Annual programme monitoring
What is annual monitoring?
Every year, every programme leader is asked to produce a report which reflects on how the previous year has gone. The template for this report will be sent to you. The template asks you to identify what has gone well, what needs improvement, and what important issues the University needs to know about. You are also asked to consider the evidence available to you from student feedback, external examiner reports and statistics about student performance. Probably the most important feature of the report is the actions you identify to address the issues raised. Then, when reviewing the next annual monitoring report, the team can see what progress has been made.
What is the process?
Staff from Governance and Quality Enhancement (GQE) will send out the template and guidance to programme leaders and advise you of the deadlines for submitting the report.
There are two stages:
- Stage 1 should be completed immediately after the end of the academic year. This is a time to reflect on what went well and what needs to be changed in time for the coming year. Completing Stage 1 at this time allows programme teams to plan for the start of the next term.
- Stage 2 is submitted at the end of October. At this point programme leaders are asked to review the full set of data available from the previous year and make updates to the Stage 1 report as required. Usually by October you will have your external examiner report and full information on the results of reassessments.
GQE staff will send you statistical data on your programme by early October.
The draft report needs to be shared with key stakeholders so that they have the chance to comment. Normally this will be done through the Joint Board of Studies. If there is no meeting of the Joint Board at a suitable time, the report should be circulated by correspondence.
It is especially important that you give your Collaborative Academic Lead time to review a draft of the report and give you feedback. You should send the draft report to the Collaborative Academic Lead at least two weeks before the deadline.
Do I need to attach lots of appendices?
No. But you will need to gather information to help you to complete the report. You should draw on evidence from:
- Student staff meetings
- Programme committee meetings
- Module evaluations and student surveys
- External examiner feedback
- Employer feedback and graduate employment figures
What happens to the report after that?
The report goes to the Head of Division at QMU. He or she will respond to any issues you raise for the University’s attention.
A consolidated report is then written for the whole School. Within this report examples of good practice will be highlighted as well as areas for further development. If there are common concerns across a number of programmes these will be picked up in the School-wide action plan.
Note also that the report is filed by GQE and forms part of the official record of the programme.
So what it’s all for? Who is the main audience for the report?
The main purpose of the report is to make sure that the team reflect on how the previous year has gone and take action accordingly. So the main audience is other staff involved in delivery. The report is also useful for staff at QMU, especially staff other than the Collaborative Academic Lead who might not be familiar with the detail of the partnership.
Following submission, the report becomes a publicly available document so it may be read by managers and students. It may also be looked at by external auditors during five yearly Quality Assurance Agency reviews. The tone should therefore be formal and you should avoid using acronyms and jargon.
The report is meant to be a balanced, accurate and evaluative account of the past year. It is important, therefore, to identify good practice as well as any difficulties you might be having. The main feedback mechanism for the report is the Joint Board of Studies. At the Joint Board of Studies you will be asked to report on progress against the actions in the report.
What do I do once I’ve submitted the report?
Keep it on file and start work on the action points in your plan. You may find it useful to refer to the action plan part way through the year as an interim check on progress.
Annual monitoring reports from previous years are an excellent source of information for programme review. Therefore you should keep them for five years to cover the period of review.