A structured, secure and reliable accreditation record management system can strengthen the internal quality assurance system for academic courses offered. This is critical when the amount of paperwork to be maintained in good order for the approval and accreditation of academic courses tend to be voluminous.

 

For a foreign university branch campus like Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, the volume of paperwork is compounded when its academic courses are subjected to approval and accreditation requirements of both Australian and Malaysian approval and accreditation bodies. By leveraging on the proven stability of the Blackboard Learning Management System, which the University deploys in delivering its academic courses, Swinburne Sarawak’s Policy, Planning and Quality team maintains a structured, secure and reliable record management system that is password protected and can be accessed by authorised personnel on and off campus 24/7 via the University’s website.


The accreditation record management system is:

  • structured to allow easy self-retrieval of course information by course leaders assigned the responsibilities for periodic reviews and extension of accreditation periods;
  • secured to restrict sharing of proprietary curriculum information with authorised personnel; and
  • reliable to ensure that accurate and correct information on course approvals and accreditations in chronological order is readily available to authorised personnel.

 

For easy self-retrieval, each academic course record (folder) has been structured with sub-folders that contain:

  • Academic Senate meeting minutes for course approval and renewal of approvals;
  • approved accreditation and re-accreditation documentation (which contains proprietary curriculum information);
  • applications to the Malaysian Ministry of Education for course approval and renewal of approvals
  • course approvals from the Malaysian Ministry of Education;
  • accreditation guidelines (including links to documents such as the COPPA, specific program standards issued by the MQA and professional accreditation manuals, where applicable);
  • the provisional accreditation certificate;
  • a sample testamur from the first cohort of graduate;
  • applications for self (full) accreditation of the course;
  • applications for professional accreditation and re-accreditation;
  • the full accreditation certificates from the MQA or professional bodies;
  • applications to the MQA for transfer of the fully accredited course to the Malaysian Qualifications Register; and
  • external links to accredited course listing published by professional bodies.

 

The sub-folders in each academic course record can be customised so that only relevant information is maintained depending on the type of accreditation obtained for the course. An example of an academic course record from Swinburne Sarawak’s accreditation record management system is displayed in Figure 1 for an engineering course that is accredited by the Malaysian Engineering Accreditation Council, Board of Engineers Malaysia and Engineers Australia.

 Accreditation Record Management System

 Figure 1: An extract of the Swinburne Sarawak’s accreditation record management system

 

Since its implementation in 2011, the accreditation record management system has freed up resources in the University’s Policy, Planning and Quality Unit to provide other more value-add support services to the faculties. It is also a cost effective solution to extend the use of the University’s investment in the Blackboard Learning Management System, which academic staff are familiar with.

 

Wendy Chang
Policy, Planning and Quality
Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus