Manitoba/Saskatchewan Audit Guidelines

1. Preamble

As part of their commitment to offering undergraduate programs of high quality and standards, the publicly-funded universities of Manitoba/Saskatchewan have adopted theManitoba/Saskatchewan Program Review and Audit Guidelines. The universities undertake to establish, maintain and enhance the academic quality of their programs in accordance with their mission statements. To further this objective and to provide public accountability, they agree to: i) establish policies and procedures for the approval process for the introduction of new programs; ii) establish policies and procedures for the review process of existing programs; and iii) have these policies and procedures audited following the process described herein.

2. Steps in the Audit

In performing the audit, Auditors should follow three main steps: i) an analysis of the documentation submitted by the institution, ii) appropriate interaction with the institution as defined below, and iii) the preparation of an audit report. The purpose of the audit is to look for assurance that the institution’s policies and practices explicitly address the objective, structures and elements covered in the institution’s undergraduate program approvals and reviews. The audit is not undertaken to assess the quality of programs themselves, or to judge the “correctness” of any particular objective or outcome, but rather to assess the extent to which the institution’s quality assurance policies and practices comply with these guidelines.

The Auditors must ensure that the audit takes place in an atmosphere of co-operation and open dialogue with the institution concerned.

2.1 Auditors Examination of the University Submission

It is essential that the Auditors have a clear understanding of the review process followed by the institution and, to this end, they must have access to all documents and information that they deem necessary.

2.1.1 Documents and information submitted by the institution:

General documents that present the program approval policies, procedures and practices, program review policies, procedures and practices adopted and implemented by the institution, and the schedule of completed and planned periodic quality reviews.

Complete record of the approvals of programs and the reviews of programs as requested by the Auditors. The Auditors reserve the right to choose the programs whose review they wish to examine from the lists of approvals and reviews completed by the institution over the last cycle. In making their choice of programs, the Auditors will take into account the diversity of educational programs offered by the university, whenever possible.

Institutions are required to submit the documents mentioned above, and may provide additional documents they deem appropriate.

The Auditors will undertake to preserve the confidentiality of all documentation.

2.2 The Audit Report

2.3.1 Outline

a) description of the methodology and the verification steps used by the Auditors;

b) status report on the program approvals and reviews carried out by the institution;

c) presentation of the general principles and guidelines used by the institution in the approval and review of its programs;

d) the Auditors’ comments detailing how well the approval and review procedures and practices conform to the institution’s own policies, and how well the institutional process as a whole conforms to the objectives, structure and elements of approvals and reviews as defined in 2 and 3 above;

e) the Auditors’ recommendations.

2.3.2 Report

a) The Auditors prepare a draft report and send a copy to the institution. This consultation is intended to ensure that the report does not contain errors of fact.

b) The institution may submit any comments that it considers appropriate in response to the draft report. Such comments become part of the official record and may be used by the Auditors to revise their report prior to submission to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Universities Program Review Audit

2.3.3 Follow-up on the recommendations

Within a year of publication of the final report, the institution must inform Manitoba-Saskatchewan Universities Program Review Audit Council, of any steps taken as a result of the recommendations in the report.