New legislative instrument increases higher education sector protections
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has issued a legislative instrument outlining matters the agency may take into account when determining whether a person is ‘fit and proper’ under requirements of the TEQSA Act.
Amendments to the TEQSA Act in 2017 introduced a requirement that all registered higher education providers, and key personnel for those providers, must be fit and proper persons.
TEQSA chief executive Anthony McClaran said that the inclusion of the fit and proper person requirement was made to ensure people who had previously been associated with unscrupulous activities in other sectors did not become involved in Australian higher education.
“TEQSA undertook extensive consultation with the sector to ensure the instrument is fit for purpose and improves the agency’s capacity to protect and enhance the quality and integrity of Australia’s higher education sector”, said Mr McClaran.
"The legislative instrument provides TEQSA and the higher education sector with an important protection, that those charged with high-level decision making are fit to take on such a responsibility."
TEQSA received a number of submissions during public consultation on the development of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Fit and Proper Person Determination 2018. The instrument takes into account the broad feedback received.
The specific matters to which TEQSA may have regard include a person’s compliance with the law, financial records, management history and previous conduct and involvements.
Guidance on the use and application of the instrument will be issued in the coming months to provide further clarity on TEQSA’s approach to determining whether a person is fit and proper.
Raphael May, Assistant Director, Communications: raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au, 0437 143 012 or (03) 8306 2536