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Quality gateway

Partner approval

In most cases where a new collaborative partnership is proposed, colleagues will have in mind a particular subject area or programme that is the spur for the partnership.

To manage collaborative provision effectively, York St John University must first scrutinise the proposed partner and approve them as a suitable institution to work with.

As the operational workload of validating both a partner institution and a programme is substantial, the procedures allow for both the programme and partner approval process to begin together. However, all work done to approve the programme must be done on the understanding that nothing is final until the partner is approved.

A partner institution must be approved before a programme can be approved and delivered.

The University has defined the indicative risks associated with the different types of partnership models it offers Partnership models and definitions (PDF, 0.2MB).  

More information on these processes is provided below.  All documentation should be submitted to  

Procedure for Partner and First Programme Approval – An Overview

A single page process document, Partner Approval Process (PDF 0.2MB), outlines the overarching process for the approval of a new collaborative partner. The process allows colleagues to work on the approval of a partner and the first programme(s). This process includes the discrete stages outlined below: 

This section refers to approval of University awards offered through articulation/progression/off-campus or flying faculty/collaborative programme delivery (online, DL, on-campus).

Proposer(s) complete the Partner Proposal Stage 1 School Quality Panel Approval (docx, 84.8kB) (for articulation, progression or collaborative delivery excluding validation or franchise agreements) and submit it to their School Quality Panel for consideration.

The School Quality Panel considers the proposal in relation to: the strategic fit of the proposed partnership (Univesity strategy and partnership strategy); the nature of the proposed partner; risk in relation to compliance; capacity (partner and University); and financial viability.

Approval by the School Quality Panel allows the proposal to proceed to Collaborative Partnerships.

This section refers to validation and franchise partners only.

The Partner Proposal Stage 1 Exec Board Approval Validation/Franchise (docx, 85.6kB) is completed by the proposer(s) and submitted to for consideration by Executive Board.

Executive Board considers the proposal in relation to: the strategic fit of the proposed partnership (Univesity strategy and partnership strategy); the nature of the proposed partner; risk in relation to compliance; capacity (partner and Univesity); and financial viability.

Approval in principle by the Executive Board allows the proposal to proceed to Collaborative Partnerships.


For articulation, progression and collaborative programme delivery proposals approved in principle by the School Quality Panel, proposers complete:

For validation and franchise proposals approved in principle by the Executive Board, proposers complete:

For corporate partnership (non-academic) proposals only, proposers complete:

Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee considerations ensure that proposed and existing partners of the University involved in the delivery of academic programmes demonstrate a mission and strategic compatibility, and have appropriate legal, governance, financial, management and ethical arrangements in place. Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee has delegated responsibility to approve collaborative partners.

Two site visit reports are a pre-requisite for the completion of high risk proposals due diligence enquiries. One of these visits must be undertaken by a representative of the Executive Board (EB), the other is a scoping visit by a YSJU School colleague. These may take place in either order or concurrently.  Colleagues undertaking a visit complete the Institutional Site Visit Report form (DOCx, 59.1KB) which forms part of the documentation required by Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee.

Following partner approval by Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee, a legal agreement can be drawn up by the University solicitor.

The outcome of low risk Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee considerations are reported to the Executive Board.

A Collaborative Programme Representative (CPR) must be appointed by this point (a CPR may be identified at any point prior).

Role of the Collaborative Partner Representative (doc 32kb)

The appointment must be reported to Registry.

The CPR:

  • in negotiation with the partner, drafts the Operations Manual which forms the basis of the operational relationship between the University and the Partner
  • working with Registry, supports the partner in the drafting of programme documentation for programme approval.

Operations Manual Template - Franchise (DOCm, 68KB)

Operations Manual Template - Validation (DOCx, 65.7KB)

Franchise approval events, whereby partners are approved to deliver existing YSJU validated provision, consider the proposed partners understanding of the YSJU pedagogy and the ability to deliver a comparable experience, rather than considering the academic content.

Franchise Approval Panels comprise:

  • approved QSC Chair
  • Head of Learning and Teaching (or nominee);
  • One YSJU academic independent from the proposing School.

The concluding recommendations of the panel may take one of three forms:

  1. approval without further action required;
  2. approval with further action identified;
  3. non-approval, the reasons for which should be clearly stated.

Recommendations are submitted to QSC for final approval.

Validation approval events, whereby partner provision is approved as an award of YSJU, follow the same process as that for internal provision: 

Programme Approval Process

Where proposals from existing partners for new Validated or Franchise provision lie outside the parameters of the partnership agreement, Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee is responsible for approving the proposals to progress to an approval event.

Where proposals for new Franchise provision lie within the parameters of the partnership agreement, Collaborative Partnerships Sub-Committee is responsible for approving the addition of programmes to existing partners with the right to refer to a franchise approval panel should concerns be raised.

Addition of programmes to partnership agreement form (docx, 80.4kB)

Please see the information provided on the Articulation Agreement & Progression Arrangements page.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) procedure (docx, 46.2 kB)

Memorandum of Understanding template (docx 33.7kB)

Termination or Non-Renewal of Collaborative Partnerships (DOC, 24kB)

Off-site Centre Checklist (DOC, 63.5 kB)

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