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Support Services Review Procedures

Parent Policy

Support Services Review Policy

Each division/service unit must publicise on its website the schedule of support services reviews planned during the 5-year review cycle and provide the link to the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) for the OPVC(L&T) review website. Assistance in briefing staff who will be involved in reviews is available from OPVC(L&T).

The support services review process aims to ensure that support services areas meet the requirements of, and are aligned with, university strategic planning and policy documents, and the audit framework of the Australian Universities Quality Agency (see the AUQA audit manual, in particular Section 7.4 Thematic Areas for Audit) and Appendix E: Framework for Standards, Evidence and Outcomes. Note that reviews may include other areas or issues not covered in the standard terms of reference.

Section 1: Self Review Report

Self-review is the first phase of the review process. The support services area under review documents its directions, progress, achievements and strengths, as well as areas for development and improvement, in relation to:

  • alignment of the objectives of the support services area with:
  • national policies and protocols (including MQA and HEQC where appropriate)
  • measurement, monitoring and management of progress towards key objectives and use of performance indicators;
  • assessment of performance and outcomes in relation to standards and external reference points, national and international;
  • assessment of performance and distinctive features against identified competitors;
  • regulatory, compliance and risk management processes;
  • systematic quality assurance and improvement processes.

These constitute the terms of reference for review of a support services area.

The review must be publicised throughout the university, and to external stakeholders, together with a call for submissions to be directed to the secretary to the panel. The deadline for submissions is set by the secretary in consultation with the head of the support services area.

The self-review report forms the basis for the review that will follow. The report can be up to 7,000 words in length, with additional appendices, and is structured to reflect the terms of reference outlined above.

Links to relevant information, resources and templates can be found at the OPVC(L&T) website. Additional information about self-review processes can be found at the AUQA Self-Review for Higher Education Institutions (pdf 491kb).

Responsibility

Head of the support service unit being reviewed
Review Secretary
Self-review team

Section 2: Selection of Review Panel

Review panels are selected by the divisional director, in consultation with the head of unit when a sub-unit is being reviewed and are approved by the relevant Vice-President.

Selection of panel members is based on experience and expertise with regard to the terms of reference.  Panels normally include the following:

  • an appointee of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group
  • two senior counterparts from relevant areas and external to Monash University (an international perspective is encouraged);
  • a senior Monash support services representative, external to the unit and usually external to the division/unit;
  • a member of an appropriate industry group, professional association or society;
  • a senior student or recent graduate for a service that has direct impact on students, or a member of university staff (from a different internal area) for a staff-related service.

The divisional director nominates the chair of the review panel.  The secretary to the panel may be an internal nominee or an externally appointmented person..

Responsibility

Vice President responsible for the support unit
Divisional Director responsible for the support unit
Head of the support unit being reviewed

Section 3: Review Process

The secretary to the panel provides the review panel members with the self-review report and other necessary supporting documentation, with an invitation to request any additional documentation they may require.

The secretary to the panel convenes the review visit in consultation with the director/head of the support services unit and panel members.

During the visit the panel will meet with interested parties, tour facilities, receive submissions and requests for interviews, and at the end of the visit, present preliminary findings.

A sample calendar of events can be obtained through OPVC(L&T).

As part of the review process, the panel may arrange interviews with key stakeholders (for example members of the academic and student community). These would normally be planned in consultation with the director/head of support services unit and arranged by the panel secretary. It should be kept in mind, however, that the purpose of these interviews is to verify statements made in the self review document. It would be expected that the unit itself has processes for obtaining and acting on stakeholder feedback, and these should form part of the self review report.

Responsibility

Head of the support services unit being reviewed
Chair of review panel
Review panel members
Secretary to the review panel

Section 4: Review Report

The chair of the review panel works closely with the secretary to draft the review report which must be submitted to the divisional director within two months of the review visit.

The review report can be up to 7,000 words in length, beginning with an executive summary including a prioritised list of recommendations. Additional appendices may be included.

A template for a standard review report can be obtained through the OPVC(L&T).

Responsibility

Chair of review panel
Secretary to the review panel

Section 5: Review Implementation Plan

On receiving the review report, the divisional director, in consultation with the head of the support services unit:

  • reviews the review recommendations and their assigned priorities;
  • develops an implementation plan (and if necessary modifies the support services unit  operational lan) to prioritise recommendations, assign responsibility for action, assess resource implications and provide a time scale for implementation;
  • reports major issues or findings to the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) who will refer relevant sections to the Strategy and Resources Committee for comment and endorsement .
  • has ongoing consultation with the relevant head of unit, concerning progress of the implementation plan.

Approval of the action plan is given by the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.

A template for a standard implementation plan can be obtained through the OPVC(L&T).

Responsibility

Vice-Chancellor’s Group
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
Divisional director responsible for the support unit
Strategy and Resources Committee

Section 6: Review reporting

The review secretary must lodge with the OPVC(L&T) within two weeks of development of the action plan, the review report and action plan for uploading to the Support Services Review Database.

The divisional director has ongoing consultation with relevant members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) concerning implementation of the plan, and provides reports on implementation of the action plan to the Strategy and Resources Committee.

Twelve months following the review, the divisional director must provide a report on the implementation of the review to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and the review secretary must lodge the follow-up report with the OPVC(L&T).

Responsibility

Vice-Chancellor’s Group
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
Divisional Director responsible for the support unit
Strategy and Resources Committee
Secretary to the review panel

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