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Review process for academic departments

During the Michaelmas term, each Head of Department will be required to attend Annual Monitoring meetings with the Director and Deputy Directors. These meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss progress towards objectives identified in the Departmental Development Plan (DDP) and any revisions to those objectives, as well as addressing issues suggested by the Resource Allocation Model (RAM) indicators.

The outcomes of these discussions will be reported to the APRC in December. If progress is satisfactory, proposals for development are supported and the RAM indicators are favourable over the planning period, the APRC may release any additional resources associated with proposed activities.

If progress is not on target then the Directorate will alert the APRC to any contributing issues. Prolonged or dramatic deviation from agreed objectives and targets may result in the APRC endorsing claw-back of resources.On the basis of the report considered by APRC in December the Committee will identify:

(i) units that will not be subject to a further review in the coming session as no issues were deemed by the unit or the Committee to require action;

(ii) specific issues (either localised to an individual unit / area or School-wide) that can be addressed immediately in the Lent term - depending on the nature of the issue, this would typically involve charging the appropriate Pro-Director to take the issue forward either alone or as the Chair of a working group, consult with the relevant parties and then report back with findings and recommendations before the end of the academic session;

(iii) more fundamental issues (either localised or School-wide) that should be reviewed in the Lent term of the following academic session - the wider scope of such reviews would necessitate adequate time being allowed for the preparation of material, longer periods of consultation and most likely the involvement of a member external to the School as part of the review process.

Academic units will have the option of indicating at Annual Monitoring that they wish to undergo a full review even if no issues are identified and similarly APRC retains the right to ask an academic unit to take part in a full review as long as appropriate notice is given.

Starting in 2009-10, academic units will also be subject to an interim review of their DDP. For units that are closely following their existing DDP the review document is expected to be relatively brief. For units that have departed, or plan to depart, from the existing DDP a longer and more detailed review document will be required. Three years after the interim review (2012-13) all units will be required to submit a new DDP addressing such issues as changing market conditions, staffing and priorities for initiatives to respond to developments in the substantive area.

As with the Annual Monitoring exercise, the main purpose of the APRC reviews is to establish the level of resource necessary to enable a unit to maintain its core functions and realise its medium-term plans. However, the reviews also have a wider role in ensuring the congruence of a department/unit's medium term plans with those of the School and the pursuit of equity (a notion of achievable fairness having regard to all relevant criteria) within and across the School.