The accreditation of programmes offered by the USP is conducted by a variety of accrediting bodies such as Charted Accountants Australia, ANZ ICT Accreditation Board (ANZAB) and International Centre for Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism Management (THE-ICE). The University has established certain procedural practices to ensure that all instances of accreditation are recorded, that a schedule of impending accreditations is maintained and that issues identified through accreditation are formally addressed by the University. The University also recognises that reports by accrediting bodies are a valuable source of information about the quality of programmes offered by the University. This information is of interest to external organisations such as Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC), Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQANZU). Issues identified during an accreditation are relevant to programme reviews and annual monitoring. For these reasons copies of all reports provided by accreditation bodies and any associated documentation are to be held centrally within the University.
In order to facilitate this process, USP has adopted the following principles:
- Will seek interactive accreditation/recognition of all academic programmes where feasible and possible.
- Supports the seeking of accreditation of a programme where and whenever such accreditation improves the quality of a programme and/or enhances the employment opportunities of graduates.
- Requires that all issues identified through accreditation are reported to the appropriate University committee(s).
- Will maintain a schedule of all impending accreditations.
- Will maintain a record of all previous accreditations for a period of seven years.
- Requires that information obtained from accreditations is available for quality assurance purposes in programme reviews and national, regional and international audits.
- Requires that issues identified through accreditation processes are addressed promptly and systematically.
The accreditation procedures used by the various professional bodies vary significantly. Some are very formal, involve lengthy site visits and require significant input by several staff members whereas others are less formal and involve limited staff input. Although the University has no control over the actual accreditation process of an individual professional body, the University requires that the following procedures are observed for all programmes being accredited:
- The Dean of Faculty will confirm with the PVC (P&Q) during the second semester of all accreditations that will occur during the following academic year.
- A schedule of accreditation over the next three years is to be maintained online by the Planning and Quality Office.
- Details of all accreditations conducted during the previous seven years will also be maintained by the Planning and Quality Office.
Documentation required by accrediting bodies will need to be prepared within the relevant school and the final draft approved by the Dean of Faculty and forwarded through the PVC (P&Q) under the Vice-Chancellor's signature to the accrediting body. This will ensure that senior management is fully aware of all accreditations.
Individual schools will coordinate site visits and meetings with school staff in accordance with the requirements of the accrediting body and in liaison with the Planning and Quality Office. Upon completion of the visit, the members of the accrediting body will meet with the Dean of Faculty and Vice-Chancellor to discuss major issues identified during the visit.
Upon completion of the accreditation process the accrediting body considers the information that it has collected and produces a report that identifies any issues that need attention by the University in order to satisfy the requirements for accreditation.
The relevant Dean of Faculty is to ensure that a response addressing these issues is forwarded to the accrediting body within 60 days or earlier if specified in the report. The Dean of Faculty is also to ensure that an implementation plan to resolve these is also developed and put into effect by the end of the following semester.
Copies of the report, the faculty's response and the implementation plan are to be forwarded by the Dean of Faculty to the PVC (P&Q), who will refer the documents to Academic Standards and Quality Committee, in order that they are made aware of any University-wide issues identified through the accreditation process. The PVC (P&Q) will also ensure that all documentation relating to any accreditation undertaking is made available for the purpose of quality improvement.