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Guidance notes

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On 1 July 2021, the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 came into effect. Resources on this page are being progressively updated to reflect the updated standards. More information about the differences between the 2015 and 2021 Standards.

The Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework) has applied since 1 January 2017. 

From a regulatory perspective, all applications made: 

  • before 1 January 2017 will be assessed against the HES Framework 2011 
  • on or after 1 January 2017 will be assessed against the HES Framework 2015. 

Material Change Notification Policy (HES Framework 2015)

View the Material Change Notification Policy

Please direct any feedback to standards [at] teqsa.gov.au.

Guidance notes (HES Framework 2015)

The resources published on this page are not instructional or ‘how to’ documents for compliance with the new HES Framework.

TEQSA publishes guidance notes, to provide greater clarity for providers in the interpretation and application of selected standards. Guidance notes draw on our regulatory experience and knowledge of experts in the higher education sector.

Guidance Notes usually focus on a single topic (such as academic leadership, for example). The Guidance Note typically outlines:

  • the nature of the topic
  • the relevant standards in the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) that relate to the topic
  • the underlying intent of those standards
  • the risks to the quality of education if the topic is not addressed sufficiently by a provider
  • the evidence that TEQSA is likely to look for to be satisfied that the requirements of the HESF are being met.   

Comments and feedback on guidance notes can be emailed to standards [at] teqsa.gov.au.

Current guidance notes

Guidance note Last updated
Academic Governance 11 October 2017
Academic Integrity  28 March 2019
Academic Leadership (beta version) 18 June 2019
Academic Quality Assurance 11 October 2017
Admissions (coursework) (beta version) 8 February 2021
Changes in a Course of Study that may lead to Accreditation as a New Course 6 March 2017
Corporate Governance 26 August 2019
Course Design (including Learning Outcomes and Assessment) 11 October 2017
Credit and RPL [full title: Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning] 15 March 2019
Determining Professional Equivalence – [full title: Determining Equivalence of Professional Experience and Academic Qualifications] 11 October 2017
Diversity and Equity 11 October 2017
ELICOS Direct Entry 5 June 2019
External Referencing [full title: External Referencing (including Benchmarking)] 16 April 2019
Financial Assessment 11 April 2019
Financial Standing  11 April 2019
Grievance and Complaint Handling 22 February 2019
Joint and Dual Awards 11 October 2017
Monitoring and Analysis of Student Performance (beta version) 6 January 2020
Nested Courses  13 August 2019
Research and Research Training 5 July 2018
Scholarship 12 December 2018
Staffing, Learning Resources and Educational Support  22 November 2017
Technology-Enhanced Learning  11 April 2019
TEQSA and the Australian Qualifications Framework 27 August 2019
Third-Party Arrangements  8 October 2019
Transnational Higher Education - Inbound [full title: Transnational Higher Education into Australia (including international providers seeking to offer higher education in Australia)] 11 October 2017
Varying a Period of Registration or Accreditation 26 August 2019
Wellbeing and Safety  8 January 2018
Work-Integrated Learning 11 October 2017
Workforce Planning 3 April 2019

Good practice notes

Guide to determining the fitness and propriety of a person

This guidance sets out the principles and considerations that TEQSA will have regard to when assessing fitness and propriety for the purposes of the TEQSA Act. 

Independent Experts engaged by providers 

This document provides guidance to providers on selecting a suitable independent expert to conduct a review or seek expert advice as part of their internal quality assurance processes.