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Courses Lifecycle Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) Victoria University (VU) provides award courses and non-award courses, including micro-credentials, across the Higher Education, Vocational Education and Further Education sectors. VU delivers courses in person, online real-time, online self-paced, and hybrid mode, both alone and with international and domestic institutional partners.

(2) VU is committed to providing courses that support its diverse student body to be capable lifelong learners in a complex global environment.

(3) The purpose of the Courses Lifecycle Policy and associated procedures is to provide academic quality management across the lifecycle of VU courses and pathways and ensure alignment with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) where this is required. Courses are also designed to be appropriate to the values and needs of students, and relevant to industry, community and institutional partners.

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Section 2 - Accountability

Accountable/Responsible Officer Role
Accountable Officer Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Higher Education (HE) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vocational Education (VE)
Responsible Officer Director, Academic Quality and Standards
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Section 3 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(4) HESF: Standard 1.2.1, 1.4.1, 1.5.1, 1.5.3; 3.1.1; 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.1.3; 5.3.

(5) Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015: Standard 1; 2; 4. 

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Section 4 - Scope

(6) This Policy applies to:

  1. Award and non-award courses that are not micro-credentials, including Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) courses, delivered both in Australia and overseas by VU, or by domestic or international partners on behalf of VU.

(7) This Policy does not apply to:

  1. Micro-credentials, whether part of a credit-bearing micro-credential stack or stand-alone credentials. (See Micro-credentials Policy and Procedure – pending)
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Section 5 - Definitions

(8) Accreditation

(9) Advanced Standing

(10) Articulation: Course articulation is the process by which one institution matches its courses or requirements to course work completed at another institution. Students use course articulation to assure that the courses they complete will not have to be repeated at the institution to which they are transferring.

(11) Course

(12) Course Approval

(13) Course Cessation

(14) Course deactivation

(15) Course Review

(16) Course transition

(17) Credit

(18) Further Education (FE)

(19) Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

(20) Higher Education (HE)

(21) Industry Recognition

(22) Non-Award Courses

(23) Micro-credential

(24) Micro-credential stack

(25) Pathways

(26) Professional Accreditation

(27) Scope of Registration

(28) Student

(29) Vocational Education (VE)

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Section 6 - Policy Statement

(30) Processes at Victoria University for course design, development, approval, monitoring and review are informed by consistent principles and subject to transparent, robust governance.

Part A - Course Structure and Design

(31) Courses and pathways are designed to give students access to modular, vertically-integrated qualifications that allow for multiple entry and exit points across the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

(32) Transition options for students are flexible, clear, transparent and systemic, facilitating credit and recognition arrangements to ensure access to a wide range of pathways.

(33) Ongoing course approval and additions to scope of registration are contingent on evidence-based decision-making and external referencing.

(34) Course design involves: 

  1. detailed external referencing and comprehensive consultation with industry, professional accreditation bodies, partners, students, and stakeholders, and alignment to VU strategic priorities (see Courses Lifecycle - External Referencing Procedure); 
  2. engaging with peer review and scholarly understanding of theory and practice derived from discipline knowledge, pedagogy, and understanding of professional and industry contexts; and,
  3. facilitating the development and operations of collaborative communities through team-based course design, development, management and collaborative review by VU and partner organisations.

(35) Course concept and design rules, including a description of how courses at different AQF levels are constituted, are established in:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Design (HE) Procedure
  2. Courses Lifecycle - Concept Proposal and Business Case (HE) Procedure

(36) Course nomenclature adheres to VU’s course architecture and the regulations established for Australian qualifications, and is specified in:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Nomenclature and Coding Procedure

Part B - Course monitoring 

(37) Higher education courses are monitored on an annual and periodic basis in accordance with the processes established in:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Annual Course Monitoring (HE) Procedure
  2. Courses Lifecycle - Higher Degrees by Research Annual Course Monitoring Procedure
  3. Courses Lifecycle - Comprehensive Course Review (HE) Procedure
  4. Courses Lifecycle - External Referencing Procedure

(38) Vocational education courses are monitored in accordance with the processes established in:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Continuous Improvement of Training and Assessment (VET) Procedure

Part C - Student support 

(39) Courses are designed to support student success as they transition through courses and pathways, and enable students to develop capabilities for the future.

(40) All course processes are structured to ensure students are not disadvantaged where course review leads to significant changes to or discontinuation of a course. 

(41) Course cessation occurs in accordance with:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Course Cessation and Student Transition (HE) Procedure
  2. Courses Lifecycle - Course Cessation and Student Transition (VET) Procedure

Part D - Authority to approve

(42) The Academic Board has the authority to approve new courses, approve changes to existing courses and approve discontinuation of courses.

(43) The Academic Board may delegate authority to approve some matters to its Committees or to a senior academic role in the University.

(44) In the case of minor changes to courses, which are developed in a manner consistent with Procedures, the DVC (HE) and DVC (VE) as relevant have delegated authority to approve proposals after endorsement by Deans of Colleges and to notify Academic Board of the outcomes.

(45) Courses, with the exception of micro-credentials, are approved and amended in accordance with the provisions of:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Accreditation (HE) Procedure
  2. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Amendments (HE) Procedure
  3. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure
  4. Courses Lifecycle - Course Approval Procedure - Higher Degrees by Research
  5. Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (HE) Procedure
  6. Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure

(46) Micro-credentials are approved and amended in accordance with the provisions of the Micro-credentials Policy and Procedure (pending).

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Section 7 - Procedures

(47) Courses Lifecycle - Annual Course Monitoring (HE) Procedure

(48) Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Accreditation (HE) Procedure

(49) Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Amendments (HE) Procedure

(50) Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure

(51) Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Design (HE) Procedure

(52) Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Nomenclature and Coding Procedure

(53) Courses Lifecycle - Comprehensive Course Review (HE) Procedure

(54) Courses Lifecycle - Concept Proposal and Business Case (HE) Procedure

(55) Courses Lifecycle - Continuous Improvement of Training and Assessment (VET) Procedure

(56) Courses Lifecycle - Course Approval Procedure - Higher Degrees by Research

(57) Courses Lifecycle - Course Cessation and Student Transition (HE) Procedure

(58) Courses Lifecycle - Course Cessation and Student Transition (VET) Procedure

(59) Courses Lifecycle - Professional Accreditation and Industry Recognition Procedure

(60) Courses Lifecycle - Dual and Joint Awards Procedure

(61) Courses Lifecycle - External Referencing Procedure

(62) Courses Lifecycle - Higher Degree by Research Comprehensive Review of Courses Procedure

(63) Courses Lifecycle - Higher Degrees by Research Annual Course Monitoring Procedure

(64) Courses Lifecycle - Inherent Requirements of Study Procedure

(65) Courses Lifecycle - Management of the CRICOS Register (HE) Procedure

(66) Courses Lifecycle - Management of the CRICOS Register (VET) Procedure

(67) Courses Lifecycle - Managing the Register of Awards Procedure

(68) Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (HE) Procedure

(69) Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure