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TEQSA Register of External Experts: Frequently asked questions

17 June 2021

If your question does not appear in one of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below, please submit it to us via engaging.experts [at] teqsa.gov.au.

About the TEQSA Register of External Experts

What are experts required to do?

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

On most occasions external 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.

External 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. External 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.

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

How long is the term of appointment?

External experts are appointed to the TEQSA Register of External Experts initially for three years. The contracted timeframe for specific assignments will vary for each assignment issued.

What is the time commitment for a work assignment?

There is no set time commitment for a work assignment. The time commitment required from an individual external expert will vary depending on the scope of work identified for each assignment. External experts will be approached by TEQSA with the offer of a work 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 external expert will be issued with work. 

Do experts have to attend any meetings or site visits?

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

Do experts get paid?

Yes. External experts are 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 $864.70 (including GST). 

TEQSA will pay for external 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 individual expert. 

New applications

I would like to apply to be listed on TEQSA’s Register of External Experts. How can I apply?

From time to time, we may conduct a targeted process to fill identified gaps in external expertise and these will also be advertised on the TEQSA website, across our social media channels and via the TEQSA newsletter. 

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

No. External experts who have applied and are on the TEQSA Register of External Experts will be given priority for work assignments. However, we are not restricted to only using experts who have applied to be on the Register. From time to time, we may need to look outside the Register if there is a gap in the expertise available on the Register or in the availability of external experts. 

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

Yes, TEQSA is keen to attract individuals with broad expertise across a range of areas of interest.

Where can I find Australian Standard Classification of Education (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, we consider the risk of litigation would be low.

Where we consider that particular insurance is necessary TEQSA will advise an external expert of this requirement prior to entering into a contract. Any insurance held by the Commonwealth does not extend to external 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 External 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 TEQSA Register of External Experts assessed?

As the Register is a multi-use list, we assess 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, we will consider what 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.

Existing experts on the TEQSA Register of External Experts

I am on the Register of External Experts but I haven’t received any work assignments yet, why is this so?

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

External 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 engaging experts team at engaging.experts [at] teqsa.gov.au.

How do I change my contact details on the Register?

Changes to your basic information can be made through the external experts portal via the 'My Profile' tab. If you experience difficulty with this or wish to change your email address, please send an email to the engaging experts team at engaging.experts [at] teqsa.gov.au.

Will there be any training for experts?

We provide a 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. 

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

Yes, each time an expert is contacted for an assignment a new contract is issued outlining the required undertaking including length of the assignment. This contract must be signed, witnessed and returned prior to any work commencing.

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

Yes, however, TEQSA will assess whether there are any additional conflicts 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 the engaging experts team via engaging.experts [at] teqsa.gov.au if this will be the case, as it will require a modification to the standard contract.

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

In most cases, yes. As part of the assessment of an application to TEQSA from a higher education provider, the provider is usually given a copy of the report prepared by an external expert.

What if I don’t have an Australian Business Number (ABN)?

It is not a requirement for external experts to have an ABN in order to undertake assignments for TEQSA. If an external expert does not have an ABN, it may impact the amount of tax withheld from the daily rate. You will need to complete a Statement by Supplier form which is available from the Australian Taxation Office website. A copy of this form can also be found within the external experts portal.

Can I promote myself as a TEQSA External Expert on my website?

A member of the TEQSA Register of External Experts must not represent themselves as being endorsed, accredited, an assessor or an auditor of TEQSA. External experts listed on the Register may refer to themselves as a member of the TEQSA Register of External Experts and 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?

Conflicts of interest can occur at any time. External experts have the opportunity to reject the offer of a TEQSA assignment before commencing. If the conflict becomes apparent only after the assignment has commenced, the external expert should contact their TEQSA Contract Manager immediately to discuss.

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

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