Courses: Validation, Approval and Periodic Review
As new courses are developed, they go through rigorous approval processes to ensure that they meet the needs of students, employers and other stakeholders. Additionally, all courses undergo periodic reviews to ensure their continuing currency and quality. These processes are managed through planned schedules of approval and review. The detail of these processes varies slightly between awarding bodies and consequently the terminology used also varies, but their substance is very similar across the whole Higher Education sector.
New courses awaiting approval are shown as ‘subject to’ followed by the terminology used by the relevant awarding body. This is because some detail of the course may be subject to change and fuller details may not yet be available. As soon as the new award is validated or approved full details are provided through the detailed Programme Specification being made available through the course webpages. In the very unlikely event of a new course not being approved, applicants would be contacted, and the College would work with them to identify alternative options within the College, or elsewhere.
Courses going through periodic review could change slightly but overall aims will remain unchanged and there would only be minor updates to content and/or structure. As such, the existing Programme Specification provides a reasonable reflection of the course and an updated version will be made available through the course webpages after each periodic review event.
Occasionally courses go through a more substantial review process, often called revalidation or reapproval, meaning that the course (aims and content) may change significantly. In such cases, fuller detail of the revised course may not be available but as soon as the programme is revalidated / reapproved, the new Programme Specification will be made available through the course webpages.