is/will the programme specification be

Does the programme remain/is the programme current and valid in the light of
developing knowledge in the discipline, practice in application and developments in
teaching and learning?

What are the notable strengths/innovations? Is there evidence of good practice?

Please use the criteria in appendix 18 to comment on the following in relation to the
new programme structure:
Programme Rationale, Aims and Objectives:



Structure and Curriculum:

Teaching and Learning:


Management and Organisation:

Student Guidance and Support:


To what extent are the standards set at each level appropriate? (When responding
please consider the FHEQ)

To what extent do the aims and outcomes of the programme articulate with the
relevant subject benchmarks?
Please make specific comments on: Subject knowledge & understanding; Cognitive
skills; Subject specific skills; Personal Transferable skills

Please make any other points that you would like to discuss at the validation event:

Appendix 17: Recommended agenda and criteria for a validation event

The criteria given in each category on this agenda can be used when considering the programme
structure. Panel members need to ensure that the practice reflected in the programme document
is consistent with the requirements of the appropriate sections of the Code of Practice.
Institutional context
• There is a fit with LJMU’s mission
• There are strategic objectives relating to HE strategy
• There is quality management and enhancement for the HE provision
Programme Rationale, Aims and Objectives
• Aims and Learning Outcomes should be clearly linked and appropriate to the level and title of
    the target award and appropriate Learning Outcomes should be specified for all exit awards.
• Learning outcomes are to be comparable to those expected of graduates in this subject are.
•   Should include evidence that the Programme Team have taken into account relevant
    external influences, for example relevant benchmark statements, legislation and where
    appropriate, statutory/professional body requirements, the needs of industry in
    programme design, delivery and assessment.
• Evidence of a recruitment market and an employment market must be included.
• The entry requirements must be clear and appropriate, including any credit exemption and
   transfer arrangements.
•   The documentation must be clear on how students will progress through the programme
    (including progression from a partner institution to the University) and can achieve the
    proposed named awards in line with the UMF Regulations
• There must be evidence of how standards are set for the programme and for each level within
   the programme
• Evidence that External factors have been considered should be included, i.e. academic
•   There should be evidence to show how scholarly activity and research is reflected in the
    curriculum and used to maintain currency
Structure and Curriculum
• Consider whether the content of the programme is appropriate for the titles proposed at each
    named exit point.
• Reflect upon whether the design and content of the curriculum encourage achievement of the
    intended programme learning outcomes for all students in terms of knowledge and
    understanding, cognitive skills, subject specific skills (including practical/professional skills),
    career/employability/key skills for progression to employment and/or further study and personal
• Assure yourself that there is evidence that curriculum content and design is informed by
    scholarly activity/research and any changes in relevant occupational or professional
•   Are you satisfied that there is a coherent structure and progression in skills development
    and knowledge acquisition which reflect the aims and learning outcomes of the
    programme overall?
Teaching and Learning
• Is there evidence of a variety of teaching and learning strategies to support the development of
    the required skills and to enhance the cognitive development of students.
• Teaching and Learning strategies may be informed by recent developments in techniques of
    teaching and learning, by current research and scholarship, and the needs of the students
    recruited to the programme.

• Ascertain that there is clarity in the assessment process so that students know what is
   expected of them to enable them to develop their abilities, pass modules and be successful in
   the programme.
• Ensure that the assessment process is appropriate and effective in enabling learners to
   demonstrate achievement of the intended learning outcomes for the programme and that the
   overall assessment load is reasonable.
•   Evidence that the standards to be achieved by learners will meet the minimum
    expectations for the award, taking into consideration relevant benchmarks and the
    Framework for Higher Education Qualifications must be included.
Management and Organisation
• Is there a commitment to provide continuing support from the School Faculty/ to encourage
   curriculum development, scholarly activity/research and the spread of good practice in teaching
   learning and assessment?
• Are you satisfied that there is evidence that appropriate student feedback mechanisms will be
   in place and that the Programme Team will give careful consideration to feedback received from
   students, external examiners and relevant others, such as professional bodies?
Student Support and Guidance
• There should be evidence that the Programme Team has mechanisms in place to enable
   support for students with differing needs. Where specialist resources are used (laboratories,
   workshops, studios) has the programme team demonstrated what alternatives may be
• The Student Handbook and module descriptions must be accurate and clear in the way they
   describe the programme and its requirements.
Learning Resources
• There has to be a sufficient number of appropriately qualified staff to support the expected
   number of students to be recruited.
• There should be adequate learning resources, and access to those resources, to meet the
   needs of the anticipated number of students to be recruited; or at least, plans in place to
   address this.

Judgement about outcomes:

At the end of the validation event, the panel will formulate its recommended decision. The
following decisions may be recommended to the Quality and Standards Committee, on behalf of
the Academic Board.

    •   Approval, with/without conditions and/ or recommendations for action for standard length
        of approval
    •   Approval for a fixed period, with/without conditions and/ or recommendations for action
    •   Rejection, with detailed reasons

Appendix 18: Recommended programme for a validation event

The following is a sample programme and will be adjusted to reflect the actual event at the
discretion of the Chair:

10:00                   Arrival

10:15 -   10:25         Presentation by the Programme Team to outline the proposal
                        and any key issues to note in it’s development

10:25 -   11:00         Private panel meeting to confirm the agenda and to identify
                        issues to discuss with the programme team and senior

11:00 -   11:15         Break

11:15 -   13:00         Plenary session with the Programme Team

13:00 -   13:30         Lunch

13:30 -   14:00         Tour of facilities where required

14:00 -   14:15         Private panel meeting to review progress

14:15 -   14:45         Meeting with the Senior Management Team to discuss

14:45 -   15:00         Break

15:00 -   15:30         Second plenary session with the programme team, if required

15:30 -   15:45         Private panel meeting to formulate conclusions

15:45                   Feedback to Programme Team

Requirement for an evening meeting:

Where the proposal involves an overseas event then the programme may require a meeting on
the previous evening. In this instance the initial panel meeting, presentation by the team and
identification of the agenda may be held at the evening session.

Appendix 19: Recommendations from the validation event


Programme leaders should show how recommendations from their recent validation event have
been considered by the programme team.

Please show where the recommendation(s) was/were considered (e.g. programme team meeting,
Board of Study) and the outcome(s). Programme teams are not expected to incorporate all the
panel recommendations into the programme, but they will be expected to consider them all

Insert this form into your first completed PSAAD.

Date validated:
Recommendations                       Considered                 Outcomes
                                      (e.g. Programme team
                                      meeting. Board of Study)

Appendix 20: Validation event feedback

                                    Evaluation – Validation & Review

Thank you for taking part in the recent validation/review event. To inform future events and to
ensure continuous improvement it would be helpful if you could complete this feedback sheet
either immediately following the meeting or within 7 days.

Title of Event
e.g. Validation/Review    of
insert programme

Name (optional)

Do you have any comments       a)       contextual information?

                               b)       programme- specific information?

Were the meeting room,
refreshments and catering

Please comment on the
overall management of the
event including the role of
the Chair, panel and event


Thank you for your time and participation. Please return to the Quality Support Officer

Appendix 21: Validation report template

Section One: Key Programme Information

Programme title

Programme leader

OSS Programme Code

Award/s (including exit awards)

Level of study

Maximum and minimum duration of programme in years, months or weeks (final award)

Mode of attendance

Main site of which programme to be delivered

Start date

Expected first conferment

Link faculty

Link school

Other schools providing service teaching

Professional body/awarding body relationship to note

Identified variances (insert date of LTAP consideration)

Date of Faculty/University approval

Section Two: Event Details

Date and location

Nature of event (e.g. internal validation; conjoint with professional body)

Panel membership

Purpose of the event

Background to the proposal

Documentation submitted

Student consultation (process)

Section Three: Outcomes

Overall recommendation to Academic Board

   •   Approval, with/without conditions and/ or recommendations for action for standard length
       of approval
   •   Approval for a fixed period, with/without conditions and/ or recommendations for action
   •   Rejection, with detailed reasons

Conditions of approval



Next Review date

Section Four: Consideration of the Proposal

Details of the discussions during the event (headings can be taken from the agenda, see appendix

HE Information Requirements

The report should explicitly show the responses/discussion to these areas:
   • The effectiveness of planned approaches to teaching and learning, in relation to
       programme aims and curriculum content
   •   The intended range of teaching methods
   •   The availability and planned use of specialist equipment and other resources and materials
       to support learning and teaching
   •   Planned professional development for staff - to enhance teaching performance, including
       peer review and mentoring programmes
   •   The use of external benchmarking and other comparators


   •   A brief statement of the panel’s overview of the programme in relation to content and
       approach, and notable strengths
   •   Conclusions on innovation and good practice. Identification of aspects of the programmes
       which are particularly innovative or which represent good practice
   •   Conclusions on whether the programme(s) is current and valid in the light of developing
       knowledge in the discipline, and in its planned approaches in teaching and learning

If there are no discussions in certain key areas, note whether the panel was satisfied that the
consideration had taken place effectively in the programme documentation.

Appendix 22: Conditions from the validation event


Programme Leaders should show how the Programme Team has responded to the conditions
from their recent validation event.

Return this form to your Quality Support Officer (along with any appropriate documentation)

Date validated:
Conditions                           Response

Appendix 23: Guidance on approving programme specifications

A validation panel should ensure that the following points have been considered before granting
approval of a programme specification.


   •   All relevant sections in the template must be completed and available on ProdCat. See
       Programme                       Specification                   Guidelines            at
   •   The programme specification should provide enough information to enable students with
       disabilities to make informed decisions about their ability to complete the programme

Quality of Content

   •   Appropriate reference should be made to the following elements of the academic
           o Level and/or qualifications descriptors at each level (FHEQ)
           o The relevant subject benchmark statement(s) or external reference point(s)
           o Key sections of the Code of Practice, particularly
                       3: Students with disabilities
                       4: External examining
                       5: Academic appeals and student complaints on academic matters
                       6: Assessment of students
                       8: Career education, information and guidance
                       9: Placement learning
                       10: Recruitment and admissions
   •   Programme structure details – ensure they are accurate
   •   Completeness, accuracy and clarity of the information for a range of stakeholders

The programme specification for a franchise programme will be the same as that of the LJMU
programme, with the partner institution identified.

Appendix 24: Glossary

AEM          Academic Enhancement Manager
AP(E)L       Accredited Prior (experiential)Learning
APT          Academic Planning Team
CPD          Certificate of Professional Development
CPT          Collaborative Partnerships Team
CSD          Centre for Staff Development
DDA          Disability Discrimination Act
CMB          Consortium Management Board
FHEQ         Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
FQC          Faculty Quality Committee/Chair
FQO          Faculty Quality Officer
HEFCE        Higher Education Funding Council for England
HERO         Higher Education Research Opportunities
LDU          Learning Development Unit
LTA          Learning, Teaching and Assessment
LIS          Learning Information Services
LJMU         Liverpool John Moores University
LSU          Liverpool Students Union
PDC          Planning Development Committee
PDP          Personal Development Planning
PPP          Programme Proposal Proforma
PQSP         Partnerships Quality and Standards Panel
PSAAD        Programme Self-Assessment and Action Document
PSRB         Professional Statutory Regulatory Body
QAA          Quality Assurance Agency
QSC          Quality and Standards Committee
QSO          Quality Support Officer
QUS          Quality Support Team
SBS          Subject Benchmark Statement
TQI          Teaching Quality Information
UMF          University Modular Framework
VCF          Validation Completion Form
VLE          Virtual Learning Environment