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Accreditation of new programmes

Education providers establishing a new programme or qualification should contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss and agree a suitable timescale for consideration of the proposal.

An application must be recieved a minimum of 12 months prior to the requested date for the first intake of students to be permitted entry to the programme.

Application Process

The application will be reviewed by the Head of Education and Standards (GOC). At this stage it may be referred back to the provider if, on initial review, aspects of the proposal require amendment or further development.

Once the submission is ready, it will be referred to the GOC Education Committee for consideration against the GOC handbook requirements. The consideration of a submission may take a number of months, however, the process offers an opportunity for the provider to reflect and make improvements following our feedback.

Provisional Approval

Once the Education Committee has reviewed the application and is satisfied that the submission meets the GOC requirements, it will recommend that provisional approval be awarded.

Provisional approval enables the new programme to be established (in accordance with the submission approved) and advertised to recruit the first cohort of students.

Students recruited on to a programme under provisional approval are not guaranteed entry to the GOC Register and may be required to undertake additional assessments through an alternative GOC approved education provider in the event that any aspect of the programme when delivered does not satisfy the GOC standards. It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure that this is explained to any student recruited on to a provisionally approved programme.

Independent Panel Visits

Once provisional approval is granted, the GOC will establish an Independent Panel to conduct a series of visits to the programme in each year to assess its development and delivery. During this period, the Panel will track at least one cohort of students through the full duration of the programme.

Visits will include meetings with staff, supervisors, external examiners and a range of parties involved with the management and delivery of the programme in addition to the students attending the course. The Panel will also visit the facilities and observe teaching activities.

Following each visit, a report will be produced for review and approval by the GOC Education Committee.

Approved Accreditation

The decision to award accreditation rests with the GOC Council and will be considered following a recommendation from the Education Committee.

Once full accreditation is granted all future graduates from the programme will be entitled to apply to enter the GOC Register. As a condition of accreditation, GOC approved education providers are subject to quality assurance visits which are undertaken on a maximum five-year cycle.

Further Guidance

Further guidance detailing how the approval process works is available to download.

Acrobat Reader icon Applying for GOC accreditation 2015

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