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Program Review Policy

Program Review Policy

Approved by: Senior Team – November 12, 2014

Approved by: Academic Advisory Council – October 6, 2014

Effective Date April 25, 2007

Revised: November 12, 2014 

Replaces: Program Renewal Policy


The Program Review Policy addresses Cambrian College’s commitment to accountability to our students and the community we serve. Through the Program Review Process, the College ensures continuous improvement, resulting in the delivery of programs that meet the needs of our stakeholders. The process is based on collection and assessment of information necessary to evaluate programs for relevance, quality, effectiveness, and fiscal responsibility.

The Program Review process is intended to provide a holistic picture of the “health” and performance of our academic programs and thereby, allow the College to be proactive in meeting its strategic goals.

The Program Review process comprises cycles of Curriculum Review and Program Performance.

Guiding Principles

The process must be:

1. comprehensive, and credible

2. responsive to, and inclusive of, key stakeholders

3. regarded as objective and reasonable

4. practical and directly useful to the college

5. both quantitative and qualitative

6. positive and constructive in nature

7. supportive of strategic planning



1. The Program Review process shall play a critical role in ensuring sustainable and relevant programs by:

  • Defining the process and criteria by which any full-time post secondary programs – delivered by Cambrian or by any third-party delivery partner, on or off-campus, and by face-to-face or web-based delivery – are reviewed and evaluated.
  •  Ensuring a comprehensive and relevant manner for programs to investigate performance issues and to develop and implement program improvement strategies.
  •  Ensuring that improvements stemming from program review processes are recorded and monitored.
  •  Laying out the process to guide actions related to program refocusing, repositioning and suspension.

2. The process will include both qualitative and quantitative criteria and involve the following mandatory components – A. Curriculum Review and B. Program Performance.

3. All approved and active programs of instruction will be involved in the Program Review Process at Cambrian, in accordance with the defined review cycle.

ComponentProgramsElement (s)Cycle
Curriculum ReviewAll Program Outline COMPONENTSAnnual
Program Vocational
Outcomes/ Standards
Program Standards As per ministry
requirements and
schedule of review
Course outlines Annual
Program MappingOnce/3 years
Topical outline Semester
Program PerformancePost-secondary-creditProgram PlanYear one of three year
Report-back sectionsYears 2 and 3
Program Score cardAnnual
Program Rating Year 3
Academic Compliancy Annual
Market Analysis Tier II rating
Once/3 years

4. Planning & Research will have the responsibility to oversee the development and ongoing implementation and review of the academic Program Review process – in collaboration with the Academic, Student Services and Finance and Administration areas.

5. Senior Team will have the responsibility to officially approve the process.

6. The Vice President, Academic will have the accountability for the overall integrity of curriculum and related procedures.

7. Academic Deans/Administrators will have the accountability for ensuring compliance and adherence to all associated policies, processes and protocols.

8. Full details regarding the approved Curriculum Review and Program Performance processes will be outlined in the College’s Program Management at Cambrian document.

9. The program management document will be made available to the College community via the appropriate communication tool/interface.

10. In exceptional circumstances –

  •  Decisions related to program refocusing, repositioning, or suspension may not follow this policy. In such instances, the Program Suspension Exceptional Circumstances Policy  will apply.
  •  Senior Team may also sanction changes and/or suspension of all or part of the Curriculum Review and Program Performance processes.

A. Curriculum Review

1. A Curriculum Review Committee will be maintained by the College to ensure effective quality assurance mechanisms governing the review, revision and documentation of College curricula.

  •  As per the Terms of Reference, the committee will be comprised of appropriate representation from Planning & Research, academic administration, continuing education, Quality Teaching and Resource Centre, student services, faculty and Student Administrative Council.
  •  The Terms of Reference will be reviewed annually.

2. Cyclical curriculum review will encompass the following – program outlines/structure, course outlines, topical outlines, program delivery information, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), program vocational outcomes, essential employability skills, general education requirements, Ministry requirements/nomenclature, industry requirements, and program mapping.

3. Curriculum review will entail input from key stakeholder groups – faculty, students, employers, and/or professional/trade bodies

4. Revisions to the Curriculum Review process will be reviewed by the following – Academic Leadership Team, Academic Advisory Council and Senior Team.

B. Program Performance

1. A Program Performance Steering Committee will be maintained to undertake the evaluation and updating of the Program Performance components. This committee will report to Planning & Research.

  • As per the Terms of Reference, the committee will be comprised of appropriate representation from finance and administration, faculty, student council and academic administration.
  •  The review will include indicators, performance, and overall program review process to ensure currency and relevance.
  •  The Terms of Reference will be reviewed annually

2. Program performance will include metrics, program ratings, program plans and report-back, academic validation, and market analysis as required to inform strategy development.

3. Feedback from students, graduates, employers, industry and/or professional/trade bodies and academic communities will be considered in program performance.

4. New programs, although monitored through the program performance process, will not be subject to official program ratings, or the associated reporting process, until the required new program review period is complete.

5. Changes to the Program Performance process will be reviewed by the following: the Academic Leadership Team, Academic Advisory Council, Senior Team, and the Board of Governors.

Related Documents/Policies

  • Program Management at Cambrian
  • Terms of Reference- Program Renewal Steering Committee
  • Terms of Reference – Curriculum Review Committee
  • Program Suspension Exceptional Circumstances Policy
  • OCQAS Accreditation/PQAPA Guidelines
  • Protocol- Altering Evaluation Criteria on Approved Course Outlines
  • Protocol- Program Mapping