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Preparing for IQER. Tanya Izzard and Maria Marzaioli University of Brighton , Aims and audience. to introduce college staff to the requirements, processes and outcomes of IQER

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preparing for iqer

Preparing for IQER

Tanya Izzard and Maria Marzaioli

University of Brighton,

aims and audience
Aims and audience
  • to introduce college staff to the requirements, processes and outcomes of IQER
  • to develop understanding of the QAA Academic Infrastructure and its use
  • to introduce college staff to Partner College Review and its role in preparation for IQER
  • for all college staff who may be involved in these processes
  • also of interest to students participating in either process
integrated quality and enhancement review
Integrated Quality and Enhancement Review
  • Developed by the QAA at the request of HEFCE
  • Replaced academic subject review
  • Consultation in 2006, pilot in 2007
  • Focus on college responsibilities within the context of agreement with awarding bodies (i.e. UoB)
  • College engagement with QAA academic infrastructure through partnership with University of Brighton
what is iqer
What is IQER?

IQER is an evidence based peer review which considers:

  • college management of student learning experience
  • academic standards and quality of HE provision


  • All colleges providing HE programmes that are funded by HEFCE will take part in IQER.
  • IQER does not apply to research degrees.
aims and objectives of iqer
Aims and objectives of IQER


  • Support colleges in evaluating and improving their management of HE.
  • Foster good working relationships
  • Enable HEFCE to discharge its statutory responsibility for assessing quality
  • Provide public information.


  • Engage colleges in a process of self evaluation and peer review
  • To produce reports of these review activities
  • To contribute to public information
iqer themes
IQER themes

The IQER review process explores 3 core themes

  • Academic standards
    • the level of achievement a student has to reach in order to achieve a particular award or qualification
  • Quality of learning opportunities
    • the effectiveness of everything that is done or provided by the college, to ensure that students have the best possible opportunity to meet the stated outcomes of their programmes and academic standards of the awards they are seeking
  • Public information
    • published by the college about academic programmes, academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities

IQER takes place in TWO PHASES.

  • Developmental engagement
    • supporting the college to develop its HE provision and management of student learning experience
  • Summative Review
    • reviewing management of student learning experience
    • making judgements about effectiveness of management
  • Colleges will have one DE and one SR before 2011/12
  • Minimum of 1 year between DE and SR

Both phases of an IQER review:

  • Focus on management of the HE student learning experience
  • Acknowledge shared responsibilities and seek to enhance relationships
  • Share the three core themes
  • Assume HE provision is already managed effectively
  • Are lead by teams of peers
  • Prioritise the interests of students
  • Lead to the production of reports
developmental engagement
Developmental Engagement
  • Reflects the first two overarching aims
  • Adopts two of the IQER objectives
  • The first developmental engagement will focus on assessment
  • Most colleges will have only one DE
  • Takes place with the full participation of the college; college institutional nominees join review team
  • Employs lines of enquiry proposed by the college
  • Report is confidential.
  • Usually one developmental engagement
developmental engagement outcomes
Developmental Engagement outcomes
  • Identify good practice
  • Recommendations
    • Essential recommendations
    • Advisable recommendations
    • Desirable recommendations
  • Report
  • Action Plan
summative review
Summative Review
  • Reflects all the overarching aims and adopts all objectives
  • Covers all aspects of college managed HE provision
  • Does not employ lines of enquiry proposed by the college
  • No college nominees on the review team
  • Judgements regarding core themes 1&2, conclusion on core theme 3
  • Summative review report is published openly
summative review outcomes
Summative Review outcomes
  • Provisional judgements related to core themes 1 & 2
    • Confidence
    • Limited confidence
    • No confidence
  • Provisional conclusion related to core theme 3
    • Reliance can be placed
    • Reliance cannot be placed
    • May also reach the conclusion that the information is accurate, but incomplete, or vice versa.
  • identifies good practice and recommendations
self evaluation document sed
Self Evaluation Document (SED)

A Self Evaluation Document (SED) is required for both Developmental Engagement and Summative Review

  • Headings common to both SEDs are:
    • Introduction to college and awarding bodies
    • Details of college responsibilities for HE
    • Outline of recent changes affecting HE provision
  • Developmental Engagement SED also requests:
    • Outline of assessment policy and practice
    • Lines of Enquiry
  • Summative Review SED also requests:
    • academic standards
    • quality of learning opportunities the three core themes
    • public information
student involvement
Student involvement

Reflects Aim 1 – to support colleges in reviewing and improving their management of HE provision for the benefit of students

  • IQER teams seek to identify student views about their experience as HE learners
  • IQER teams meet students during visit
  • IQER teams invite students to produce a student written submission.
  • Student submission should reflect students own views of their experience as learners
  • Colleges can help students to prepare for submission by sharing info with them
  • QAA will provide further guidance to students and colleges during preparations for IQER.
role of awarding bodies
Role of awarding bodies
  • IQER correspondence between QAA and College will be copied to awarding bodies. Colleges are encouraged to copy information to their awarding body also
  • Awarding bodies identified in IQER reports
  • IQER reports will be used as evidence for HE institutional audit.
  • Institutional audit reports will inform the number of developmental engagements
  • Judgements, conclusions recommendations and action plans arising from IQER are not addressed to the awarding body, but may have implications for their relationship with colleges
  • Agreement reached early in DE and SR processes regarding the involvement of awarding bodies
uob involvment
UOB Involvment

The following principles were endorsed by the Academic Partnership Committee in February 2008

  • UoB to offer advice and guidance with SEDs
  • SEDs to be sent to UoB as well as review team
  • UoB to offer advice and guidance on evidence base
  • Colleges to invite UoB representation at preparatory meetings
  • Attendance at other meetings to be agreed - UoB can offer support where needed
  • UoB to attend judgement meetings
  • UoB to offer advice and guidance on the development of action plans
qaa academic infrastructure
QAA Academic Infrastructure
  • Comprises four elements:
    • Programme specifications
    • Framework for higher education qualifications
    • Subject benchmark statements
    • Code of Practice for the assurance of quality and standards in Higher Education
programme specifications
Programme specifications

QAA defines as:

  • Concise description of the intended learning outcomes of a HE programme and the means by which they are achieved and demonstrated
  • Definitive publicly available information on aims, intended learning outcomes and expected learner achievements
  • Format not specified but core content suggested
programme specifications1
Programme specifications


  • Source of information for students and prospective students
  • By institutions for programme approval, review, monitoring & evaluation, as core programme documentation
  • Source of information for external reviewers, employers, PSRBs
programme specifications at brighton
Programme Specifications at Brighton
  • See the policy on Programme Specifications
    • Developed for each taught award-bearing course
    • The primary record of an approved course
    • A key document in course development and approval
    • Evidence to support periodic review of courses
    • Part of the agreement between the University and the student
    • Approved at validation and thereafter annually by Faculty Academic Boards
  • Published on Staffcentral and included in student handbooks
  • Standard template defined
framework for he qualifications
Framework for HE Qualifications
  • A national framework for England and Wales
  • Defines levels of HE awards and provides qualifications descriptors
  • HE providers must “demonstrate that students will gain qualification awarded in accordance with” the FHEQ
framework for he qualifications1
Framework for HE qualifications

Level 4

Higher National Certificates (HNC)

Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE)

Level 5

Foundation Degrees (eg, FdA, FdSc)

Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE)

Higher National Diplomas (HND)

Level 6

Bachelor's degrees with honours (eg, BA/BSc Hons)

Bachelor's degrees qualifications

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Graduate diplomas

Graduate certificates

Level 7

Master's degrees (eg, MPhil, MLitt ,MRes, MA, MSc), Integrated master's degrees qualifications, (eg, MEng, MChem, MPhys, MPharm)

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Postgraduate certificates

Level 8

Doctoral degrees (eg, PhD/DPhil (including new-route PhD), EdD, DBA, DClinPsy)

fheq at brighton
FHEQ at Brighton
  • Common Academic Framework
  • Course development and validation
  • Qualification descriptors
  • New awards (eg Foundation Diploma)
  • Diploma Supplement: ongoing work
subject area benchmarks
Subject area benchmarks
  • Set out expectations about standards of degrees in a range of subject areas
  • Many subject areas defined; updated every five years
  • Include information on subject knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills, thresholds for student achievement
  • Foundation degree benchmark
  • Guidance not prescription
subject area benchmarks at brighton
Subject area benchmarks at Brighton
  • Support programme development
  • Validation panels may expect course development teams to have taken account of the relevant benchmark
  • Assist with delivery of programme
  • Contribute to periodic review
code of practice
Code of Practice
  • Guidance on maintaining quality and standards for universities and colleges subscribing to QAA
  • 10 sections
    • Postgraduate research programmes
    • Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning (including e-learning)
    • Students with disabilities
    • External examining
    • Academic appeals and student complaints on academic matters
    • Assessment of students
    • Programme design, approval, monitoring and review
    • Career education, information and guidance
    • Work-based and placement learning
    • Admissions to higher education
code of practice at brighton
Code of Practice at Brighton
  • Precepts and detailed guidance
  • Used to inform development of policy and procedure
  • Programme teams encouraged to refer to relevant sections during programme development and review, especially:
    • section 6 Assessment of students
    • section 9 Work-based and placement learning
academic infrastructure and iqer
Academic Infrastructure and IQER
  • Review teams will be guided by expectations of Academic Infrastructure
  • Brighton’s engagement already evaluated through Institutional Audit 2008
  • College judged in the context of its agreement with awarding HEI
  • Developmental Engagement will focus on assessment
  • University policy or subject-level engagement?
  • Guidance or compliance?
partner college review
Partner College Review
  • a University of Brighton process developed in consultation with colleges
  • carried out at least every five years
  • designed with IQER in mind to provide an effective preparation for colleges
  • considers the effectiveness of the partnership as well as college effectiveness
partner college review aims
Partner College Review aims
  • University and college can consider, evaluate and improve the quality of partnership working
  • assure University that management and delivery of responsibilities for HE can be supported by the college
  • review and evaluate college HE strategy
  • identify areas for development and enhancement
  • identify good practice for dissemination
partner college review documentation
Partner College Review documentation
  • based on draft self-evaluation for IQER Summative Review
  • college HE strategy
  • report of significant changes in resources
  • report from University, including Faculty commentary, central department commentary, and analysis of outcomes of quality assurance processes
  • annual institution-level monitoring and evaluation reports
  • extracts from external inspection and review reports
partner college review process
Partner College Review process
  • resource inspection
  • panel meet with course leaders, link tutors, current students
  • panel discuss outcomes of these meetings and issues from documentation with college review team
  • normally one and a half days
partner college review outcomes
Partner College Review outcomes
  • confirmation that college is able to manage and deliver its responsibilities
  • recommendations and commendations
  • development of action plan for the college and the University
  • received by senior University committees
  • progress monitored by Academic Partnership Committee