Curriculum Standards Framework committee

Curriculum Standards Framework committee

Charter and Terms of Reference

Approved by Academic Senate March 2014


The Curriculum Standards Framework Committee (CSFC - the Committee) was established by the Academic Senate of Macquarie University (the University) in March 2014 under Rule 9(4)(c) of the Academic Senate Rules 2014, and is directly responsible and accountable to Academic Senate for the exercise of its responsibilities.

This Charter and Terms of Reference sets out the objective, role and responsibilities, membership, tenure, responsibilities of members, and administrative arrangements of the Committee.

1. Objective

(1) The objective of the Committee is to promote high quality teaching practice and program delivery across the University. It is tasked with researching, developing, and promoting the University's Curriculum Quality Standards Framework (the Framework) as approved by Academic Senate.  

(2) The Framework governs:

(a) Required standards in curriculum design and delivery, applying to areas such as assessment practice, program structures, benchmarking and peer review, professional accreditation, recognition of prior learning, curriculum documentation, and the use of technologies to support learning and teaching;

(b) Processes for the approval, re-approval and benchmarking of units and programs and the preparation and ratification of unit results;

(c) Audit and review processes as they apply to areas such as curriculum implementation, teaching delivery, student satisfaction, and  program and unit review;

(d) Reporting standards that apply to faculties and departments in discharging their curriculum design and delivery responsibilities;

(e) Relationships between internal quality assurance processes and external regulatory requirements;

(f) Conditions under which Faculty Academic Boards are authorised or delegated to discharge the approval and quality assurance responsibilities of Academic Senate.

2. Role and responsibilities

(1) The role of the Committee is to advise Academic Senate on:

(a) Best practice in curriculum design, assessment practice, quality assurance, curriculum risk management and related matters;

(b) The challenges raised by external regulation, particularly the requirements of the TEQSA Act (including the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Threshold Standards) and the ESOS Act (including the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007);  and

(c) The evolving risk profile of the University's academic programs and on measures to effectively manage those risks.

(2) The Committee has the following specific responsibilities:

(a) Develop and maintain the Curriculum Quality Standards Framework (the Framework) of the University and associated online Academic Handbooks;

(b) Recommend changes to the Framework for approval by Academic Senate;

(c) Ensure that the Framework is updated to reflect changes in the regulatory environment, in the strategic positioning of the University's programs and in curriculum best practice;

(d) Provide direction to the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ASQC) and to the Faculties and Offices of the University on the implementation and interpretation of the Framework;

(e) Provide input into the development of templates, systems and documentation to support the implementation of the Framework; and

(f) Ensure that the Framework is documented and promulgated in a manner that makes it easily accessible to the University community.

(3) In pursuit of this Charter and Terms of Reference, the Committee may require any of the Faculties and Offices of the University to report on their activities as they relate to the role and responsibilities of the Committee.

3. Membership

Membership of the Committee shall comprise appointed members and ex-officio members.

(1) Appointed Members:

(a) Two (2) elected or co-opted members of Academic Senate who shall be appointed by Academic Senate;

(b) Two (2) expert members from the Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) who shall be nominated by the Director of the LTC and appointed by the Chair of the Committee;

(c) One (1) student representative who shall be appointed by the Chair of the Committee in consultation with the student representatives on Academic Senate; and

(d) Up to three (3) co-opted members who shall be appointed by the Committee.

(2) Ex-Officio Members:

(a) The Chair of Academic Senate who shall act as the Chair of the Committee;

(b) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);

(c) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Diversity);

(d) The Associate Deans, Quality and Standards of each Faculty;

(e) The Director of the Learning and Teaching Centre;

(f) The Secretary to the Quality Enhancement Committee;

(g) The Manager of Quality Assurance and Compliance within the Office of Governance Services.

(3) Appointed members may not also be members of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ASQC) without the express approval of Academic Senate.

(4) Acting appointments to roles that have ex-officio membership of the Committee shall have full membership rights.

4. Tenure

(1) The term of appointment of all appointed members, excluding student representative and co-opted members, shall be two (2) years.

(2) The term of appointment of all appointed student representative and co-opted members shall be one (1) year.

(3) Any such term of appointment may be renewed by the Chair of the Committee.

(4) Responsibilities of Members

(1) Members of the Committee are expected to:

(a) Contribute the time needed to study and understand the papers provided;

(b) Apply analytical skills objectively and with sound judgment;
(c) Express opinions frankly, ask questions that go to the fundamental core of the issues and pursue independent lines of enquiry;

(d) Ensure that colleagues in the Faculty or Office that they represent are made aware of the activities and decisions of the Committee in a timely manner;

(e) Work collaboratively with other members of the Committee to ensure that its duties are discharged in a timely manner;

(f) Attend meetings of the Committee and make themselves available from time to time, to serve on working groups established by the Committee; and

(g) Actively contribute to driving the process of policy formation.

(2) The Chair of Academic Senate will chair all meetings of the Committee. In the absence of the
Chair the Committee can appoint one of its members to Chair a meeting. The role of the Chair is to:

(a) Lead and oversee the Committee in the effective discharge of its responsibilities;

(b) Organise and conduct meetings of the Committee efficiently and effectively;

(c) Facilitate the effective contribution of all Committee members;

(d) Develop and maintain a relationship with appropriate members of staff and the secretariat to ensure appropriate reporting;

(e) Ensure adequate reporting to Academic Senate;

(f) Promote constructive and respectful relations between Committee members; and

(g) Commit the time necessary to discharge effectively their role as Chair.

(3) Attendance at Meetings

(a) If an appointed or co-opted member is absent from three (3) consecutive meetings of the Committee, of which reasonable notice has been given, and if the Committee has not approved their absence within six (6) weeks of the last of these absences, they shall cease to be a member of the Committee.

(b) Any member who is unable to attend a meeting of the Committee may nominate another person to attend the meeting on their behalf. The secretariat of the Committee must be informed of any such nomination at least three (3) working days before the meeting of the Committee.

(c) Nominated alternates must be approved by the Chair prior to the meeting, and must have the agreement of the meeting in order to act in that capacity.

(4) Delegation to Working Groups

(a) The Committee may establish working groups from time to time to assist in fulfilling its responsibilities.

(b) Working groups may be established to complete a particular task over a short and pre-determined period of time.

(c) The Committee shall ensure each working group is established according to clear terms of reference.

(d) Working groups will comprise members appointed by the Committee and can include persons who are not members of the Committee.

(e) The Committee remains responsible for activities and decisions it delegates to working groups.

(f) Working groups will submit reports on their activities to the meeting of the Committee immediately subsequent to those activities.

(5) Administrative Arrangements

(1) Meetings

(a) The Committee will meet as frequently as required.

(b) A meeting plan, including a schedule for meeting dates and times, and submission of agenda items, will be agreed by the Committee at the start of each year.

(c) The meeting plan will cover all of the responsibilities of the Committee as detailed in this Charter and Terms of Reference.

(2) Quorum

(a) A quorum will comprise half of the total minimum number of the Committee members plus one.

(b) All questions will be decided by the majority of the voting members present.

(c) The Chair will carry the casting vote only.
(3) Observers

(a) Any member of the University community may attend any meeting of the Committee, or any part thereof as an observer, subject to the prior approval of the Chair.

(b) A request to attend as an observer must be submitted to the secretariat at least three (3) working days before that meeting of the Committee.

(c) Any observer may only attend meetings of the Committee for nonā€confidential items and may not participate in the proceedings of the meeting.

(d) The Chair may confer speaking rights in respect of any non-member who attends as an observer.

(4) Dispute Resolution

(a) Members of the Committee shall maintain an effective working relationship with other members, and seek to resolve differences by way of open negotiation.

(b) In the event of a disagreement between members the Chair may refer the matter to Academic Senate.

(5) Secretariat and Minutes

(a) The Registrar of the University or their nominee shall be the secretariat to the Committee.

(b) The secretariat will ensure the agenda for each meeting and supporting papers are circulated, after approval from the Chair, at least one (1) week before each meeting.

(c) Draft minutes will be prepared by the secretariat and initially reviewed by the Chair of the Committee and then circulated to members within ten (10) working days of the date of the meeting for which they are a record.

(d) Minutes of the Committee meetings shall be confirmed as a true and correct record of the meeting.

(e) Approved minutes will be published on the University website of Academic Senate.

(f) A report from the Committee will be submitted to Academic Senate following each Committee meeting.

(6) Conflict of Interest

(a) A conflict of interest may be real, perceived or potential, and refers to a situation where a conflict arises for an individual between two competing interests.

(b) A conflict of interest is often, but not exclusively, interests of public duty versus private interests.

(c) It is recognised that members of the Committee may have an interest in some matters before the Committee.

(d) It is the obligation of each member to act in the best interests of the Committee and the University, not in the interests of any other group (internal or external) to which they may belong.

(e) Members can present the interests of any group in the deliberations of the Committee, but must make decisions in the best interests of the Committee and University.

(f) Members of the Committee have an ongoing obligation to declare any real, perceived or potential conflict of interest at the start of each meeting in relation to any agenda item or before discussion of any subsequent matter arising during the course of the meeting.

(g) Where members, observers or ex-officio attendees at Committee meetings are identified as having a conflict of interest it may be appropriate that they are excused from the deliberations of the Committee on the related matter.

(7) Review of Charter and Terms of Reference

(a) At least once a year the Committee will review its Charter and Terms of Reference.

(b) Any subsequent changes to the Charter and Terms of Reference will be recommended by the Committee and formally approved by Academic Senate.

(8) Schedule of Work

(a) At its first meeting of each calendar year, the Committee shall establish a schedule of work for that year and report this schedule to Academic Senate.

(b) The Committee will report to Academic Senate on progress against this schedule of work on at least a semi-annual basis.

(9) Performance

(a) The performance of the Committee will be reviewed and reported at least annually by Academic Senate.

(b) The review will be conducted on a self-assessment basis (unless otherwise determined by Academic Senate) with appropriate input sought from Academic Senate, relevant management and any other relevant stakeholders as determined by Academic Senate.

(c) The review will be managed by the secretariat.


  • Professor Dominic Verity
  • Dr Trudy Ambler
  • Associate Professor Pamela Coutts
  • Mr Paul Fairweather
  • Associate Professor Michael Hitchens
  • Ms Fiona Nicolson
  • Professor Anne Ross-Smith
  • Professor John Simons
  • Associate Professor Ian Solomonides
  • Dr George Tomossy
  • Dr Theresa Winchester-Seeto
  • Professor Sherman Young
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