We are a team of 38, headed up by a Director of Validation Partnerships supported by three Deputy Directors and a PA.
This is made up of 15 Senior Quality and Partnership Managers and four Quality and Partnerships Managers.
The SQPMs oversee and support validated partner institutions with meeting the UK Higher Education sector standards alongside The Open University’s validation requirements. They provide support for the management, implementation and development of the University’s arrangements for assuring and enhancing the quality of its validated provision through advising potential partners on the key principles of validation with The OU, supporting a new partner through the institutional approval process and, any subsequent programme validations. Once an institution becomes an approved partner, the SQPM continues to give guidance and support to the partner day to day by overseeing the schedule of re/validation and enhancement activities and maintains detailed knowledge and expertise of sector expectations in order to share good practice within the Higher Education sector. SQPMs also make sure the academic regulations are adhered to, the academic processes, including, the learning, teaching and assessment meets the expectations of the Quality Assurance Agency’s Quality Code and, overall the partner delivers a positive student experience for all students studying for an OU validated award.
The QPMs each support a cluster of Senior Quality and Partnerships Managers and the institutions within their portfolios. The cluster arrangement is an effective way of ensuring, where required, SQPMs are provided with support from the QPM in the day to day management of their partner institutions, for example managing revalidation events and attending exam boards. Additionally, each QPM is a day to day contact for one or two institutions with oversight from the institution's SQPM.
The new business team provide information to prospective new partners on the OU’s model of validation. They also offer guidance on the approval process to make sure institutions are aware of the stages involved and documentation required. They are responsible for managing the administrative audits which are an integral part of the approval process.
The Validation Support Team provide administrative support for all OUVP validation activities. This support primarily comprises arrangements for validation events, including transport, visas and accommodation; preparation of documents, such as contracts and Right to Work checks; invitations and distribution of paperwork to panel members for validation events and exam boards.
The team is also responsible for processes supporting ongoing validation of OUVP partner institutions, such as annual monitoring submissions, and works closely with other members of OU staff, OUVP partner institutions and other external organisations to ensure the External Examiners and Academic Reviewers who work with the Unit are appointed, contracted and remunerated for their contributions.
The team is responsible for overseeing the process for ratification of OUVP validated awards and the production of certificates for each validated institution, as well as maintaining a database of information relating to validated students and partner institutions.
In addition, the team is the point of contact for students of what was previously the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) to fulfil their requests for award verification or replacement certificates