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Academic Committee Review Panel

contact: Jason Clarke, Director of Academic Services, Student and Registry Services

Policy

1. All UCL academic units are required to operate within, and to deliver their programmes in accordance with, UCL’s established academic regulatory and procedural frameworks. UCL has in place a number of quality assurance processes to monitor that this is the case and which are designed to identify and resolve any problems which might arise.

2. However, from time to time there may arise an academic quality assurance-related problem within an academic unit or academic programme, which, due to the urgent or serious nature of the problem, cannot be dealt with, or fully resolved, by applying UCL’s standard quality assurance processes. In those exceptional circumstances, the Chair of the Academic Committee may establish an Academic Committee Review Panel to conduct a special investigation of the academic unit/programme concerned. The purpose of the special investigation will be for the Review Panel to ascertain the nature and extent of the problem, and to recommend to the Chair of the Academic Committee on what further action should be taken to resolve the problem.

3. In all such cases, the following procedure is followed.

Procedure

4. Details of any case which might merit investigation by an Academic Committee Review Panel should, in the first instance, be submitted to, and discussed with, the Secretary to the Academic Committee. The Secretary, on behalf of the Chair of Academic Committee, will ascertain whether UCL’s standard quality assurance processes have been exhausted or whether the nature of the problem is such that it cannot be addressed within the scope of those standard processes. Once this preliminary discussion has taken place, the Secretary to the Academic Committee will forward the details of the case to the Chair of the Academic Committee, who will decide whether to establish a Review Panel.

5. If the Chair of the Academic Committee decides to establish a Review Panel, it will comprise:

  • two members of Academic Committee, including at least one Faculty Tutor, who are not members of staff of the faculty in which the academic unit or programme concerned is based; one of whom will be appointed as Chair of the Review Panel;
  • a senior member of academic or administrative staff, who is not a Faculty Tutor.

6. The meeting(s) of the Review Panel will be attended by an administrative secretary, normally a member of Academic Services staff nominated by the Director of Academic Services, Student and Registry Services, who will take notes of meeting(s) and assist the Review Panel in the preparation of its report. The Review Panel will normally be expected to complete its work within eight working weeks.

7. The Chair of the Academic Committee will inform the academic unit or programme concerned why a Review Panel has been established and that the Review Panel will wish to conduct discussions with relevant staff and/or students.

8. In conducting its review, the Review Panel may request from the academic unit or programme concerned all such documentation and may meet with whichever staff and students as it deems necessary. UCL staff are expected to cooperate fully with the Review Panel at all times.

9. The Review Panel will meet as least once:

  • to consider the relevant documentation;
  • to interview appropriate persons;
  • to prepare its report.

10. The Review Panel’s provisional report will be sent to the Head of Department or other person responsible for the academic unit or programme concerned. That person will be entitled to notify normally within five working days necessary factual corrections to the report but will not be entitled otherwise to take issue with its findings and recommendations (except where the Head of Department or other person concerned claims that these findings and recommendations are based on factual error).

11., The Review Panel’s final report and recommendations will be sent, via the Secretary to the Academic Committee, to the Chair of Academic Committee. A copy will be sent to the Head of Department or other person concerned for information. The Chair of Academic Committee will decide what, if any, further action is necessary in the matter.

12. The Chair of the Academic Committee will report to the Academic Committee that a Review has taken place according to the required procedure and may, if he/she thinks it appropriate, report to the Academic Committee further details of the Review.

13. The recommendations of the Review Panel will indicate what follow-up action is expected on the part of the academic unit or programme concerned and within what period. The academic unit or programme concerned will, in consultation with the Review Panel, produce a written plan detailing the follow-up action that it will take in response to the recommendations for approval by the Chair of the Academic Committee.

14. The Chair of the Review Panel will check with the academic unit or programme concerned in due course that such follow-up action has been taken and will advise the Chair of the Academic Committee as necessary.

May 2011