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Quality Assurance

Departmental Academic Advisor (DAA) Scheme

Terms of Reference of DAA

The DAA will: 

  1. provide mid-term formative feedback on the work and development of the Department and, preferably in the capacity of an external member of the preceding ACP, help the Department follow up on the recommendations and suggestions of the preceding ACP on areas for improvement as well as the preparation for the next ACP visit; 
  2. facilitate the identification of appropriate improvement actions at the department level; 
  3. help benchmark the Department and its programmes against standards of overseas institutions* leading in the field; and 
  4. visit the Department and submit a report on the progress of the Department in its follow-up to the recommendations and suggestions of the preceding ACP.


Special consideration may be given to disciplines such as Chinese Medicine to benchmark against institutions on the Mainland or in Greater China region leading in the field.


Implementation Cycle

The appointment of the DAA will occur in the middle of two Academic Consultation Panel (ACP) Visits (i.e., the 3rd year) following the same arrangement as adopted for the appointment of ACP members.   By mimicking the practice and operations of the UGC-QAC Quality Audit, the DAA Visit and submission of the DAA Report should be made in the 3rd year after the preceding ACP Visit of individual Departments.



In the 2nd year after the ACP Visit,  the Department will be invited to submit three DAA nominations (in the order of priority) for endorsement of the QAC Chairman.


The DAA should


  • preferably be an overseas member of the preceding ACP Visit; and
  • must be at least at the rank of Associate Professor but preferably Professor or Chair Professor.

Justification should be provided if the nominees are not members of the preceding ACP Visit or the ACP members nominated are not placed in a higher priority.



With the endorsement sought, the Department will proceed to appoint the DAA nominee who will make a visit to the Department in the 3rd year after the preceding ACP Visit.


The DAA should be made aware of the review objectives of the Scheme (e.g., monitoring follow-up progress on ACP’s recommendations, advising on preparation for the next ACP Visit, etc.).  In the spirit of engaging the DAA for a formative review process between two ACP Visits, the Department may, at its own expenses, continue to appoint the DAA as an External Advisor after the DAA Visit to provide continuous feedback to its development.


Scope of review

The DAAs will make a holistic assessment of the Department and its development, and evaluate its quality relative to international standards.  The DAA Report should cover a subset or the whole of the focal areas listed in the scope of review below as deemed fit by the DAA and the Department:


  1. Scope of activities and strategic direction of the department/programme(s)
  2. Staffing
          .      Resources
          .      Recruitment
          .      Development
          .      Achievements
  3. Teaching and learning
          .      Academic programmes
          .      Pedagogical design
          .      Academic standard and student achievement^ 
                    (Samples of final year project / honours project / assessment / exam scripts (at different grades) must be provided for DAA’s scrutiny)
          .      Quality assurance mechanisms 
  4. Research and scholarly activities 
  5. Community Impact 
  6. Internationalisation 


compulsory item for follow-up and reporting


DAA Visit

The DAA should conduct a visit to the Department during the 3rd year after the preceding ACP Visit (preferably during the 1st semester of the academic year). After the Visit, the DAA Report should be submitted to the Department in the 2nd semester of the same academic year.


The following documents should be provided to the DAA as references prior to the Visit:

  1. Terms of Reference
  2. Scope of Review
  3. DAA Report Proforma
  4. DAA Review Guidelines
  5. Latest ACP Report
  6. Annual Programme QA Reports
  7. Samples of final year project / honours project / assessments / examination scripts (at different grades)
  8. Other references as deemed appropriate for the review


DAA Report

After the DAA Visit, a DAA Report should be prepared using the DAA Report Proforma, which consist of:


  1. Evaluation comments of the DAA
  2. Response of the Department
  3. Endorsement/Recommendation of the Faculty Board

The DAA Report, duly endorsed by the Faculty Board, should be submitted to the QAC for scrutiny within 1st semester of the academic year following the DAA Visit.


For General Education (GE) programme and Centre for Holistic Teaching and Learning (CHTL), the completed DAA Reports should be submitted to QAC for scrutiny via the GE Committee and the Teaching and Learning Policy Committee respectively.



+“Faculty/Faculties” is a generic and collective term referring to Faculties, Schools and the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) of HKBU. 



Last updated on 14 September 2020