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Curriculum Design and Approval Procedures - External Advisory Committee

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The Curriculum Approval Procedures facilitate the development and approval of programs and subjects, delivered by Schools, Research Institutes and third party providers.

(2) In considering proposals for new undergraduate and taught postgraduate programs, or for substantial variations to existing programs, Schools and The College must establish processes to obtain external feedback on the proposals. An External Advisory Committee is one way to achieve this. The Committee may be used as a way of building relationships with communities and may offer advice on a wide range of matters but the core purpose is to provide feedback on proposed and current programs.

(3) In establishing a new, or making substantial variations to an existing Associate Degree, an External Advisory Committee for an Associate Degree Program can be established to fulfil the external feedback function.

(4) Schools and The College may need to establish a number of External Advisory Committees to cover the range of discipline areas that they offer, either on their own or in collaboration with other Schools or Research Institutes.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of these procedures, the definitions that apply can be found in the Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy and Policy DDS Glossary, in addition to the following:

  1. External member means a person not employed by the University, a current student or casual staff member.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) Refer to the Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy and the Curriculum Approval Procedures.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(7) An External Advisory Committee is established as an ongoing body, to provide advice over a considerable period, from inception of a particular program through to the program being offered to students, or for a limited duration to provide feedback on a planned program or program review.

(8) External Advisory Committees provide industry and expert advice about curriculum design for current or proposed programs with the core functions to:

  1. provide advice on the relevance of planned and ongoing programs to prospective students, the community, to industry, and to appropriate professional bodies, including:
    1. the skills, knowledge and attributes sought by employers of graduates from the program or discipline
    2. potential opportunities and likely demand from students and employers for new programs that align with the University's strategic plan
  2. meet external accrediting authority requirements, where relevant.

(9) External Advisory Committees can have other functions included in their terms of reference including:

  1. facilitating networking with business, industry and community figures to leverage consultancy ventures, foster support for the University, and attract donations for scholarships.
  2. providing opportunities to develop research collaborations and/or vocational experience for students through placements.

(10) Feedback from External Advisory Committees is used to inform quality improvement processes, including being incorporated into Curriculum Review Reports. They can also be invited to comment on reports from the University's Program Monitoring Reports and Curriculum Review process.

(11) The relevant Dean, Deputy Dean, Director or Deputy Chief Executive Officer, The College:

  1. determines the terms of reference for their External Advisory Committees in accordance with the purpose of these committees as listed in these procedures
  2. determines the membership of their External Advisory Committees noting that the majority of members must be external members
  3. appoints the Chair who must be external to the University (not employed by the University)
  4. invites and appoints members, in consultation with the Deputy Dean, Directors of Academic Programs (or The College equivalent) and other Deans, or where relevant, other academic staff, noting that the term of office will be two years with consecutive terms permitted.
  5. determines how often the Committee will meet, which must be at least annually, and whether meetings are face-to-face or electronic, taking into account the wishes of the Committee 
  6. provides all members with a copy of the Academic Senate Standing Orders, which apply to these committees, including quorum requirements
  7. arrange administrative support for the Committee with the Secretariat if required.


(12) The External Advisory Committee's reports will be referred to the School Academic Committee and the Academic Planning and Curriculum Approvals Committee, as part of the consideration of the program proposal.

(13) School Academic Committee will also consider reports on continuing programs and in relation to ongoing accreditation requirements where appropriate. They will use the reports as part of ongoing improvement activities within the School.

(14) External Advisory Committees feedback for Associate Degree Programs will be referred to during the program approval process by the relevant approving committees, as part of the consideration of the program proposal.

(15) An annual report from External Advisory Committees for Associate Degree Programs will be provided to The College Academic Pathways Committee.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Other Sources of External Advice

(16) The University recognises that an external committee is not the only way to obtain evidence, information, external views, and feedback on programs and program proposals.

(17) Other sources of information include:

  1. the Program Monitoring Reports which include performance data on student demand, enrolments (EFTSL), retention, progression, completions, graduate outcomes and feedback on the program experience, including the Program Experience Questionnaire (PEQ) and Graduate Outcome Survey (GOS)
  2. student feedback surveys covering the student experience, including commencing and exit surveys and non-returning students surveys
  3. other surveys, including University employer surveys or other commissioned surveys for research.

(18) Sample terms of reference documents are available under associated information.

(19) A reporting template for External Advisory Committees is available under associated information.