Annual Monitoring at UCL

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


1 Introduction

1.1 Annual Monitoring (AM) is one of UCL’s key quality management and enhancement (QME) processes. AM is carried out for all UCL taught programmes and their constituent modules.

2 Purposes of Annual Monitoring

2.1 The purposes of UCL’s AM process are to:

  • provide an opportunity for the noting of key issues at module, programme, department, faculty and institutional levels, culminating in a report to AC which enables appropriate action to be identified, taken and reported back to faculties for wider dissemination;
  • promote greater consistency in quality monitoring processes across UCL and ensure that procedures are in place to identify and act upon any consistent themes which emerge;
  • provide a crucial source of evidence that UCL’s internal QME processes are robust, efficient and effective;
  • enable 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.

3 Principles of Annual Monitoring

3.1 The essential principles of AM are as follows:

  • that it should serve as 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;
  • that it should be conducted in a consistent, systematic and comparable way across UCL by means of (i) a clear, published Procedure for the Conduct of AM, (ii) the use of AM report proforma at each level of reporting, which set out the minimum/core reporting requirements but which faculties may build upon to reflect the particular nature or requirements of their constituent departments/disciplines and (iii) the central provision of statistical data by Student Data Services to inform the process;
  • that the AM process should involve, every fifth year, an augmented element known as Augmented Annual Monitoring (AugAM – see section 5 below), in order to enable Programme Organisers to evaluate, comment upon and monitor the impact on their programmes of cumulative, incremental change over a longer review period and to identify further opportunities for enhancement of the student learning experience.

4 Summary of Annual Monitoring Process

4.1 AM consists of a pyramidal reporting process whereby AM reports (AMRs) are completed at module, programme, department and faculty levels, each using specially developed proforma. 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 Departmental AMRs are discussed by Departmental Teaching Committees (DTCs) and by Staff-Student Consultative Committees (SSCCs) to ensure that student views on key issues are noted before being submitted to the Faculty Teaching Committee (FTC) to allow the consideration of larger issues arising which have implications for the Faculty, including and especially good practice which can be shared.

4.3 FTCs produce a summary report for the Quality Management and Enhancement Committee (QMEC) to allow QMEC to identify matters for institutional consideration. QMEC advises Academic Committee (AC) of these and responses to key institutional issues are sought. Faculties are informed of any institutional responses/outcomes and faculties, in turn, inform departments.

5 Details of the Annual and Augmented Annual Monitoring Procedures

5.1 For details of the AM procedure and of the AugAM policy and procedure, please see:

5.2 Further information on AM and AugAM is also available from Academic Services (AS): contact Sandra Hinton [Quality Assurance Manager, AS – telephone 0207 679 8590/internal extension 28590 – email s.hinton [at] ucl.ac.uk] or Jason Clarke (Director, AS, – telephone 0207 679 8594/internal extension 28594 – email jason.clarke [at] ucl.ac.uk].

August 2012

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.