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Procedure for the Conduct of Internal Quality Review (Academic Units and Programmes)

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

Procedure

Key to abbreviations:

AC Academic Committee
CALT Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching
DEOLO  Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer
DTC Departmental Teaching Committee 
EdCom Education Committee
ELE
E-Learning Environments
ft
 Full-time
FTC  Faculty Teaching Committee 
fte Full-time equivalent
IQR Internal Quality Review
IT Information Technology
LTS Learning and Teaching Strategy
PSRB Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body
pt Part-time
QME Quality Management and Enhancement
QMEC Quality Management and Enhancement Committee
RDC Research Degrees Committee
SES Self-evaluative Statement
StARs Student Academic Representatives

Introduction

1 Internal Quality Review is UCL’s central academic quality management and enhancement process. IQR is a rolling programme of peer review, in which all academic units of UCL[1] (as well as a small number of interdepartmental degree programmes) are reviewed on a six-yearly cycle - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-7/iqr-timetable

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 the UCL Academic Manual. IQR is concerned with reviewing not the academic content of programmes but rather a department’s management of its programmes and their constituent modules, of its learning resources, of its staff development arrangements, and of its students’ educational experience. IQR also aspires to be a genuinely developmental process which provides an opportunity for departments to review and, in partnership with the review team, identify ways of enhancing their existing QME structures and systems.

Summary of IQR

3 Each IQR comprises seven main stages:

  • submission by the Department to the review team of a self-evaluative statement, with a list of supporting documentary evidence (which should, in order to minimise any burden on the Department, be made available electronically eg. on the Department’s website, on a memory stick or CD Rom etc.);
  • scrutiny of the SES and supporting evidence by the review team;
  • a visit by the review team to the Department, normally lasting one working day when interviews with relevant staff and students of the Department take place;
  • production of an IQR report;
  • preparation by the Department of a preliminary plan of action to be taken in response to the recommendations contained in the IQR report;
  • a meeting between the review team and the Department at an agreed point after the review (and after the IQR report has been finalised). The main purpose of the meeting to is to discuss the Department’s preliminary plan of action in response to the findings of the review team as set out in their report [see also 49 below];
  • subsequent consideration by QMEC’s Internal Quality Review Panel of (i) the IQR report and (ii) the Department's action plan.

4 Approximately one year after the IQR visit to the Department has taken place, the Head or a nominated representative of the Department will attend the meeting of the IQR Panel which considers the report and action plan; the Head or other representative of the Department will be invited to discuss with the Panel at that meeting the report and the progress which the Department has made in implementing the recommendations. The Head or representative will then be invited to comment on the IQR process itself.

5 Approximately two years after the original IQR visit, the Department will be asked to submit to the Panel a written update on its continued progress in implementing its action plan [see also 55-59 inclusive below].

The review team

6 The review team will normally comprise five reviewers and an administrative secretary. Three reviewers will be members of staff of UCL, one will be a student reviewer and one an external reviewer. The members of review teams will be appointed by QMEC.

  • At least two of the UCL staff reviewers will be academic members of staff
  • The external reviewer will be a senior member of staff, either academic or administrative, of another institution of higher education.
  • The student reviewer will be a Student Academic Representative (StAR) nominated by the UCL Union.

7 QMEC will nominate one of the internal reviewers to serve as team leader. The role of the team leader is:

  • in advance of the review visit, to provide a first point of contact and advice for the administrative secretary and a point of contact and advice, via the secretary, for other members of the team (including the external reviewer);
  • to chair the review team’s planning meeting. In the planning meeting, the team leader will also propose that particular members of the review team take responsibility for shaping the team's agenda in particular areas being explored by the team. The team leader is not, however, expected to be solely responsible for, e.g., reading the SES or other briefing material or asking questions during interviews on the review visit; these are all shared responsibilities of all members of the review team;
  • during the review visit, to introduce other members of the team and explain briefly the purpose of the visit at the start of each interview with staff or students;
  • at the end of the review visit, to make an oral report to the Head of Department[2] summarising the review team’s main findings and conclusions [see 33 below];
  • after the review visit, formally to approve the IQR report once a draft of this has been agreed by all other members of the review team and by the Department reviewed;
  • to chair a meeting between the review team and the Department at an agreed point after the review (and after the IQR report has been finalised). The main purpose of the meeting to is to discuss the Department’s preliminary plan of action in response to the findings of the review team as set out in their report.

8 All internal members of the review team, including the administrative secretary, will have received formal briefing in advance of undertaking an IQR [see also 14 below].

9 The external reviewer will undertake:

  • to read the SES;
  • to attend the planning meeting of the review team prior to the review visit [see 19 below];
  • to participate fully in interviewing staff and students during the review visit;
  • to make an appropriate contribution to the preparation of the IQR report;
  • to attend, if practicable, the follow-up meeting with the Department [see 49 below].

10 Given that IQR is not intended to review programme or curricular content but to explore issues relating to, inter alia, the management of programmes, neither the internal members nor the external member of the review team will normally be specialists in the subject(s) offered by the Department being reviewed. Internal members of the review team should not normally be members of staff from the same Faculty as that of the Department being reviewed.

11 The administrative secretary will normally be a member of staff of Academic Services, Student and Registry Services. The administrative secretary will:

  • liaise with the Department concerned on behalf of the review team in advance of the visit;
  • in consultation with the Department and reviewers agree a date for the review team’s visit to the Department and then devise the overall timetable for the conduct of the IQR, including deadlines for, or dates of, the key stages in the process;
  • receive from the Department its SES in electronic form, (eg. on the Departmental website, on a memory stick or CD Rom etc.) which will either (i) contain within the text of the document links to supporting material which is available on the Department’s website or (ii) contain a separate index of links to supporting material;
  • ensure that for authorised users this electronic departmental information is saved and electronically archived so that handbooks and other items from previous years are still accessible for the IQR team. The websites for each department must be archived or a sharepoint site used to store all documentation reviewed for the purposes of maintaining an audit trail;
  • discuss and confirm during the departmental briefing, the most efficient means of providing the SES and supporting material with the Department concerned;
  • discuss and confirm with the Department in advance how access to any departmental intranet sites for (i) UCL staff and (ii) external reviewers will be obtained;
  • confirm with individual team members the format in which they wish to receive the SES and supporting material; ie. in hard or soft copy;
  • read the SES and supporting material and prepare a report for the review team in advance of its planning meeting. The administrative secretary’s report will not be a precis of the SES, but an analysis of the SES and supporting material. This analysis will provide the reviewers with an initial indication of the following:

(i) those areas where the Department’s policies and procedures appear to be fully in accordance with UCL policy and/or good practice as set out in the UCL Academic Manual and which therefore might not be priority areas for discussion with the Department during the review visit (although the review team might still wish to ask questions in these areas when meeting the Department’s staff and students in order that the department might be allowed to demonstrate the quality of its approach. Also, these areas might contain elements of good practice for wider dissemination);

(ii) those issues which the review team might wish to explore in further detail, either because it is not clear from the SES and supporting material whether departmental policy and/or procedure accords with UCL policy and/or good practice or because the Department itself has raised significant issues which it wishes to discuss with the review team; such issues should be regarded as constituting the ‘core’ areas to be examined during the IQR;

  • provide the review team with a copy of the previous IQR report on the Department and the associated action plan (where these are available). Teams will wish to assure themselves that all actions from the previous review have been implemented. Issues which have resulted in a previous recommendation of any strength, but in particular those which have been graded as ‘necessary’ and which have not been implemented should be fully re-explored in the current IQR and, if these have not been not fully addressed, automatically given a ‘necessary’ recommendation. [see 36 below];
  • take notes of interviews during the visit and ask questions during interviews);
  • draft for approval by the reviewers and transmission to the Head of Department, etc, a summary of the main findings of the review team [see 33 below];be responsible for drafting [see 35 below] and co-ordinating the production of the IQR report.

The Head of Department, Programme Co-ordinator and Departmental Contact

13 The Head of Department/Programme Co-ordinator may nominate a colleague (either academic or administrative) as a Departmental Contact. The Contact’s essential role will then be to co-ordinate preparations within the Department for the review visit on behalf of the Head of Department. This will include practical arrangements for the visit, such as the provision of documentation, the drawing up of the visit timetable etc. The Departmental Contact can also help to ensure that the review team, who will not normally include subject specialists, has an adequate understanding of the particular nature of the Department in advance of the visit to the Department

Preliminary briefing

14 At the start of the IQR process each year, Academic Services officers will make arrangements to brief each of the following groups:

  • Heads of Department and/or Departmental Contacts, etc, in the academic units to be reviewed during the coming academic year;
  • New IQR reviewers, including new external reviewers and student reviewers;
  • administrative secretaries to IQR teams.

The Self-evaluative Statement

15 The SES offers an important opportunity for the Department to shape the agenda of the review team. The SES should discuss both strengths and weaknesses in the Department’s provision.

16 The SES should be completed by the Department according to the format set out at Annexe A to this document. It should be submitted electronically eg. via a Departmental website or on a memory stick or CD Rom to the administrative secretary to the review team, for receipt at least five working weeks before the date of the review team's visit to the Department. Before finalising the SES, the Department may, if it wishes, invite preliminary comments from the team leader on a draft version of the document (to be submitted to the team leader via the administrative secretary).

17 Departments should issue the draft SES to the Departmental Teaching Committee for approval, before the document is submitted to the review team. Departments should also consult staff and students more widely in the process of developing the SES. Departments should ensure that the final version of the SES is received by the DTC and the Departmental Staff-Student Consultative Committee before the review team’s visit to the Department and is made available to all staff and students in the Department.

18 The Department should also send a copy of the SES (including a list of what the supporting material made available to the team comprises) to the Quality Assurance Manager, Academic Services[3] On receipt of the SES from the Department, the Quality Assurance Manager will copy the SES to: the Dean of Faculty concerned; the Faculty Tutor concerned; the Faculty Graduate Tutor concerned, inviting them to send comments on the SES to the IQR team, via the administrative secretary.

19 The review team will read the SES and all supporting documentation in conjunction with the administrative secretary’s report in advance of its planning meeting. At its planning meeting, the review team will agree the core areas that it will wish to explore during the review visit and how the team will organise its scrutiny of the relevant supporting material. The supporting material made available through its web pages by the Department should provide most of the briefing documentation required by the review team. The team may subsequently request from the Department additional briefing material in advance of their visit to the Department but the amount of any additional material requested should be kept to a minimum. (The Department should submit such additional material in the agreed format to the administrative secretary, who will forward it to the other members of the review team).

20 In conducting the IQR, the review team will test the rigour of the SES and the extent to which it presents an accurate picture of the Department’s QME processes. The SES will not necessarily dictate the full scope of the review team’s enquiries. The team may develop independent lines of enquiry in the light of, e.g., issues raised in the administrative secretary’s report or from the reviewers’ own scrutiny of documentation made available by the Department.

21 It is an important principle of the SES that it should include a candid and, where appropriate, self-critical account of the Department’s mechanisms for assuring, managing and enhancing quality. If the review team finds the SES to be lacking in self-evaluative content, it should record this judgment in the IQR report. It should also be borne in mind, however, that the SES will form an appendix to the resulting IQR report. The SES will thus be seen by UCL colleagues other than members of the review team and will form part of a documentary record which may also be seen by external reviewers in the context of Higher Education Review or other external review such as accreditations by PSRBs. Departments who, with this in mind, feel they need advice on the inclusion in the SES of potentially sensitive material are encouraged to contact the Quality Assurance Manager.

22 The SES is an evidence-based document. The text of the document should therefore substantiate the statements made therein by cross-reference to the supporting evidence contained in documents listed for submission with the SES.

23 The SES will normally consist of four sections (in addition to supporting statistical data and other briefing material). These four sections are expected to comprise a total of around 12 pages, although there is no formal prescription of page length. For details please see iqr-annexe-1-201314.

24 The Student Data Services Section of Student and Registry Services will supply Departments with certain categories of statistical data relating to students and applicants by the start of the academic year in which the IQR is to take place (normally by 30 September)[4]. A list of this data is at Annexe B. Departments are expected to analyse this data and provide a commmentary on any trends or themes which emerge.

25 The other supporting material made available to the review team by the Department through its web pages or via the other methods listed [see 16 above] should consist of documentation which the Department believes provides relevant evidence of its QME processes. A list of the core documentation which IQR teams normally expect departments to submit, together with the SES, in advance of their IQR visit is at Annexe C.

The IQR agenda and visit to the Department

26 The review team is expected to survey a Department's QME operations generally. Within that brief, however, the team (i) should explore issues highlighted by the Department in its SES and (ii) may devise and pursue particular 'audit trails'.

27 The areas explored by the review team should normally be those areas of operation which come under the main section headings of the Academic Manual and issues identified by the Departmental SES. IQR is not intended as a vehicle for exploring research performance, although it may explore ways in which the research environment impacts on the PGR student experience. Neither will IQR review teams make explicit recommendations for resources in respect of UCL’s teaching estate.

28 The IQR team’s visit to the Department should normally last one working day. The visit will not normally exceed one working day, except in the case of particularly large and/or complex provision. It is helpful to build into the timetable for the visit one or more sessions in which the team can reflect on interviews which have already taken place and identify matters which need to be pursued or explored in remaining interviews. Any tour of the department to be reviewed may be undertaken on a separate occasion, for example, immediately after the planning meeting, in order to save time on the review day.

The interview programme

29 The review team will agree with the Department in advance of the visit a detailed timetable of interviews to be conducted on the visit. Please see Annexe D for a sample timetable. This provides an indication of the types of meetings that the IQR team may wish to hold during the course of the IQR visit.

30 Interviewees should always include (in time order on the visit day):

  • the Dean of Faculty concerned;
  • the Faculty Tutor concerned;
  • the Faculty Graduate Tutor concerned;
  • students (including both undergraduate and taught graduate students, wherever the Department teaches at both levels, as well as graduate research students);
  • the Head of Department;
  • a range of academic staff including established staff and those more recently appointed;
  • key administrative and support staff, including the Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer (DEOLO); Departmental Tutor and departmental Careers Advisor.

31 Where the subject of a review is an interdepartmental degree programme, those interviewed should normally include the Programme Co-ordinator and the Chair of the relevant Board of Examiners.

32 Attendance at each interview session should normally be restricted to those being interviewed within that particular session. Departments should bear in mind the need to provide, as far as possible, a fully representative and balanced sample of staff and students for interview. Please note that it is also considered good practice to meet students in the morning, usually immediately after the meeting with the Head of Department, as this ensures that student views help to set the agenda for the day’s enquiries.

Oral and written feedback to the Department

33 At the end of the interview programme, the team leader will, on behalf of the review team, make an oral report to the Head of Department concerned, summarising the reviewers’ main findings, in terms of both good practice identified and areas which the team feels need to be addressed, either by the Department or by another body or other bodies within UCL. The purpose of this feedback is to ensure that the Department is immediately informed of the main findings of the review. The Head of Department is not expected to comment on the team’s findings at this stage.

34 The administrative secretary to the review team will prepare a written summary of the main findings of the team. This summary should be agreed by all members of the review team and should normally be forwarded to the Head of Department for receipt within two working weeks of the end of the review visit. It should be presented as a series of bullet points indicating:

(i) good practice identified.

(ii) areas which the team feels need to be addressed.

The IQR report

35 The administrative secretary will normally have main responsibility for drafting the report in consultation with the team leader and other members of the team as appropriate.

36 The IQR report should normally include (in the following order):

  • the composition of the review team for the current IQR;
  • a commentary on the Department’s follow-up from the previous IQR:
  • a commentary on the Department's QME operations and summary of any audit trails followed in the current IQR, set out under the main Academic Manual section headings and any other key areas explored by the review team;  
  • a list of good practice in QME in the Department (cross-referring to the corresponding preceding section(s) of the IQR report). Review teams should seek out and record good practice where there is clear evidence that it has contributed to outstanding achievement in one or more areas of recruitment, progression, student satisfaction, student achievement and employability;
  • a list of recommendations for improvement in the Department's QME operations (cross-referring to the corresponding preceding section(s) of the IQR report) - the list should clearly distinguish improvements as either ‘necessary’ or ‘advisable’ or ‘desirable’. A ‘necessary’ action point will be either (i) dictated by policy as defined in the UCL Academic Manual or (ii) concern an issue which the review team considers sufficiently significant to warrant immediate action by the Department; an ‘advisable’ action point is dictated by good practice as noted in the Academic Manual. A ‘desirable’ action point reflects a suggestion for improvement based on the personal views of the review team but which is not (at present) prescribed in the Academic Manual[5]. In the case on ‘necessary’ recommendations, it is expected that explicit timescales should be set for their implementation. These should be appropriate and achievable.

37 The report is a vehicle for the contextualisation of the recommendations and good practice, which also provides a 'snapshot' of the review team's findings on the day. The report should not go into the fine detail of, or attempt to 'sum up', the activity of the provision reviewed in its entirety, which is rightly the job of the SES. Where necessary the reader should be referred to the SES (which forms an Appendix to the report) rather than replicating its contents.

38 When contextualising the recommendations a report should detail specifically why the recommendation is being advised, and how this would, in the team’s view, improve departmental performance. A responsible officer must be assigned by role to each recommendation in order to ensure a direct link between the recommendation and the action proposed and to promote accountability to ensure that it is performed. Recommendations should therefore not be made to ‘the Faculty’ or ‘the Department’ but to the specific role of a member (or members) of staff. However, this will be done by the Department as part of its action planning, as it is best placed to know who would be most suitable to implement a particular recommendation. A template will be provided for this purpose by the Administrative Secretary to the review. A copy of the template can be found at Annexe E.

39 Where such matters arise in the course of a review, a recommendation to the appropriate faculty- or institution-level committee to consider an aspect of UCL's institutional-level or faculty-level QME processes.

40 IQR reports may refer to resource issues and the concluding lists of good practice and needs for improvement identified by the review team may, e.g., commend the Department's efforts to improve its learning resources or invite the Department to consider the need for such improvement. Resource-related issues may thus be addressed for attention to the Director of the relevant Professional Service, Senior Officer or Chair of the relevant committee.

41 However, IQR reports will not normally include explicit recommendations, either to the Department or to any other body or bodies within UCL, for additional resources.

42 Any recommendations in IQR reports which are to be addressed by another department or bodies or bodies within UCL, rather than by the Department which is the subject of the review, should be clearly indicated as such in the concluding list of recommendations under the heading ‘Matters for attention outside the Department’.

43 Where a sensitive or potentially confidential issue has arisen, the review team should, through the team leader and/or administrative secretary, seek guidance on how to address the issue in the IQR report from the Director of Academic Services[6].

44 The IQR report should normally include as appendices:

  • the Department's SES (with a list of the items of supporting documentation);
  • a list of the individuals or groups interviewed on the visit;
  • a list of items of additional briefing material requested and received.

45 The full draft IQR report should be agreed by all members of the review team and should normally be forwarded to the Head of Department, for receipt within eight working weeks of the end of the review visit, with an invitation to notify any factual corrections needed to the report.

46 The draft report should be circulated to the DTC before corrections are notified to the administrative secretary to the review team. If the report is received by the DTC, the Department’s response to the draft report should be received by the administrative secretary no later than 10 days after the date of the DTC meeting. In any event, the Department’s response to the draft report should be received by the IQR secretary not more than four weeks after the date on which the draft report is sent to the Department[7].

47 The review team will consider the Department's comments on the factual accuracy of the draft report and will then decide what changes, if any, to make to the report in the light of these comments. The final version of the report will be submitted by the administrative secretary to the review team to: (i) the Head of Department; (ii) the Quality Assurance Manager.

48 Academic Services will provide new review team secretaries with an IQR report template, which will indicate the main section headings for the report, although this need not be regarded as an inflexible prescription of the structure of the IQR report. (For example, additional section headings may be used to reflect any other areas actually looked at by the review team.)

Follow-up

49 Once the final version of the IQR report has been submitted to (i) the Head of Department or Programme Co-ordinator and (ii) the Quality Assurance Manager by the administrative secretary to the review team, the team will, as soon as possible thereafter, arrange a follow-up meeting with the Department. The purpose of this meeting will be to assist the Department in the development of its response to the recommendations of the IQR report. To aid this process, the administrative secretary will have provided the Department with a template for preparing its action plan setting out how it intends to respond to the recommendations contained in the IQR report. The template comprises juxtaposed lists of:

(i) recommendations in the IQR report

(ii) action taken or planned in respect of each of these recommendations

(iii) timescale for implementation of the recommendation

(iv) the officer responsible.

50 The Department will be requested to produce a preliminary action plan, using the template provided, for discussion at the follow-up meeting with the review team. During the follow-up meeting, the administrative secretary will take a note of any modifications to the draft action plan suggested by the review team. After the follow-up meeting, the secretary will write to the Head of Department, with a copy to the Quality Assurance Manager, to confirm the review team’s comments on the draft action plan. Once the follow-up meeting has taken place, the review team will have completed its work.

51 Where the IQR report makes recommendations concerning another Department or other Departments, the Quality Assurance Manager will write to the other Head(s) of Department(s) concerned, asking them to submit, by a specified deadline, a similar summary of action taken or planned.

52 Where the report makes recommendations to be addressed by another body or bodies within UCL, the Quality Assurance Manager will write to the officer(s) named by the recommendation, asking them to respond, by a specified deadline, to relevant recommendations.

53 Departments must:

(i) ensure that they make the final IQR reports and action plans accessible to students in the department, e.g. by making these public on departmental intranets;

(ii) submit the IQR reports and action plans to the relevant DTC for discussion

54 IQR reports will be sent by the Quality Assurance Manager to the officers of the faculty concerned, with a note which makes clear the faculty’s particular responsibilities to:

(i) submit the IQR reports and action plans to the FTC for discussion;

(ii) note and disseminate within the faculty good practice and/or recommendations for improvement identified in the IQR report.

IQR Panel/QMEC

55 Immediately after the follow-up meeting, the Quality Assurance Manager will write to the Heads of Departments concerned, asking them to submit the final summary of action taken or planned by the Department in response to the recommendations of the IQR report for submission to QMEC’s IQR Panel.

56 On receipt of the action plans, responses and comments requested, the Quality Assurance Manager will refer these for consideration by QMEC's IQR Panel, in conjunction with the IQR reports to which they refer.

57 Sustained dialogue between the Department which has been reviewed and those responsible for oversight of the review process is an essential element of IQR. Consequently, approximately one year after the review visit has taken place, the Head or a nominated representative of the Department will attend the meeting of the IQR Panel which considers the IQR report and action plan. The Head or other representative of the Department will be invited to discuss with the Panel at that meeting the perceived usefulness of the IQR process, the report and recommendations, and the progress made by the Department in implementing the action plan.

58 If, having reviewed the report and action plan and interviewed the Head of Department, the Panel judges that the Department has not made satisfactory progress in implementing the recommendations,the Quality Assurance Manager (as Secretary to the IQR Panel) may request further information or clarification. Only when the Panel is satisfied that the Department has implemented the recommendations will the Quality Assurance Manager obtain the agreement of QMEC that the IQR report, the Department’s action plan and any other responses to the report be formally approved.

59 Following QMEC approval of responses to an IQR report, the Quality Assurance Manager will confirm approval in writing to the Departments concerned. At this point the Quality Assurance Manager will also write to the review team concerned, notifying it of the outcome of the review and thanking it for its work.

Dissemination of findings of IQR reports

60 Following QMEC approval of responses to all the IQR reports produced in the previous academic year, the Quality Assurance Manager will:

  • prepare an annual report on that year's IQR programme for submission to and formal approval by QMEC;
  • disseminate to the Heads of all academic Departments (with the instruction that these should be submitted to DTCs), Directors of the Professional Services and the Pro-Provost of the Doctoral School (i) points of good practice and (ii) recommendations for improvement identified in the IQR reports - with particular examples of good practice attributed to the Department(s) responsible for these (and contact details provided, so that other Departments may request further information about the good practice identified);
  • forward to the Head of the Organisational Development unit (i) points of good practice and (ii) recommendations for improvement identified in the IQR reports, to take into consideration when considering UCL’s future staff training and development needs.

61 QMEC has agreed that the IQR Panel should, in the course of its annual discussion of the Summary of Good Practice, select a few items and explore their suitability for wider dissemination, by such means as the Week@UCL newsletter or the Teaching and Learning portal.

62 The Summary of Recommendations and Good Practice arising from IQR should also be circulated to:

  • Faculty Tutors for submission to FTCs;
  • QMEC.

63 In early autumn, a meeting is held between the Chair of the IQR Panel and the Head of the Graduate School in order to in order to update the Pro- Provost of the Doctoral School on progress made in addressing those recommendations concerning research student issues arising from IQR during the previous session. These recommendations and any progress noted are then discussed at the autumn meeting of the Research Degrees Committee.


July 2014


Annexe A - Guidance on the composition of the SES (Word file)

Annexe B - IQR data set (Word file)

Annexe C - Core Documentation (Word file)

Annexe D - Sample IQR Timetable (Word file)

Annexe E - Template for the Action Plan (Word file)

1 Except where otherwise indicated, 'department', in the context of these Guidelines, means 'the unit of activity being reviewed'; this will in most cases mean an academic department of UCL or an interdepartmental degree programme, although ‘department’ in these Guidelines also subsumes relevant academic units which are not formally academic departments established by Council.

2 Except where otherwise indicated, Head of Department should be understood as meaning the Head of the academic unit or, where the subject of the IQR is an interdepartmental degree programme, the Programme Co-ordinator

3  Contact Sandra Hinton (telephone 020 7679 8590; internal extension 28590).

4 For further information, contact Gary Smith, Head of Student Data Services (telephone 020 7679 2044, internal extension 32044).

5 Before the draft IQR report is referred to the Department concerned, the administrative secretary to the IQR team should submit the list of recommendations included in the team’s draft report to the Quality Assurance Manager for confirmation that the proposed grading of recommendations as ‘necessary’ or ‘advisable’ or ‘desirable’ is appropriate. If the team wishes to specify these gradings in the summary written feedback sent to the department at an earlier stage, the administrative secretary should submit the draft summary to the Quality Assurance Manager.

6 Contact Derfel Owen (telephone 020 7679 8594; internal extension 28594).

7 Note that if timing of the DTC meeting makes this timeframe impossible, all members of the DTC, including student representatives, should be sent a copy of the draft report by email and their comments invited.