This policy provides a framework for academic quality assurance in the development and approval of short courses and professional development programs at Australian Catholic University (ACU). It also outlines the requirements for such courses to be recognised for credit against an ACU award course or unit(s).
2. Policy Scope
This policy applies to short courses and professional development programs offered at ACU, including those offered through the Centre for Professional and Executive Education and ACU College.
This policy excludes Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) higher education qualifications and non-award programs comprised of units offered in undergraduate or postgraduate programs of ACU, including Certificates and Tertiary Preparation Programs, and ACU English Language Courses which are dealt with under the Course Approval Amendment and Review Policy.
Terms used in this policy and the associated procedures are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. In addition, the following words and expressions in this policy have the meanings listed below:
Short courses (also referred to as professional development programs) are programs other than an accredited higher education award that are undertaken by an individual to improve or support progress towards work, career and/or personal goals other than an accredited higher education award.
4. Types of Course
4.1 The following are covered by this Policy:
Short courses which are developed for particular cohorts in an organisation, for professional development and/or staff training purposes, or for general offering and which may be linked to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or credit arrangements.
Modules which are portions of a unit of study drawn from existing ACU approved units which may be studied individually and/or as a bundle with assessment, and which, when bundled with other modules, may be recognised for credit towards an ACU course or unit.
New Modules which are developed in order to meet particular learning outcomes, but which are not part of an existing approved ACU unit. These modules may be studied individually and/or as a bundle with assessment, and may, when bundled with other modules, be recognised for credit towards an ACU course or unit.
4.2 All of the above course types may be recognised by external professional bodies and for Continuing Professional Development points.
5. Academic Approval
5.1 All proposals for short courses, and/or modules offered by a Faculty must be approved, prior to development, by the Faculty Board. Other proposals are approved by the Office of the Provost.
5.2 Academic approval must follow the process pathway for short course approval as outlined in the Procedures for Short Course Approval and Review.
5.3 Academic approval, if granted, will be for a period of no more than three years.
6. Approval for RPL and Credit for ACU Units
6.1 The relevant Head of School or equivalent is responsible for assessing the eligibility of short courses for credit against ACU units in accordance with the Procedures for Short Course Approval and Review.
6.2 In order to be eligible for specified credit, there must be a minimum match of 80% in content and learning outcomes between the short course and the ACU unit(s).
7. Review of Short Course Offerings
7.1 Academic Review
Faculties are responsible for reviewing short courses on a three-yearly cycle to determine whether approval should be renewed.
7.2 Financial Viability
7.2.1 Each Faculty will also review the viability of short courses each year.
7.2.2 Pricing should occur in line with ACU policies.
8. Reporting and Recordkeeping
8.1Faculties will maintain a register of the details of academic approvals and credit arrangements (as applicable).
8.2Each Faculty will report annually on approvals and credit arrangements to Academic Board via the minutes of Faculty Board.
8.3Records will be held in accordance with the ACU Records Retention and Disposal Schedule and the relevant Australian Government and State records acts.