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Organisational Reviews Policy

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Section 1 - Definitions

(1) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. Academic Units - Academic units refers to all schools and colleges of the University.
  2. Quality assurance - refers to the policies, attitudes, actions and procedures necessary to ensure that quality is being maintained and enhanced. 
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Section 2 - Policy Statement

Part A - Policy Declaration

(2) Organisational Reviews are an integral component of the University's Planning and Quality Frameworks.

(3) The reviews provide important input into strategic planning activities, with implementation of recommendations incorporated into the strategic plans of organisational units.

(4) The reviews which have an emphasis on self-review, reflection, strategic positioning, continuous improvement and accountability, support the University's quality assurance objectives through establishment and maintenance of an environment of continuous improvement and instigation of quality assurance measures.

(5) Reviews are of relevance and benefit to staff, students and other stakeholders.

(6) Organisational Reviews may be in three forms:

  1. Organisational Unit Reviews (Academic or Support Units);
  2. Function Reviews (involving services, functions and processes);
  3. Educational Collaboration Reviews and are conducted in accordance with the Educational Partnership Quality Assurance Procedures.

Part B - Policy Description

Objectives

(7) To ensure alignment of the structures, functions, operations and budgets of academic and support sections with the strategic objectives of the University as articulated in the University Strategic Plan and its related plans;

(8) To systematically evaluate the quality assurance measures, performance and achievements relating to the activities of Organisational Units and the efficiency and effectiveness of services, functions and processes conducted by the Unit;

(9) To respond to organisational audit requirements through regular institutional monitoring of performance and use of the information gained for institutional planning and improvement;

(10) To develop and promote the growth of a whole of University culture that is committed to continuous improvement in the quality of academic programs and administrative functions of the University;

(11) To provide a means of monitoring the quality of offshore and collaborative educational offerings and ensuring that policy requirements are being met and educational objectives are being fulfilled.

Scope

(12) This Policy applies to all Organisational Units (Academic or Support Units), all services, functions and processes.

(13) This Policy does not apply to the review of Educational Collaboration arrangements, which are conducted in accordance with the Educational Partnership Policy and Educational Partnership Quality Assurance Procedures.

Part C - Content and Implementation

The Review Schedule

(14) Reviews are conducted according to the rolling 5-year Schedule of Organisational Reviews that is approved and regularly updated by the University Quality Committee.

(15) The Vice Chancellor, following consultation, may vary or add to the Schedule at his or her discretion.

The Focus of the Reviews

(16) Organisational Unit reviews focus on academic and support sections within the University, Function reviews focus on services, functions and processes which may span organisational boundaries and areas of responsibility, and educational collaboration reviews cover all educational collaborations offshore and onshore as set out in the Educational Partnership Policy and associated Quality Assurance Procedures.

(17) The central purpose of the reviews is developmental with the intended outcome being the identification of key actions that the Organisational Unit, in agreement with the University, will undertake in order to improve its achievements and outcomes, and to enhance its quality and performance.

(18) To this end the reviews will:

  1. involve critical self-review and rigorous internal and external scrutiny of the Organisational Unit/function with particular emphasis on recent performance, current activities and proposed strategic directions;
  2. assess the direction, leadership, management, innovation and outcomes of organisational areas or activities;
  3. act as an agent for managed change and continuing quality improvement across the University.

Terms of Reference

(19) Organisational Reviews will be conducted according to Terms of Reference approved by the Vice Chancellor. The Terms of Reference will relate to the particular characteristics and strategic positioning of the area, function or collaboration under review.

The Review Panel

(20) The Review Panel will comprise appropriate academic, strategic and industry-oriented expertise and gender balance, appointed by the Vice Chancellor following input from the Head of the relevant Organisational Unit and other senior staff.

The Review Report

(21) The Chair of the Panel in consultation with the Panel members will prepare a Review Report for consideration by the Vice Chancellor.

(22) The Review Report should address the terms of reference for the review and include commendations in relation to significant strengths and exemplary performance or outcomes that have been identified, and recommendations in relation to gaps and opportunities for improvement. The report may include recommendations regarding an action plan and suggested allocation of responsibilities and timeframes for implementation.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Part D - Organisational Review Process - Schools and Colleges - School Review

Frequency

(23) In the context of the need for a full and systematic review of each Organisational Unit and major services, functions, processes and educational collaborations of the University to be conducted on a regular basis, the University Quality Committee has established a rolling 5-year Schedule of Organisational Reviews incorporating Organisational Unit, Function and Educational Collaboration reviews.

(24) The Quality Committee will update the Schedule as appropriate and the Vice Chancellor, following consultation, may vary or add to the Schedule at his or her discretion.

Review Process

(25) The organisational review process for Schools and Colleges is undertaken in two stages:

  1. Stage 1 Course Review component
  2. Stage 2 School Review process outlined below

Stage 1 Course Review

(26) The review process for Schools and Colleges commences with the review of all courses within the relevant School or College and follows the process outlined in the Course Review Policy. The Report/s from the External Course Review Expert and any responses from Head of School/College, Executive Deans, and Chair, School Board form part of the Review documentation.

(27) The School Review Panel may accept or reject the recommendations of the Report of the External Course Review Expert and make recommendations of their own.

Stage 2 School or College Review

Vice Chancellor Announces Terms of Reference

(28) The Academic Unit Review process commences with the announcement of the terms of reference by the Vice Chancellor. The Terms of Reference will relate to the particular characteristics and strategic positioning of the School/College under review.

Chair of Review Panel Appointed and Panel Members Nominated

(29) The Review Panel will comprise appropriate academic, strategic and industry-oriented expertise and gender balance, appointed by the Vice Chancellor following input from the Head of the relevant School or College and other senior staff. A Review Administrative Officer will be appointed to support the Review Process and provide guidance to the School/College.

Preparation of Review Portfolio

(30) Under the general direction of its Head, the Organisational Unit will prepare a Review Portfolio for consideration by the Review Panel. The Review Portfolio will be structured to reflect the University's overall strategic Quality philosophy of PLAN - IMPLEMENT — MONITOR AND REVIEW — IMPROVE. A template developed by the Office of Planning, Quality and Review should normally be adopted for preparation of the Portfolio. The Review Portfolio should be limited to a maximum of 20 pages (plus any supporting documentation). The portfolio will address the Organisational Unit's self-assessment of performance as evidenced in annual Plans, and include as appropriate

  1. the context in which the Unit operates including a brief history of the Unit;
  2. report of the external Course Review Expert;
  3. minutes or reports from advisory committees;
  4. outcomes of benchmarking projects;
  5. feedback from students or client groups;
  6. feedback from any internal and external reviews;
  7. a summary of performance since the last review;
  8. intended developments.

(31) The Portfolio should address the following activities:

  1. Learning and Teaching;
  2. Research and Research Training;
  3. Financial Management;
  4. Engagement with the Region and Professions;
  5. Engagement with other University Units;
  6. Improving the University Experience for Students;
  7. Leadership and Innovation (including enhancing the potential and performance of Staff);
  8. Alignment of the Unit's activities to Southern Cross University's Priorities in the University Strategic Plan and functional plans;
  9. Quality Assurance and Improvement Processes;
  10. Internationalisation;
  11. Significant Planning and Review Activities.

(32) This review process provides the School/College with an opportunity to reflect, in each of the above categories, on achievements, assess current activities, and highlight intended strategic and targeted priorities within the Vice Chancellor's Terms of Reference for the Review.

(33) The Portfolio must include relevant data sourced from the Key Performance Indicators reported in the annual General Report Card to Council and data relevant to the Institutional Assessment Framework. Organisational Units should also report on other performance indicators of relevance to their operations and provide evidence of feedback from relevant stakeholders. The Portfolio should highlight those activities where benchmarking has been carried out, either across Schools, internally or across universities or with other organizations.

Consultation Process

(34) The Review Administrative Officer will issue a call for submissions from staff and students and other relevant interested parties (such as Alumni, professional groups, industry partners and government agencies) announcing the dates for the review and advising the Terms of Reference. The notice will include an invitation for submissions from interested parties in relation to the specific terms of reference for the review.

Review Meeting

(35) The Review Panel will be convened and normally meet for a period of one to two days. The Review Portfolio and any submissions will be considered by the Review Panel.

(36) The Panel will conduct interviews with the Head of School/College, selected staff, students and other stakeholders (as appropriate). At its discretion the Review Panel may seek to interview any persons of interest and /or seek additional documentation to support their inquiries.

(37) The Executive member with responsibility for the School or College being reviewed will normally be invited to present a brief overview highlighting:

  1. significant achievements;
  2. follow up action with regard to areas for improvement or opportunities identified in the previous review;
  3. performance in relation to major objectives within the University Strategic Plan and other top level plans and if appropriate, Organisational Unit and Service Level Plans;
  4. progress with actioning significant recommendations from other reviews (such as self-initiated reviews of Schools, or other units or functions within the Organisational Unit);
  5. special projects; and
  6. any proposed developments and key priorities for the short and mid-term future;
  7. consideration of macro and micro issues affecting the Unit such as barriers, constraints, financial circumstances, staff profile, performance and other relevant matters.

(38) At the conclusion of the Review Meeting, the Panel may engage in discussion on issues arising from the Review with the Executive member and Head of School/College as deemed appropriate.

(39) The Panel will normally provide the Vice Chancellor with a briefing of its findings and potential commendations and recommendations.

Review Report

(40) The Chair of the Review Panel in consultation with the Panel members will prepare the Review Report outlining review outcomes and rationale for consideration by the Vice Chancellor.

(41) The Review Report should deal with matters in relation to:

  1. significant strengths which have been identified (and examples of outcomes);
  2. gaps and opportunities identified for improvement and recommendations for addressing them;
  3. an action plan, including responsibilities and time frames for implementation, and how this integrates with other Southern Cross University strategic plans; and
  4. recommendations related to courses and curriculum.

(42) When available a copy of the Review Report will be forwarded to the relevant member of Executive (and Head of School/College and Academic Board, if appropriate) for comment on matters of fact or emphasis to the Vice Chancellor within two weeks.

(43) The Vice Chancellor will respond to the report and indicate responsibility for implementation of agreed recommendations. The report will be made available to the University community as appropriate. A summary of the information in the report relating to courses will be forwarded to Programs Committee of Academic Board.

Implementation and Follow up

(44) The School shall develop in consultation with relevant organisational areas a five year Implementation Plan for all aspects of the School Review including course and curriculum. Three months after the receipt of the Vice Chancellor's response to the recommendations, the report is to be provided to the Quality Committee outlining the action that is to be undertaken to address the recommendations in the Review report. The relevant section related to courses and curriculum is also to be provided to Programs Committee.

(45) Twelve months after receipt of the Vice Chancellor's response to the Review Report, the Head of School/College is to provide a Review Implementation Report to the Vice Chancellor, through the Quality Committee, specifying on-going action that has been taken to rectify gaps and take advantage of opportunities. This report could also indicate if priorities have changed to reflect internal or external impacts. The Vice Chancellor may forward the Review Implementation Report to Council for information if appropriate. Sections in the Review Implementation Report focusing on course and curriculum matters are to be forwarded to Academic Board.

(46) Annual updates are to be provided to Quality Committee in regard to the following:

  1. Implementation and outcomes of recommendations
  2. Monitoring and reporting of improvements
  3. Planned quality enhancements

Part E - Organisational Review Process - Support Units

Frequency

(47) In the context of the need for a full and systematic review of each Organisational Unit and major services, functions, processes and educational collaborations of the University to be conducted on a regular basis, the University Quality Committee has established a rolling 5-year Schedule of Organisational Reviews incorporating Organisational Unit, Function and Educational Collaboration reviews.

(48) The Quality Committee will update the Schedule as appropriate and the Vice Chancellor, following consultation, may vary or add to the Schedule at his or her discretion.

Review Process

Vice Chancellor Announces Terms of Reference

(49) The Support Unit Review process commences with the announcement of the terms of reference by the Vice Chancellor. The Terms of Reference will relate to the particular characteristics and strategic positioning of the support unit under review.

Chair of Review Panel Appointed and Panel Members Nominated

(50) The Review Panel will comprise appropriate academic, strategic and industry-oriented expertise and gender balance, appointed by the Vice Chancellor following input from the Head of the relevant Organisational Unit and other senior staff. A Review Administrative Officer will be appointed to support the Review Process and provide guidance to the Organisational Unit.

Preparation of Review Portfolio

(51) Under the general direction of its Head, the Organisational Unit will prepare a Review Portfolio for consideration by the Review Panel. The Review Portfolio will be structured to reflect the University's overall strategic Quality philosophy of PLAN - IMPLEMENT — MONITOR AND REVIEW — IMPROVE. A template developed by the Office of Planning, Quality and Review should normally be adopted for preparation of the Portfolio. The Review Portfolio should be limited to a maximum of 20 pages (plus any supporting documentation). The portfolio will address the Organisational Unit's self-assessment of performance as evidenced in annual Plans, and include as appropriate

  1. the context in which the Unit operates including a brief history of the Unit;
  2. Service Level Agreements
  3. minutes or reports from advisory committees;
  4. outcomes of benchmarking projects;
  5. feedback from students or client groups;
  6. feedback from any internal and external reviews;
  7. a summary of performance since the last review;
  8. intended developments.

(52) The Portfolio should address the following activities where relevant:

  1. Support functions of Unit
  2. Engagement with other University Units
  3. Financial Management;
  4. Engagement with the Region and Professions;
  5. Engagement with International Activities;
  6. Improving the University Experience for Students;
  7. Leadership and Innovation (including enhancing the potential and performance of Staff);
  8. Alignment of the Unit's activities to Southern Cross University's Priorities in the University Strategic Plan and functional plans;
  9. Quality Assurance and Improvement Processes;
  10. Significant Planning and Review Activities.

(53) This review process provides the Organisational Unit with an opportunity to reflect, in each of the above categories, on achievements, assess current activities, and highlight intended strategic and targeted priorities within the Vice Chancellor's Terms of Reference for the Review.

(54) The Portfolio must include relevant data sourced from the Key Performance Indicators reported in the annual General Report Card to Council and data relevant to the Institutional Assessment Framework. Organisational Units should also report on other performance indicators of relevance to their operations and provide evidence of feedback from relevant stakeholders. The Portfolio should highlight those activities where benchmarking has been carried out, internally or across universities or with other organizations.

Consultation Process

(55) The Review Administrative Officer will issue a call for submissions from staff and students and other relevant interested parties (such as Alumni, professional groups, industry partners and government agencies) announcing the dates for the review and advising the Terms of Reference. The notice will include an invitation for submissions from interested parties in relation to the specific terms of reference for the review.

Review Meeting

(56) The Review Panel will be convened and normally meet for a period of one to two days. The Review Portfolio and any submissions will be considered by the Review Panel.

(57) The Panel will conduct interviews with the Head of the Organisational Unit, selected staff, students and other stakeholders (as appropriate). At its discretion the Review Panel may seek to interview any persons of interest or seek additional documentation to support their inquiries.

(58) The Executive member with responsibility for the Organisational Unit being reviewed will normally be invited to present a brief overview highlighting:

  1. significant achievements;
  2. follow up action with regard to areas for improvement or opportunities identified in the previous review;
  3. performance in relation to major objectives within the University Strategic Plan and other top level plans and if appropriate, Organisational Unit and Service Level Plans;
  4. progress with actioning significant recommendations from other reviews;
  5. special projects; and
  6. any proposed developments and key priorities for the short and mid-term future;
  7. consideration of macro and micro issues affecting the Unit such as barriers, constraints, financial circumstances, staff profile, performance and other relevant matters.

(59) At the conclusion of the Review Meeting, the Panel may engage in discussion on issues arising from the Review with the Executive member or Head of Organisational Unit as deemed appropriate.

(60) The Panel will normally provide the Vice Chancellor with a briefing of its findings and potential commendations and recommendations.

Review Report

(61) The Chair of the Review Panel in consultation with the Panel members will prepare the Review Report outlining review outcomes and rationale for consideration by the Vice Chancellor.

(62) The Review Report should deal with matters in relation to:

  1. significant strengths which have been identified (and examples of outcomes);
  2. gaps and opportunities identified for improvement and recommendations for addressing them; and
  3. an action plan, including responsibilities and time frames for implementation, and how this integrates with other Southern Cross University strategic plans.

(63) When available a copy of the Review Report will be forwarded to the relevant member of Executive (and Head of the Organisational Unit) for comment on matters of fact or emphasis to the Vice Chancellor within two weeks. The Vice Chancellor will respond to the report and indicate responsibility for implementation of agreed recommendations. The report will be made available to the University community as appropriate.

Implementation and Follow up

(64) The Organisational Unit shall develop in consultation with relevant organisational areas a five year Implementation Plan for all aspects of the Organisational Unit Review. Three months after the receipt of the Vice Chancellor's response to the recommendations, the report is to be provided to the Quality Committee outlining the action that is to be undertaken to address the recommendations in the Review report.

(65) Twelve months after receipt of the Vice Chancellor's response to the Review Report, the Head of the Organisational Unit is to provide a Review Implementation Report to the Vice Chancellor, through the Quality Committee, specifying on-going action that has been taken to rectify gaps and take advantage of opportunities. This report could also indicate if priorities have changed to reflect internal or external impacts. The Vice Chancellor may forward the Review Implementation Report to Council for information if appropriate.

(66) Annual updates are to be provided to Quality Committee in regard to the following:

  1. Implementation and outcomes of recommendations
  2. Monitoring and reporting of improvements
  3. Planned quality enhancements

Part F - Organisational Review Process - Functions

Frequency

(67) In the context of the need for a full and systematic review of each Organisational Unit and major services, functions, processes and educational collaborations of the University to be conducted on a regular basis, the University Quality Committee has established a rolling 5-year Schedule of Organisational Reviews incorporating Organisational Unit, Function and Educational Collaboration reviews.

(68) The Quality Committee will update the Schedule as appropriate and the Vice Chancellor, following consultation, may vary or add to the Schedule at his or her discretion.

Review Process

Vice Chancellor Announces Terms of Reference and Steering Committee Membership

(69) The Function Review process commences with the announcement of the terms of reference by the Vice Chancellor. The Terms of Reference will relate to the particular characteristics and strategic positioning of the function under review.

(70) For each Function Review, an Organisational Unit will be identified by the Quality Committee to host the review. A Steering Committee for the Review will be established consisting of representatives from major stakeholders in the Function. Membership of the Steering Committee will be approved by the Vice Chancellor after consultation with relevant senior staff.

Chair of Review Panel Appointed and Panel Members Nominated

(71) The Review Panel will comprise appropriate academic, strategic and industry-oriented expertise and gender balance, appointed by the Vice Chancellor following input from the relevant Heads of the Organisational Units and other senior staff. A Review Administrative Officer will be appointed to support the Review Process and provide guidance to the Organisational Unit.

Preparation of Review Portfolio

(72) Under the guidance of the Steering Committee, the host Organisational Unit will prepare a Review Portfolio for consideration by the Review Panel. The Review Portfolio will be structured to reflect the University's overall strategic Quality philosophy of PLAN - IMPLEMENT — MONITOR AND REVIEW — IMPROVE. A template developed by the Office of Planning, Quality and Review should normally be adopted for preparation of the Portfolio. The Review Portfolio should be limited to a maximum of 20 pages (plus any supporting documentation). The portfolio will address the Organisational Unit's self-assessment of performance as evidenced in annual Plans, and include as appropriate

  1. the context in which the Function operates including a brief history of the Function;
  2. Service Level Agreements
  3. minutes or reports from relevant advisory committees;
  4. outcomes of benchmarking projects;
  5. feedback from students or client groups;
  6. feedback from any internal and external reviews;
  7. a summary of performance since the last review;
  8. intended developments.

(73) The Portfolio should address the following activities where relevant:

  1. Effectiveness of the Function in its operation;
  2. Efficiency of the Function as it is applied;
  3. Ownership of the Function and whether this sits in the most appropriate Unit;
  4. Evidence of duplication of application of the Function;
  5. Income Generation (Including International and Commercial Activities);
  6. Actual or potential operation of the Function external to the University;
  7. Improving the University Experience for Students;
  8. Improving the efficiency of staff work;
  9. Alignment of the Function to the University's Priorities in the University Strategic Plan and functional plans;
  10. Quality Assurance and Improvement Processes;

(74) This review process provides relevant Organisational Units with an opportunity to reflect, in each of the above categories, on achievements, assess current activities, and highlight intended strategic and targeted priorities within the Vice Chancellor's Terms of Reference for the Review.

(75) The Portfolio must include relevant data sourced from the Key Performance Indicators reported in the annual General Report Card to Council and data relevant to the Institutional Assessment Framework. Organisational Units should also report on other performance indicators of relevance to their operations and provide evidence of feedback from relevant stakeholders. The Portfolio should highlight those activities where benchmarking has been carried out, internally or across universities or with other organizations.

Consultation Process

(76) The Review Administrative Officer will issue a call for submissions from staff and students and other relevant interested parties (such as Alumni, professional groups, industry partners and government agencies) announcing the dates for the review and advising the Terms of Reference.

(77) The notice will include an invitation for submissions from interested parties in relation to the specific terms of reference for the review.

Review Meeting

(78) The Review Panel will be convened and normally meet for a period of one to two days. The Review Portfolio and any submissions will be considered by the Review Panel.

(79) The Panel will conduct interviews with the Head of the Organisational Unit, selected staff, students and other stakeholders (as appropriate). At its discretion the Review Panel may seek to interview any persons of interest or seek additional documentation to support their inquiries.

(80) The Executive member with responsibility for the Function being reviewed will normally be invited to present a brief overview highlighting:

  1. significant achievements;
  2. follow up action with regard to areas for improvement or opportunities identified in the previous review;
  3. performance in relation to major objectives within the University Strategic Plan and other top level plans and if appropriate, Organisational Unit and Service Level Plans;
  4. progress with actioning significant recommendations from other reviews;
  5. special projects; and
  6. any proposed developments and key priorities for the short and mid-term future;
  7. consideration of macro and micro issues affecting the Function such as barriers, constraints, financial circumstances, staff profile, performance and other relevant matters.

(81) At the conclusion of the Review Meeting, the Panel may engage in discussion on issues arising from the Review with the Executive member and relevant Head of Organisational Unit as deemed appropriate.

(82) The Panel will normally provide the Vice Chancellor with a briefing of its findings and potential commendations and recommendations.

Review Report

(83) The Chair of the Review Panel in consultation with the Panel members will prepare the Review Report outlining review outcomes and rationale for consideration by the Vice Chancellor.

(84) The Review Report should deal with matters in relation to:

  1. significant strengths which have been identified (and examples of outcomes);
  2. gaps and opportunities identified for improvement and recommendations for addressing them; and
  3. an action plan, including responsibilities and time frames for implementation, and how this integrates with other Southern Cross University strategic plans.

(85) When available a copy of the Review Report will be forwarded to the relevant member of Executive (and Head of the Organisational Unit) for comment on matters of fact or emphasis to the Vice Chancellor within two weeks. The Vice Chancellor will respond to the report and indicate responsibility for implementation of agreed recommendations. The report will be made available to the University community as appropriate.

Implementation and Follow up

(86) The nominated Organisational Unit shall develop in consultation with relevant organisational areas a five year Implementation Plan for all aspects of the Function Review. Three months after the receipt of the Vice Chancellor's response to the recommendations, the report is to be provided to the Quality Committee outlining the action that is to be undertaken to address the recommendations in the Review report.

(87) Twelve months after receipt of the Vice Chancellor's response to the Review Report, the Head of the relevant Organisational Unit is to provide a Review Implementation Report to the Vice Chancellor, through the Quality Committee, specifying on-going action that has been taken to rectify gaps and take advantage of opportunities. This report could also indicate if priorities have changed to reflect internal or external impacts. The Vice Chancellor may forward the Review Implementation Report to Council for information if appropriate.

(88) Annual updates are to be provided to Quality Committee in regard to the following:

  1. Implementation and outcomes of recommendations
  2. Monitoring and reporting of improvements
  3. Planned quality enhancements