In response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Australian Government implemented the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (the Framework) to ensure minimum standards for child safe behaviours and practices are in place at Commonwealth entities.
TEQSA is Australia’s independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education. Our purpose is to safeguard student interests and the reputation of Australia’s higher education sector by assuring the quality of higher education providers through a proportionate, risk-reflective approach to regulation. Although TEQSA’s business activities do not directly involve interaction with children, the organisation is committed to regularly reviewing any potential risks, roles and business interactions to ensure a culture of awareness and continuous improvement is promoted. TEQSA does not fund third party providers to deliver services to children.
TEQSA is compliant with the Framework’s four key requirements; however, we acknowledge the need for continued awareness and compliance to ensure our agency remains child safe. The agency has zero tolerance for child abuse, neglect and exploitation. TEQSA evaluates risks to child safety in relation to its activities and operations, and monitors the strategies implemented in managing identified risks. The annual risk assessment did not identify any additional risks between the 2022 and 2023 assessments. The existing risks are rated with minor risk classifications and there are controls in place to manage these.
TEQSA has recently updated its child safety policy and will continue to review the policy annually to ensure the agency is up to date with best practice child safety measures. The agency incorporates the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations into its culture and practices where these apply. TEQSA has implemented the following strategies and practices to support a child safe culture:
- incorporating the Framework into its annual mandatory training requirements and annual performance review process
- building staff capability by offering online child safety training
- during recruitment activities, directors review roles for potential interactions with children and determine if roles will be classified as child safe positions
- maintaining a register of child safe positions and Working with Children Checks (WWCC).