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Course Advisory Committees Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) La Trobe University is committed to ensuring that the content and conduct of its courses is aligned with current and emerging knowledge and concepts in relevant academic disciplines, and where applicable, advances in practice.

(2) These goals are supported by input from relevant external stakeholders in Course Advisory Committees, in addition to input through the University’s internal review mechanisms.

(3) This Policy provides guidance to schools and colleges on the establishment, scope and conduct of Course Advisory Committees (CAC). 

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all coursework courses (undergraduate and postgraduate).

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) Each coursework course of the University is supported by a Course Advisory Committee. 

(6) Course Advisory Committees may be established for an individual course or a group of courses as deemed appropriate by the school or college.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Establishment and Oversight of Course Advisory Committees

(7) The relevant Head of School (HoS), or nominee, is responsible for ensuring that a Course Advisory Committee is established for each course, or group of courses, within the School and for the general oversight of all Course Advisory Committees within the School. 

(8) Course Advisory Committees meet at least once per year. The timing of meetings is determined by the relevant School/College in consultation with the Chair. Meetings may be physical or virtual.

(9) Input is generally sought from Course Advisory Committee members at the inception of most major change and new course proposals. Where a new course proposal is simply the addition of a delivery location or delivery mode, the Course Advisory Committee may be advised at their next meeting.

(10) The Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) (APVC[C]) is responsible for monitoring the implementation and quality of Course Advisory Committee composition and outcomes.

(11) The role and operation of the Course Advisory Committees are outlined in the Terms of Reference available via the Course Advisory Committees Intranet page.

Part B - Nomination and Appointment of Members


(12) There shall be a minimum of five members for each Course Advisory Committee.

(13) Members of Course Advisory Committees are external to the University. There must be at least one member drawn from each of the following groups:

  1. representatives from relevant industries or, professional associations
  2. an external discipline expert which may include senior academics (may include La Trobe adjunct staff) or representatives of professional accreditation bodies
  3. recent graduates of relevant courses

(14) Members may be nominated by staff associated with the course but must be approved by the Head of School, or their nominee.

(15) International representation should be considered, particularly for courses with large numbers of international students.

(16) Following confirmation of the membership, the Head of School or nominee will nominate the Chair of the Course Advisory Committee for endorsement by the members.

(17) Members of Course Advisory Committees will be normally appointed for a two-year term, with the opportunity to serve for a maximum of three consecutive terms.

(18) Where vacancies arise on a Course Advisory Committee the Head of School will be responsible for nominating and inviting replacement members.

Other Participants

(19) Heads of School (or their nominee) and Course Coordinators are expected to attend meetings.

(20) Other senior members of staff involved in course oversight or delivery may be in attendance at Course Advisory Committee meetings.

(21) The Executive Officer for each Course Advisory Committee will be provided by the relevant School/s. 

Part C - Outcomes of Course Advisory Committee Meetings

(22) Agenda items, key recommendations and action items arising from Course Advisory Committee meetings are recorded using the reporting template available via the Course Advisory Committees Intranet page.

(23) The Course Advisory Committee Chair approves the report of the Course Advisory Committee for submission to the Head of School. 

(24) The Head of School is responsible for:

  1. ensuring that any issues arising from reports of the Course Advisory Committees are addressed
  2. providing updates to the Chair and APVC(C) as necessary
  3. submitting an annual summary report of Course Advisory Committee meetings held in the School to the relevant College committee

(25) Course Coordinators are responsible for submitting approved Course Advisory Committee reports as part of normal Annual Course Monitoring activities.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(26) Nil.

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Section 6 - Related Documents

Forms and Guidelines

(27) The following documents support the implementation of this Policy and can be accessed via the Course Advisory Committees Intranet page:

  1. Course Advisory Committees – Terms of Reference
  2. Guidelines for Course Advisory Committees
  3. Course Advisory Committee Meeting – Report Template
  4. School Course Advisory Committees Annual Summary Report Template