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Program Reviews

The review process is an integral part of the University's quality assurance system. All coursework programs offered by the University are subject to review as part of a five year cycle. Oversight of these reviews is the responsibility of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning).

Program Reviews are co-ordinated by staff from the Learning and Quality Support unit, who work with Faculty staff throughout the process, providing assistance and advice as required. A summary of the responsibilities of stakeholders during Program Reviews is available.

Scheduling of Program Reviews

A five-year Program Review Schedule is developed by Learning and Quality Support in consultation with Executive Deans, and approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) (PVC(SL)). The schedule is updated on an annual basis. The updated schedule for a given calendar year is reported to Academic Board at the end of the preceding calendar year.

To avoid unnecessary duplication, cognate programs are often grouped for the purpose of review, and the schedule is developed with due consideration to the timing of external accreditation processes for programs with professional accreditation requirements.

The current Program Reviews Schedule groups reviews by Faculty and School.

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for a particular review should address any particular issues specific to the program(s) concerned, while also being cognisant of priorities determined by the University's strategic direction. In particular, the Terms of Reference should address the quality of the program(s) offered.

Executive Deans will submit draft Terms of Reference to Learning and Quality Support.  While the use of standard Terms of Reference is recommended, the Executive Dean can provide modified or alternative Terms of Reference. The PVC(SL) will approve the final Terms of Reference for the review.

Review Panel

Program Reviews are conducted by a Review Panel which is established with the aim of facilitating independent peer-review, and must include an external reviewer. While Review Panels for program reviews are usually restricted to two members, in certain circumstances, the PVC(SL) may approve an increased panel size.

Member Comment
Senior Academic (Convenor) Internal Staff Member Professor
Independent to the School/Discipline area of the program(s) under review
Academic External Appointee Professor
From the same or similar area to the program(s) 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

The Faculty will prepare a submission for the Review prior to the Review Panel meeting using the Academic Program Review: Faculty Submission to Review Panel template. Note that Faculties are permitted to provide additional information considered relevant to the review.

A limited number of targeted invitations to provide submissions to the Review Panel will be made to internal and external stakeholders. The Faculty, in consultation with Learning and Quality Support, will develop a list of relevant stakeholders, which will include both industry/professional representatives and students. Learning and Quality Support staff will contact the stakeholders to invite written submissions, and may also invite some of the stakeholders to an interview with the Review Panel.

Review Panel Visit

Learning and Quality Support staff will develop a schedule for the Review Panel visit in consultation with the relevant Faculty.

The Review Panel will usually convene for not more than two days. Normally, entry and exit interviews will be held involving the Review Panel and the PVC(SL).  The exit interview may involve other senior managers (e.g. Executive Dean, Head of School).


Learning and Quality Support staff, in consultation with the Convenor, will commence drafting of the report during the final session of the Review Panel's visit, with a particular focus on developing the recommendations. A draft set of recommendations will be finalised with the Convenor in the week following the Panel's visit. A first draft of the complete Report will be provided to the Convenor of the Review Panel no later than the end of the third week after the Review Panel visit. Draft reports should be considered confidential. The main body of a Review Report will be not more than ten pages in length.

The final Review Report is submitted to the PVC(SL).


On receipt of the Review Report, the PVC(SL) will seek the relevant Executive Dean's advice on acceptance, rejection or modification of the recommendations. Following this consultation, the PVC(SL) will present the Report to Academic Board.

Academic Board 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 Plans page.


The Faculty, in consultation with staff from Learning and Quality Support, will develop an Implementation Plan addressing the approved recommendations of the Review Report. A finalised Implementation Plan is to be provided to the PVC(SL) within three months of Academic Board's consideration of the Review Report.

The Faculty is required to submit updates on the progress of the actions described in the Implementation Plan to Learning and Quality Support. These updates are required after another 6 months and then a further 12 months following the initial implementation plan.

The PVC(SL) has the responsibility of ensuring that an Implementation Plan is developed, and for ensuring the monitoring of progress of the actions described in the Plan. Implementation Plans and progress reports are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plans page.


Division of Academic and Student Engagement

The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005

Street Address

Level 7, Wills Building
North Terrace Campus


T +61 8 8313 5901
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