Two-stage Review : Preview and institutional review


The major remit of JQRC is the implementation of a framework of quality assurance, based on peer review, for the Self-financed Sub-degree programmes of member institutions.  This quality assurance framework builds upon the internal quality assurance mechanisms of the institutions and takes into account their self-accrediting status.  The Institutional Review is the major tool employed in JQRC’s  quality assurance framework.



In the inception of the quality assurance framework, JQRC has adopted a two-stage approach, starting with a Preview which is then followed by the Institutional Review (IR).  The Preview is a major stock-taking of the quality assurance processes at the Self-financed Sub-degree Programme Units (SSPUs) of the member institutions of JQRC. It  serves as a preparation for the full IR, and has the additional purpose of preparing for the endorsement of Self-financed Sub-degree programmes for placement onto the Qualifications Register (QR).  The Preview focuses on the processes and mechanisms adopted for the approval and quality assurance of Self-financed Sub-degree programmes, and the process was based on a set of Preview Criteria. The Preview stage  was completed by early 2007.

For further details see  Press Releases and Speeches Section: “Joint Quality Review Committee Completing Preview of Quality Assurance Systems for Self-financed Sub-degree Programmes.


Institutional Review

The Institutional Review (IR) is the second stage of the JQRC review framework for the SSPUs. This follows the Preview stage and is a more in-depth investigation and review of the quality assurance processes used to ensure the quality of SFSD programmes.

IR is more evidence-based and involves the provision of evidence of quality assurance processes as applied to programmes. It is also a more interactive process compared to the Preview, involving site visits and an interactive dialogue with the personnel of the Institutions / SSPUs.

While the Preview is focused on the processes and mechanisms adopted for the approval and quality assurance of Self-financed Sub-degree (SFSD) programmes, the IR also examines the wider institutional context, including the institutional support and environment for the offer of SFSD programmes.



The purpose of IR is to provide for a peer review of the institutional structures and processes adopted for ensuring the quality of SFSD programmes, including structures and processes for ensuring the appropriate institutional support and environment, with a view to identifying areas for improvement and also instances of good practice.


 To provide a detailed review of the quality assurance processes governing SFSD programmes based on evidence of the implementation of the processes

 To provide a review of the institutional support and environment affecting the quality and quality assurance of SFSD programmes

 To follow up on areas and issues identified in the Preview

 To identify areas where improvement is recommended

 To identify good practice

 Issues Considered in an IR

 Institutional Plans and Policies

 Programme Approval Authority

 Programme Approval, Delivery and Monitoring

 Institutional Support for Quality

 Indicators of Quality / Quality Assurance


The IR is conducted through a peer review process, starting with the submission of documentation and a Self-evaluation Report from the SSPU. 

JQRC forms an Institutional Review Panel which will peruse the submission from the SSPU. A site visit to the SSPU will then be conducted by the IR Panel. Findings and recommendations will be contained in an IR report which will be submitted to the JQRC Academic Council and Board of Directors, and finally to the Heads of Universities Committee.


The normal timeframe for conducting one IR is as follows:

Issue of JQRC guidelines to Institution     

Week 0

Agreement on dates of submission and site visit

Week 1

Submission of Self-evaluation report/documentation          

Week 10

Panel seeks clarification/additional information

Week 11- 13

Response of Institution/SSPU to questions

Week 13- 14

Site Visit to Institution/SSPU                       

Week 15

Preparation of IR Report

Week 16-22

 Preparation for IR

The IR starts with a discussion/negotiation process between JQRC and the SSPUs, regarding the format and timeframe of the review. A schedule is agreed upon focusing on the dates of the IR site visit, and the date of submission of the review documentation / self appraisal.

SSPU should demonstrate their quality assurance processes by providing sample documentation which tracks the different stages of a sample programme. SSPUs are invited to demonstrate good practices through providing selective examples of good practice in relation to the quality and quality assurance of programmes.

 Institutional Review Panel

There is a separate Panel for each review. An IR Panel comprises between 4 to 7 members, depending on the size and complexity of the exercise.

The IR Panel comprises members from the Board of Directors and/or Academic Council of JQRC and also external members from other institutions and/or from the professions/industry. There is also one member form the Institution under review, from units outside the SSPUs to be nominated by the Head of the Institution. This institutional member will act as a “resource person” in the Panel to provide a better understanding of the institutional context but will not take part in the making of recommendations or drafting of the IR Report.

 Site Visit

Site visits to the Institution/SSPUs last from 1.5 to 2 or 3 days, depending on the size of the Institution/SSPUs. There are meetings between the IR Panel and the senior management of the SSPUs, representatives of staff and students/graduates, advisors and external stakeholders, and relevant personnel from the Institution Proper who have responsibility for the SSPUs, as necessary.


The IR results in a Report containing

 Observations on the quality assurance systems adopted for SFSD focusing on practices in the major SSPUs of the Institution

 Recommendations for change /improvement

 Recommendations for any follow up actions/reviews

 Identification of good practices


For further details, see Press Releases & Speeches Section “Joint Quality Review Committee Completing Interim Summary Report of Institutional Reviews” and Press Conference on Second Report on Institutional Reviews and JQRC Project on the 334 Academic Structure”.


Related documents can be downloaded below.

 Guidelines on the Submission of Documentation for IR

 The Preview Criteria



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Last Modified: 2016/11/4


Text Box: Review Framework