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Cyclical Review Procedure

Section 1 - Introduction

Purpose and Parent Policy

(1) As a provider of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) State awards, Hibernia College is subject to cyclical external review, which is typically known as an institutional review. This document summarises the internal steps Hibernia College takes in preparation for an external review of the College as a whole. The internal steps are critical and are an important exercise in their own right. A review, whether prompted by QQI or not, should normally take place at least once every seven years.
Cyclical Review of Hibernia College - An Institutional Review Policy is the parent policy.


Staff Responsibilities

(2) The Registrar is responsible for the implementation of this procedure.

(3) The Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager (QAEM) supports the Registrar.

Faculty Responsibilities

(4) The Academic Board provides oversight for the process, approves submissions and reviews Terms of Reference and Self Evaluation reports. 

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Section 2 - Procedure

Part A - Overarching Elements of the Process

(5) Contribute to the Terms of Reference for the review established by QQI.

(6) Advise QQI of any potential conflicts of interest with the appointees to the expert external review team. 

(7) The preparation of a documented statement of how the College has implemented its Quality Assurance Framework, addressing any particular elements established in the Terms of Reference for the review. This will be known as a Self Evaluation Report.

(8) Submission of the Self Evaluation Report to the Academic Board for consideration and approval.

(9) Submission of the Self Evaluation Report to the EMT for consideration and approval.

(10) Submission of the Self Evaluation Report to QQI.

(11) Consideration by the QQI review team of the Provider Statement and identification of any gaps and/or additional information required by the review team.

(12) The conduct of a site visit by the externally appointed review team. 

(13) Production of a review report, including findings and recommendations by the external review team.

(14) The confirmation of the factual accuracy of the QQI report and preparation of a response to the review team report, including a plan with a timeframe for implementation of any changes recommended, if appropriate. 

(15) Consideration by QQI of the review team report and provider’s response. QQI may issue directions to a provider on foot of the review. 

(16) Publication of the Terms of Reference (if not previously published), the review team report, provider response and any directions, or other conclusions issued by QQI upon completion of the review. 

(17) Agreement of a timeline and process for follow-up with the provider on any directions given or recommendations made during the review.

Part B - College Owned Procedure for Cyclical Reviews

Initial Steps

(18) The Registrar, on behalf of the College, liaises with QQI to agree a review date.

(19) QQI provides draft Terms of Reference for the College to consider and contextualise.

(20) The Terms of Reference, when contextualised, are submitted by the Registrar to the Academic Board for approval.

(21) Following approval by the Academic Board, the Registrar returns the Terms of Reference to QQI.

Self Evaluation

(22) The Registrar co-ordinates an Institutional Self Evaluation and the preparation of a Self Evaluation Report (SER) based on the agreed Terms of Reference.

(23) The objectives of the review are established in the Cyclical Review of Hibernia College - An Institutional Review Policy.

(24) The Registrar is the lead author and establishes a project plan for approval by the Academic Board.

(25) The following are methods by which information is collected to enable self-reflection: 

  1. Student, Faculty, Staff and Adjunct Faculty workshops
  2. Surveys with all internal and external stakeholders
  3. Meetings with external stakeholders
  4. Meetings with governance bodies
  5. Collation of evidence to include:
    1. Minutes of governance meetings
    2. Reports of External Examiners
    3. Annual Programme Reports
    4. Annual Reports of the Academic Board and its respective sub-committees
    5. Feedback from students (both systematic and ad hoc)
    6. Feedback from Staff, Faculty and Adjunct Faculty (both systematic and ad hoc)
  6. Sharing of the draft SER with the College community for comment and information

(26) The Registrar presents the SER to the Academic Board for approval and returns the approved copy to QQI.

The Following Reflects the QQI Process

(27) Typically, the following occurs:

  1. QQI appoints an Expert Review Team (ERT) in consultation with the Registrar to ensure there is no conflict of interest.
  2. The Chairperson of the ERT meets with representatives of the College to determine the agenda for the ERT visit.
  3. The ERT meet with College Staff and stakeholders as per the agenda.
  4. Initial observations and recommendations are communicated at the conclusion of the visit. 
  5. The ERT prepare a draft report which is provided to Hibernia College for factual checking.
  6. The Registrar, in consultation with the Executive Management Team (EMT), prepares and returns any factual corrections to the draft report to QQI. 

The Report of the Expert Review Team

(28) On receipt of the final report, the Registrar circulates it to the Academic Board and to the EMT to consider the contents and recommendations. 

(29) The Registrar co-ordinates the responses and implementation plans to include timeframes for implementation and prepares the Institutional Response. 

(30) The Registrar presents the Institutional Response complete with implementation plan to the EMT and Academic Board for approval.

(31) Following approval by the Academic Board, the Registrar submits the Institutional Response to QQI. 

Publication of Panel Report and Response

(32) When received and agreed, QQI will make arrangements for the publication of the panel report and Institutional Response. It is the policy of Hibernia College to arrange for publication of same through its own website. Normally, this will also include the College SER. 

Follow-Up Report

(33) The College will provide a follow-up report to QQI one year after the approval of the implementation plan. 

(34) The Registrar will coordinate the compilation of the report based on updates provided by appropriate College personnel in respect of actions relating to their areas of responsibility. 

(35) Whilst subsequent reports are not normally required by QQI, the Registrar will undertake annual updating of progress regarding the implementation plan. Appropriate personnel will be required to advise on actions that are met, in progress or still outstanding.