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Program Review Policy

Effective Date: December 13, 2021
Downloadable Version: PDF ICON Program Review Policy
Related Procedure(s): PDF ICON Program Review Procedure
  This document is available in alternate format on request.


Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning (hereafter referred to as “Humber” or “the College”) is committed to developing and maintaining excellence in its educational programs for quality, currency and relevance in meeting stakeholder needs. This supports Humber’s Strategic Plan and is compliant with Ministry requirements and directives.

This policy provides a consistent framework for annual and cyclical review of programs at Humber College. These reviews provide Academic Faculties with opportunities for reflection, information for use in college-wide strategic planning and decision-making, communication and collaboration, candid assessment by external experts and continuous improvement. The process supports transparency through the application of clear criteria and ensures all programs of instruction follow an evidence-based review framework and support Humber in achieving overall program quality and student success.

Scope and Authority:

  1. The policy applies to all Ministry approved postsecondary programs of instruction for which an Ontario college credential is awarded (i.e., certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, degrees, and graduate certificates).
  2. Based on approval by the Vice-President Academic, Micro-credentials and Continuous Professional Learning programs (CPL) may customize the steps in this policy and the procedure.
  3. The Associate Dean and program faculty representative(s) are responsible for the completion of the program Self-Study, providing a list of potential external assessors and the completion of the Action Plan.
  4. Program Planning, Development and Renewal is responsible for providing the self-study template that is pre-populated with program data. PPDR acts as a project lead for the program review and provides guidance and support with completion of the self-study and action plans. PPDR communicates with participants for site visits including the PEC and provides logistical support for site visits.


For the purposes of this policy the following definitions apply:

Action Plan: outlines goals and recommendations intended to provide direction for continuous program improvement. Recommendations are actionable, measurable and informed by evidenced-based practices. The action plan is reviewed and updated annually until recommendations or goals are completed.

APQA: Annual Program Quality Assessment is an internal college review process, guided through process supported by the Program Planning, Development and Renewal department. All programs of instruction are reviewed annually through the APQA process. This assessment is intended to provide a snapshot of a program of instruction in its lifecycle. It allows academic staff and administrators to reflect on the program’s annual performance metrics, alignment with program/vocational learning outcomes, the program map, and progress toward goals identified in the action plan.

Comprehensive cyclical review: An in-depth program review that takes place at a minimum once every 5 – 7 years.

PPDR: Program Planning, Development and Renewal

PEQAB: Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board

Ministry: To denote the provincial Ministry responsible for Colleges and Universities. At the time of writing, this is the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU).


  1. All academic programs of instruction are reviewed annually thought the Annual Program Quality Assessment (APQA). The metrics to be assessed are sent out to Associate Deans in the winter semester each year.
  2. Comprehensive cyclical program reviews are conducted every five to seven years in alignment with Ministry and/or PEQAB benchmarks as required.
  3. A College wide schedule will be maintained by PPDR in consultation with the Deans to ensure that each program is subject to review once every 5-7 years. This schedule will take into account the number of years since the last review, alignment with accreditation and consent renewal requirements and individual program needs as part of the program planning process.
  4. Senior Deans and Associate Deans must plan for the review of their programs, including the preparation of a self-study document that includes perspectives from members of the academic community associated with the program, including faculty, staff, students and graduates, and community and industry as appropriate.
  5. Reviews are subject to external assessment by a Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) that is at arms-length to the program under review, which prepares a report on the overall quality of the program and areas to be addressed.
  6. Following external review, an action plan is created by the Senior Dean, Associate Dean, and Program Coordinator that addresses the recommendations from the external report and program improvement priorities.
  7. These action plans form the basis of and are reported on annually through the APQA process.
  8. Where progress is not being made on action plans, the Dean PPDR will meet with the Associate Dean and Senior Dean responsible for the program to discuss and create a plan for moving forward with completion.


Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. (2019, December 27). Minister’s Binding Policy Directives, and Operating Procedures.

Postsecondary Education Quality and Assessment Board. (n.d.). Manuals.

Related Procedures: