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TEQSA Service Charter

8 March 2018

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (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. 

Who is this service charter for?

This service charter sets out our 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 us can expect professional, honest and high-quality service, in accordance with this service charter. When dealing with TEQSA, you can expect that we will:

  • offer prompt, open, honest and helpful service
  • treat you with courtesy and respect
  • do the best we can to help resolve your issue
  • be responsive to the needs of people from culturally diverse backgrounds
  • be responsive to the needs of people with a disability or special needs
  • handle your complaint professionally and as quickly as possible
  • identify ourselves by our first name
  • issue any correspondence with a contact name and details
  • 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

To help us provide you with a high level of service we ask that you:

  • 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

We recognise that, as the national regulator and quality assurance agency for higher education in Australia, there are various parties with an interest in our work. This service charter acknowledges these different relationships, whilst committing to a number of principles for responsive service.

If you work for a current or prospective 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 delivers higher education, it will be registered on the National Register of Higher Education Providers under the TEQSA Act.

If your institution delivers 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.

As part of your relationship with TEQSA, it is likely that you will discuss matters regarding regulatory requirements with us, 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 
  • material change notifications of matters that could impact on your institution’s capacity to continue to comply with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
  • requests for information for regulatory compliance and quality assessment purposes
  • your institution’s ongoing compliance with both the TEQSA and/or ESOS Acts.

How to contact us

All registered higher education providers are assigned a contact person who is responsible for communicating with TEQSA regarding regulatory matters. Any regulatory queries should be directed to your contact person, unless you have been informed otherwise.

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

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

In return, we ask that you:

  • have your documentation or reference numbers ready when you talk with us
  • 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 our enquiry inbox at enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au.

Your right to information, review and appeal

TEQSA’s Public Disclosure Policy sets out our approach to sharing information about our regulatory activities. This policy deals with statements made to the public, not to individuals.

The Information Publication Scheme calls for us to publish a range of information about what we do and how it is done. Our Information Publication Scheme web page allows you to access the information we are required to publish under the scheme.  

You also have the right to request access to documents we hold under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Visit our Freedom of information and disclosure log web page for more information about making a request under the FOI Act and to access details of previously released documents.

When TEQSA makes certain regulatory decisions, you will be given reasons which outline how this decision was reached. You are able to request a review of certain regulatory decisions in accordance with Part 10 of the TEQSA Act or Part 7A of the ESOS Act. More information, including the types of decisions which can be reviewed, is available from our Review of TEQSA decisions web page.

Commitments under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011

TEQSA has statutory obligations for the time that we take to make, and notify parties of, regulatory decisions about applications for registration and course accreditation. These requirements are out in the TEQSA Act. You can view the TEQSA Act from the Federal Register of Legislation. These obligations are also explained on our Application forms and guides web page.

We also report on our performance in meeting these requirements in our annual report, which can viewed from our Corporate plan and performance reporting web page.

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

If your institution is seeking to become a higher education provider, offer ELICOS or Foundation Program courses to overseas students, please view the Providers section of our website for more information about the registration and accreditation processes.

Overseas providers interested in delivering higher education in Australia can find our more information from our FAQs web page.

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

If you have a general enquiry about the regulation or quality assurance of Australian higher education, you might find the information you need on our website. Our website has information about TEQSA and the legislation that we administer. It also has a specific section for students, which has information about how our work protects students undertaking, or proposing to undertake Australian higher education. Find out more from the Students section of our website.

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

If you can’t find the information you need on our website, you can email our enquiries inbox at enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au. 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

We accept complaints about Australian higher education providers and other entities we regulate (providers of Foundation Programs, ELICOS providers and ESOS registered providers) to gather information that assists us in the regulation and quality assurance of the sector.

However, we can only accept certain types of complaints. Further details on the types of complaints we can accept is available from the Complaints section of our website.

Due to confidentiality obligations in the TEQSA Act, we are limited in what information we can share about regulatory action we may take as a result of your complaint. We will, however, publish regulatory decisions on the National Register of Higher Education Providers.

Our commitment to improvement

We welcome your feedback on the effectiveness of this service charter and the service we provide.

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 standards set out in this service charter and of the effectiveness of the service charter itself.

We will report on our performance in our annual report which can viewed from our Corporate plan and performance reporting webpage.

How to provide feedback on TEQSA’s service

If you would like to offer feedback on our service, please email enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au. We also encourage you to contact us if you feel you have received outstanding service from our staff.

If you have a specific concern or complaint about our 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 complete our online Complaints form.

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?

You can contact us by:

  • emailing enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au
  • completing our online enquiry form
  • mailing your correspondence to TEQSA Enquiries, GPO Box 1672, Melbourne VIC 3001
  • calling 1300 739 585 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. 

For more information, visit our Contact us web page.