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Learning and Teaching

Academic calibration program

Education Strategy

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) are distinctive in their commitment to broadening participation in higher education providing a quality valuable lifelong education base for all our graduates. We draw our students from suburban, peri-urban, regional and remote areas of Australia, with high proportions of disadvantaged and ‘first in family’ students. At the same time, we are also research intensive and innovative in the way we address some common problems in higher education.

As a group the IRU members are confronting the challenges of the digital economy which is both changing the nature of work for most and opening up many opportunities to change how university education is enjoyed.

Participation in the IRU Academic Calibration Program (ACP) is a practical sign of CDU’s commitment to providing a quality, valuable and lifelong education base for its students. The Program is an external peer review process that is undertaken in collaboration with other Innovative Research Universities. Each university gets considered feedback from academic staff in another university about the standard of work required for each assessment outcomes.


  • ACP is a good opportunity to reflect on your unit and assessment outside of standard information gathering, metrics, and internal evaluation processes by having the opportunity to seek external feedback from a discipline-based colleague at another institution
  • Becoming a calibrator is notable as request for nominations go to all IRU institutions, and you are selected based on your experience in the discipline and your well-developed sense of academic standards
  • ACP meets a Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) requirement
  • ACP is intended to be collegial and constructive, and you will receive an evaluation that either affirms your work, or provides useful feedback on how you could improve
  • ACP is also a good form of professional development and gives you the opportunity to experience and evaluate a unit from your discipline from another institution.
  • Having calibrated units within your school/faculty means you can contextualise assessment and grading of your units in a broader national context.
  • ACP demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement which is beneficial for professional development
  • In many cases in the pilot phase, calibrators reported there was a cross-pollination of ideas, and they too learnt how they could improve their units from the evaluation of others
  • Calibration is a documented endorsement of the consistency and reliability of your school/college’s assessment and grading methods, comparative to the sector
  • ACP reports can positively support existing processes such as course review, and professional accreditation of courses
  • ACP contributes to the proactive improvement of units, continually raising the standard of learning and teaching

For more information, please contact the CDU Calibration Program Coordinator:
Sarah Morgan Broome: