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Program Reviews

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Program Reviews

The review process is an integral part of the University’s quality assurance system. Oversight of these reviews is the responsibility of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning).

Program Reviews are coordinated by staff from Learning and Quality Support who, in partnership with faculty staff throughout the process, provide assistance and advice as required. A summary of the responsibilities of stakeholders during Program Reviews is available here.


The broad aim for Program Reviews are to be established as follows, and are to be reflected in their Terms of Reference.

  • To evaluate the quality of the curriculum and its delivery in UG and PG coursework programs in relation to the expectations set out in relevant University strategies and the University’s Graduate Attributes, national and international trends in the discipline(s) and, where relevant, accreditation by professional statutory and regulatory bodies;
  • To evaluate the quality of program governance, management and enhancement processes, including approaches to working with students as partners and to external engagement;
  • To assess the program’s progress since the previous review, with reference to the outcomes of the implementation plan in response to the recommendations of that review;
  • To identify and give recognition to best practice and successful outcomes;
  • To identify opportunities and priorities for development and enhancement, including for curriculum renewal and enhancement of delivery, and with a focus on student recruitment, experience, engagement, satisfaction, retention, academic performance, graduate destinations and employer satisfaction;
  • To identify areas where resources and support might be needed to enable enhancement priorities to be addressed;
  • To ensure that a high standard of academic program awards is maintained.


Scheduling of Program Reviews

Each academic program is to be reviewed at least once every five years. A five-year Program Review Schedule is developed by Learning and Quality Support in consultation with Executive Deans and approved by the PVC(SL). The schedule is updated on an annual basis.

The updated schedule for a given calendar year is reported to Academic Board towards the end of the preceding calendar year.

For academic programs with accreditation requirements that recently have undergone, or will shortly undergo, accreditation or any other form of external review, consideration for minimising duplication of effort will be made.

Details of the current Program Reviews Schedule.

Terms of Reference

Executive Deans are responsible for a process of consultation with the area(s) under review prior to submitting a draft Terms of Reference to Learning and Quality Support.  While the use of standard Terms of Reference is recommended, the Executive Dean can provide a modified or alternative Terms of Reference. The PVC(SL) will approve the final Terms of Reference for the review.

Review Panel

The Program Review is conducted by a Review Panel, which is established with the aim of responding to the Self Evaluation Report. After a period of consultation the composition of the Review Panel will be agreed between the relevant Executive Dean and the PVC(SL). While Review Panels for program reviews are usually composed of five members, comprising of an internal convenor, an external panel member, two students, and a learning and teaching specialist, the PVC(SL) may approve an increased panel size in certain circumstances.

Senior Academic (Convenor)Internal Staff MemberProfessor. 
Independent to the School/Discipline area of the program(s) under review.
AcademicExternal AppointeeProfessor.
From the same or similar area to the program(s) under review.
StudentsTwo StudentsOrdinarily from the programs under review, currently enrolled or recently graduated.
Learning and Teaching SpecialistUsually Adelaide Education AcademyIndependent of School/Discipline under review.

International panel members can only be included if travel and accommodation costs are met by the Faculty.

Executive Deans will submit a list of prospective panel members for consideration and approval by the PVC(SL).

Review Preparation

Standard reviews of Programs focus on the quality of the curriculum and its delivery, its governance and progress since the last review, best practice, and opportunities for development and enhancement with a focus on student participation, and are guided by the Terms of Reference

An Internal Team appointed by the Executive Dean after consultation with the academic unit, undertakes a self-evaluation process commencing no less than seven months prior to the Review Panel visit. The outcome of the process is the preparation of a Self Evaluation Report for submission to the Review Panel one month prior to the Panel visit. Guidelines are available on the development of the Self Evaluation Report, and it should be noted that faculties are permitted to provide additional information considered relevant to the review.

Invitations to provide submissions to the Review Panel are made to internal and external stakeholders. The faculty, in consultation with Learning and Quality Support, develops a list of relevant stakeholders inclusive of students and representatives from both industry and professional groups. Learning and Quality Support engages stakeholders for invitation of written submissions, and may also invite some of the stakeholders to an interview with the Review Panel.


The Review Panel commences drafting of the Review Report during the final session of their visit, with a particular focus on developing the recommendations.

At the conclusion of the visit, the Panel delivers an oral debrief of their recommendations and commendations to review participants and stakeholders.

Supported by Learning and Quality Support, a draft set of written recommendations is finalised with the Convenor in the week following the Review Panel’s visit, with the final Review Report submitted to the PVC(SL) within two weeks of the visit.


On receipt of the Review Report, the PVC(SL) will provide an opportunity for the relevant Dean(s) to review and respond to the report and its recommendations. Following this consultation, the PVC(SL) presents the Report to Academic Board. Recommendations requiring discussion of resource matters (eg. staff, financial and physical) will be considered by Vice-Chancellor’s Executive in the first instance.

Academic Board or the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive, where appropriate, is responsible for endorsing the final recommendations (to the extent that they fall within its Terms of Reference), and recommending their approval to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Approved recommendations are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plan page. (Staff only)


Responsibility for the development, execution, and monitoring of Implementation Plans is as follows:

  • For academic programs reviews – responsibility rests with the Executive Dean, with carriage assigned to an Implementation Working Group chaired by the Program Coordinator. Membership of the Working Group will be approved by the Executive Dean in consultation with stakeholders, and will include representation from course coordinators, students, and the Faculty Associate Dean Learning and Teaching.
  • A finalised Implementation Plan will be provided to Learning and Quality Support within six weeks of Academic Board’s consideration of the Review Report. The PVC(SL) will provide the Implementation Plan to the next available meeting of Academic Board.
  • The Executive Dean/Unit Head will submit updates on the progress of the actions described in the Implementation Plan to Learning and Quality Support. These updates will be required after another four months and then a further eight months following the initial implementation plan. The PVC(SL) will provide progress reports on Implementation Plans to the next available meeting of Academic Board as unstarred items in the first instance.

Implementation Plans and progress reports are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plans page. (Staff only)