Monitoring the Progress of Professional Doctorate Candidates in the Research Component of the Program Guideline

Document Number000956
Date Approved5 December 2011

1.      Context/Overview

These Guidelines support the Rules Governing Professional Doctorates (000580) and the Coursework Professional Doctorates Guideline (000775) and should be read in conjunction with these rules.


2.      Definitions

Committee means the Research Training Sub-Committee;

Faculty means the Faculty responsible for the program;

Pro Vice-Chancellor means the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty responsible for the program;

School means the school, or other unit of organisation forming part of a Faculty, in which the candidate is carrying out the program;

Supervisor means the person appointed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee), or where more than one such person is appointed, the person assigned the responsibility as principal supervisor.


3.      Guidelines


1.         The Rules Governing Professional Doctorates provide at clause 22 that once a student commences the research component of the program, the progress of the student will be monitored according to guidelines provided by the           Committee.

2.         The Committee has determined that as the students are undertaking research the guidelines will match the relevant rules regarding progress that apply to Research Higher Degree candidates in the Rules Governing Research Higher Degrees (000830).

3.         The student and the supervisor shall submit progress reports as specified in the Coursework Professional Doctorates Guideline (“Formal progress reports are to be submitted around the mid-point of any of the student’s research components of 40 units duration or greater”). The student may also be required, at the request of the program convenor, to submit a progress report at the conclusion of the research component and/or at the conclusion of enrolment in the 20 unit thesis extension course, if the thesis has not been submitted. The student’s failure to complete this requirement may result in a recommendation being made to the Committee for termination of candidature.

4.          In addition to the progress report(s), for the purpose of assessing a student’s progress, the supervisor and/or the Head of School (or nominee) and/or the program convenor may submit reports on the candidate's progress to the Pro    Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) at any time.

5.          Following submission of a report the Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) and the program convenor will review reports on the candidate's progress and ensure appropriate action is taken where required.  The Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee)may place conditions on the continuation of the candidature.

6.          Cases of unsatisfactory progress will be reported to the Committee.  The Committee may place conditions on the continuation of the candidature.


Termination of Candidature

7.         The enrolment of a student may be terminated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Committee in any of the following circumstances:

  1. where the student has failed to submit a thesis within prescribed time limits, including extensions of enrolment as approved by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (or nominee);
  2. where the candidate is absent without leave for a period exceeding six months;
  3. where the progress of the candidate is deemed unsatisfactory by the Committee (refer to Clauses 3 to 6);
  4. where the candidate has failed to otherwise comply with the Rules Governing Professional Doctorates or any Memorandum of Understanding in the case of candidates enrolled through an offshore provider.

8.         Before terminating candidature, the Committee shall notify the candidate in writing of the grounds for the recommendation of termination and shall give the candidate an opportunity to ‘show cause’ by making representations in writing. In addition, a candidate may address the Committee in person. The Committee shall take such representations into account before reaching its decision.

9.         Where a recommendation that candidature be terminated is accepted by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, the candidate shall be notified in writing by the Faculty.


Appeal Procedure – Termination of Candidature

10.       A student whose candidature has been terminated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor may appeal against the decision in writing, within 20 working days of the date of the letter of notification of termination of candidature.  Appeals will be permitted on procedural grounds only. In accordance with Universities Australia Policy, appeals by candidates simply rejecting an assessment of the merit of their work will not be permitted nor will an appeal on the grounds of complaint about the inadequacy of supervision or other arrangements during the period of study. In these latter cases, the grievance procedures should be used as appropriate (refer to Complaints Resolution Policy 000745).

11.       If the candidate was unable to make representation due to exceptional circumstances, the candidate may, within the prescribed appeal period, appeal for reconsideration of the decision. Any reconsideration will take place within 20 working days of the candidate advising the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the nature of the exceptional circumstances.

12.       Upon receipt of an appeal, the Pro Vice-Chancellor shall convey the submissions of the candidate to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) who shall determine if a case exists for reconsideration of the candidate’s termination of enrolment. If it is determined that a case does exist, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will advise the Head of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor to allow the candidate to re-enrol and resume candidature under whatsoever conditions the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) determines. 

13.       In exceptional circumstances a former candidate whose enrolment was previously terminated may be re-admitted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on the recommendation of the relevant Head of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) after a period of time as determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) may prescribe whatsoever terms and conditions on the candidate’s re-enrolment.


4.      Essential Supporting Documents

Rules Governing Professional Doctorates (000580)


5.      Related Documents

Coursework Professional Doctorates Guideline (000775)

Rules Governing Research Higher Degrees (000830)

Approval AuthorityDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Date Approved5 December 2011
Date for Review5 December 2014
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Policy OwnerDean, Graduate Studies
Policy ContactExecutive Officer, Policy, Office of Graduate Studies
Amendment History

Creation of New Guidelines for monitoring progress of Research Professional Doctorate candidates, approved by DVC (Research) 5 December 2011.