- ask your predecessor what's happening on your committee, what the hot topics are, and top tips for working with the committee chairs and members
- if it's your first University committee, arrange to meet someone in the Governance team (Deputy Registrar's Office) to learn about how Warwick manages its committees, and take a look at the Governance webpages for Committee Secretaries
- talk to someone in the Governance team (Deputy Registrar's Office) about how your committee or board fits into wider structures. It's not all TQ-type stuff!
- arrange to meet someone in the Teaching Quality team
- look through the TQ Categories page, to begin to get your head round what TQ is all about
- visit the jargon buster and see how many bits of our obscure terminology you already know
In more detail
Course approval will account for quite a large proportion of your work as a Faculty Board Secretary. This is the process through which the University community decides if we want to run a new module or course. Look at the template forms that departments have to fill in, look at some examples from previous meetings of your committee or board. This is part of the job that extends all year round - even if the bulk of the work in this area is tied to the committee timetable, departments may ask your advice or put in proposals at any time. There's a flowchart that illustrates the approval process. It is important that a department submits all the necessary forms together when a course is to be approved. If you are not sure that you have them all please contact the TQ team.
Over half of our departments run collaborative courses - that is, courses with an external partner, such as another university, an FE college, a branch of government or a private organisation. Collaborative course proposals are a little more involved than those for courses that we teach without a partner institution and the TQ team is often heavily involved.
You should familiarise yourself with the University's rules on examinations and assessment (the Senate Examination and Degree Conventions); departments may ask for your advice when designing new courses or changing existing structures. You may also find the FAQs on examinations and assessment helpful. A new marking scheme and harmonised degree classification conventions for undergraduate degrees was introduced in Autumn 2008
Each Faculty has a First Year Board of Examiners, which meets in June and September to decide whether first-year undergraduates are allowed to proceed to the second year of their course. If you look after a Faculty Board or one of its committees, you may also be the secretary or assistant secretary to the FYBoE. The University does not have Faculty-wide second or final year boards of examiners.
[Nb - if someone refers to 'conventions' in the context of examinations and assessment, they my be referring to:
- the Senate Examination and Degree Conventions, which are a collection of Senate and other resolutions about examinations and taught programmes of study;
- Degree Classification Conventions, which are the rules final year Boards of Examiners refer to when considering module results and deciding final degree class;
- Conventions for First Year Boards of Examiners, which are the rules first year Boards of Examiners refer to when deciding if first-year undergraduates are allowed to proceed to the second year of their course (these conventions are not harmonised across the University).]
Annual Course Review will loom large at a certain point in the year. If you're responsible for a Faculty Committee you may have the happy job of drafting a summary of the Annual Course Review reports considered by your committee.
Strategic Departmental Review (SDR) happens to a department every five years (give or take) and is a thorough review of everything it does - teaching, research, consultancy, third-leg activities - as well as its resources, organisation and management. You may well be asked to be a secretary or assistant secretary for an SDR. SDR is managed by the Deputy Registrar's Office, and TQ advises on the teaching and learning aspects of it. If you're a Faculty Board secretary or assistant, you'll need to know when departments in your faculty have their SDRs.
Governance webpages for committee secretaries including committee servicing guidelines, committee room bookings, committee timetable, central file store, secretaries' news