Trent's Institutional Quality Assurance Policy & Procedures (IQAP)
- Institutional Quality Assurance Policy (docx)
- Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations (pdf)
- Graduate Degree Level Expectations (pdf)
Institutional Quality Assurance Policy (IQAP)
Approval: Senate (internal)
Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (external)
Responsibility: Provost and Vice President Academic
Contact Officer: Manager, Office of Provost and Vice President Academic
Effective Date: Sept 1, 2022; Sept 1, 2019; Sept 1, 2015; initial Sept 1, 2011
Date for Next Review: Fall 2027
Senate: Approved Mar 22, 2022; Apr 2019; Dec 2014; initial approval May 2011
Quality Council: Approved Mar 15, 2023; Aug 2019; Dec 2014; initial approval Mar 2011
Purpose of Policy
Trent’s Institutional Quality Assurance Policy (IQAP) governs the development of new programs and the review and revision of existing programs. The Policy and its associated Procedures establish the requirements and criteria for each of the Protocols, are in compliance with the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) as developed by the Ontario Council of Academic Vice Presidents (OCAV) and have been adopted by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).
Protocols governed by the IQAP Policy include:
- Cyclical Program Review Protocol
- New Program Protocol
- Expedited Approval Protocol
- Major Modification Protocol (Program Renewal and Significant Change)
- Audit Protocol
Quality assurance is a shared responsibility between the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (the Quality Council) and Ontario’s universities. This collaboration ensures a culture of continuous improvement and supports a vision of a student-centred education. Quality assurance processes result in an educational system that is open, accountable and transparent. Bringing Ontario’s universities quality assurance practices into line with the latest international quality assurance standards facilitates greater international acceptance of an institutes’ degrees and improves graduate access to university programs and employment worldwide.
The Quality Council is the provincial body responsible for assuring the quality of degree programs/diploma programs and the integrity of the universities’ quality assurance processes as set by the Quality Assurance Framework. Every publicly assisted Ontario University that grants degrees and diplomas is responsible for ensuring the quality of its programs and is responsible for developing a policy that minimally meets the requirements of this Framework.
Based on the Quality Assurance Framework, Trent University has created both a holistic and integrated approach to quality assurance, one that is built on the Guiding Principles that inform every aspect of quality assurance and provide broad terms of best practices. The most relevant Principles (4 of the 15) have been included here, as they best reflect the quality assurance processes at the university level, and support Trent’s approach to continuous improvement.
- Principle 1 – Experience of the Student: The best interest of students is at the core of quality assurance activities. Quality assurance is ultimately about the centrality of the student experience in Ontario. It is about student achievement in programs that lead to a degree or diploma; about ensuring the value of the university degree in Ontario, and of ensuring that our highly qualified graduates continue to be strong and innovative contributors to the well-being of Ontario’s economy and society.
- Principle 9 – Transparency: The Quality Council operates in accordance with publicly communicated principles, policies and procedures. Both the Quality Council’s assessment process and the internal quality assurance process of individual institutions is open, transparent, and accountable, except as limited by constraints of laws and regulations for the protection of individuals.
- Principle 13 – Continuous Monitoring and Quality Improvement: Quality is not static, and continuous improvement should be a driver of quality assurance and be measurable. An important goal for quality assurance is to reach beyond merely demonstrating quality at a moment in time and to demonstrate ongoing and continuous quality improvement. The Quality Council is committed to sharing effective best practices in quality assurance to assist institutions in their quality improvement work.
- Principle 14 – Expert Independent Peer Review: Whether for new programs or cyclical review of existing programs, expert independent peer review is foundational to quality assurance.
The full set of Principles guide and inform all aspects of quality assurance while each Protocol includes a set of specific and detailed procedures that aligns with the Principles and best practices to ensure the ongoing improvement and enhancement of program offerings, specifically:
- To ensure that educational experiences of students are engaging and rigorous
- To actively monitor and review curriculum, to identify opportunities and develop plans for change, as necessary, to improve the student experience
- To meet evolving standards and measures of quality in the program and in response to the ongoing evolution of the discipline
- To focus on the continuous improvement of those facets of education that most directly impact academic experiences of students
- To ensure the continuing quality and relevance of programs to stakeholders, including the university, students, the public and the government.
Trent University has developed a robust quality assurance process that incorporates a model of multi-level assessment and an evidence-based approach that ensures a culture of ongoing and continuous improvement of its programs that prioritizes student-centre learning and experiences.