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 2019-2020 Cycle

2019 ELG HE Accreditation Stage 1 Submission Deadline

  • 31 January 2019 (all submissions for 2020 must be received by AQR by this date)

The above deadline refers to the submission of College supported accreditation items to Academic Quality Review for University level review. Please contact the respective College in relation to College requirements and timelines relating to submissions.

2019 Higher Education Learning & Teaching Committee HE Accreditation Stage 2 Submission Deadlines

  • 12th April 2019 (all submissions for 2020 must be received by AQR by this date)

The above deadline refers to the submission of College supported accreditation items to Academic Quality Review for University level review. Please contact the respective College in relation to College 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 submitted 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)

Open All | Close All

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.

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 Executive Leadership Group (ELG), 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 Executive Leadership Group (ELG) 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 form below is 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 form 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/doclibrary/.

Forms and documents

Academic Quality and Review

Academic Quality and Review (AQR) manage the University’s internal accreditation process for Higher Education, including coordinating the review of HE accreditation documentation by ELG and the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Committee.
Both the accreditation/reaccreditation process itself, and the information supplied during the accreditation process, are used by CDU to ensure the relevant TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) Domains are met and maintained.

These Domains are:

  • Domain 1 – Student participation and attainment
    • Provides standards relating to Admission; Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning; Orientation and Progression; Learning Outcomes and Assessment; Qualification and Certification
  • Domain 2 – Learning environment
    • Provides standards relating to Facilities and Infrastructure; Diversity and Equity; Wellbeing and Safety; Student Grievances and Complaints
  • Domain 3 – Teaching
    • Provides standards relating to Course Design; Staffing; Learning Resources and Education Support
  • Domain 4 – Research and research training
    • Provides standards relating to Research; Research Training
  • Domain 5 – Institutional quality assurance
    • Provides standards relating to Course Approval and Accreditation; Academic and Research Integrity; Monitoring, Review and Improvement; Delivery with Other Parties
  • Domain 6 – Governance and accountability
    • Provides standards relating to Corporate Governance; Corporate Monitoring and Accountability; Academic Governance          
  • Domain 7 – Representation, information and information management
    • Provides standards relating to Representation; Information for Prospective and Current Students; Information Management


Natasha McCrae - Team Leader, Accreditation & Registration

Email: arteam@cdu.edu.au
Phone: (08) 8946 7775