Pre-Application Minimum Requirements Guidance for Potential Higher Education Providers

Applicants should carefully consider whether they meet all of the requirements for registration as a Higher Education Provider (HEP) before applying. Applicants should consult with TEQSA beforehand to ensure that they understand the evidence requirements. At the preliminary stages, they should consider whether they meet (or are well positioned to meet) the following fundamental requirements before proceeding to develop an application.

Applicants are advised to only consider applying for registration as a HEP if they meet the following requirements at a minimum. This guidance is intended to be used by applicants to ensure that some of the major shortcomings that commonly arise in applications for registration have been addressed. This guidance is not a summary or restatement of all relevant criteria, Standards or matters that TEQSA will consider in assessing an application for registration.

Before applying to TEQSA for registration as a higher education provider, applicants should ensure that they are able to demonstrate that:

1. The applicant is an entity of a type listed under the definition of ‘regulated entity’ at section 5 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act).

2. The applicant has a clearly articulated higher education purpose that includes a commitment to and support for free intellectual inquiry in its academic endeavours. Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework 2015), Standard B1.1.2.

3. The applicant has a formally constituted governing body, which includes independent members, that exercises competent governance oversight of and is accountable for all of the HEP’s operations in or from Australia. HES Framework 2015, Part A, Standard 6.1.1.

4. Members of the applicant’s governing body are fit and proper persons. HES Framework 2015, Part A, Standard 6.1.2.

5. Members of the applicant’s governing body meet the Australian residency requirements (if any) of the instrument under which the applicant is established or incorporated, or otherwise there are at least two members of the governing body who are ordinarily resident in Australia. HES Framework 2015, Part A, Standard 6.1.2.

6. The proposed staffing complement for each course of study is sufficient to meet the educational, academic support and administrative needs of student cohorts undertaking the course, including oversight by academic leaders with sufficient experience to develop a higher education learning environment. HES Framework 2015, Part A, Standard 3.2.1.

7. The applicant can demonstrate, and the corporate governing body assures itself, that the provider is operating effectively and sustainably and in compliance with all relevant legislative requirements and the entity’s constitution or equivalent. HES Framework 2015, Part A, Standard 6.2.1.

8. The application for registration is in the approved form, accompanied by any information, documents and assistance requested by TEQSA (including a concurrent application for accreditation of at least one higher education course and all other information specified in the relevant application guide) as well as the relevant fee. Section 18(3) of the TEQSA Act.