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Professional Development Courses Procedures

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

Purpose

(1) The purpose of these Procedures is to ensure that non-award professional development courses and other similar non-accredited courses are designed to meet the requirements of the Curriculum Design and Development Policy.

Scope

(2) These Procedures apply to all non-award courses, except for pathway programs, developed by Southern Cross University.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) The Definitions (Academic) Policy applies to these Procedures.

(4) The term "professional development course" is used in these Procedures to refer to both non-award professional development courses and other similar non-accredited courses of the University.

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Section 3 - Design and Development of Professional Development Courses

Course Concept Process

(5) Professional Development Course Concept Proposals will be developed with information to allow evaluation of:

  1. alignment of the proposed course with the strategic directions and priorities of the relevant Faculty or College;
  2. the expertise and resource requirements needed to develop and deliver the proposed course;
  3. target student cohorts and likely demand for the proposed course, including addressing needs of industry and other external stakeholders; and
  4. prospective funding arrangements, competitors and financial viability of the proposed course.

Course Design and Development Process

(6) Professional Development Courses will be designed by a Course Design Team that includes:

  1. at least one academic staff member of the relevant Faculty or College with specialist expertise in the subject of the course;
  2. the Associate Dean (Education) or nominee;
  3. a representative from the relevant professional community from outside the University; and
  4. other members as required to ensure the necessary depth and breadth of expertise to design the course.

(7) The names, roles and relevant expertise of each member of the Course Design Team will be documented.

(8) The role of each member of the Course Design Team may vary from detailed design through to providing specialist input or review related to particular aspects of the course, however each member must at a minimum have the opportunity to review and provide comment on the course design prior to submission for approval.

(9) The Course Design Team will consult broadly to ensure representative views of all relevant stakeholder groups are considered, specifically including an appropriate Indigenous academic community member when relevant, and document this consultation.

(10) The course design process will include benchmarking of the aim, learning outcomes, content and assessment (if relevant) against any similar courses offered by other higher education providers in Australia and overseas through a desktop review, and any significant variations justified in terms of the pedagogical, intellectual and strategic rationale.

Course Name, Aim, Educational Approach and Learning Outcomes

(11) The course will have a name that accurately represents the course aim and content to students, potential employers and the community.

(12) The course will have an aim that concisely describes its purpose with respect to intended development of knowledge and capabilities, disciplinary focus, and major educational features.

(13) The educational approach for the course will be evidence-based, conceptually sound, culturally appropriate and described in detail.

(14) The course will normally have between one and four Course Learning Outcomes that:

  1. are aligned with the course aim;
  2. reflect development of knowledge and skills to meet industry, professional and community needs;
  3. are achievable by all students who meet the eligibility conditions for enrolment in the course, within the specified course duration; and
  4. are written clearly and concisely in plain English.

Course Requirements

(15) Course Rules will specify:

  1. eligibility conditions for enrolment in the course, including payment of fees and any other associated costs;
  2. the nominal duration of the course and any attendance or participation requirements to successfully complete the course;
  3. any assessment requirements to successfully complete the course; and
  4. any formal pathways for credit or transfer to award courses or pathway programs at the University.

Course Structure, Content and Learning Activities

(16) Professional Development Courses will not normally consist of units.

(17) The course content, teaching methods, learning resources and learning activities will:

  1. be consistent with the educational approach for the course;
  2. be designed to ensure that all students who meet the eligibility conditions for enrolment and any requirements for attendance or participation can achieve the Course Learning Outcomes;
  3. meet the learning needs of all students, including Indigenous Australians, international students regardless of cultural background, mature age students, school leavers, students with disabilities and students from non-traditional academic backgrounds.

Assessment

(18) Professional Development Courses may or may not include assessment.

(19) If a course does include assessment:

  1. any assessment tasks will be explicitly and demonstrably designed to assess achievement of the Course Learning Outcomes;
  2. a rationale for how each assessment tests the achievement of the different learning outcomes will be provided;
  3. assessment tasks will be explicitly and demonstrably designed to minimise the potential for breaches of academic integrity; and
  4. assessment tasks will be designed to reflect the broad principles set out in clause (5) of the Assessment, Teaching and Learning Policy.

(20) A student who successfully completes a professional development course that includes assessment will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Attainment, while a student who successfully completes a professional development course that does not include assessment will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Participation.

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Section 4 - Approval and Administration

(21) The Professional Development Course Concept Proposal and the Professional Development Course Details must be prepared and submitted using the specified template.

(22) The Professional Development Course Concept Proposal must be approved by the relevant Associate Dean (Education) prior to development of the Professional Development Course Details.

(23)  The Professional Development Course Details, except for course fees and other associated costs, must be recommended by the Faculty Board and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) prior to being advertised, offered or delivered.

(24)  Amendments to any of the details specified in the Professional Development Course Details, except for course fees and other associated costs, must be recommended by the Faculty Board and approved by the Associate Dean (Education), with any currently enrolled students advised accordingly.

(25) Course fees and other associated costs are set by the Executive Dean or College Dean.

(26) The Commercial Activities Policy and Commercial Activities Procedures may also apply to non-award professional development courses and other similar non-accredited courses, in which case additional approval must also be obtained from the relevant delegated authority.

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Section 5 - Associated Documents

(27) Policies and Procedures:

  1. Curriculum Design and Development Policy
  2. Commercial Activities Policy
  3. Commercial Activities Procedures

(28) Other documents:

  1. Professional Development Course Concept Proposal Template
  2. Professional Development Course Details Template