Office of Curriculum and Academic Policy

Academic Calibration

The Academic Calibration process was set up and piloted across the Innovative Research Universities (IRUs) from 2013-2015 and is now an established procedure for benchmarking and assuring student learning outcomes across the IRU. Its purpose is fourfold, being to:

1. Demonstrate the appropriateness of the standards of learning outcomes and grades awarded in IRUs
2. Maintain and improve academic standards of IRUs
3. Enable comparisons of learning outcomes in similar subjects across IRUs
4. Promote discussion on good practice in learning and teaching in the IRUs.

The IRU’s Academic Calibration is a process of external, discipline-led, academic peer review of student learning outcomes. It is a means by which IRUs can demonstrate the use of external references to gauge the success of their student cohorts against comparable courses of study, this being a necessary part of their institutional quality assurance framework under the HESF. External calibrators undertake the following tasks:

1. Report on the appropriateness of grades awarded to a sample of students work from a core assessment item in a capstone or equivalent unit
2. Provide feedback on the relationship between assessment and learning outcomes within the selected unit
3. Consider the relationship and appropriateness of the unit within its designated course structure
4. Comment on the clarity and appropriateness of assessment design, learning outcomes and supporting materials for the unit
5. Compare the assessment and supporting items to that of other institutions.

The Academic Calibration process involves quality verification by external reviewers. It is not a moderation of grades by external examiners. External calibrators retrospectively verify the appropriateness of grades awarded to a selective, de-identified sample of student assessment after grades have been awarded to students. There is no negative impact on students in any way.

Information guides for Unit Coordinators and External Calibrators are available on this website. The Academic Calibration Procedure is located on the PPM and can be accessed here.

For further details, please contact Murdoch University’s Academic Calibration Coordinator, Dr Alison Black, at or by phone on 93602088.