View Document

Course and Subject Management Procedure - Approvals

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Academic – Academic Board
Accountable Executive – Policy Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible Manager – Policy Director, Quality & Standards
Review Date 22 April 2027
Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure sets out the key requirements for the approval of courses and subjects. Detailed information about levels of approval is held in the Course and Subject Approval Levels Schedule. These approvals are for new courses and subjects, changes to courses and subjects, course suspensions and course closures.

(2) Where the professional recognition of a course of study is required for graduates to be eligible to practise their profession, this Procedure sets out the requirements to ensure that such recognition is gained and maintained.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure describes minimum requirements for proposals for coursework, credentialed courses and subjects at school and university level. Additional quality assurance, enhancement and consultation measures may be utilised at school level as deemed appropriate.

(4) Procedures for the proposal of graduate research subjects and courses are located in the Graduate Research Course Management Policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
General oversight of this Policy Director, Quality & Standards 
Top of Page

Section 5 - Policy Statement

(5) Refer to the Course and Subject Management Policy.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - General

(6) All courses and subjects must be developed in accordance with the Course Design Policy.

(7) Proposers of courses and subjects are responsible for timely and active consultation with all parties affected by the proposals.

(8) All proposals must include consultation with relevant groups and be submitted in the approved format and systems. Forms and guidelines are maintained on the Course and Subject Management intranet page.

(9) Proposers should review the University Course Calendar available on the Course and Subject Management intranet page for critical dates.

Part B - Management Approval

(10) Deans of Schools or equivalent are responsible for the approval of cases for new subjects where these are additions to the school subject portfolio. The New Subject Calculator may be used to determine the business case for the proposal.

(11) The Dean or equivalent, endorses management proposals for new majors and all courses for submission to the University Course Portfolio and Scholarships Committee (CPSC).

(12) The Course Portfolio and Scholarships Committee (CPSC) may approve or reject new management proposals or refer submissions back to the submitting School for further action.

Part C - Academic Approvals

New Courses and Subjects, Changes to Courses and Subjects and Course Closures

(13) Detailed information about levels of approval is set out in the Course and Subject Approval Levels Schedule.

(14) The Dean of the relevant School (or their equivalent) is responsible for approving courses for submission to the University Coursework Committee and in doing so assures that:

  1. appropriate levels of consultation have occurred, and any arising issues have been addressed;
  2. robust peer review has occurred (unless a new course comprises existing approved subjects such as in the case of Professional Certificates);
  3. requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (2021) are met;
  4. any professional accreditation requirements, including input and/or notifications to professional bodies, have been addressed;
  5. the course proposal is aligned with the approved business case.

(15) The Dean is responsible for ensuring that academic proposals are aligned with the relevant approved business case. Significant variations are to be submitted to CPSC for re-approval.

Course Suspension

(16) Proposals to suspend one or more regular intakes for a course or course instance are approved by the Dean of the relevant School and require:

  1. documentation and a management plan for impacted active pathways and in-progress offers from Student Administration
  2. consultation with all impacted groups, including Schools delivering or sharing subjects, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global & Regional), Student Administration and Third Party Teaching arrangement Sponsors as appropriate.

(17) Where a course has been suspended for three years or more, the course status will be moved to teach out under full teach-out conditions. If a shorter period or alternate arrangement is required, the School is responsible for submitting the request to the University Coursework Committee for approval.

University Review and Approvals

(18) The University Coursework Committee will consider the quality of course design, as well as compliance with University policies and external regulatory requirements of proposals.

(19) All major changes with potential to impact student progression within a course must be accompanied by a Transition Plan. The Plan will outline teach-out arrangements and identification of administrative resources required by the relevant School to implement the plan, in accordance with the Guidelines for Transition Planning.

(20) Courses are approved by Academic Board for a maximum period of seven years from the date of the relevant meeting. Courses may only be re-approved as an outcome of an Academic Course Review as outlined in the Course and Subject Management Procedure - Monitoring and Review.

Part D - Out-of-Session Approval Processes

(21) In exceptional circumstances, management approval and one of the formal academic governance approval or endorsement processes can be undertaken out of session.

(22) The Dean or nominee should present the submission to the relevant committee Chair with a memo explaining the circumstances of the request.

(23) Outcomes of out-of-session submissions are included in the agenda and minutes of the subsequent committee meeting as items for ratification.

Part E - Attainment of CRICOS Registration

(24) La Trobe Recruitment and International Operations is responsible for obtaining CRICOS Registration for a new course or course instance as applicable.

(25) Where a course is delivered as part of a third party teaching arrangement, CRICOS registration will not be sought until a formal agreement with the external provider has been executed.

(26) A course cannot be advertised to international students who are to be onshore for its delivery prior to attainment of its CRICOS registration.

Part F - Professional Recognition

(27) Where recognition by a professional body is attained and/or required, Deans of School or delegate are responsible for ensuring that:

  1. the applicable form of professional recognition for the course in question is gained and maintained
  2. where revisions or closure of a course are approved, either:
    1. the course continues to be recognised by the relevant body until the current cohort of students have completed; or
    2. arrangements have been made and approved for students to transition into a recognised course.

(28) Deans of School or their delegates are responsible for ensuring that all relevant documentation relating to professional recognition, including copies of all submissions, reports, action plans, and correspondence with the professional body is submitted to the Quality and Standards Division as soon as practicable.

(29) Schools will assume the costs associated with professional recognition processes relevant to their courses.

(30) Unless otherwise required by the professional body, the signatory to all submissions will be the relevant Dean.

(31) The Quality and Standards Division maintains a central record of all confirmed course professional recognitions, including expiry dates and approved text for publication. Deans of School or delegates are responsible for ensuring that all details of their School’s courses are accurate.

(32) Requests for changes to the approved text for professional recognition, including any variation from the standard formats listed in Schedule 2, must be provided to the Quality and Standards Division for review and approval prior to any publication.

(33) The Quality and Standards Division will liaise with each School prior to the expiry of the current recognition of affected courses to ensure that any necessary changes in published claims are applied prior to these coming into effect.

Part G - Student Communications and Transition 

(34) All students have a right to timely notice of all major changes to courses. This includes students who:

  1. have been made an offer for a course
  2. have been admitted to a course
  3. are on Leave of Absence or academic suspension

(35) Where it is intended that students transfer to a changed course version, student consultation activities and outcomes must be documented in the proposal prior to submission to the University Coursework Committee.

(36) For major changes, transition and analysis must be undertaken to determine whether all or some students may be moved to the changed course version without detrimental effect to the substance of their educational experience or outcomes.

(37) Where it is proposed to close or suspend intakes for a course for which there is an active pathway the University is bound to provide a viable alternative and to notify pathway partners and students of the change.

(38) In the case of onshore international students, failure to provide an alternative in these circumstances will result in the University being in Provider Default – having made an offer to students that is no longer being honoured. Where this occurs, these students are entitled to compensation and additional financial penalties apply under ESOS legislation. Schools are responsible for the payment of any such financial penalties.

Part H - Publication

(39) Publication occurs following final approval and finalisation of the record in the Course Management System.

(40) Content for standard publications will usually be drawn directly from the Course Management System. Additional descriptive materials, approved by the School owning the course, may be developed for publication purposes. Such materials must reflect the approved course and/or subject. Periodic checks are undertaken on this material to ensure continued accuracy.

(41) In exceptional circumstances, and normally following University Coursework Committee endorsement, the University’s intent to offer a new course(s) may be advertised with approval in writing from the Director, Quality & Standards. Advertising implying that a course is open for applications may not be undertaken for any course prior to its approval by Academic Board.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Definitions

(42) For the purposes of this Procedure:

  1. course instance: The individual campus offering a given course. A course with the same name may be offered at multiple campuses and each must be registered separately with CRICOS.
  2. CRICOS: The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. The CRICOS website provides details of those education institutions approved to recruit, enrol and deliver education and training services to overseas students in Australia, and details of their courses.
  3. full teach-out conditions: The teaching of a course until such time as no students are actively enrolled.
  4. Professional Recognition: encompasses all types of formal acknowledgement by a professional body that a course and/or graduate of a course must meet the requirements of and may include any of the following:
    1. external accreditation by a professional body that is required for graduates to practice and/or access specific career outcomes
    2. external accreditation by a professional body that is voluntary
    3. any other type of course approval and/or endorsement by a professional body
    4. graduates’ eligibility for membership and/or registration with the relevant professional body/s, including eligibility to use a specific professional title. 
  5. third party teaching arrangement: A formal agreement between La Trobe and an external provider that involves the delivery of a La Trobe course to La Trobe students who are taught in whole or part at the external provider’s premises and/or by the external provider’s staff.
Top of Page

Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(43) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(44) Associated information includes: