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Program Development and Quality Assurance

How to develop a new program


Understand the program approval process

Familiarize yourself with the review and approval process for new programs.


Form a program working group (PWG)

Fill out ‌one of the following forms and present it to the dean(s) who will have administrative responsibility for the program:

For graduate programs, also submit it to the Associate Vice President, Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies.

In the case that a program draws resources from more than one faculty/college beyond the provision of service courses, the deans involved will decide who will assume administrative responsibility for the program, and whether administrative responsibility will be shared by more than one faculty/college.

The PWG should consist of a minimum of three faculty members with teaching or research expertise in the subject area, normally permanent UFV faculty members. If a new program is entirely discipline-based, at least one additional member from another discipline with teaching or research expertise in the subject area or related area should be included.

A reference group may also be formed at the PWG's discretion. A reference group includes faculty members or others who can act as a resource for the PWG at the concept paper stage or during the development of the full program proposal. The PWG chair will ensure liaison with the reference group.

Refer to PWG membership and duties of the Chair‌ for more information.


Gather evidence

The creation of a new program requires that you consider several factors that are interlocked, like the wheels of a gear. The process is iterative — as new information becomes available in one area, other areas may require revision. Elements to consider include:

Use these resources to prepare the concept paper, then return to them as you develop the full program proposal.


Develop the concept paper

The concept paper serves as a general indication of a program working group's thinking on key issues related to a proposed program. It should be used for all new programs (with the exception of programs going through the expedited review process).

Individual concept papers are submitted to the relevant faculty/college councils and deans for approval. All concept papers are then reviewed by the Provost and Deans' Caucus for recommendation to the Academic Planning and Priorities Committee (APPC), the Senate, and the UFV Board of Governors.

Note: Only upon approval by the Board should the PWG proceed with developing the full program proposal.


Develop the full program proposal

The proposal presents your case for a new program and provides comprehensive information about its content. It is written using one of the following approved templates:

Certificate or diploma (non-degree)

Degree, including bachelor, major, and master's degree

Honours degree

New minor

Additional forms and information