Sydney College of Divinity > About > Academic Quality Assurance

Academic Quality Assurance

The quality of SCD courses is assured in the following ways:


The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s regulatory and quality agency for higher education. TEQSA’s primary aim is to ensure that students receive a high quality education at any Australian higher education provider.  The SCD is a registered higher education provider with TEQSA and is subject to all its quality standards, which are set out as the Threshold Standards.

SCD Quality Assurance Processes

For an overview of our quality assurance processes see Academic Quality Assurance.

Institutional Moderation

Institutional Moderation is a process whereby each SCD Member Institution as a whole is moderated.  External reviewers conduct this review.  Each Member Institution completes an institutional self-assessment that is submitted to the moderators who then visit to inspect the institutional processes.  The questions addressed in the self-assessment and by the moderators include: systematic and comprehensive criteria to measure and evaluate student achievement are in place; assessment items comply with SCD policy, course unit aims and outcomes; students are informed of assessment and evaluation criteria in course unit outlines and in other relevant documentation; the Member Institution has adequate procedures for the processing of end of semester results required for SCD.

Moderation Policy: Member Institutions

Moderation Procedures: Member Institutions

Moderation flowchart – Institutions

Discipline Moderation

Discipline Moderation is a process whereby one discipline is reviewed each year.  External reviewers conduct this review.  All Member Institutions submit samples of assessment items in all subjects taught in the discipline over two semesters.  The questions addressed by the panel include:

  • assessment tasks are in each case of an appropriate standard
  • assessment tests in each case whether the unit’s objectives have been met
  • the assessment questions specify the thinking process expected eg “critique”, state the requirements clearly, give sufficient direction to enable a well-informed student to respond in the manner expected, indicate the length of the response expected, indicate the relative weight of each question, require students to demonstrate command of background information, require higher-order thinking that is appropriate to the level of the unit
  • unit outlines demonstrate that skills and knowledge are being developed sequentially in this discipline, consistently across Member Institutions
  • student work is being graded fairly
  • student work is being graded at a standard appropriate to its level in each case
  • marker’s comments are sufficiently comprehensive and constructive, commenting on strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement
  • student work is being graded consistently across Member Institutions
  • the monitoring reports of the spread of grades is satisfactory in view of the quality of work done
  • in the discipline as a whole and in all relevant Member Institutions, students are achieving outcomes stated in relevant course unit outlines
  • marked assignments are returned to students in a timely manner, to assist future improvement.

Moderation Policy: Disciplines

Moderation Procedures: Disciplines

Moderation Flowchart – Discipline

Discipline Moderation Guidelines Generic 13-05-24

Discipline Moderation – Library Component

Monitoring of assessment

Monitoring of assessment occurs at the end of each teaching period as part of the process of approving grades.

At the end of each teaching period the marks awarded by teachers are moderated [monitored] internally within each Member Institution by the appropriate Academic Committee.  Academic Standards Committee appoints a Monitoring Sub-committee to liaise with each Member Institution to review the marks awarded and then to report to Academic Standards Committee.  The report highlights any concerns that the monitors may have and includes details of distribution of grades across the Member Institution, across the SCD as a whole, and across disciplines.   Academic Standards Committee considers the report and recommends to Academic Board that the marks awarded be approved or that they be referred back to the Member Institution for further attention.

Student result procedures – assessment & monitoring

Student result procedures – Monitor’s Report

Student result procedures – report by monitoring convenor

Student result procedures – distribution of gradings

Explanation of Exceptional Grades Pro Forma

Course Unit Booklets

Each teacher submits the Course Unit Booklet for each subject being taught each semester to the Subdiscipline Coordination Panel. The Panel verifies that the Course Unit Booklet (that includes details of assessment) has been prepared at a standard acceptable to the SCD and consistent with the accredited Course Unit Outline (CUO).  If the Panel is unable to verify a Course Unit Booklet, the Panel may request changes to the Course Unit Booklet.  These changes are to be made at least two weeks before the first assessment is due.

Course Unit Booklet Template