Skip to main content
Start main content
Quality Assurance

Academic Consultation Panel (ACP) Visits

ACP Visits are major exercises to ensure that the standard of our programmes is on par with recognised higher education institutions worldwide.  The objective of the ACP Visits is to make an integrated, holistic assessment of all aspects of the academic unit(s), namely academic, research and management, so as to ascertain their overall standard.



The process involves a critical self-evaluation of the academic unit(s) concerned and peer review by a panel formed of academics and professionals outside the University.

  1. To review and benchmark the academic activities within a unit as designated by the University with particular attention given to the following:

Strategic Orientation and Development

  • mission, goals and objectives of the academic unit;
  • directions for future developments of the academic unit;
  • interaction and relationship of the academic unit with the industry/profession, the community and its advisory committee;
  • internationalization and global engagements in each area of activities: strategies and current developments.

Academic Standards and Student Quality

  • how the academic unit maintains its academic standards;
  • the quality of students enrolled on their respective programmes and the availability of learning opportunities;
  • internal quality assurance practices and quality enhancement under the existing quality assurance system;
  • collection, analysis and usage of data to inform quality assurance in the curriculum, and students’ learning experience.

Teaching and Learning Activities

  • availability of academic expertise;
  • the breadth and depth of the curriculum design currently in use;
  • the quality of teaching and learning of the taught programme(s) being offered, including the use of innovative pedagogies, assessment methods and students’ learning opportunities in experiential/service learning, internationalization and global engagements;
  • collection, analysis and usage of data to inform improvement in the curriculum and students’ learning experience;
  • impact on society.

Research and Scholarly Activities

  • availability, delivery and effectiveness of support systems for research postgraduate students;
  • the level, quality and appropriateness of the research/scholarship being undertaken within the academic unit, and the strength of any external alliances in support of these activities;
  • impact on society.

Organization and Management

  • transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the unit's management, communication, and decision-making processes;
  • arrangements for the management of off-campus provision of academic programmes (if applicable)
  • the suitability of environment and other resource provisions to the academic unit.
  1. To review and comment on the unit’s summary of how the recommendations of the previous ACP and the Departmental Academic Advisor (DAA) have been addressed.

(Click here for the flow chart of the process involved and the typical timeline)



A Self-evaluation Document (SED), with information on the teaching, research, service functions and administration of the academic unit(s) under review, will be prepared and submitted to the Panel for review along with other supplementary information at least four weeks before the scheduled visit dates.



Following the visit, an ACP Report will be prepared and endorsed by the Panel, which will be forwarded to the academic unit(s) for a written response and follow-up.  The Report, together with the academic unit(s)’ response with improvement action plan(s), will be submitted to the University's Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) for recommendation to the Senate for final approval.

The ACP Visit of each academic unit shall take place once every six years.  The duration of the panel visit will depend on the complexity of the unit under review.  Generally, it will last for three to four days (click here for typical schedule for the visit). The schedule for the fourth round of ACP visits is posted here for reference.

i.   Composition of the Panel
  1. The size of the panel is based on the particular needs of the academic unit under review.  The QAC Chairman shall decide on the composition of the panel, in consultation with the Dean concerned.
  2. The panel shall include external members only.  They should be academics (usually at the rank of Associate Professor or above), professionals or practitioners at a senior level, with substantial relevant scholarly experience and, preferably, some knowledge of the academic unit being reviewed.
  3. The panel shall comprise a minimum of four to a maximum of six members (for Faculty-based reviews, the number of panel members should increase according to the complexity of operation and "size" of the academic unit under review).
  5. To ensure compliance of the programme(s) concerned with Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) requirements, the Director of Centre for Holistic Teaching and Learning will be co-opted on the Panel by default to provide written input to OBTL elements of the programme curricula to ensure compliance with the necessary requirements.


ii.   Chair of the Panel
  1. The Chair should preferably be a senior academic from another institution, and is appointed by the Chair of QAC in consultation with the Dean concerned.


iii.   Appointment Procedures
  1. The academic unit to be reviewed shall nominate names for panel membership, including the Chair and members, to the QAC Chairman for approval. Panel members should be carefully selected.  They should not have close affiliation with the academic unit under review in the past three years. CVs of the nominated panel members would be collected to ensure appropriateness of the nominees. 
  2. Following approval of the panel membership, the QAC Secretariat will issue the appointment letters.

It is encouraged that the SED reference/adopt the Approach-Deployment-Results-Improvement (ADRI) reflective format to assist the academic unit to review and report on its teaching, research, service functions and administration in the document. The following information is to be provided in the SED:

  1. mission, goals and objectives
  2. administration and organization
  3. information on existing programmes (i.e., Programme Documents) and proposed curriculum changes, if any
  4. report on follow-up work on the recommendations of the previous ACP review*
  5. follow-up actions in response to the recommendations of the DAA*

teaching and learning*
     .      design of curriculum
     .      design of teaching and learning processes
     .      design of student assessment and use of assessment results
     .      implementation quality
     .      commitment of resources to teaching and learning

implementation of Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL)

student profile

graduate profile and satisfaction level

research/scholarly activities

quality assurance processes

infrastructure and resources

consultancy/professional/community services

academic staff profile (CVs of not more than two pages for each staff to be included as an Appendix) - with information on staff name, academic qualifications, discipline, research, selected publications of the last three years, links with industry or the professional community


* To be prepared using the ADRI approach


The above is by no means exhaustive.  Depending on their nature and complexity, the academic units are encouraged to add extra information as they deem fit.