Programme Specific Approval Panels (PSAPs)

What is a Programme Specific Approval Panel?

A Programme Specific Approval Panel (PSAP) has delegated authority from the Programme Approval Steering Committee (PASC) to approve programmes.  It is a specially convened panel created to approve a new programme proposal.  The PSAP is the panel to which the Programme Design Team present their proposals.  Each PSAP is specific to a programme or a suite of related programmes.


The purpose of the PSAP is to set conditions for the approval of the programme (or programmes) and to grant approval based on meeting those conditions.  As part of this process it will need to verify the delivery viability, including any collaborative provision arrangements and will include an external peer review.  It will also ensure that the Design Process Principles have been followed and are reflected in the Programme and Module documentation.

Decisions of each Programme Specific Approval Panel are recorded at the Programme Approval Steering Committee (PASC).


The members of the PSAP will be appointed by the  School Quality Officer, with the exception of the Chair, who will be appointed by the PASC  secretary


The Chair will be a member of academic staff from another School with experience of new programme design and implementation.  The chair will be appointed by the PASC secretary.


The secretary will take notes of discussions and decisions to inform the writing of the Panel report.

University Representative

The University Representative will offer a generic academic perspective from another School.

School Representative

The School representative will be a member of the School proposing the programme and offers a generic School perspective on the proposed programme(s).

Student Representative

The student representative offers a student perspective on the proposal, which feeds into the discussions and decisions.

External Adviser

The External Adviser will normally be identified by the Programme Designer and will have specific knowledge of the area of the academic subject(s) that the programme will cover.

Additional members where appropriate

Professional Body Representative

When a programme is being delivered to meet the needs of a professional body, a Professional Body Representative must be appointed to ensure that these needs are considered.

Employer Representative

Where a programme is being delivered to meet an employer need, a representative from the sector, or specific business, should be appointed to the panel.

Collaborative Provision Strategy Group (CPSG) Representative

If the programme is being delivered in collaboration with a partner organisation, the panel should include at least one member of the Collaborative Provision Strategy Group (CPSG).

Further Resources

The Programme Approval Process

The Programme Approval Steering Committee