APAC Accreditation Assessment Summary Report

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1 APAC Accreditation Assessment Summary Report Higher Education Provider RMIT University, Discipline of Psychology Date of Determination 8 October 2012 Standards Version June 2010 Programs of Study Assessed for Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) Accreditation Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) Bachelor of Social Work/ Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and Psychology) Graduate Diploma in Behavioural Science (3 yr bridging sequence) Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) (Honours) Graduate Diploma in Psychology (4 th year) Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) to be introduced 2013 Master of Psychology This is a summary of the outcomes of an APAC accreditation assessment of the Discipline of Psychology at RMIT University and its programs of study. This summary highlights selected key features of the assessment. Comprehensive analysis of the assessment is contained in the full APAC Assessment Team Report. The Discipline of Psychology resides in the School of Health Sciences at RMIT, one of seven Disciplines in three clusters. The Schools itself sits within the College of Science, Engineering and Health. The Head of the Discipline has sufficient delegated authority to make decisions about resources to meet the relevant Standards. RMIT has campuses at Bundoora and in the city centre of Melbourne. While the Discipline does not have its own dedicated administrative, technical and IT resources, nor its own labs or teaching spaces, staff reported no difficulties with Schoolbased resources. It was noted the Discipline had access to lecture theatres, tutorial rooms and other spaces although not always fit for purpose. It should be noted that RMIT has been building new facilities that contain innovative teaching and learning spaces. There is adequate, though not dedicated, access to computer laboratories for undergraduate classes. Staff and students report access to adequate facilities for the conduct of their research. RMIT s library was viewed via remote access and holdings seemed adequate. Students reported more than satisfactory access to materials. Teaching is generally, though not exclusively, face-to-face lectures and tutorials/laboratories with some on-line materials and some interesting variations. Staff used the on-line component in different ways both to engage students prior to face-to-face teaching as well 1

2 as providing support materials and interactive discussion boards. Laboratory training is conducted both in laboratories (both computer supported and without computers) and, more often, in interactive tutorials. Assignments were carefully marked and evaluated with formative comments. There is no distance education. In the 3-year undergraduate degrees and the bridging program of study there are 11 core Psychology units with the choice of one from four electives at third year. The BA (Criminology and Psychology) prescribes Forensic Psychology as the sole elective at 3 rd year. There were a large range of assessments (which were viewed across all levels of teaching) including lab reports, data analysis, case studies, thinking skills, journal article reviews and essays. The variety demonstrated innovation in teaching, which was backed up with evidence. Research on teaching was highlighted as strength of the Discipline. The 4 th year programs of study are identical. Students complete advanced study in Psychological Assessment and Intervention, Professional Issues and Research Methods as well as selecting two of three electives, Psychopathology, Advanced Topics or Advanced Research Methods. The thesis component, 50% of the 4 th year, comprises a 2000 word proposal, a poster, a 6000 word literature review and a 5000 word journal article four pieces of assessable work each marked, the journal article by one internal and one external examiner. All the assessment was appropriate as were marking and feedback. The proposed Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) is a four year programs of study comprising the 11 unit sequence contained in the three year sequences plus the Honours year. As this program has not yet had the first cohort of students graduate it does meet APAC Rule 5.2 c iii. RMIT offered for accreditation two postgraduate professional programs, a Master of Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical). At the visit, the assessors were advised that the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) in the documentation was discontinued and a new 4 year Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) is being developed for introduction in Thus the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) did not form part of this accreditation assessment. Students in the Master of Psychology complete training in the Psychology Clinic with four internal placements during first year. The facilities in the Clinic are adequate for training students in interviewing, testing and assessment and have DVD recording equipment and one way viewing mirrors. The core capabilities were explored during discussions with the staff teaching the program. The types of assessment were described and, like the undergraduate assessments, a variety of assessments were found to be used by staff in different units. Examples of student work were inspected, with a range of marks, across the various assessment types. Standards for core capabilities assessment are met through the range of assessments of both knowledge and skills in the coursework and through the placements, particularly the internal Clinic placement. In addition to these objective assessments of student capabilities, all clinical staff regularly discuss the progress of students, that is, there is discussion around students communication skills, skills attained on placement, overall knowledge, and interpersonal skills. Coursework assessments were thorough and inspected. Log books were inspected. A template is provided and students are mentored. All the documentation was signed off appropriately. Log books clearly differentiated between one- 2

3 on-one supervision and group work. The nature of the clinical work undertaken was specified. It was suggested that some administrative assistance located in the Clinic would be of benefit to the Clinic Director (who is not located in the Clinic) and also to the clinic assistants who may find themselves in a situation that has potential to create problems associated with boundaries in practice and dual roles. The accreditation outcomes are summarised in the attached Accreditation Summary Checklist. 3

4 APAC Accreditation Summary Checklist for use with APAC Standards June 2010 Version 10 Name of Higher Education Provider: Discipline of Psychology, RMIT University Date of Site Visit: August 2012 Accreditation of the AOU Rules Rule Section 5 Accreditation Status General Accreditation Standards Standard The Psychology AOU Multi-Campus Institutions Degree Nomenclature Academic Staffing Resources Teaching and Materials: Managing the Learning Process Special Arrangements for Offshore Teaching Undergraduate 3-Year Sequence Program of Study Standard Length Program of Study Structure Program of Study Content Assessment Awarding of Credit or Advance Standing Undergraduate Fourth Year Program of Study Standard Entry Requirements Length Program of Study Structure Program of Study Content Research Methods and Professional and Research Ethics Research Project Assessment Awarding of Credit or Advance Standing

5 Four Year Sequence Program of Study Standard Program of Study Structure /4.1.3 Program of Study Content (Years 1-4) / Research Methods and Professional and Research Ethics Research Project Assessment / Assessment of 4 th Year Research Project Awarding of Credit or Advance Standing Fifth and Sixth Year Masters Program of Study (Clinical) Standard Staffing Advisory/Liaison and Quality Review Committee Resources Credit for Previous Study Core Capabilities and Attributes Knowledge of the (a) Discipline Core Capabilities and Attributes Ethical, Legal and (b) Professional Matters Core Capabilities and Attributes Psychological (c) Assessment & Measurement Core Capabilities and Attributes Intervention Strategies (d) Core Capabilities and Attributes Research and (e) Evaluation Core Capabilities and Attributes Communication and (f) Interpersonal Relationships Core Capabilities Assessment Log Book Assessment Entry Requirements Length Program of Study Structure Coursework Research Practical Placements

6 Authorised: Professor Trevor Waring AM FAPS Chair, Australian Psychology Accreditation Council Date: 8 October

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