2016-17 Quality Council Audit of U of T
As part of its regular cycle of audits, in 2016-17 the Quality Council audited the University of Toronto’s compliance with the UTQAP. All institutions are audited every eight years. This was U of T’s first audit since the implementation of the UTQAP in 2011-12.
What is the UTQAP?
Each publicly assisted Ontario university has developed its own Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP), in which the institution outlines its process for the approval, modification and review of its programs. Our IQAP is called the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP). All IQAPs have been approved by the Quality Council (QC) indicating their alignment with Ontario’s Quality Assurance Framework (QAF).
What & When was the Audit?
Essentially, the audit examined whether we did what we said we would do under our UTQAP. The auditors independently selected sample program processes ahead of time, ensuring a reasonable mix of process types (e.g., new program, cyclical review, major modification) and program types (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, campus).
The audit did not assess our program offerings nor the academic content or quality of our programs. Program reviews are a separate process.
There are two parts to a Quality Council audit:
Desk audit: the auditors examined our records of the selected program processes to test whether our practice conformed to our UTQAP.
The Office of the Vice-Provost, Academic Programs (VPAP) submitted documentation about the programs selected for audit in December 2016. The VPAP Office coordinated with all divisions to compile the necessary documentation. Since most of the documentation was already on file in our office, we worked to minimize the amount of work required in the divisions.
Site visit: February 6–8, 2017. Following the desk audit, an audit panel visited U of T to gain a complete understanding of our application of the UTQAP. A site visit schedule was prepared in advance. Those involved in a program process that was chosen for the audit were invited to a meeting with the auditors to answer questions and address information gaps that arose during the desk audit. The VPAP Office contacted those participating in a meeting with the auditors and provided further information.
Who was Involved?
Note: all communications regarding the audit were handled by the VPAP Office, which corresponded with the QC. The QC requested that members of the U of T community not communicate directly with the auditors.
The QC appointed three auditors plus two QC staff to form the Quality Council Audit Panel for U of T:
- Wayne Loucks, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo
- Christine McKinnon, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Trent University
- John Pierce, Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Queen’s University
- Brian Timney, Executive Director, Quality Assurance
- Cindy Robinson, Manager, Quality Assurance
U of T participants:
- Academic stakeholders involved in the processes selected for audit, including: deans, chairs, program coordinators, administrative staff and students
- University representatives: President; Provost and Vice-President; Vice-Provost, Academic Programs
- Other academic administrators and staff involved in quality assurance processes
- Members of the Committee on Academic Policy & Programs
What are the Outcomes?
The auditors prepared a Summary of the Principal Findings of the Quality Assurance Audit of the University of Toronto, September 2017, which is posted on the QC website. The audit summary lists recommendations that support compliance with UTQAP processes and the Quality Assurance Framework.
The VPAP Office reported to the Quality Council one year later (September 2018) on the University’s response to these recommendations.
Quality Council documents (background on how audits are conducted for all Ontario universities):
QC Audit Process
QC Audit Schedule and Reports
University of Toronto information:
Overview of the UTQAP
Director, Academic Programs, Planning & Quality Assurance