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TEQSA register of experts: Frequently asked questions

1 June 2014

If your question cannot be dealt with by one of the FAQ’s, submit it to TEQSA via experts [at] teqsa.gov.au. TEQSA may add the question to this document, if appropriate (with any identifying information removed).

About the Expert Register

What are Experts required to do?

Members of the TEQSA Register of Experts are expected to have and maintain significant knowledge and experience in one or more identified areas of expertise.

On most occasions Experts will be working from written assignments that identify the specific areas for advice and questions for response, although there may be times when a site visit or other working arrangements are required.

Experts provide advice on specific, identified elements of TEQSA’s regulatory assessments and reviews. They will have appropriate qualifications, combined with relevant and recent professional experience. Experts will not be drafting recommendations on applications, providing commendations, or formulating draft conditions or time periods for registration/renewal of registration and accreditation/renewal of accreditation.

Experts will be required to provide advice that contributes to TEQSA’s assessment of an application.

How long is the term of appointment?

Experts will be added to the TEQSA Register of Experts initially for two years, with an option to extend for a further two years by mutual agreement. The contracted timeframe for specific assignments will vary for each assignment issued.

What is the time commitment for being a member of the Register of Experts?

There is no set time commitment to be a member of the TEQSA Register of Experts. The time commitment required from an individual Expert will vary depending on the scope of the assignment. Experts will be approached by TEQSA with the offer of an assignment, based on their field of expertise. Where TEQSA approaches an Expert with an offer, providing they are available to meet the identified timelines, conflicts of interest are managed, and they accept the assignment, the Expert will be issued with work of varying size and scope.

Do Experts have to attend any meetings or site visits?

This will depend on the requirements of each particular assignment; however, this will not be the usual practice.

Do Experts get paid?

Yes. Experts will be paid for the assignments they complete. The time commitment and amount to be paid will be specified in the Contract offered with each assignment. Currently the daily rate paid to Experts is $621 (ex GST). This aligns with similar determinations made by the Remuneration Tribunal. The Remuneration Tribunal is the independent statutory body that handles the remuneration of key Commonwealth offices (more information can be obtained by visiting the Remuneration Tribunal's website).

TEQSA will pay for experts’ reasonable costs associated with approved travel, which includes (where required) accommodation, food and incidentals.

Any additional administrative costs associated with the provision of the service(s) (such as communication, administration, photocopying, word processing and printing) are included in the daily rate of payment and such costs are therefore to be borne by the Expert.

I would like to review the draft ‘Deed of Standing Offer’ in advance of submitting an application, can I get a copy?

Yes, please email experts [at] teqsa.gov.au.

New Applications

I would like to apply for the TEQSA Register of Experts. How can I apply?

The application form is available on the TEQSA website, and it can be completed and submitted at any time. From time to time TEQSA may conduct a targeted process to fill identified gaps in expertise and these will also be advertised on the TEQSA website and through other means.

Will TEQSA now only use experts who have applied and are registered?

No. Experts who have applied and are on the TEQSA Register of Experts will be given priority for work assignments. However, TEQSA is not restricted to only using experts who have applied to be on the TEQSA Register of Experts and from time to time may need to do so where there is a gap in the expertise available on the register, or in the availability of experts.

Can my application be for more than one area of expertise?

Yes, TEQSA is keen to attract individuals with expertise across the range of areas of interest. The application form allows for this and contextual information can be added as required.

Where can I find ASCED Fields of Education?

The Broad, Narrow and Detailed ASCED Fields of Education can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

I am from industry and have no experience working in the higher education sector, can I still apply?

Yes, all applications will be considered on their ability to meet the conditions of participation including their identified areas of expertise.

Do I need to have professional indemnity insurance to apply?

No it is not essential to have professional indemnity insurance. It is a matter for the Expert to determine whether or not a prudent supplier providing similar services would have insurance and if so the level of insurance they would have. With routine work assignments TEQSA considers the risk of litigation would be low.

Where TEQSA considers that particular insurance is necessary TEQSA will advise an Expert of this requirement prior to entering into a contract. Any insurance held by the Commonwealth does not extend to Experts.

If I am employed by an Australian registered higher education provider and they have asked me to apply to be on the TEQSA Register of Experts will I be covered by their insurance or will I need to take out my own?

Applicants should seek their own advice about any arrangements that may exist between them and their employer.

How are applications for the expert register assessed?

As a multi-use list, TEQSA assesses against the condition for participation on a pass/fail basis rather than against qualitative evaluation criteria. Members are expected to demonstrate that they have and maintain significant knowledge and experience in one or more identified areas of expertise.

In assessing this, TEQSA will consider: That qualifications align with the Australian tertiary system, or can be mapped to the Australian tertiary system; that experience is current (within the last five years) and relevant to the identified areas of expertise Applicants will not be assessed against other Applicants, as there are no limits on the number of Experts on the Register in each particular area of expertise.

Applicants will be assessed on whether they meet the criteria for inclusion.

Current Experts on the TEQSA Register of Experts

I am on the TEQSA Register of Experts but I haven’t received any work assignments yet?

TEQSA’s use of experts will largely depend on what applications are received from providers. Inclusion on the TEQSA Register of Experts does not place any obligation on TEQSA to offer any volume of assignments to you.

Experts may be offered an assignment at the discretion of TEQSA and having regard to the knowledge, skills, experience and expertise required for the assignment, geographic proximity if a site visit is required and management of any conflicts of interest.

How do I add or change areas of expertise on the register?

If you wish to add or change the areas of expertise on the register, please send an email with supporting information and documentation to the expert’s mailbox experts [at] teqsa.gov.au.

How do I change my contact details on the register?

If you wish to change your contact details on the register please send an email to the expert’s mailbox experts [at] teqsa.gov.au 

Will there be any training for experts?

TEQSA will provide an instructional video and tip sheet for using the External Experts portal so experts are able to access and respond to assignment requests, as well as issue invoices for payment.

TEQSA is also considering what other facilitated training may be useful for experts. If you have any thoughts you can provide this feedback to experts [at] teqsa.gov.au.

Do I need to sign a new contract every time I accept a work assignment?

Yes, when offered your first assignment as an Expert you will be required to sign the overarching ‘Deed of standing Offer’ and for each subsequent assignment you will be required to sign a new Schedule.

Can the contract and payment be directly with my employer rather than with me?

Yes, however, TEQSA will assess whether there are any additional conflict of interest considerations related to a given assignment where the contract is to be with an employer (particularly a higher education provider), including when determining whether the assignment offer is made.

Please notify TEQSA via experts [at] teqsa.gov.au if this will be the case, as it will require some modification to the standard contracting templates.

Will the provider whose application is being assessed see my expert report?

In some cases. As part of the assessment of an application to TEQSA from a higher education provider, the provider may be given a copy of the report prepared by an external expert.

What if I don’t have an ABN?

If an Expert does not have an ABN it may impact on the amount of tax withheld from the daily rate. You will need to complete a Statement by Supplier available from the Australian Taxation Office website Statement by a supplier (reason for not quoting an ABN to an enterprise).

Can I promote myself as a TEQSA expert on my website?

A member of the TEQSA Register of Experts must not represent themselves as being endorsed, accredited, an assessor or an auditor of TEQSA. The Expert may refer to themselves as a member of the TEQSA Register of Experts. Any reference to TEQSA on your website should comply with this requirement.

What if I am asked to review a document and I consider there is a conflict of interest?

Experts have the opportunity to reject the offer of an assignment, before commencing. If the conflict becomes apparent only after the assignment has commenced, the Expert should contact their TEQSA Contract Manager to discuss.

Will I ever need to work with other Experts when completing an assignment?

This will depend on the requirements of each particular assignment; however this will not be the usual practice. There may also be times when responses from multiple Experts need to be moderated through discussion.