Higher education standards framework

Standards Transition Reference Group

As part of its transition project arrangements, TEQSA has established the Standards Transition Reference Group. The Reference Group consists of:

  • a Chair (the TEQSA CEO Mr Anthony McClaran)
  • 9 other members, with representatives from:
    • Universities Australia (Professor Jane Long, Professor Philippa Pattison)
    • ACPET (Mr Andrew Crevald)
    • COPHE (Dr Don Owers, Mr Adrian McComb)
    • TAFE Directors Australia (Ms IIi Pelletier)
    • IEAA (Hon. Phil Honeywood)
    • The inaugural HESP (Ms Adrienne Nieuwenhuis)
    • a representative from the Department of Education and Training (Mr Stephen Erskine)

The function of the Reference Group is to provide advice to TEQSA on the transition approach and strategies, with particular reference to the impact of the transition on providers.  In particular, the Reference Group is invited to note or provide comment on:

  1. the approach TEQSA has taken to prioritise the development and release of key materials over multiple stages, in order to expedite support for providers in the transition to the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
  2. the suitability of sample materials for providers (for example the Framework Overview and Guidance Notes)
  3. TEQSA’s recommendations for handling considerations and other process issues arising from the transition
  4. the proposed approach to briefing and engaging providers

The Reference Group members may consult interested parties when performing their functions, as required.

The Terms of Reference are available for download below.

The first meeting was held on 4 March 2016.

2016 Provider roundtables

During April and May TEQSA will run a series of provider roundtables in most capital cities. The roundtables will be hosted by TEQSA CEO Mr Anthony McClaran alongside a member of the TEQSA Commission and are designed to:

  • give providers a brief update on TEQSA’s implementation of the streamlined assessment approaches introduced during 2015, and
  • outline and discuss our approach to implementing the new Higher Education Standards Framework which applies from 1 January 2017.

Invitations to the roundtables will be sent to providers during March. For further information, email standards@teqsa.gov.au.

Transition to the new Higher Education Standards Framework 2015

TEQSA currently registers and evaluates the performance of higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 (a legislative instrument).

A revised framework, formally titled the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015, was tabled in both houses of Parliament on 12 October 2015. The Framework will take effect as a legislative instrument from 1 January 2017.

TEQSA has already begun planning for the transition to the revised framework, including revising application forms and guides as well as guidance notes. TEQSA will give particular emphasis to ensuring higher education providers with applications due in the next 18 months are informed about the commencement of the revised standards. Information about the context and guiding principles underpinning this work can be found in the document below:

In accordance with transition arrangements in the instrument, all applications for higher education provider registration or reregistration and all applications for course accreditation or reaccreditation lodged on or after 1 January 2017 will be assessed against the revised standards framework. TEQSA will continue to assess any applications made before 1 January 2017 against the requirements of the 2011 Framework.

The revised framework was developed by the Higher Education Standards Panel following an iterative consultation process during 2012-14, and will support TEQSA’s use of a risk-based approach to performing its functions. In particular, the revised standards are designed to facilitate internal quality assurance and informed decision making by students.

Further information on the updated Higher Education Standards Framework