You are here

Quality monitoring and enhancement

Risk-based monitoring and enhancement (RiME) processes

The University of Suffolk adopts a continuous, risk-based approach to monitoring the quality and academic standards of provision within the University and its partner institutions, as outlined in the procedure for risk-based monitoring and enhancement (or RiME).

The overall approach encompassed in RiME is for relevant teams and committees to take a risk-based view of their provision, whilst also identifying good practice and opportunities for enhancement.

Our introductory guide to RiME processes provides an overview of our approach, supplementing the formal procedure.

RiME at module level

All modules are evaluated every time they are delivered. Our guide to module evaluation provides a brief summary of the process, which results in the completion of a module evaluation form by the module team. The process is informed by students’ feedback collected through the University's module questionnaire, usually issued to students online. Where a hard copy is employed, please use the standard version of the module questionnaire.

RiME at course level

At course level there is an emphasis on continuous monitoring of provision via course committees and the maintenance of a rolling course action plan, with any issues or good practice feeding up to school or partner level. The process is informed by regular review of the delivery of individual modules, by consideration of student retention and achievement data, and by reflection on feedback from students, external examiners and other stakeholders (for example employers or placement providers). You can find out more in our guidance on managing course committee meetings.

Our accompanying guide to course committees for student representatives explains the important role that students play in monitoring and enhancement at this level. We have produced a range of course data fact sheets to help student representatives understand some of the data reports considered by course committees, including reports relating to the National Student Survey (NSS), the internal University of Suffolk student survey, student retention and achievement, and graduate destinations.

During the 2018-19 academic year we are piloting a revised version of course committees; this pilot is limited to two University academic schools (Psychology and Education; Science, Technology and Engineering). For further information and guidance, please see the course committee pilot webpage.

In addition to ongoing monitoring through the course committee, partner institutions are required to complete a course level annual monitoring report for each course or group of cognate courses falling within the partnership arrangement.

RiME at school and partner level

At school and partner level, academic committees are expected to continually monitor their provision to ensure that academic standards are maintained and that students are offered a high quality learning experience. As part of this, an annual action plan is maintained by each school and partner responding to National Student Survey results, and this is reported to the Quality Committee (see NSS action planning guidance for further information).

Each school and partner also organises an annual RiME event to review the previous academic year, involving staff, students and relevant external stakeholders. The discussions and outcomes of the RiME event feed into an annual school or partner RiME report and action plan. You can find out more in our guide to RiME activities at school and partner level.

Where partner provision is confined to a single course or group of cognate courses under the oversight of a single course committee, a separate RiME event and RiME report may not be required and a course level annual monitoring report may suffice. Please contact the Quality Assurance and Enhancement team for further information.

RiME at institutional level (including the risk alert process)

At institutional level, school and partner RiME reports and action plans (along with RiME reports from relevant professional services teams) feed into a University of Suffolk annual academic report, which is presented to Senate. The report summarises key developments, progress, achievements and areas for future enhancement across the University and its partner institutions.

The Quality Assurance and Enhancement team also maintains a centrally initiated risk alert process. This is used where key performance indicators, operational information or feedback appears to indicate a specific risk to the continued quality or standard of an aspect of provision. In such situations, a risk alert is issued and the team involved are expected to explore and report on the issue(s), form an action plan and present their findings to an audit team for approval (using a risk alert audit report form). The risk alert audit process is intended to be supportive and constructive. Where a course team, school or partner believes it would be helpful, they can request the issue of a risk alert in support of their own exploration of issues or situations. You can find out more in our guide to the risk alert process.