UOW Quality Framework - Review
Planning & budget reviews
The University has in place a systematic planning and review cycle for faculties and units, which includes an annual review of progress under Goals and against annual targets. The outcomes of these reviews inform the University’s Annual Report on Performance against Strategic Goals compiled by the goal committees and presented to the University Council.
The annual planning and budget cycle reviews faculty performance, focusing on key indicators, and provides the budgetary framework for forward planning. Three times per year, larger round-table meetings are held to review faculty performance in relation to strategic and funding priorities under the major executive portfolios. A full review of the University Strategic Plan is conducted every three-five years.
Reviews at UOW details the regular review processes in place at the University.
Policy review cycle
The Standard on UOW Policy requires that all approved UOW policies are reviewed every three to five years. The online Policy Directory review schedule is a central record to assist with the management and review of University Policy Documents.
Evaluation and reviews of courses, subjects and teaching
The University undertakes regular reviews of courses, subjects and teaching as described below:
- Course planning – when developing a new course or course major proposal, a faculty is required to establish an external Curriculum Appraisal Committee to review the proposal with reference to ‘quality, viability and strategic relevance’.
- Course management and approval – all new courses and major changes to courses are vetted by a Strategic Course Development Committee. Course and subject approval procedures (new & significant amendments or less significant amendments) support the course and subject approval processes at the University.
- Course and subject review – the Academic Quality policy requires that every course and every subject offered is reviewed at least every five years. The curriculum review procedures and guidelines provide detailed information to assist faculties in conducting reviews.
- Subject evaluation – since 2005, Subject Evaluation Surveys (SES) have been conducted at the end of each session to seek students’ opinions about the subjects in which they have been enrolled. Subject Evaluation guidelines define how the SES process is managed. In addition, the University has a process which encourages teachers to seek regular feedback from their students on their teaching as a contribution to their development and to teaching improvement - refer UOW Teacher Evaluations.
- Teaching evaluation – the University encourages teachers to seek regular feedback from their students on their teaching as a contribution to their development and to teaching improvement - refer UOW Teacher evaluations.
Professional accreditation provides external quality assurance for the University’s professional degree programs. The process of professional accreditation requires that a program be assessed against predetermined criteria to determine whether the program meets minimum standards set by the relevant accrediting body. Professional accreditation can operate in full or partial substitution for the course planning and review processes described above.
Regular surveying of students, staff and external stakeholders is conducted to measure satisfaction and to identify areas in need of improvement. Surveys include the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ), Graduate Destination Survey (GDS), Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ), UOW’s own Student Experience Questionnaire (SEQ), Australian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) and the International Student Barometer (ISB). Results and outcomes from student surveys are communicated via the UOW Responds website.
Annual performance reviews of staff
The Performance Planner guidelines provide a framework for reviewing performance outcomes of general staff. The framework ensures annual performance reviews against agreed performance objectives that reflect individual career planning and are aligned with the strategic priorities of the unit and University. The performance enhancement and career development process for academic staff is set out in the 2011 Enterprise Agreement and aims to ensure regular review of performance and realistic annual workload allocations and opportunities.
Reviews against external references
The University routinely conducts compliance checks against relevant legislative requirements, including the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and Occupational Health &Safety regulations. Reviews are also conducted against quality frameworks and standards such as the National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Process.
The University has developed an integrated approach to benchmarking to support institutional planning and the setting of performance targets. The UOW Benchmarking policy establishes key principles on which benchmarking should be based and the requirements for keeping of records in respect of benchmarking projects. A benchmarking website holds the UOW benchmarking register and sets out supporting guidelines to assist staff in undertaking a benchmarking project.
The University has adopted a structured and consistent approach to risk management in accordance with the spirit and main requirements of Australian Risk Management Standard AS/NZS 4360:2004 and is considering future requirements of ISO:31000.
The UOW Risk Management policy prescribes an approach and framework to be used for risk management in all areas of the University. A UOW Strategic Risks register is used to annually update and monitor strategic and key operational risks and related controls/treatment. UOW Internal Audit provides reports to the UOW Audit Management & Review Committee on a risk-rated basis and oversees a business continuity system.
In addition, an Academic Risk Assessment is conducted annually to identify continuing and emerging risks as an important source for projects under the Quality Improvement Plan.
Faculty and other units assess risks at an operational level as part of their annual planning and review process.
External audits and quality certification
In addition to its own internal reviews, UOW is subject to reviews by external bodies for a variety of purposes. For example:
- the University as a whole is subject to periodic regulatory review by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
- a number of our courses are reviewed by external professional bodies for accreditation purposes;
- the University's Annual Report is tabled with NSW parliament and our performance reporting is reviewed by NSW Audit Office and by the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET);
- Staff and Student Profiles are submitted to Australian Government Department of Education annually for review, as well as various planning and resource reports.
These external quality checks provide us with an opportunity to:
- consider planning, review and communication in an integrated way
- encourage broad awareness and genuine commitment to planning objectives
- recognise and reward effective practices
- improve documentation and refine performance indicators
- communicate our successes
The University Library operates under the Business Excellence Framework