Quality Assurance

High quality teaching and research programs are a hallmark of the University of Alberta. The institution is committed to a rigorous quality assurance program that has been designed to maintain and further build upon the existing strengths of the U of A's academic programs, units, and Faculties.

The reviews conducted through the quality assurance program will be administered according to the guidelines that have been set by the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC), the Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor, and the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). Offered on an ongoing basis, each review will be carried out according to a stable and publicly available schedule, which will see all programs and Faculties reviewed in a five- to seven-year cycle. The various stages of the quality assurance program will be overseen and supported by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and the Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor, with added support provided by the Office of Strategic Analysis and Data Warehousing.

The Campus Alberta Quality Council regularly audits the University to ensure that suitable quality assurance mechanisms are in place, which allow for meaningful self-study and which demonstrate the comparative quality of its program offerings.

Summary reports from the quality assurance activities will be presented to the General Faculties Council (GFC) Academic Planning Committee (APC) and the Board Learning, Research and Student Experience Committee (BLRSEC) on an annual basis. In addition, reports are made public on the Office of the Provost website. 

Quality Assurance Activities

Undergraduate Program Reviews

The purpose of the reviews is to ensure the quality of undergraduate programs according to the program standards set out by the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC). The focus of the undergraduate program review is on the quality of the academic programs including program structure, learning outcomes, learning environment and support provided to students.

The review is also an opportunity to respond to any earlier recommendations or suggestions of evaluation teams from accreditation or former quality assurance activities. Faculties are asked to complete a self-study of their undergraduate programs. A review committee, including an external chair, is invited for a site visit and submits a report on their findings. The faculty has the opportunity to respond to the external committee's report.

Cycle: Every 5 - 7 years per unit 

Graduate Program Reviews

The aim of the Graduate Program Review is to ensure programs have the necessary expertise, systems and resources to: (1) support effective and timely program delivery; (2) deliver content of appropriate breadth and rigour; and (3) engage, support and assess learning through a clearly defined set of learning outcomes. In addition to ensuring maintenance of expected standards, the review will consider responses to recommendations of previous reviews.The Graduate Program Review complies with CAQC expectations for graduate programs.

Cycle: Every 5 - 7 years per unit

President's Visiting Committee

The President's Visiting Committee (PVC) is forward-looking and strategic: the committee's review focuses on a faculty's quality, innovativeness, research impact and competitiveness in comparison to peer programs or faculties. The PVC will assess future plans for research programs and activities, taking into account the associated program review reports. Following a format similar to the program reviews, each PVC will include a self-study, external review and report, and unit response. The external review will be completed by a visiting committee of global experts and internal representatives who will offer advice that is intended to increase the unit's research capacity and impact. The outcome of the PVC should be a 5 to 7 year plan for research and strategic activities to guide the unit in increasing its research quality and impact.

Cycle: Every 5 - 7 years per unit 

Ongoing Monitoring of Implementation of Recommendations

Offered on a regular multi-year cycle, each review will take place with supports from the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and through the Office of Performance, Analytics and Institutional Research (PAIR).

The coordination of the quality assurance activities by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) results in a more efficient use of resources; ensures a predictable and manageable number of reviews annually; supports excellent compliance with CAQC mandated expectations, and establishes a system of regular follow up on recommendations.

Cycle: Annual (Fall)

External Accreditation Reviews & Quality Assurance
Professional programs are often subject to regular accreditation reviews. To the extent possible, these accreditation reviews will be leveraged in the Quality Assurance Suite. A schedule for quality assurance will be based on a matrix that ensures that between 9 and 12 reviews are conducted annually with support from the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and from PAIR. A review may cover one small faculty (e.g., SPH, FNS, and Rehabilitation Medicine) or three to six departments from a large faculty (Arts, FoMD, and Science). By following a publicly available, stable schedule of reviews, data can be produced and tailored in advance of each review, and a manageable and predictable workload is in place for faculties, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, and PAIR.