What Happens at a Programme Approval Panel?

Once you have submitted your programme approval forms to the Quality Office, a Programme Approval Panel (or PAP) will be arranged. PAPs consider the academic aspects of the programme, following approval of the business aspects at FSPDC or College level.

PAPs are typically made up as follows:

To represent the programme, the programme director normally attends along with a member of staff who has been involved in the development.

A senior academic member of staff, usually from a different College, chairs the panel; they will be joined by one or more academic staff, who have experience of programme development (and are drawn from a pool).

An external academic representative will have been chosen, to cover the disciplinary area in which the programme sits (you may have been involved in their selection).

A student representative from the Students’ Union will also be present, and occasionally members of the Leicester Learning Institute or other professional services as required.

A member of the Quality Office will be secretary to the panel.

The meeting normally lasts for around two hours, during which the panel will focus on areas of the programme which might include:

  • new areas of provision (for you or for the institution)
  • the variety and choice of learning and teaching methods
  • assessment variety
  • student support aspects
  • anything affecting student choice (eg. optional modules, summer schools etc.)

The panel will be particularly keen to investigate areas affecting quality: aspects which might disadvantage or over-advantage certain groups of students; which might be at odds with best practice within the sector, etc.

PAP will either approve your course without conditions, approve your course subject to conditions, ask for a resubmission with major conditions, or reject your proposal. In the case of new distance learning, blended or other complex programmes, you may be provided with a targeted steering group to oversee production and delivery.

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