Bachelor of Medicine - JMP Course/Unit Coordinator Role Guideline

Document Number000885
Date Approved3 December 2008

1.      Application

1.1.     This Guideline applies to all MEDI Course/Units offered by the Schools of Medicine and Public Health (University of Newcastle (UoN)) and Rural Medicine (University of New England (UNE)) in the delivery of the Bachelor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program (BMed – JMP).

1.2.     Course/Unit Coordinator responsibilities for elective (non-MEDI) courses/units will be in accordance with the following policies:

  1. at UoN, Course Coordinator Role – Guideline 000626;
  2. at UNE: General Rules, Section 22 Powers of Unit Coordinators;
    UNE Assessment Policy.

2.      Definitions

In the context of this document:

BMed Year Assessment Committee means the five committees (one for each year of the BMed) responsible for recommending final grades to the Heads of School and for reviewing the assessment of courses / units in accordance with the Universities’ quality assurance principles;

course at UoN means any part of a program  for which a result may be recorded;

Dean means the Dean of Medicine – Joint Medical Program[1] who is Chair of the JMP Committee;

Faculty means the Faculty of Health (UoN) and/or the Faculty of the Professions (UNE);

Head of the School means the Head of the School of Medicine and Public Health at UoN and/or the Head of the School of Rural Medicine at UNE who is/are responsible for delivery of JMP Committee-approved MEDI Course/Units;

JMP Committee means the joint UoN / UNE committee responsible for the planning, implementation and management of the JMP including curriculum, assessment and standards.  The Committee is Chaired by the Dean of Medicine – JMP;

Joint Medical Program means the delivery of the Bachelor of Medicine by UoN and UNE in partnership;

School means the School of Medicine and Public Health at UoN and/or the School of Rural Medicine at UNE;

UoN means the University of Newcastle;

unit at UNE means any part of a Course for which a result may be recorded;

UNE means the University of New England.


3.      Course/Unit Coordination

3.1.     Course/Unit Coordination occurs where a staff member designated by a Head of School as a Course/Unit Coordinator is responsible for the delivery of a Course/Unit and for ensuring its appropriate content and assessment as approved by the JMP Committee. The Coordinators assigned to a Course/Unit at UoN and UNE will consult with the Program Convenors and the Heads of School as appropriate.  Final responsibility for delivery of the Course/Unit rests with the Dean of Medicine - JMP, who chairs the JMP Committee.

3.2.     Course/Unit Coordinators may be appointed from permanent, casual or fixed term staff, or from among conjoint appointees, provided those appointed are experienced in the content and delivery of the course/unit.

4.      Coordinator Responsibilities

4.1.     Course/Unit Coordinators are responsible for overseeing the following functions, with the assistance of University, Faculty and School administrative staff, particularly the BMed Year Managers.  Responsibility for these functions will be determined prior to the scheduled teaching period, by the JMP Committee in consultation with Heads of School and Program Convenor:

  1. establishment of aims, objectives and content of a course/unit;
  2. having the course/unit, including any curriculum changes[2], approved by the Faculty prior to each teaching period. If there are no changes then approval is not required;
  3. operationalisation of the Course/Unit Coordinators Checklist;
  4. arranging for the use of physical facilities or resources and for inputs from other staff;
  5. organisation of text books and library reference materials;
  6. allocation of students to tutorial and laboratory classes;
  7. student guidance and consultation, responding to student enquiries within a reasonable and appropriate timeframe; two working days is recommended;
  8. ensuring returnable assessment items are returned to students within three weeks of submission date with appropriate feedback. Course/Unit Coordinators are to identify any non-returnable assessment items to students in the Course/Unit Outline;
  9. ensuring that all reasonable accommodations and adjustments are provided for any students who have indicated that they have a disability, and ensure that all teaching practices are inclusive of the needs of students with a disability;
  10. taking action on applications for extensions of time for assessment items, deferred assessment and special consideration for assessment items and formal written examinations in accordance with the Universities’ policies;
  11. overseeing or co-operating in the re-marking or moderating of students results;
  12. the maintenance, collation and transmission of student records;
  13. the continued production (as distinct from initial design) of course/unit materials in conjunction with other members of staff;
  14. the planning of tutorial, practical and other sessions;
  15. the development of reference material, and ensuring that students receive the Course/Unit Outline, as approved by the JMP Committee in consultation with Heads of School, within the first two weeks of the teaching period. The Course/Unit Coordinator must provide for those students with print disabilities who request a Course/Unit Outline in an appropriate format and timeframe.
  16. consultation with, and approval of the Heads of School and Program Convenors if there are changes to the assessment weightings from the previous offering; changes will be reported to the JMP Committee;
  17. the provision of material to external students;
  18. planning content of laboratory sessions and developing manuals;
  19. the development and implementation of course/unit assessment;
  20. the training of clinical supervisors (if appropriate);
  21. the coordination of all teaching staff involved in the course/unit;
  22. the mentoring of casual appointees;
  23. providing to the relevant BMed Year Assessment Committee[3] recommendations regarding final grades to be awarded and  a report on the level of plagiarism and/or number of students penalised under the Universities’ Student Academic Integrity/Plagiarism policies;
  24. conducting appropriate course/unit evaluation and monitoring as approved by the JMP Committee; and
  25. other appropriate administrative tasks.

Depending on the size of the classes and the nature of the duties, Course/Unit Coordinators may not carry out all coordinating functions listed in Appendix 1.




Coordinator: __________________ Course/Unit : ________________

Early Preparation

  1. Handover meeting has been held with previous Course/Unit Coordinator, if possible.
  2. The approved course/unit documentation has been consulted.
  3. Blackboard (or web) site for course/unit has been created.
  4. TURNITIN site for course/unit has been created.
  5. Timetable has been checked for clashes (both staff and students) and suitability of venues.
  6. Enrolment numbers have been provided to the Timetable Officer(s).
  7. Protocol for assessment moderation approved by JMP Committee (and partner “corporation”) where applicable.
  8. Textbooks have been ordered, six weeks in advance.
  9. Course/unit notes have been sent to the bookshop if applicable.
  10. Library holdings have been confirmed, six weeks in advance.
  11. Where appropriate and with adequate lead times, relevant teaching support services have been notified of any software requirements for labs/lecture rooms.
  12. OH&S requirements have been checked for practical teaching activities.
  13. Where appropriate, venues have been checked for relevant software, etc, six weeks in advance.

Preparation Immediately Before Commencement of Semester

  1. Course/Unit Outlines have been prepared.
  2. Previous course/unit evaluations have been consulted.
  3. Course/Unit outline includes information about student support services (eg, counsellors, Student Support Service (Disability)).
  4. Course/Unit outline complies with relevant university policies
  5. If assessment weightings have changed since the last offering or the course/unit is new then the JMP Committee must approve the assessment weightings.
  6. Ensure that all necessary accommodations are provided for students with a disability and policies and procedures are inclusive of needs of students with a disability.
  7. Where more than one staff member is involved, a teaching team planning meeting has been held.
  8. Readings have been deposited in short loans, put onto web access etc where appropriate.
  9. Enrolment numbers have been confirmed.
  10. Budget for casual teaching requirements has been completed and submitted to Head of School.
  11. Tutors and tutorials have been arranged, including:
    1. tutors recruited.
    2. tutorial registration procedures confirmed.
    3. tutors’ coordination meeting held.
    4. tutors’ kits distributed (kits must include information in relation to responsibilities involved with teaching students with a disability).
    5. tutors’ appointment forms submitted.
    6. induction has been completed for new tutors, and tutor training complete.

Tasks During Semester

  1. Meetings of teaching teams (or some other form of communication or online discussion if course is delivered offshore) have been held regularly.
  2. Arrangements have been made for students with special needs.
  3. Where appropriate, arrangements have been made for mid-semester feedback from students. This can be in the form of a range of feedback forums such as group sessions, one on one meetings etc.
  4. Course/Unit Outline has been made available to students within the first two weeks of the teaching period.
  5. Marking of each item of continuous assessment has been arranged, including:
    1. development of marking and feedback criteria;
    2. arrangements for submission of written assignments;
    3. allocation of marking amongst staff members;
    4. arrangements for return of written assignments. Assessment items should be returned with appropriate feedback within three weeks of submission;
    5. procedures for dealing with requests for re-marks;
    6. marker’s meeting (or some other form of communication or online discussion if course/unit is delivered across campuses and teaching sites) to ensure consistency across markers, and/or implementation of moderation protocol;
    7. Notifications of time for assessment items, deferred assessment and special consideration for assessment items and formal written examinations have been appropriately addressed;
    8. data entry of progressive marks has been arranged and implemented;
    9. collective feedback on assignments has been provided to the class in the form of a report by the lecturer in lectures or tutorials.
  6. Examinations have been arranged, including, as appropriate:
    1. completion of relevant forms nominating exam arrangements, including alternative exam arrangements for students with a disability;
    2. peer review and approval of supervised examination script(s);
    3. record of peer review and approval included in exam cover sheets;
    4. submission of examination script(s);
    5. allocation of exam marking;
    6. marker’s meeting (or some other form of communication or online discussion if course/unit is delivered across campuses and teaching sites) to ensure consistency across markers.
  7. Arrangements for end-of-teaching term evaluation of student opinion have been made.

Course/Unit Finalisation

  1. A report for the relevant BMed Assessment Committee has been prepared, including:
    1. marks for all assessment items for each student, together with the recommended grade;
    2. a copy of the approved course/unit outline provided to each student at the beginning of the Semester;
    3. a copy of all major assessment items used in the course/unit (if not included in the course/unit outline);
    4. brief comments and data on student performance and the distribution of grades in comparison to previous years (three years if possible);
    5. recommendations on applications for Special Consideration;
    6. report on the level of plagiarism and/or number of students penalized by, at UoN, the SACO and at UNE, by the Unit Coordinator;
    7. report on implementation of any moderation of results or moderation protocol (where applicable).
  2. Arrangements for special examinations have been made.
  3. Results of special examinations or any moderations have been incorporated into final results[4]

Review of Course/Unit

  1. Review of Course/Unit has been conducted in accordance with approved JMP Committee and the Universities’ requirements, and relevant reports prepared.
  2. The report must cover the currency of:
    1. course/unit objectives;
    2. course/unit content;
    3. assessment items and their value for testing course/unit objectives; and
    4. learning support materials.


[1] The Bachelor of Medicine program is delivered as a Joint Medical Program (JMP) by the Universities of Newcastle and New England.  Management of the program is vested in the JMP Governance Committee as approved by each University.

The Chair of the JMP Committee is responsible to the JMP Governance Committee and the Universities, for academic management of the program.  In the first instance, for a period of five years (2008 – 2012), this will be the Dean of Medicine at Newcastle.

[2] At UoN, proposals are lodged through the Course Tracking System – CTS.

[3] At UoN Course Coordinators/Year Managers must submit a Course Assessment Return every teaching period. This return will include the Course Outline, all assessment items and a discussion of results and the trends in results for the last three years (as supplied by the University).

[4] At UoN includes modification of the original Course Assessment Return.


Approval AuthorityAcademic Senate (UON) / Aademic Board (UNE)
Date Approved3 December 2008
Policy ContactAssistant Academic Registrar, Faculty of Health