Procedure for the Conduct of Annual Monitoring

contact: Sandra Hinton, Quality Assurance Manager, Academic Services, Student and Registry Services


Key to abbreviations:

AC Academic Committee
AM Annual Monitoring
AMR Annual Monitoring Report
AS Academic Services
AugAM Augmented Annual Monitoring
DTC Departmental Teaching Committee 
FTC Faculty Teaching Committee
HoD Head of Department
Joint Staff Student Committee
PS Programme Specification
PSRB Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body
QAA Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
QME Quality Management and Enhancement
QMEC Quality Management and Enhancement Committee
SEQ Student Evaluation Questionnaire
SSCC Staff-Student Consultative Committee

1 Introduction

1.1 This document sets out the procedure for the conduct of Annual Monitoring (AM). Before commencing the AM process, you should read UCL’s policy on AM which sets out the purposes and principles of AM and which can be found at:

1.2 AM is one of UCL’s key quality management and enhancement (QME) processes. The AM process offers the following:

  • a genuine aid to departments in enhancing the quality of their provision by (i) enabling reflection on issues arising in the previous academic year, (ii) enabling feedback from students, staff and External Examiners to be discussed and considered and (iii) by emphasising action taken (or to be taken) on issues arising;
  • an opportunity for the noting of key issues at module, programme, department, faculty and institutional levels, culminating in a report to Academic Committee (AC) which enables appropriate action to be identified, taken and reported back to faculties for wider dissemination;
  • it enables UCL to meet both internal and external requirements1 for an annual monitoring procedure which is embedded and ongoing and is sufficiently robust to withstand external scrutiny.

2 The Main Steps of Annual Monitoring

2.1 The main steps of the AM procedure are as follows.

Steps Action Date People Hyperlinks Notes
Step One Statistical Data for the previous academic session is published on the Academic Services (AS) Website. End of July 2014 Gary Smith in Student Data Services ANNUAL MONITORING DATA Data on applications, offers and intake for UG and PGT students and UG module results and awards, (following their formal ratification in July) will be available by the end of July 2014. PGT module results and awards data will be made available om 31 October 2014.
Step Two The Module Organiser, using the relevant proforma, produces a report on each module for which he/she is responsible. August 2014 Module Organiser PROFORMA FOR MODULE ORGANISER REPORT  
Step Three Module Organiser forwards his/her report (s) to the relevant Programme Organiser. August 2014 Module Organiser   Where modules are offered in more than one programme, the module report will be sent to the Programme Organiser of all programmes where the module is offered.
Step Four The Programme Organiser2, using the relevant proforma, produces a report on the programme for which he/she is responsible, reflecting and commenting on the information contained in the Module Organisers’ reports and on the reports of the Chair(s) of Board(s) of Examiners. August/September 2014 Programme Organiser PROFORMA FOR PROGRAMME ORGANISER REPORT  
Step Five The Programme Organiser forwards his/her report to the HoD/Chair of the Departmental Teaching Committee (DTC). September 2014 Programme Organiser    
Step Six The HoD/Chair of DTC, using the relevant proforma, produces a report reflecting and commenting on the information contained in the Programme Organisers’ reports. October 2014 HoD/Chair of DTC. PROFORMA FOR HOD/CHAIR OF DTC REPORT HoDs/DTC Chairs are also asked to complete the proforma attached to the report which summarises its discussion of the results of SEQs.
Step Seven The HoD/Chair of DTC submits his/her report to the Departmental Teaching Committee and Staff-Student Consultative Committee for discussion. October 2014 HoD/Chair of DTC    
Step Eight The HoD/Chair of DTC submits his/her report, (including any comments arising from discussion by the DTC and Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) and the proforma summarising its discussion of SEQs) to the Faculty Teaching Committee (FTC). Early December 2014/end of Autumn Term HoD/Chair of DTC    

Step Nine

The Chair of the FTC, using the relevant proforma, prepares a faculty summary report of issues arising from the HoD/Chair of DTC’s reports.

January 2015

Step Ten The Chair of the FTC submits the faculty summary report to the FTC for discussion. January 2015 Chair of the FTC   FTC Chairs are also asked to complete the proforma attached to the faculty summary which summarises its discussion of the results of SEQs.
Step Eleven The Chair of the FTC forwards the faculty summary report, (including any comments arising from discussion by the FTC and the proforma summarising the SEQs) to the QMEC Secretary*. End of January 2015 Chair of the FTC   *The QMEC Secretary will pass the SEQ proforma to the Secretary of the JSSC for action.

3 Reporting and Dissemination of Issues Arising from Annual Monitoring Reports

3.1 UCL’s pyramidal structure of committees at department, faculty and institutional-level to assure quality and standards (eg DTCs, FTCs and AC) reflects UCL’s academic-led and devolved approach to QME. The procedure at institutional level for the reporting of issues arising from AM reports (AMRs), the identification of any action needed and dissemination of this back to faculties is as follows:

Step Twelve The QMEC Secretary prepares a summary of issues or themes arising from the faculty summary reports for reporting to QMEC. February 2015
QMEC Secretary  
Step Thirteen QMEC discusses the summary of issues or themes arising from the faculty summary reports. March 2015 QMEC  
Step Fourteen The QMEC Chair makes an oral report to the Spring Term meeting of Academic Committee (AC), highlighting the key issues arising from the recent AM round. Late March 2015 QMEC Chair  
Step Fifteen QMEC seeks responses from relevant departments/committees/officers to those issues. April 2015 QMEC Chair/Secretary  
Step Sixteen QMEC submits a written report to the first meeting of AC in the Summer Term of the following session which includes responses received from relevant departments/committees/officers to issues raised. June 2015 QMEC Chair/Secretary  
Step Seventeen Following discussion at AC the QMEC Officers will forward QMEC’s written report to Deans and Faculty Tutors with instructions that the report is to be submitted to the next scheduled meeting of their own FTC for discussion.
  Discussion of QMEC’s written report by AC also provides Deans of Faculty and Faculty Tutors with an opportunity to see what is happening in other faculties and to share good practice.

4 Contents of Annual Monitoring Reports

4.1 As can be seen from Steps One to Eleven, the AM procedure involves the preparation of reports at module, programme, departmental and faculty levels, with a proforma for each stage of the reporting process. As part of UCL’s academic-led approach to QME, and in the interests of efficiency, an important aspect of the process is that issues are discussed and action taken at the appropriate level, with upward reporting confined to issues which can best inform discussion at the next level up.

4.2 A set of core institutional reporting requirements has been developed for each level of reporting and the proforma have been designed to allow information to be filtered up through the institution to institutional level committees (via a report to QMEC and AC) for discussion. Outcomes are then reported back to faculties and departments by means of discussion by FTCs of AC’s report. While ensuring that institutional reporting benchmarks are met, the process is designed to be flexible. The proforma can be adapted or built upon by faculties to reflect the particular nature or requirements of their constituent departments/disciplines, provided that the core reporting requirements are fulfilled. To see the core reporting requirements at each level of reporting, please click on the link to the relevant proforma in the chart above, or below:

4.3 UCL is committed to module reports as the ‘lowest level’ of AM but where programmes have a very large number of modules, provided that it can be confirmed that all core reporting requirements have been fulfilled, the amount of text included under each of the proforma headings is a matter for the Programme Organiser. In completing module reports, Module Organisers may choose to incorporate student performance data in the individual report but this is entirely optional.

5 Data to Support Annual Monitoring

5.1 As per Step One in section 2 above, Student Data Services, Student and Registry Services, will produce, for publication on the Academic Services website by the end of June each year, certain categories of statistical data relating to students for each department. Student Data Services is happy to discuss the accuracy or completeness of the data with individual departments, although departments are advised that this is easier if done as soon as possible after the data has been put on to the site.

6 Publication of Annual Monitoring Reports

6.1 AMRs should be published on either departmental or faculty intranet sites, for viewing by UCL staff and students. Each faculty has now decided on the most appropriate site for publication of its own AMRs. Programme Organisers and HoDs/Chairs of DTCs should therefore check with the Faculty Tutor which site has been chosen before publishing their AMRs.

6.2 Before publication, it is requested that colleagues exclude anything from their AMRs that could identify individuals. They are therefore asked not to name course tutors or individual students.

7 Annual Monitoring and Combined or Inter-Departmental Degree Programmes

7.1 For combined4 or inter-departmental degree programmes, in accordance with UCL policy, there should be a single identified Programme Tutor, responsible for overview of the whole programme and providing the focal point for all students and all staff contributing to it. The same Tutor may serve for more than one such programme if this is acceptable to all the departments concerned.

7.2 Each inter-departmental degree programme should also have a small standing committee, with representation from each of the contributing departments, responsible for agreeing the syllabus, keeping the whole programme under review, and dealing with all matters concerning the administration and quality control of the programme.

7.3 Responsibility for the Programme Organiser’s AMR should therefore lie with the Programme Tutor. The Programme Tutor should be responsible for co-ordinating the information, eg. collecting Module Organiser’s reports, looking at issues from SSCCs and so forth. Some programmes have their own SSCC. Where this is not the case, students should be represented on one or more of the participating SSCCs. The AMR should then be submitted to the programme standing committee for comment and then upward to the faculty as described above, unless the standing committee has agreed that the participating departments’ DTCs should see it.

8 Annual Monitoring and Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body Accreditation

8.1 In the case of programmes which regularly undergo accreditation by Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), provided the core AM reporting requirements are fulfilled, programmes are at liberty to adapt the relevant proforma to accommodate any additional reporting requirements needed to support or prepare for accreditation/PSRB visits.

8.2 The Programme Organiser’s AMR proforma carries a request for details of:

  • The name of the PSRB concerned;
  • The date (month/year) of the latest PSRB accreditation of the programme;
  • The main outcomes of this latest accreditation;
  • The expected date (month/year) of the next PSRB accreditation of the programme.

9 Annual Monitoring and Programme Specifications

9.1 In completing the AM process, Programme Organisers should review the Programme Specification (PS) and update it appropriately (including updating the ‘date of review’ section and approval dates by the Head of Department, DTC and FTC) if the programme has altered in any way during the previous year.

9.2 If the programme remains unaltered, Programme Organisers should still update the ‘date of review’ section of the PS to confirm that it has been reviewed, as well as ensuring that the approval dates by the Head of Department, DTC and FTC are also updated. The latter two may be approved by Chair’s action.

9.3 All PSs are held on the AS website at UCL Programme Specifications. Programme Organisers are requested by means of a prompt on the reporting proforma to send in their new and updated PSs each year to Rob Traynor (r.traynor@ucl.ac.uk) for uploading on the site. If there are no changes to the PS, please inform Rob Traynor of the date it was reviewed and the dates approved by the Head of Department, the DTC and the FTC. The PS can then be updated by Academic Services.

9.4 Discontinued PSs may be removed from the Academic Services PS webpages as long as there are no longer any students registered on the programme. Departments should also check that the programme is no longer listed as active in the UCL prospectus and in their own website. Please inform Rob Traynor.

10 Annual Monitoring and Student Evaluation Questionnaires (SEQs)

10.1 In 2011, proformas were designed to assist in the summary of the SEQ data for consideration by the various committees, in order to fulfill the requirements of the various UCL policies and practices as referred in the Academic Manual. The SEQ proformas are attached to the AM reporting proforma for the HoD/DTC's report and the proforma for the FTC summary and have been designed to provide a clear overview of the main matters of interest arising from the analyses of the SEQs and any action taken.

10.2 The following points should be considered in completion of the proformas for departmental and faculty consideration of the SEQ data:

  • it is advisable that analysis of the SEQs is conducted by departments and academic units in time for the beginning of the following academic session;
  • the Departmental proformas should be submitted to the first meetings of the DTC and the DSSCC in the academic session;
  • the faculty SEQ proforma should be submitted to the first meeting of the FTC in the academic session;
  • the completed faculty SEQ proforma should be submitted to the QMEC Secretary by January each year.  This information will then be passed to the Secretary of the JSSC and considered alongside other sources of student feedback data (NSS, ISB and the DSSCC minutes).    

September 2014

1 Programmes offered must continue to meet the academic standards set both by UCL and relevant external bodies, which in the case of UCL includes assuring itself that its internal QME procedures are fit for purpose and also satisfy the requirements of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the various professional and statutory bodies.

2 A ‘Programme Organiser’ here is the member of staff responsible for the Degree Programme.

3 Please contact Gary Smith in Student Data Services on extension 32044.

4 Combined Degree programmes are defined as programmes of study comprising (a) as equal components, two subjects of study and normally involving two Departments, or (b) one major and one minor component and normally involving two Departments, or (c) more than two subjects of study and involving more than two Departments.