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TEQSA Service Charter

1 June 2013

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s independent national regulator of the higher education sector.

TEQSA contributes to a quality higher education sector through streamlined and nationally consistent, standards-based regulation that results in the registration of all higher education providers, the accreditation of higher education courses, and sector-wide quality assurance.

Who is this service charter for?

This charter articulates TEQSA’s commitment to everyone who deals with us. This includes higher education providers, members of the public, current and prospective students at Australian higher education providers, experts and peak bodies with responsibility for representing the sector we regulate.

What you can expect from us – our principles of good service

Everyone who contacts TEQSA can expect a professional service from us in accordance with this charter. You can expect:

  • prompt, open, honest and helpful service
  • courtesy and respect from our staff we will do the best we can to help resolve your issues
  • we will be responsive to the needs of people from culturally diverse backgrounds,
  • or those with a disability or with special needs
  • your complaints will be handled professionally and as quickly as possible
  • our staff will identify themselves by their first name
  • written TEQSA correspondence will include a contact name and contact details
  • we will protect your personal information according to the law.

If your query is outside the scope of our responsibilities we will refer you to the responsible organisation.

Your responsibilities

Our ability to provide you with a high level of service is aided by you helping us. We therefore ask you to:

  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect
  • give us accurate and complete information
  • allow us sufficient time to respond to your requests

Your relationship with TEQSA

TEQSA recognises that, as the national regulator for higher education in Australia there are various parties with an interest in TEQSA’s work. This charter acknowledges these different relationships whilst committing to a number of principles for responsive service.

If you are a current higher education, ELICOS or Foundation Program provider

Your institution will be registered by TEQSA as a provider of:

  • higher education under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), and/or
  • courses to overseas students under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act); including English language (ELICOS) and Foundation Programs.

If your institution provides higher education it will be registered on the National Register of Higher Education Providers under the TEQSA Act.

If your institution provides courses of study to overseas students it will be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) under the ESOS Act.

In the course of your institution’s regulatory relationship with TEQSA it is likely that you will discuss with us matters including:

  • the assessment of your institution’s application for registration or renewal of registration under the TEQSA and/or ESOS Acts
  • the assessment of applications for course accreditation and renewal of course accreditation (where relevant)
  • material change notifications of matters that could impact on your institution’s capacity to continue to comply with the Threshold Standards
  • requests for information for regulatory compliance and quality assessment purposes
  • your institution’s ongoing compliance with both the TEQSA and ESOS frameworks.

How to contact us

Your institution will have been assigned a Case Manager who is your main contact within TEQSA on regulatory matters. Your regulatory queries should be directed to your Case Manager unless you have been informed otherwise.

You can expect that, in addition to our general principles of good service, your Case Manager will:

  • have a good understanding of the operations of your institution; and
  • seek to resolve your issues as quickly as possible, or explain why this may take more time.

We ask that you:

  • have your documentation or reference numbers ready when you talk with us; and
  • if applicable, fulfil your regulatory, financial and other obligations to TEQSA within stipulated timeframes.

In order to answer your query accurately and fully we may need to discuss our timeframe for responding to you. In doing this we will always seek to be fair and reasonable.

If you have a general enquiry relating to the regulation of higher education providers, you may find the information you need is on our website.

Alternatively, you can email TEQSA’s enquiry inbox at enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au. We will respond to most general email enquiries within 5 business days.

Your right to information, review and appeal

TEQSA has obligations under its governing legislation relating to the information it holds and the decisions it makes. TEQSA’s Public disclosure policy sets out TEQSA’s approach to public disclosures about TEQSA’s regulatory activities.

Information about TEQSA is published under the Information publication scheme. You also have the right to request access to documents we hold about your institution under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). For more information about making a request under the FOI Act, please see our Freedom of information and disclosure log page.

If you are a regulated higher education provider you will receive the reasons for our regulatory decisions. You are able to request a review of our regulatory decisions in accordance with Part 10 of the TEQSA Act.

For information on appeal rights regarding TEQSA decisions please refer to our review of TEQSA decisions page.

Commitments under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011

TEQSA also has particular statutory obligations to providers regarding the time that TEQSA may take to make regulatory decisions in relation to applications it receives for registration and course accreditation. These obligations are set out in the TEQSA Act and explained in TEQSA’s Application guides and support page. TEQSA’s performance in meeting them is reported in its annual report.

If you are a prospective higher education, ELICOS or Foundation Program provider

If you are seeking to become a higher education provider, offer ELICOS or Foundation Program courses to overseas students please refer to our website for more information about TEQSA’s registration and accreditation processes.

Overseas providers interested in delivering higher education in Australia can obtain more information on Australian Government regulatory requirements at Application guides and support page.

If you are a member of the public, a student or prospective student

If you have a general enquiry about the regulation of higher education providers you may find the information you need on our website. Our website contains information about TEQSA including the legislation and standards with which providers must comply. Students can find information specific to their interest at the Students section of our website.

Also available on our website is the National Register of Higher Education Providers. The Register is the authoritative source of information on the status of regulated higher education providers in Australia.

Alternatively, you can email TEQSA’s enquiry inbox at enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au

We aim to reply to general email enquiries within 5 business days. If you telephone us we will aim to resolve your enquiry, or if necessary, get back to you in writing with a response within 5 business days.

We may need to discuss our response date with you depending on the complexity of your query. In doing this we will always seek to be fair and reasonable.

Complaints about higher education, ELICOS or Foundation Program providers

There a number of options open to people who wish to make a complaint about a registered higher education provider. These are set out in our complaints policy available from the Complaints section of our website.

TEQSA treats complaints seriously. Any complaints TEQSA receives in writing about a provider will be kept and considered when TEQSA assesses if a provider is meeting its obligations under the TEQSA Act. Due to TEQSA’s confidentiality obligations, we are not able to inform you of any regulatory action we may take. TEQSA will, however, publish regulatory decisions made on or after 1 July 2013 on the National Register of Higher Education Providers.

Our commitment to improvement

We welcome your feedback on the effectiveness of our charter and the service provided by TEQSA staff.

We are committed to ensuring our staff members are skilled and client-focused.

We will monitor your feedback as a measure of our compliance with the service standards set out in this charter and of the effectiveness of the charter itself. We will report on our performance in our annual report.

How to provide feedback on TEQSA’s service

If you would like to offer feedback about TEQSA’s service please email enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au. We also encourage you to contact us if you feel you have received outstanding service from one of our TEQSA staff.

If you have a specific concern or complaint about TEQSA’s service, please let us know so that we can address the issue. You can send your complaint via e-mail to complaints [at] teqsa.gov.au or by letter to:

Complaints Officer

TEQSA GPO Box 1672

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

 If you are not satisfied with our response or the way that your complaint has been handled, you may wish to contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

How else can you contact us?

TEQSA can also be contacted via:

  • mail to TEQSA enquiries at GPO box 1672, Melbourne VIC 3001
  • telephone on 1300 739 585 between 8.30am and 5.00pm each working day.

You can also find a list of the relevant TEQSA contact details by clicking on the Contact us link in the top right corner of each of our web pages.