About The Review Process
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the role of the internal reviewers?
- Are there quality mechanisms other than the quality reviews?
- What support and training is available to the School/Unit during this process?
- Can external examiners be used as reviewers?
- How are External Academics nominated for School Reviews?
Normally, there are two internal reviewers involved in each review. One is a senior staff member (e.g. a senior academic for a School or Faculty review), the other is a member of the Quality Promotion Committee who also acts as the rapporteur for the peer group. The internal members act as guides for the group, while they are on campus, in terms of guiding the groups to the various timetabled meetings on campus during the site visit. The Rapporteur is responsible for co-ordinating the writing, editing and correction of the Review Report.
Yes, there are other quality mechanisms, such as the validation and accreditation of programmes, the external examiner system, and student opinion of teaching surveys. Regular programme reviews as stipulated in the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area will have to be put into place by 2010. Is is one of the aims of the Quality Promotion Office to harmonise all quality assurance mechanisms to the best possible extent.
The Quality Promotion Office provides ongoing support for schools throughout the review process. This takes the form of (a) disseminating information on areas of good practice; (b) meeting with heads of school and school quality committees on issues of general preparation and the collation of review documentation; (c) meeting with academic staff within each school to discuss how the review process can be a valuable exercise in school development. This work is also supplemented by the Training & Development Unit of the Human Resources Office which facilitates workshops at school, unit and faculty level, upon request.
External reviewers should not normally have had a close association with the school in a role such as external examiner within the last five years. In exceptional circumstances, a case could be made on behalf of a previous external examiner if the individual was an international expert in a field in which the school specialises, and therefore would be the most appropriate person to undertake an external reviewer role.
All school nominations for reviewers must be forwarded to the Quality Promotion Committee (through the Director of Quality Promotion. Normally, eight nominations per review will be submitted, four should come from an Irish university and four from outside the island, from which two will be appointed. Schools should liaise with the Director of Quality Promotion regarding nominations. Schools should note that it is advantageous to ensure that reviewer nominations are submitted as early as possible within the review process to avoid delays and difficulties regarding reviewer availability.