- Part 1 - Key overarching policies and principles of UCL
- Part 2 - Curriculum planning and design
- Part 3 - Learning, teaching and assessment
- Part 4 - Student recruitment, admission and reception
- Part 5 - Student support and guidance
- Part 6 - Staff support and development
- Part 7 - Academic quality review, monitoring and feedback framework
- Part 8 - Management and organisational framework
Internal Quality Review at UCL
contact: Sandra Hinton, Senior Quality Assurance Officer, Registry and Academic Services
1.1 Internal Quality Review (IQR) is one of the most important parts of UCL's academic quality assurance processes and strategy. First introduced in 1992 as Internal Quality Audit (IQA), IQR is a rolling programme, which operates on an approximately five- yearly cycle. Each academic department of UCL is normally reviewed once during each cycle, as are a number of interdisciplinary degree programmes.
2 Purposes of Internal Quality Review
2.2 An important purpose of IQR is to review a department's operations in relation to statements of policy and good practice which appear in UCL's Academic Manual. But IQR is not merely a compliance-testing mechanism. It also aspires to be a genuinely developmental process - an opportunity for departments to review and, in partnership with the review team, identify opportunities for enhancing their existing quality assurance structures and systems.
3 Essential Principles of Internal Quality Review
- IQR is a crucial source of evidence that UCL’s internal QME processes are robust and effective;
- while IQR includes an important quality monitoring aspect, it should also serve as a genuine aid to academic units in enhancing the quality of their provision;
- IQR needs to be conducted in a consistent and systematic fashion. An important way of promoting consistency and departmental confidence in the review process and enabling comparability is by (i) briefing reviewers and secretaries to review teams and (ii) advance briefing of representatives of academic units being reviewed;
- IQR affords a department the opportunity to contribute to the development of the review team's agenda, by means of a self-evaluative statement. The SES, which should form the starting point of the IQR process, allows a department to identify its own strengths and weaknesses and to identify particular issues that it wishes to explore with the review team;
- in order to rationalise departmental effort and to assist departmental planning, the IQR timetable should, where relevant and feasible, be harmonised as much as possible with the timetable for the accreditation of programmes by professional and statutory bodies.
- IQR teams should normally include, as well as three members of UCL staff and an administrative secretary, one member from outside UCL.
4 Summary of Internal Quality Review Process
4.1 Once the department has submitted the SES, with supporting documentary evidence, the IQR process comprises five main stages:
- scrutiny of the SES and supporting evidence by the review team;
- a visit by the review team to the department, normally lasting between one and two working days, when interviews with members of the department (staff and students) take place;
- production by the team of an IQR report, which concludes with a summary of the good practice and areas with scope for improvement in the department which the review team has identified;
- a meeting between the review team and the department to explore how the department intends to follow up the findings of the IQR report;
- consideration by the Internal Quality Review Panel of UCL's Quality Management and Enhancement Committee of: (1) the IQR report; (2) an action plan from the department in response to the IQR report and its recommendations; and (3) a further report by the department one year after the review, commenting on how useful the IQR process has proved to be and on progress in implementing the department's action plan.
5 Details of the Internal Quality Review Procedure
5.1 Further information on the IQR procedure and the UCL quality processes which underpin IQR is available on the UCL website in:
- Academic Manual (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/)
- Procedure for the Conduct of Internal Quality Review.
[Further information on IQR is also available from Academic Support: contact Sandra Hinton (Senior Quality Assurance Officer - telephone 020 7679 8590/internal extension 28590 - e-mail - s.hinton [at] ucl.ac.uk) or Jason Clarke (Director of Academic Support- telephone 020 7679 8594/internal extension 28594 - e-mail - jason.clarke [at] ucl.ac.uk).]
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