Outcomes of the Psychology and Counselling Periodic Quality Review (PQR)

Sarah Croney, Quality Co-ordinator at The Open University, talks us through the outcomes of this review.

Our school of Psychology and Counselling has recently had its Periodic Quality Review (PQR) and we’d like to share the positive outcomes of this with you. The PQR is one of the University’s monitoring and review activities that provides each area with the opportunity to holistically review the quality and standards of the last six years, ensuring both quality assurance and enhancement of the student journey.

During the PQR, the panel reviewed a host of evidence and heard feedback from staff, students and external advisers to reach a positive judgement on the academic quality and standards of the School of Psychology and Counselling provision.  

We would like to thank again the group of students who met with the review panel to express their views and share their experiences of studying Psychology and Counselling modules and qualifications.

The panel made 6 commendations and 10 recommendations, some of which are summarised here:

The panel commended:

  • The review panel wish to commend the enthusiasm and commitment of the programme team in supporting students to succeed through the application of pedagogic expertise and reflective practice. Our experience reflected the comments of the External Advisor to the Board of Studies, that the Board were collegiate, rigorous, pedagogically aware and were their own critical friends.
  • We commend the programme on the production of a portfolio of qualifications that address professional requirements and employability needs in Psychology and Counselling that have been influenced by the student voice. In Psychology, we particularly noted the use of the 3 core modules to address accreditation requirements while enabling student choice for specialisations within the discipline, and the provision of R50 for those students for whom a non-accredited qualification is appropriate. In Counselling, we noted the use of external modules in the foundation and diploma awards to ensure students met the practice requirements.
  • We commend the Programme’s commitment to student-centred support for the diversity of students enrolled with the School, of particular note is the programme and Student Support Team's attention to learning, teaching, assessment, and wider support of students with mental health requirements and the teaching of challenging topics.

The panel recommended:

  • When meeting the students there were concerns raised about the variability in tutorial provision. This occurred partially due to mismatches in student expectations, but also in the range of approaches taken by Associate Lecturers to the delivery. The panel recommend the School reflects on the purpose of tutorials, on how different tutorial approaches are used within the School and how these deliver different outcomes, and how the purpose and intended outcomes are communicated to students.
  • The programme teams were able to identify many resources and events supporting students through their qualification journeys, and, for example, exploring career opportunities. The panel recommends that the programme team explore ways to raise the visibility of these resources at appropriate points in the student journeys.

The Psychology and Counselling team are now in the process of preparing an action plan to respond to these recommendations.

If you would like to know more about the findings of the Review, please contact the Periodic Quality Review (PQR) Team on pqr-mailbox@open.ac.uk.

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The Editorial team.


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