Expedited Approvals

The process associated with the Protocol for Expedited Approvals is intended to obtain QC approvals more efficiently for changes that are considered less substantial than New Program Proposals. Expedited Approval processes are less extensive and do not require external reviewers. Expedited Approvals apply only to:

  • new graduate diploma programs (Types 2 and 3);
  • new standalone degree programs arising from a long-standing field in a master’s or doctoral program that have undergone at least two Cyclical Program Reviews and have at least two graduating cohorts; 
  • if requested, new fields for existing graduate programs (if seeking an endorsement of the QC); and 
  • if requested, proposed major modifications to an existing program (graduate or undergraduate).  


Institutional Process for Expedited Approvals


MCU - Ministry of Colleges and Universities

SGPS - School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

OAQE - Office of Academic Quality and Enhancement

GEC - Graduate Education Council

ACA - Senate Committee on Academic Curriculum and Awards

SUPR-G - ACA Subcommittee on Program Review – Graduate

SUPR-U - ACA Subcommittee on Program Review – Undergraduate

Summary of Steps

1. The proposal is developed by the academic unit(s).

2. Proposals are subject to Faculty-level internal approval processes. For graduate programs, the SGPS conducts a review prior to submission.

3. The proposal is received by SUPR-U/SUPR-G. SUPR-U/SUPR-G makes a recommendation to ACA.

4. ACA reviews the proposal of SUPR-U/SUPR-G and, if approved, forwards to Senate.

5. Senate approves the proposal.

6. The OAQE submits the proposal to the QC for approval.

7. The proposal is submitted to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for funding purposes, where applicable.

8. In the case of a new program, it is monitored via the continuous improvement plan outlined in the proposal and an Ongoing Improvement Progress Report submitted to the OAQE.

9. The first cyclical review occurs within eight years of the first enrolment into the program. If  applicable, approved graduate diplomas will be added to the Cyclical Program Review Schedule for review alongside its “parent” master’s or doctoral degree program.

Proposal Brief

As applicable, the proposal brief will describe the new graduate diploma program, new field(s), or the significant change(s) being proposed (including, as appropriate, reference to learning outcomes and the academic unit’s resources). The proposal will provide the rationale for the new graduate diploma program or field and will include, as applicable, the evaluation criteria outlined in Section 2.1.3.

Expedited Approval Process

Once Senate approval has been obtained, the proposal brief will be submitted by the OAQE to the QC’s Appraisal Committee for consideration. Within 45 days of receipt of a final and complete submission from Western, the Quality Assurance Secretariat will report the decision to the QC for information, and then the University. Outcomes will be one of the following decisions:

a) Approved to commence;

b) Approved to commence, with report; or

c) Not approved.

When a program is approved to commence, any reporting condition (generally 1-2 years following program commencement) is typically the result of a provision not yet in place but considered essential for a successful program (e.g., facility, equipment, staff)