University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation

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Responsibilities of Responsible Academic Officers

Responsible Academic Officers (RAOs) are appointed by the Vice-Chancellor or Provost on advice from the dean (Schedule 1, Student Rules; Delegation 4.3.14). Responsible Academic Officers usually include deputy deans, associate deans, and heads of school/group/discipline or equivalent.

The term Responsible Academic Officer is used extensively in the Student Rules. The Student Rules are also published in UTS Calendar.

The responsibilities of RAOs are listed below.

Course and subject requirements

  1. Assessing a student's preparedness to participate in professional experience, in consultation with the appropriate external supervisor, approving a mandatory deferral or reschedule of student participation in a professional experience program (including a practicum) in cases where a student is not suitable to participate (Rule 3.4.5(1), Delegation 4.8) and advising the student and the dean in writing of the decision within three working days of making it (Rule 3.4.5(2))
  2. Where deferral of professional experience prevents a student from continuing in the course, with agreement from the dean, referring an appropriate recommendation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) (Rule 3.4.6, Delegation 4.8)
  3. Entering into agreements with suitable partners for the provision of professional experience placements to UTS students (Delegation 4.8)
  4. Providing recommendations to the dean about a student who has not satisfied the necessary occupational requirements within the prescribed time limits (Rule 3.5.2)
  5. Providing transitional arrangements for a student in cases where a student is required to undertake a revised version of a course (Rule 3.6.4)
  6. Providing advice on alternative arrangements when a student enrolled in a course that has been approved for discontinuation does not complete the course within the approved phasing out period (Rule 3.6.5)
  7. Receiving subject outlines from subject coordinators for approval in accordance with faculty procedures and ensuring that, before the first teaching week in a subject, enrolled students have access to a subject outline consistent with the UTS: Handbook (Rule 3.7.3)
  8. Determining requests from subject coordinators to change assessment requirements for a subject after the first week of the teaching period. Note: Such requests should be made only in the most exceptional circumstances. Any changes could constitute grounds for an appeal by students who may claim to have been disadvantaged by the changes (Rule 3.7.4, Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.10)
  9. Determining cases where students, who do not satisfy the prescribed attendance and/or participation requirements for a subject, may be refused permission to be considered for assessment, attempt an assessment task, sit for examination in a subject or receive a final result of 'Fail' for the student's enrolment in that subject (Rule 3.8.2, Delegation 4.7.4)
  10. Approving, in consultation with the relevant subject coordinator, alternative arrangements for a student who is prevented from meeting the prescribed attendance requirements as a result of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control (Rule 3.8.4)
  11. Resolving instances where a student objects to the retention of an item of work by the University (Rule 3.9.4)


  1. Approving, in exceptional circumstances, variations to the minimum language requirements for students from a language background other than English, including applicants to special programs and research students (Delegation 4.4.4, Admissions Policy 6)
  2. Making offers of special admission (Delegation 4.4.10)
  3. Approving, in exceptional circumstances, applications for deferral of commencement from an undergraduate course (except honours and non-award courses) for a period greater than 12 months (Rule 5.5.5, Delegation 4.4.20, Admissions Policy 6)
  4. Making recommendations on appeals referred by the Director, Student Administration Unit (SAU) against withdrawal of an offer of admission and cancellation of admission and/or enrolment (Rule 5.6.5, Delegation 4.4.23, Admissions Policy 6)
  5. Approving the readmission of an applicant who has been excluded for failure to maintain the required academic progress on more than two occasions (Delegation 4.4.17, Admissions Policy 6)
  6. Determining the maximum time for course completion for a former student readmitted to a course (Rule 5.9.4, Delegation 4.4.15, Admissions Policy 6)
  7. Approving applications for admission or transfer to one-year full-time or equivalent Bachelor Honours programs (Delegation 4.4.19, Admissions Policy 6)
  8. Advising the Director, SAU (or nominee) whether or not an applicant for admission who is a minor (ie under the age of 18) meets the requirements of the admissions standards and complies with any age restrictions relating to practicums or industry experience (Admissions Policy 6)
  9. Approving the availability of class places for non-award study, cross institutional, study abroad and exchange students (Admissions Policy 6)

Credit recognition

  1. Approving credit recognition, and subject substitution, within the requirements of the Credit Recognition Policy, relevant faculty board requirements, and formal credit recognition arrangements (Delegation 4.5.3)
  2. Maintaining a register of designated staff who may determine credit recognition applications within specific requirements set by the faculty board, including formal credit recognition arrangements and credit recognition precedents (Delegation 4.5.8)
  3. Approving credit recognition beyond the credit recognition limits set by the Credit Recognition Policy, but within any requirements set by the relevant faculty board, in cases where the credit recognition applicant was previously a UTS student and is enrolling in a new version of that course or its equivalent (Delegation 4.5.4)
  4. Determining requests for review of decisions made in relation to applications for credit recognition (Rule 6.2, Credit Recognition Procedures 2.12)
  5. Determining, where credit towards a course has been approved in recognition of a student's previous learning, the requirements necessary for the student to complete the course and the maximum time permitted to complete the course (Rule 6.3.1)
  6. Approving, in exceptional circumstances, applications from students to rescind previously approved credit recognition (Rule 6.3.2, Delegation 4.5.5)


  1. Determining applications for variation to enrolment for UTS students enrolled concurrently at another tertiary education institution, according to the requirements of both UTS and the other tertiary educational institution (Rule 7.2)
  2. Approving enrolment in a subject after the last date for addition of a subject, permitted only in exceptional circumstances (Rule 7.5.3)
  3. Recommending to the Director, SAU the withdrawal of a student, who has been placed on academic caution and has enrolled in more than their credit point limit, from one or more subjects in accordance with Rule 10.7 (Rule 7.5.6)
  4. Approving, in exceptional circumstances, leave of absence for a student enrolled in their first teaching period in a course (Rule 7.6.5)


  1. Nominating subject coordinators and assessors for each subject offered within their faculty. Nominations are submitted to the faculty board for approval (Schedule 1, Student Rules; Coursework Assessments Policy 4.4)
  2. Appointing Academic Liaison Officers for a two-year term (Schedule 1, Student Rules; Delegation 4.3.17)
  3. Approving the delegation of marking to any other member of staff (Coursework Assessments Policy 4.8)
  4. Resolving significant differences of opinion between subject coordinators and assessors about the form and content of examination papers (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.17)
  5. Resolving significant differences of opinion between original markers and second markers of assessment items (usually subject coordinators and assessors) in cases where assessment items have been submitted for re-marking (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.54)
  6. Resolving significant differences of opinion between the accessibility consultants, subject coordinators and Academic Liaison Officers about learning and assessment arrangements. Where agreement cannot be reached the Responsible Academic Officer makes the final decision (Coursework Assessments Policy 4.6)
  7. Appointing a nominee for any subject coordinator who is not available to answer questions from supervisors or students during centrally conducted examinations (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.19)
  8. Determining guidelines for the extension of the due date for submission of requests for special consideration (Rule 8.3.1(5) and 8.3.3(5)(b))
  9. Considering late requests for special consideration for disruption to assessment during the teaching period (Rule 8.3.1(6))
  10. Considering requests for special consideration submitted during a teaching period in cases where a subject coordinator is unavailable (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.25)
  11. Considering requests for special consideration for absence from an entire examination (Rule 8.3.3(5)(c), Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.28)
  12. Approving, with SAU, alternative arrangements during centrally conducted examinations (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.19)
  13. Approving Withheld (W) results (Delegation 4.7.5, Coursework Assessments Procedures Appendix A)
  14. Requesting extensions of time from the Director, SAU for W results not resolved within the prescribed period (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.31)
  15. Consultation with relevant program directors, course coordinators and/or subject coordinators prior to ratifying results (Coursework Assessments Procedures Appendix A)
  16. Consulting with subject coordinators on the provision of supplementary assessment in instances where the subject outline does not include information about supplementary assessment (Coursework Assessments Policy Appendix A, Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.47)
  17. Determining requests from students dissatisfied with the outcome from a resubmission or re-mark (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.51 to 4.54)
  18. Determining, with the relevant subject coordinator, and advising students of the conditions under which resubmission or re-marking may take place and the possible outcomes (Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.51 to 4.54)
  19. Considering recommendations from the Student Assessment Review Committee about students who have requested a review of their final assessment grade (Rule 8.7.3, Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.56)
  20. Notifying students in writing of all decisions and actions taken in relation to their final assessment grades and the recommendations from the Student Assessment Review Committee (Rule 8.7.4(1), Coursework Assessments Procedures 4.56)
  21. Providing the faculty board with an annual report on all matters referred to the Student Assessment Review Committee, including decisions made in relation to the findings of the committee and recommendations on any faculty procedural matters and the outcomes of those recommendations (Rule 8.7.4(2))
  22. Determining guidelines for use by subject coordinators for faculty-based examinations relating to students' exam scheduling difficulties, examination timetable clashes, special examinations, and special conditions in examinations (Rules 9.1.5(1), 9.2.3, 9.5.1 and 9.5.4)
  23. Considering reports from subject coordinators about students' misconduct involving plagiarism and determining penalties for plagiarism and whether a matter should be referred to the Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) for further action under the student misconduct rules (Rules 16.10, 16.11; Schedule 5 Guidelines for Handling Student Misconduct Involving Plagiarism, Student Rules)
  24. Referring reports on misconduct during faculty-based examinations to the Director, GSU who shall deal with any allegation of misconduct in accordance with Rule 16.12 (Rule 9.6.3(5))
  25. Determining, with the relevant subject coordinator, the further action, if any, to be taken regarding disorderly conduct during faculty-based examinations (Rules 9.6.5(2) and 9.6.5(3))

Academic progression

  1. Waiving progress requirements for a particular student (Rules 10.3.2, 10.7.7; Delegation 4.6.1)
  2. Determining, where credit recognition has been granted, whether the maximum time in which the student is required to complete the course requirements may be reduced (Rule 10.5.5)
  3. Consulting a student who is approaching the maximum time to complete a course for approval of a study plan to enable completion of the course within an agreed specified time period (Rule 10.5.6)
  4. Approving, in exceptional circumstances, an extension of the maximum time to complete course requirements for a particular student after satisfactorily establishing the academic currency of the subjects completed by the student during the initial periods of enrolment in the course which will, if the extension is granted, be outside the normal maximum period (Rule 10.5.8)
  5. Determining requests from students to re-enrol in a subject that they have failed for a third time (Rule 10.6.3)
  6. Placing a student on academic caution (Rule 10.7, Delegation 4.6)
  7. Determining whether the maximum number of credit points in which a student may enrol may be reduced to 18 credit points during a first period of academic caution (Rule 10.7.4(3))
  8. Determining appeals against exclusion of coursework students (Rule 10.8, Delegation 4.6.3)
  9. Notifying students, in cases where an appeal has been upheld, of the period of time allowed for completion of the course where the exclusion resulted from failure to complete within the approved maximum time period (Rule 10.9.1(3))
  10. Offering guidance, in cases where an appeal is dismissed, on those things that the student may wish to undertake in order to enhance opportunities for readmission after the period of exclusion has elapsed (Rule 10.9.2(2))

Graduate research

  1. Providing advice to the Dean, Graduate Research School (GRS) to approve or reject a student's application for transfer (Rule 11.5.4)
  2. Making recommendations to the Dean, GRS on student applications for recognition of prior study and research including the extent of any such recognition (Rule 11.6.2)
  3. Considering students' review of progress submitted by principal supervisors and students each half year, taking any necessary action within the faculty and, when appropriate, making recommendations to the Dean, GRS on overall progress in accordance with the guidelines approved by the Graduate Research School Board from time to time (Rule 11.13)
  4. Discussing the recommendation of unsatisfactory progress and developing a suitable progress plan with the student, when requested by the Dean, GRS in the notification provided to the student (Rule 11.13.4(1))
  5. Reporting the outcome of all candidature assessments to the Dean, GRS and providing advice to the Dean, GRS on candidature reassessment when a student does not satisfy the requirements of candidature assessment (Rules 11.15.4 and 11.5.6)
  6. Determining whether a thesis is ready for examination (Rule 11.19)
  7. Providing a submitted thesis and other works certifying that the thesis is ready for examination, with a certificate signed by the principal supervisor, to the Dean, GRS (Rule 11.19.6)
  8. Providing advice to the Dean, GRS on the proposed procedures and arrangements in cases where a variation of thesis examination procedures and arrangements is required (Rule 11.20.2)
  9. Recommending appointment of examiners to the Dean, GRS (Rule 11.20.3)
  10. Considering cases, in consultation with the Dean, GRS, where examiners or any other parties to the examination process question whether the work is that of a student (Rule 11.20.5)
  11. Considering, after examination of a thesis, any minor changes to the thesis that do not require resubmission for re-examination, within six months of the date of notification, and reporting satisfactory completion of the changes to the Dean, GRS (Rule 11.20.8)
  12. Providing a recommendation on an appeal against the discontinuation of candidature to the Dean, GRS, who will refer the recommendation to the Graduate Research Students' Appeal Committee (Rule 11.24)
  13. Advising the Dean, GRS, in cases where an appeal against discontinuation due to unsatisfactory progress is upheld, the period of candidature remaining and any other requirements for the student to complete the course (Rule 11.25.1)

Student misconduct and appeals

  1. Determining cases involving alleged plagiarism and imposing penalties as appropriate (Rules 16.3.1(9), 16.6.2(1), 16.10 and 16.11; Schedule 5 Guidelines for Handling Student Misconduct Involving Plagiarism, Student Rules; Delegation 4.12.4; Coursework Assessments Policy 4.26 and 4.27)
  2. Referring allegations of student misconduct, other than plagiarism, and allegations involving both plagiarism and other misconduct to the Director, GSU to be handled in accordance with the student misconduct rules (Rules 16.6.2(2) and (3), 16.10, 16.12)
  3. Sending a notice to the student outlining the basis of exclusion from facilities and/or participation in activities within three working days of receiving the notification from the officer of the University who excluded the student (Rule 16.9.6)

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