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JMP - School Assessment Responsibilities Guideline

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Section 1 - Content

(1) The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine programs are delivered as a Joint Medical Program (JMP) by the University of Newcastle and the University of New England. The JMP Governance Committee is the peak coordinating body for the Joint Medical Program.

(2) The JMP Teaching and Learning Committee reports to the JMP Governance Committee and is responsible for planning, implementation and management of the JMP.

(3) These guidelines support the JMP Policy Governing the Administration of Assessment and;

  1. at UON:
    1. the Code of Ethical Academic Conduct Policy
    2. Appendix 7 – Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual
    3. Student Conduct Rule
    4. JMP Student Academic Misconduct Rule.
  2. at UNE:
    1. the general principles of the Assessment Rule; and
    2. Student Coursework Academic Misconduct and Plagiarism Rules.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) In the context of this document:

  1. course at UON means any part of a program for which a result may be recorded;
  2. cps at UNE refers to the proportional amount of academic credit allotted to a unit and is used to:
    1. define the requirements for an award of the University;
    2. indicate a student’s enrolment load (see ‘unit at UON’ below).
  3. Dean means the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP);
  4. Deputy Vice-Chancellor means the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at UON and/or Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UNE;
  5. Head of the School means the Head of School of Medicine and Public Health at UON and/or the Head of the School of Rural Medicine at UNE who is/are responsible for delivery of approved MEDI Course/Units;
  6. JMP Assessment Committee means the joint UON/UNE committee responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and quality assurance of JMP assessment;
  7. JMP Teaching and Learning Committee means the joint UON/UNE committee responsible for the planning, implementation and management of the JMP including curriculum, assessment and standards;
  8. Joint Medical Program (JMP) means the Bachelor of Medicine (BMed-JMP) or the Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program (MD-JMP); as delivered in partnership by UON and UNE;
  9. Pro Vice-Chancellor means the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health and Medicine at UON, and/or the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at UNE; 
  10. School means the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle and/or the School of Rural Medicine at the University of New England;
  11. UON means the University of Newcastle;
  12. UNE means the University of New England;
  13. unit at UON refers to the proportional amount of academic credit allotted to a course and is used to:
    1. define the requirements for an award of the University;
    2. indicate a student’s enrolment load (see ‘cps at UNE’, above).
  14. unit at UNE means any part of a course which a result may be recorded.
  15. Year Assessment Decision Committee means one of the committees responsible for recommending final grades to the Heads of School and for reviewing the assessment of courses/units in accordance with the Universities’ quality assurance principles.
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Section 3 - Scope

(5) A Year Assessment Decision Committee is in place for each year of the Joint Medical Program;

(6) The Year Assessment Decision Committees are responsible for making recommendations to the relevant Head of School for the approval of final grades and for reviewing the assessment of a course (UON) / unit (UNE) in accordance with each University’s quality assurance principles.

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Section 4 - Membership and Terms

(7) The membership of the Year Assessment Decision Committees may be varied by the JMP Teaching and Learning Committee. Membership, attendance and quorum requirements are defined in the approved Year Assessment Decision Committee Terms of Reference.

(8) Members of Year Assessment Decision Committees must comply with the respective university Conflict of Interest Policy (Conflict of Interest Policy at UON; UNE Conflict of Interest Policy at UNE).

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Section 5 - Records and Confidentiality

(9) The Year Managers are responsible for ensuring the:

  1. de-identification of UON and UNE students in relation to their university of enrolment and their individual identity, to ensure confidentiality and lack of bias in the marking process; and
  2. re-identification of students for processing of recommended grades and Head of School sign-off.

(10) The Year Manager will keep a record of the Year Assessment Decision Committee recommendations in the form of a report (or minutes). These are retained as an official record for review in case of an appeal against a final result. The report (or minutes) will include:

  1. the recommendations on final grades;
  2. the reasons for any variations between the results/grades recommended by the Course/Unit Coordinator and those recommended by the Year Assessment Decision Committee;
  3. details of any referrals to Course/Unit Coordinators and Heads of School or SACO and if possible the outcomes of such referrals;
  4. details of the way the Year Assessment Decision Committee addressed any applications received under the JMP Adverse and Special Circumstances Affecting Assessment Procedure; and
  5. any delegations that may have been granted during its considerations.

(11) Where possible, the Year Assessment Decision Committee should reach consensus on all decisions regarding students’ grades and pass standards. If consensus cannot be reached, a ballot should be undertaken and all members should indicate the result or grade they consider appropriate. The outcome of that ballot will be that agreed by the majority and must be recorded in the minutes.

(12) Any unresolved disagreements will be referred to the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP).

(13) The Year Assessment Decision Committee shall treat its proceedings as confidential.

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Section 6 - Procedures

Material to be presented to the Year Assessment Decision Committee

(14) The Year Manager must ensure that results are correctly recorded against the appropriate student and shall supply the Year Assessment Decision Committee with summary documentation which includes the following prescribed elements:

  1. breakdown of the distribution of grades for the course/unit for the current and last offering of a course/unit (if available);
  2. assessment components used to assess students during the course/unit;
  3. de-identified results and weightings across each of the assessment components;
  4. the course/unit outline as given to students in the first two weeks of term;
  5. a list of students who have submitted applications under the JMP Adverse and Special Circumstance Affecting Assessment Procedure.

(15) The Course (UON) / Unit (UNE) Coordinators for each JMP course/unit being reviewed at the meeting are required to present, in writing, a brief summary of the delivery of the course/unit at each campus and a joint whole-of-cohort report to the Committee which identifies issues for consideration and makes recommendations regarding the PASS standard.

(16) The recommendations will include:

  1. details of applied standard setting procedures, any scaling procedures or any moderations undertaken, and a rationale for their use; and
  2. an assurance that the assessment components and their weightings accurately reflect the information made available to the students through the course/unit outline.

Responsibilities of the Year Assessment Decision Committee

(17) Before reviewing any results, the Year Assessment Decision Committee will:

  1. ensure that the assessment component has been marked by a nominated marker who is provided with marking guides (where appropriate) and the assessment criteria (where appropriate);
  2. consider applications made under the provisions of the JMP Adverse and Special Circumstances Affecting Assessment Procedure.

(18) The Year Assessment Decision Committee will review the summary of marks for each course/unit for which it is responsible and may examine the assessment components for their quality, compliance with the published requirements, and contribution to the course/unit objectives. The Year Assessment Decision Committee should report any concerns to the Head of School.

(19) The Year Assessment Decision Committee will examine whether the pattern of results within a course/unit is consistent with other courses/units it considers.

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Section 7 - Referrals and Delegations

(20) Where an assessment matter is referred to another person for clarification or resolution, the matter would normally be dealt with within the timeframe of the Year Assessment Decision Committee’s meeting. However, if this is not possible, the matters may be dealt with by the Chair of the Year Assessment Decision Committee in consultation with the Chair of the Assessment Committee or delegate and a recommendation made to the relevant Head of School.

(21) If any matter which cannot be dealt with during the timeframe of the Year Assessment Decision Committee’s meeting has implications for other students, or the results of other students (for example when a moderation has been requested), the Year Assessment Decision Committee must reconvene to make a recommendation to the Heads of School.

(22) If the course/unit assessment results are incomplete at the time of the Year Assessment Decision Committee meeting, the Chair of the Committee may review the material when it is complete and make a recommendation to the Heads of School. The Heads of School may determine a time period in which the complete course/unit assessment results must be provided.

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Section 8 - Recommendations on Final Results or Grades

(23) The Year Assessment Decision Committee shall:

  1. normally accept the recommendations of the Course/Unit Coordinators;
  2. ensure compliance with the Universities’ policies and approved course/unit outlines;
  3. ensure that there are no errors of accuracy;
  4. receive advice from the Course/Unit Coordinator regarding any requirement for a Supplementary Assessment.

(24) Where the Year Assessment Decision Committee has concerns about the recommendations, especially the pattern of results, it may request one or more of the following:

  1. clarification from the Course/Unit Coordinator;
  2. a moderation of the results assigned to all students or to a group of students for a particular major assessment component or the final results and grades;
  3. details of any inaccuracies or anomalies between the recorded final result or grade and those recommended to the Year Assessment Decision Committee, together with any reasons for the differences.
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Section 9 - Responsibilities of the Heads of School

(25) When the Year Assessment Decision Committee has finalised its recommendations on each course/unit, the Chair of the Year Assessment Decision Committee will present the recommendations to the respective Head of School for approval.

(26) Once approved by the Heads of School:

  1. final grades will be posted in the student administration systems at UON and UNE for official publication on the agreed mutually fully graded date;
  2. Year Managers will liaise with Examinations staff regarding courses/units which do not have posted final grades prior to the fully graded date.
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Section 10 - Approval for Changes to Final Results and Grades

(27) After the fully graded date, changes to final results and grades are only possible by way of an Amendment to Result Form (UON) / Amendment of Result Form (UNE) or under the provisions of the JMP Appeal Against Final Result Procedure.

(28) Changes to final results and grades within six months of the fully graded date must be approved by the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) on the recommendation of the Head of School.

(29) Changes to final results and grades more than six months but less than two years after the fully graded date must be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health and Medicine at UON or the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at UNE on the recommendation of the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP).

(30) Changes to final results and grades more than two years after the fully graded date will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at UON or Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UNE on the recommendation of the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP).

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Section 11 - Quality Assurance Cycle

(31) Following the publication of final results, the Year Manager will provide the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) with the following:

  1. a summary of the distribution of results for each course/unit by cohort; and
  2. a comparison of the distribution of results with the distributions for the previous offering (if available).

(32) If the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) has concerns about the course/unit outcomes, the Heads of School and Course/Unit Coordinators will be consulted and, where necessary, be required to adopt strategies for improvement.

(33) Where there are significant improvements or trends identified, these will be reported by the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) to the JMP Teaching and Learning Committee. At UON this report will also be provided to the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Medicine who is required to report annually to the Faculty Board Health and the Academic Senate on course outcomes in accordance with the UON Quality Assurance Cycle.

(34) At UNE, the School of Rural Medicine in collaboration with the unit and course coordinators report annually to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) key performance indicators for Academic Board.