HE Course and Unit Accreditation

CDU is a self-accrediting higher education (HE) provider.  All courses are accredited by Academic Board via the Course Accreditation/Reaccreditation Process.

The Accreditation/Reaccreditation Process is completed in two stages:  

  • Stage 1: Resource and Planning (R&P) - is where consideration is given to planning and resource issues associated with course accreditation and re-accreditation.  It ensures there is sufficient demand and resources available to support the running of the course
  • Stage 2: Quality Assurance (QA) is where consideration is given to quality assurance elements associated with course/unit accreditation and re-accreditation. It ensures the learning and teaching aspects of the course/unit are appropriate.

Course Accreditation/Reaccreditation Key Dates 2016-2017 Cycle

2017 VCAG HE Accreditation Stage 1 Submission Deadline

  • 3rd November 2015 (all submissions for 2017 must be received, by ART, by this date)

The above deadline refers to the submission of Faculty approved accreditation items to the Accreditation and Registration Team for University level review. Please contact the respective School or Faculty in relation to internal requirements and timelines relating to submissions.

2017 University Learning & Teaching Committee HE Accreditation Stage 2 Submission Deadlines

  • 15 April 2016 (all submissions for 2017 must be received, by ART, by this date)

The above deadline refers to the submission of Faculty approved accreditation items to the Accreditation and Registration Team for University level review . Please contact the respective School or Faculty in relation to internal requirements and timelines relating to submissions.

HE Course and Unit Accreditation Submissions

All course Resource and Planning submissions and all course and unit Quality Assurance submission must be completed electronically via CAPS.  CAPS is the Curriculum Approval Proposal System used by CDU to record and store all accredited units and courses for both Higher Education and VET.  Further information can be found at http://www.cdu.edu.au/olt/ra/caps.html.

Higher Education Course and Unit Accreditation Timeline (.docx 40KB)

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The Expression of Interest is to be used to make a preliminary case for the development of a new HE course. It should provide a brief summary of the proposed course and be approved by the School and Faculty.

Schools and Faculties can use this form if they choose to gather information about courses that are being developed for 2016.

Note: Support for the EOI does not constitute approval to offer a course, but provides clearance to proceed to the next stage – completion of the R&P.

Expression of Interest for New Higher Education Courses (.docx 41KB)

Resource and Planning (R&P) proposals are developed in consultation with OLT and Library and Information Access (LIA) and are reviewed by the relevant Faculty/Institute Executive.

Existing HE course R&P proposals are reviewed by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Academic in consultation with the relevant faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor. If approved, it can progress to the QA stage.

New HE course R&P proposals are reviewed by the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group (VCAG), which advises the Vice Chancellor to either: (i) approve the proposal to proceed to the QA stage, or (ii) reject the proposal.

Stage 1: Resource and Planning (R&P) timeline applies to:

  • New courses
  • All courses due for reaccreditation (5 year review)
  • Courses that are seeking accreditation due to major changes and/or associated resource implications
  • Course discontinuations.

The purpose of the Resources and Planning submission is to capture details of the course development or review and redevelopment activities being undertaken by the discipline/school.  The RP is designed to:

  • Provide adequate information for the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group (VCAG) to make informed decisions about CDU course profile, including:
    • Market, student demand, benchmarking
    • Resources and staffing requirements
    • Additional costs associated (beyond the Faculty/School budget)
  • Provide details regarding curriculum development and proposed structure
    • Indicate new unit development and current unit redevelopment
  • Provide course set up and marketing information, including:
    • Course Title and Code, Award Title, Volume of Learning, Course GOVT Type, AQF level, Field of Education and Area of Study
    • Course Overview used in SATAC, CDU Course Guide and CDU Course Catalogue
    • Entry requirements.


Note: Stage 1 R&P approval does not constitute final accreditation or permission to implement the course.  The course details provided at this stage are required for the planning of the SATAC guide, Government reporting and CDU’s course guide; however, final accreditation (via Stage 2 QA) is required before the course can open for admissions (offers).

Forms and documents

The purpose of this stage is to:

  • Provide adequate information for the Learning and Teaching Committee and Academic Board to accredit course and units for the provision of high quality and pedagogically sound learning experiences for students.
  • Articulate clear links between assessment, learning outcomes, learning activities that students are required to undertake in order to develop the Course Outcomes, CDU’s Graduate Attributes and meet the AQF Learning Outcome Descriptor for the specific qualification level.
  • Capture and approve pathways between AQF qualifications that facilitate a student’s entry into and credit towards (where appropriate) a CDU award.

Stage 2 Quality Assurance timeline applies to:

  • New courses approved at Stage 1 R&P.
  • All courses due for reaccreditation (5 year review cycle) approved at Stage 1 R&P.
  • Courses that are seeking reaccreditation due to major changes approved at Stage 1 R&P.
  • Transitional arrangements
  • New, Redeveloped and Reaccredited units
  • Unit discontinuations

NB Approval at Stage 2 constitutes permission to implement the course and open it for admissions (offers).

Course developers collaborate with Course Advisory Groups, OLT and LIA to develop the curriculum at the course and unit level and finalise the course structure, specific award requirements, transitional arrangements and study plans.

QA proposals must initially be reviewed and approved by the relevant Faculty/Institute Learning and Teaching Committee.

Faculty-approved proposals are submitted to the CDU Learning and Teaching Committee(ULTC) for final quality review. The ULTC is responsible for advising the Academic Board on the accreditation, review, re-accreditation, suspension and discontinuation of Higher Education courses.

Forms and documents

The following forms are provided as a guide and information collection only, all course and unit QA submissions are to be submitted using CAPS via Callista.

Training is provided for first time users in order to gain access to CAPS (you must be a Callista user prior to accessing CAPS). All requests for CAPS training should be made through eCentre. For further information regarding access and training please contact arteam@cdu.edu.au.

It is recommended that each school works closely with their appointed Education & Training Development School contact.

The CAPS QA application is currently under review and the version will be released later in the year.  The forms below are from the previous accreditation cycle and should only be used as a guide/example. Note however that there may be inconsistencies in the format and order between the hardcopy forms/guide and CAPS. 

The information requested in the accreditation documentation is required to meet legislative, quality assurance and operational planning requirements.  Changes to some unit variables are more significant than others, and will be categorised as either minor or major.  

The definition of minor and major changes has been determined based on the following:

  • TEQSA requirements
  • HESA requirements
  • Potential impact on students
  • Potential impact across courses/cross disciplinary considerations.

Minor changes are deemed to include:

  • Assessment (weight change only)
  • Adding offerings (e.g. add the unit to an additional semester or study period)
  • Learning method (online, online reliant, print based etc.)
  • Teaching responsibility (who the unit is reported to)
  • Unit description (grammar, format, additional student information)
  • Assumed knowledge
  • Refining current Learning outcomes (to make them clearer).

Major changes are deemed to include:

  • Unit code
  • Unit title
  • Unit description (content change)
  • Field of education
  • Pre-requisite(s)
  • Learning outcomes (adding or removing)
  • Assessment (other than weight change)
  • Removing offerings
  • New unit mode (a unit mode such as internal/external/intensive that has never been offered for this unit).

Is it recommended that staff read the Minor and Major Unit Changes Procedure located on the Governance document site http://www.cdu.edu.au/governance/lt.html.

Forms and documents

Accreditation and Registration Team (ART)

The Accreditation & Registration Team manages the University’s internal accreditation for Higher Education, including the coordination of submissions of HE accreditation documentation to VCAG and University Learning and Teaching Committee.

The information supplied and approved via the accreditation process is used by ART to meet the requirements of the TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) Provider Registration Standard: Section 6 Responsibility to Students - Item 6.3.  Specifically;

The higher education provider and its agents and other entities with which it has arrangements for the delivery of a course of study provide current, accurate, adequate, and openly accessible information for prospective and enrolled students on all matters relating to their studies for higher education awards offered by the higher education provider, including information on:

  • the higher education provider offering the higher education award and the higher education awards that will be awarded for each course of study;
  • the higher education provider’s registration status and the accreditation status of each course of study;
  • formal recognition of each course of study by professional bodies;
  • structure, credit points and duration or volume of learning for each course of study;
  • admission criteria, recognition of prior learning and credit and articulation to and from other studies;
  • content and assessment for each unit in the course of study;
  • when and where the course of study will be offered, including the units that will be offered in any teaching period


Samantha Thompson - Team Leader, Accreditation & Registration
Email: samantha.thompson@cdu.edu.au
Phone: (08) 8946 7775