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Application Guide for Initial Registration as a New Higher Education Provider

Including related course accreditation application(s) - Version 3.14
22 February 2018

For applications submitted from 1 January 2017 onwards.

Use this guide when applying to be registered as a higher education provider for the first time.

This guide should be read before you submit your applications through TEQSA’s online portal.

Section A: Background

Purpose

This guide provides information about and explains the process new providers will need to follow when applying to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to be registered in the category of higher education provider for the first time. It covers:

  • applications for initial registration
  • applications for initial course accreditation.

Applications from new providers are considered under Part 3, Division 1 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act). Applications for course accreditation are considered under Part 4 of the TEQSA Act[1].

Each new provider will need to demonstrate that they meet the relevant Standards contained in Part A of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework). All new providers will also need to meet all the criteria for the Higher Education Provider Category (Part B1.1), and new providers applying for one of the University categories (Parts B1.1-1.4) will need to meet the additional criteria for one of those categories.

An application for registration as a Higher Education Provider must be accompanied by an application for accreditation of at least one course of study.

The Standards in Part A that apply to an application for registration and course accreditation for the first time are indicated in the tables of evidence in Appendix A of this guide, together with the corresponding evidence requirements. Appendix A Table 1 summarises the differences between the Standards that apply to each application.

The evidence required will be documented by TEQSA in the form of the Confirmed Evidence Table for Registration and the Confirmed Evidence Table for Initial Course Accreditation, and sent to you.

For assistance in understanding the requirements of the HES Framework, new providers should refer to the guidance on this website in the first instance, which includes an overview of each Domain of the HES Framework and detailed guidance notes on particular topics.

University categories

There is a related application guide for new providers wishing to apply for registration in one of the university categories. New providers must read that guide and consult TEQSA before preparing an application for registration in a university category for the first time.

Section B: Overview of application process

Process overview

Stage 1 At least six months prior to submission, contact TEQSA to clarify application evidence requirements

Applicant and TEQSA

Stage 2 Submit your application to TEQSA in the approved form, with the required evidence (based on the Confirmed Evidence Table) and the preliminary assessment fees

 

Applicant

Stage 3Preliminary Assessment by TEQSA

TEQSA makes an initial assessment of the applications and confirms to the applicant whether they have applied in the appropriate category and whether any further documentation needs to be provided before a substantive assessment can be made (substantive assessment fee applies)

 

 

Applicant and TEQSA

Stage 4 Substantive Assessment by TEQSA

After payment of fee(s), TEQSA staff assess the application and document their findings

 

TEQSA

Stage 5 TEQSA sends draft findings to the applicant for comment
(only in the case of an adverse outcome). Relevant comments will be taken into account by the TEQSA Commission in arriving at its decision

 

TEQSA

Stage 6 Decision is made

TEQSA notifies the provider of the outcome of the assessments

 

TEQSA

Stage 7 If TEQSA registers the applicant and accredits its course(s), TEQSA enters the details in the National Register

 

TEQSA

Stage 1: Clarify application requirements

1.1 Pre-submission liaison

It is essential to contact TEQSA at least six months before starting to prepare applications for initial registration and course accreditation, using the new.registration.enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au mailbox.

TEQSA will respond to your enquiry, and, as appropriate, send you an application form for access to the provider portal, through which you will be able to submit your applications, including supporting evidence. Follow up enquiries to support the preparation of your application should be made using the new.registration.enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au mailbox.

1.2 Evidence requirements

All applications for registration and course accreditation should include specific items of evidence with reference to the generic lists in Tables 2-4 in Appendix A. Providers should note that these lists of evidence in the tables are indicative. TEQSA will establish a final list of evidence for each application using the Confirmed Evidence Table for Registration and the Confirmed Evidence Table for Initial Course Accreditation. The tables of evidence are quite extensive, as TEQSA will not have any prior evidence about your organisation to draw on.

The tables cover:

  • Criteria for Classification of Higher Education Provider Categories
  • Applicable Standards for Registration
  • Applicable Standards for Course Accreditation.

There will be separate online application forms in the portal to complete and submit for registration and for each course accreditation. These forms are structured around the relevant Standards for each application. In general, plans, policies and procedures will be most relevant to the application for registration, whereas course-specific information will be relevant to the applications for course accreditation. For example, admissions policies and procedures will be assessed in relation to the application for registration, whereas information about selection criteria for specific courses would be included in course documentation and assessed in relation to an application for course accreditation. Appendices D and E list additional information and evidence you will be required to enter into the online forms for the registration and course accreditation applications.

1.3 Application for CRICOS registration

Applications for CRICOS registration are normally made after registration as a higher education provider has been approved. To be approved for registration on CRICOS, a provider must provide evidence that it meets the requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code). Discuss this with your case manager after registration as a higher education provider is approved. Further information is available on the TEQSA website.

Stage 2: Submit application to TEQSA

2.1 Submitting your application

When you are ready to start submitting your applications, contact TEQSA to request access to the provider portal. When you receive your provider portal login and password details, you will also be sent a Confirmed Evidence Table for each application. The provider portal makes it easy for you to develop your applications, allowing you to work on them progressively online and submit them to TEQSA when you have finished. You can generate a PDF version of your application at any time to see how your application is progressing. You can edit your evidence (including by deleting documents) in any section, up until your application is submitted. You can also respond to information requests online and submit any additional evidence that may be requested via the portal.

In your applications, you are encouraged to use URLs and hyperlinks where possible for information that TEQSA can easily download from your website. It is expected that the basis for much of your evidence will be documentation that will be used for internal purposes, and has not been developed only for the purposes of your submission to TEQSA. The portal acts as a document repository and you will be able to use documents saved to the portal again in future TEQSA applications, where they are still current.

When your applications are complete, you must submit them to TEQSA via the provider portal. Be sure to include:

  • your required information and evidence
  • the completed Confirmed Evidence Table for each application, updated by you with the document titles/URL details for the specific evidence provided in the online form. Such evidence should use the naming conventions described in the guidance note on Naming Conventions for Evidence (available on TEQSA’s website as well as in the online application form)
  • a signed declaration.

After you submit your application you will receive an itemised invoice as final confirmation of your application and request for payment. Note that TEQSA does not have an online payment facility.

TEQSA will only start to work on assessing your application after it has been submitted and TEQSA has received your application fees. Once your applications have been submitted and paid, you will be assigned a case manager.

Ensure that your application includes:

  • all required evidence as outlined in your Confirmed Evidence Tables
  • clearly labelled evidence (i.e. documents and/or URL links using the naming conventions described in the guidance mote on Naming Conventions for Evidence) so that TEQSA can easily locate and reference them
  • references to relevant sections in longer documents.

Access supporting material about applying for initial registration and course accreditation. Access supporting material relating to the new HES Framework.

2.2 Payment of assessment fees

In order for assessment of both your registration and course accreditation applications to commence, you must pay your assessment fee(s) when you receive an invoice from TEQSA. A fee is payable at both the preliminary assessment stage as well as at the substantive assessment stage. These fees are not refundable in the event that an applicant withdraws the application.

The application fees do not attract GST (see TEQSA fees).

TEQSA’s ABN is: 50 658 250 012.

Stage 3: Preliminary assessment

TEQSA will undertake a preliminary assessment to check if you have provided all the required evidence as agreed in Stage 1. Within 30 calendar days of receiving your application and your preliminary assessment fee, your case manager will advise you whether your application (including the required evidence) is complete. The application will only be valid, and TEQSA will only proceed to the substantive assessment phase, where the requirements of sections 18(3) and 46(2) of the TEQSA Act are met. These sections state that applications for registration within a particular provider category and for initial course accreditation must be:

  • in the approved form (the online application form provided in the TEQSA provider portal), and accompanied by:
    • any information, documents and assistance that TEQSA requests, and
    • the relevant fee.

Note that a complete application for registration must be accompanied by an application for accreditation of at least one course of study.

You will then need to decide whether to proceed with the application process. If you decide to proceed, the substantive assessment fee must be paid.

If TEQSA determines that an application is not valid, you will be informed of the reason(s) and provided with the opportunity to address the concern(s).

Stage 4: Substantive assessment

TEQSA will undertake a substantive assessment of your applications upon receipt of your substantive application fee. TEQSA case managers will use a range of methods to ascertain whether the evidence submitted confirms that the applicant meets the relevant Standards. TEQSA may assess the application against all registration Standards and Category Criteria in the HES Framework or, where TEQSA considers that a decision is capable of being made on an assessment of a subset of these Standards, TEQSA may assess the application against particular Standards.

4.1 Requests for further information

In some cases, TEQSA may request further information, documents, or assistance during the substantive assessment stage as questions arise. For example, your case manager may need to clarify aspects of your evidence or documentation or how certain policies and procedures will be implemented in practice.

4.2 Use of experts

TEQSA may obtain input from a number of external experts to inform the analysis of specific parts of the application and where appropriate, assist TEQSA to prepare draft findings. The input from experts forms part of the evidence TEQSA will use in its assessment process and decision making.

Wherever TEQSA uses external experts as part of the assessment process, you will be given an opportunity to state whether you consider any of the experts would have a conflict of interest in relation to your application, and TEQSA will take this into account before deciding whether to engage the expert.

4.3 Provider visits

TEQSA will visit one or more of your proposed delivery sites or headquarters. At this visit, TEQSA may, for example, inspect facilities, equipment and resources, or clarify how relevant procedures, policies and operations are to be implemented. Provider visits are another way of collecting evidence, and TEQSA will use observations and discussions held at a provider visit in its assessment and decision making to supplement or validate your written evidence. At the provider visit, TEQSA may interview various groups including staff and members of corporate and academic boards.

Your case manager will consult with you in advance to:

  • clarify the scope of assessment to be covered during the provider visit(s)
  • ensure the date, timing and length of the visit(s) are appropriate
  • share a program for the visit(s) and refine it with you
  • arrange appropriate logistics, including the availability of key stakeholders, such as teaching staff, academic managers, and external advisors for the course of study.

Stage 5: Findings and recommendations

At the conclusion of the assessment, an assessment report is prepared that includes recommendations to the TEQSA Commission about your application for registration. Reports are also prepared for the application(s) for course accreditation.

If an assessment report recommends that the TEQSA Commission: (a) reject an application, or (b) approve an application but impose conditions, TEQSA will send you the report(s) for comment before TEQSA Commission makes a decision. The report will include the reasons for the proposed decision. TEQSA may also send you any relevant evidence you might not have previously seen, such as findings from any external experts used.

Stage 6: Commission decision

The TEQSA Commission will consider the recommendations arising from an assessment.

In reaching a decision, the TEQSA Commission will take into account the three basic principles for regulation outlined in the Process notes below.

The TEQSA Commission may decide to:

  • approve an application
  • approve the application and impose conditions on the registration and/or course accreditation, or
  • reject the application.

Where a recommendation to reject an application or impose conditions is made, the TEQSA Commission will take into account any comments you have made on the assessment report and other information provided.

6.1 Notifying you of the decision

TEQSA will send you a notice of decision within 30 calendar days of making a decision to grant or reject your application, which will include the details of any conditions placed on your registration or course accreditation(s). In some cases, TEQSA may also request further information monitoring of your ongoing compliance with the HES Framework and/or may notify you of areas that may be explored further in future regulatory processes. TEQSA may also make observations about areas for improvement to support quality enhancement.

If an application has been rejected, or if conditions have been imposed on your registration or course accreditation(s), the notice of decision will be accompanied by a statement of reasons.

6.2 Review of decisions

Processes are in place to review certain decisions made by TEQSA. See our Review of TEQSA decisions page.

Stage 7: TEQSA updates the National Register

7.1 Public report

TEQSA normally publishes reports of decisions about provider registration and course accreditation to facilitate transparency of TEQSA’s processes, regulatory decisions and the reasons for those decisions.

A public report contains TEQSA’s decision and the reasons for the decision. This report is published on the National Register of Higher Education Providers after TEQSA has considered any feedback you may have given on a draft version provided to you.

TEQSA’s policy on public reports.

7.2 Updating the National Register

Where an application for an initial registration and course accreditation has been approved, a new entry will be made in the National Register of Higher Education Providers in the approved category. Where conditions are imposed on the registration of a provider and/or its courses, details of those conditions will also be published.

Updates to the National Register are published at least monthly.

Process notes

Case management model

TEQSA assigns particular staff members to work with each provider for all of its regulatory processes. Dialogue between providers and case managers is critical to clarify the specific evidence required (both amount and type of evidence), and to discuss provider selection of the type of supporting documents most useful to submit.

Regulatory principles

Part 2 of the TEQSA Act requires TEQSA to comply with three basic principles of regulation, namely the principles of: regulatory necessity, reflecting risk and proportionate regulation. These principles underpin TEQSA’s decisions in relation to applications for registration or course accreditation.

Assessment timeframes

TEQSA will ordinarily advise you of the outcome of its assessment within nine months of payment of the substantive assessment fee. TEQSA will aim to complete the assessment within six months. However, this timeframe may be shorter or longer, subject to a range of factors that can impede or assist the process, such as:

  • the regulatory history of an existing provider and outcomes of previous assessments directly relevant to the application
  • the strength and relevance of evidence presented by the provider
  • the risk of non-compliance with the HES Framework and the ability of the provider to mitigate those risks
  • the time taken by the provider to respond effectively to requests for information
  • the level of resourcing available to TEQSA.

Confidentiality and accuracy of information

TEQSA has statutory obligations in relation to confidentiality; however, it operates within a public accountability framework. Where a prospective higher education provider considers that its information should be treated as confidential by TEQSA the provider should contact TEQSA (new.registration.enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au) or the TEQSA case manager (once assigned) before providing the information. View details about TEQSA’s approach to confidential information.

Providing false or misleading information in an application is a serious offence under the TEQSA Act.

 

Version #

Date

Key changes

1.0

29 January 2012

 

2.0

October 2012

 

2.1

July 2013

 

2.2

October 2013

 

2.3

October 2014

 

3.0

13 April 2016

Updated for the HESF 2015 and made available as beta version

for consultation.

3.1

26 September 2016

Evidence tables updated and feedback from consultation incorporated.

3.2

10 October 2016

Appendix D replaced (Unit Outlines) with a TEQSA template and addition of Appendix F (Definition of a related entity).

3.3

3 November 2016

Appendices A (Tables 2-4) and D updated.

3.4

13 December 2016

Tables 3 (Domains 1 and 7) and Table 4 (Domain 3) updated.

3.5

20 January 2017

Wording updated to reflect HESF 2015 now in effect, references to the Confirmed Evidence Table for Renewal of Registration added, and minor clarifications made in relation to Guidance Note on Naming Conventions for Evidence.

3.6

2 February 2017

Appendix D updated to note that the abbreviated CV is required for the CEO and Academic Director only.

3.7

6 March 2017

Table 3 updated to reflect requirement of the schedule of planned course development for the next three years to be provided, and Appendix D updated to reflect requirement of the list of courses provided under other registration(s) to be provided to TEQSA as part of this application.

3.8

18 April 2017

Requirements for nested courses (Appendix E) clarified. Stage 4 updated for the streamlined approach and expanded use of experts. Table 3 updated for compliance with related legislation (including working with children requirements, if applicable). Table 4 updated to note that the evidence for Section 1.4 is covered in the evidence for course design (Section 3.1).

3.9

3 May 2017

Updated the evidence requirements for Domain 2 (for Standard 2.1.2) in Table 3. Relevant Standards and paragraphs of Standards in Table 4 updated (Domains 1, 2 and 7).

3.10

29 May 2017

Updated to reflect ‘if applicable’ Standards (Table 3) and to clarify note for Domain 1 in Table 4.

3.11

21 June 2017

Updates to Table 4 (clarification that the abbreviated CV is required for all academic staff for all employment types).

3.12

24 July

Update on references to confirmed evidence table and case managers in Stages 1 to 4. Addition that nested courses must be added to the application and paid for.

3.13

6 September 2017

Additional evidence required for Table 4 (Domain 3 Teaching), for copies of teaching materials and assessment tasks for at least one core unit of study.

3.14 22 February 2018 Clarification of unit outline evidence requirements.

 

Appendix A

Table 1. Summary of applicable Standards by application type

STANDARDS

REGISTRATION

ACCREDITATION

1. Student Participation and Attainment

1.1. Admission

*

*

1.2. Credit and RPL

*

*

1.3. Orientation and Progression

*

*

1.4. Learning Outcomes and Assessment

 

*

1.5. Qualifications and Certification

 

*

2. Learning Environment

2.1. Facilities and Infrastructure

*

*

2.2. Diversity and Equity

*

*

2.3. Wellbeing and Safety

*

* (if concurrent with ESOS Assessment)

2.4. Student Grievances and Complaints

*

 

3. Teaching

3.1. Course Design

 

*

3.2. Staffing

*

*

3.3. Learning Resources and Educational Support

*

*

4. Research and Research Training

4.1. Research

* (if applicable)

* (if applicable)

4.2. Research Training

 

* (if applicable)

5. Institutional Quality Assurance

5.1. Course Approval and Accreditation

*

*

5.2. Academic and Research Integrity

*

 

5.3. Monitoring, Review and Improvement

*

*

5.4. Delivery with Other Parties

* (if applicable)

* (if applicable)
 

6. Governance and Accountability

6.1. Corporate Governance

*

 

6.2. Corporate Monitoring and Accountability

*

6.2.1.i

6.3. Academic Governance

*

 

7. Representation, Information and Information Management

7.1. Representation

*

*

7.2. Information for Prospective and Current Students

*

*

7.3. Information Management

*

*

 

 

 

Table 2. HEP Category Criteria indicative evidence requirements (Part B 1.1)

CRITERIA

INDICATIVE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

1. MEETING STANDARDS AND OFFERING AT LEAST ONE ACCREDITED COURSE

1. No evidence required in addition to the evidence required for all the other applicable Standards

2. HIGHER EDUCATION PURPOSE AND FREE INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY

1. Brief narrative overview (see Appendix B)

1.1. Refer to sections relevant to higher education purpose in (for example) constitution, strategic plan

1.2. Cross refer to evidence required for Standard 6.1.4

3. TEACHING AND LEARNING THAT ENGAGE WITH ADVANCED KNOWLEDGE AND INQUIRY

1. Brief narrative overview (see Appendix B)

1.1. Cross-refer to relevant features in course documentation and staffing at Standards 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2 and 3.2.3

2. Policy documents on teaching and learning approach and/or teaching and learning plan or similar

4. SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH

 

1. Framework of policy and procedures for development of scholarship

1.1. Cross refer to Standards 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.3, 4.1.2 and 4.2.2 (if applicable)

2. Framework of policy and procedures for research and research training (if applicable)

2.1. Cross refer to evidence required for Standards in Domain 4, Tables 3 and 4 below

3. Template position descriptions for academic leaders, academic staff members, and research-capable staff members

4. For any academic staff members appointed or identified so far, provide an aggregated list of scholarly and research output (using the TEQSA template for the aggregated list of scholarly and research output)

 

Table 3. Registration – indicative evidence requirements (Part A Domains 1-7)

STANDARDS

INDICATIVE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

1. STUDENT PARTICIPATION AND ATTAINMENT

1.1-1.3

1. Overview of strategies, policies and procedures for admission, credit and RPL, and orientation and progression (see Appendix B)

2. Policies and procedures for:

2.1. admission, ensuring that admission policies and requirements will be fairly and consistently applied with transparent implementation

2.2. credit and recognition of prior learning, ensuring that these will be fairly and consistently applied to ensure the integrity of each course and ensure that students are positioned to achieve the required learning outcomes

2.3. valid assessment of student progress, including policies on:

  • student progress
  • assessment, including moderation of assessment
  • identifying and supporting students at risk

2.4. assessment of English language proficiency

3. Contractual arrangements with students including pro-forma standard offers of admission to and acceptances by students, including fee change and refund policies and any documents or conditions incorporated by reference in student contracts

4. Planned orientation program(s)

5. Planned academic and other student support services (including study skills and English language) (cross-refer to Standard 2.3.3)

Note: Evidence relating to the specification, alignment and assessment of learning outcomes is covered in the evidence for course design (Domain 3), required under the Course Accreditation Standards in Table 1 of the HES Framework.

2. LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

2.1-2.4

1. Overview of the learning environment (see Appendix B)

2. Certificate(s) of occupancy or equivalent for all buildings (reflecting the current use and layout of the building) that includes the legal capacity for each level of each building at any one time

3. A timetable for each proposed building showing the utilisation of each space per scheduled period during a normal week (including utilisation by other entities)

4. Plans and description of facilities, infrastructure and equipment, information technology and service/access continuity provisions (including floorplans and TEQSA template for floor space allocation)

5. Description of facilities made available for students for academic interactions outside of formal teaching (whether on campus or online), and framework for ensuring safety and security on-campus and online

6. Description of the arrangements for secure access to electronic information, and arrangements for access to adequate electronic communication services, supported by a description of the planned availability during periods of authorised access (allowing for reasonable outages for maintenance, and also allowing for exceptions for locations and circumstances that are not under the direct control of the provider)  

7. Description of the nature and extent of student support services, and related analysis of student needs (specifying which are to be provided by the applicant and which are to be provided by third parties)

8. Policies and procedures for:

8.1. diversity and equity (including recruitment, admission, participation and completion), demonstrating specific consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

8.2. monitoring of participation, progress and completion by identified student subgroups and use of the findings

8.3. management of critical incidents

8.4. addressing student grievances and complaints (may cross refer to related systems at Standards 6.1-6.3 and 7.3.3)

8.5. compliance with related legislation (including working with children requirements  if applicable)

3. TEACHING

3.2 and 3.3

(3.2.4 if applicable)

1. Overview of staffing, learning resources and educational support (see Appendix B)

2. Workforce plan (including implementation of strategies)

3. Policies and procedures for:

3.1. staff qualifications and for determining equivalent academic or professional or practice-based experience

3.2. teaching staff availability for students to seek assistance (including students studying by distance or through third parties)

3.3. professional development of academic staff

4. Qualifications and experience of academic director or equivalent (resume) and of other academic leaders with broad responsibilities

5. Details of learning resources and policy and procedures for updating them

6. Description of, and access to, the learning management system, including details of accessibility, staff training and technical support on and off campus

4. RESEARCH AND RESEARCH TRAINING

4.1 and 4.2

(if applicable)

 

1. Overview of research and research training (see Appendix B)

2. Research and research training policy framework, including:

2.1. admission

2.2. policy and procedures for research student supervision and examination

2.3. codes of conduct

3. For research leaders:

3.1. already appointed or proposed, provide a full CV including research publication records

3.2. not yet appointed or identified, provide position descriptions

4. Description of research output recording system

5. Description of research environment in areas where research is to be conducted

5. INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY ASSURANCE

5.1-5.3

5.4 (if applicable)

1. Overview of institutional quality assurance framework, including relationship with academic governance processes, with organisational chart (see Appendix B)

2. Policies and procedures for internal quality assurance including cycles of approval and review for:

2.1. courses, including:

  • template for course proposal as presented for approval
  • plans for internal and external benchmarking of course design and student performance

2.2. academic and research integrity

2.3. academic and research misconduct

2.4. course review, including:

  • course monitoring (i.e. recurrent monitoring of delivery between approval and review)
  • approach to considering, monitoring and responding to student performance data and student feedback
  • plans for reporting feedback on staff teaching and supervision, and
  • periodic course review (at least every seven years) in preparation for re-accreditation

3. Policies and procedures for work-integrated learning and placements

4. Contracts with any third parties (if applicable) that deliver courses (specifying responsibility of the proposed provider and the third party), and other evidence of quality assurance controls and arrangements that will ensure compliance with the HES Framework

6. GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

6.1-6.3

1. Overview of governance and accountability framework, including organisational charts of corporate structure (in the case of subsidiaries of corporate groups) and governance structure (see Appendix B)

2. If the applicant is a subsidiary company or a member of a corporate group, supply:

2.1. a copy of the instrument/s of delegation between the parent and subsidiary company (applicant)

2.2. a copy of the parent company’s risk management plan for the corporate group, and

2.3. a copy of the strategic plan for the corporate group

3. Governing body charter or equivalent

4. Evidence about the corporate governance planning, reporting and monitoring framework, including:

4.1. constitution of legal entity (or equivalent) or trust deed (if relevant)

4.2. qualifications and experience of governing body members

4.3. fit and proper person declarations by governing body members

4.4. access to independent and academic advice for governing body

4.5. delegation instruments and review arrangements

4.6. framework for third-party delivery of higher education including courses (if applicable)

4.7. framework for periodic independent review of effectiveness of governing body and of academic governance arrangements

4.8. minutes of governing body meetings for previous 12 months

4.9. strategic plan/s (including teaching and learning and, if applicable, research), business plan and capital management plan, as well as the schedule of planned course development for the next three years

4.10. policy framework and reporting arrangements for:

  • freedom of intellectual inquiry
  • equity
  • well-being of students and staff
  • information provision to students
  • compliance, including compliance with the HES Framework
  • strategic planning and institutional benchmarking
  • financial management, viability and sustainability
  • risk management, including a risk management plan, risk register and template status reports on risk and risk management to be reported to the audit and risk committee
  • participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • integrity of the awarding of qualifications
  • business continuity planning and general financial and tuition safeguards
  • student complaints, allegations of misconduct, breaches of academic or research integrity and critical incidents
  • addressing lapses in compliance with HES Framework
  • any other academic governance policies and procedures not already provided

4.11. arrangements for participation by students in decision-making processes

5. Evidence about academic governance framework, including:

5.1. terms of reference for academic governing body or bodies

5.2. institutional benchmarks for academic quality and outcomes

5.3. processes for academic oversight to ensure the quality of teaching, learning, research and research training

5.4. participation of students in academic governance

5.5. minutes of academic body or bodies meetings for previous 12 months

5.6. policy framework and reporting arrangements for:

  • developing, monitoring and reviewing academic policies and their effectiveness
  • review of implementation of delegations
  • setting and monitoring quality assurance for: academic quality, student outcomes and performance, teaching and learning, and research integrity and research training, and
  • setting and monitoring institutional benchmarks for academic quality and outcomes

6. Financial information:

6.1. audited financial statements for the three most recent financial years (or for all years available if the applicant has been operating for less than three financial years). If the most recent financial statement is more than six months old, then an interim financial statement must be attached

6.1.1. if a start-up entity, provide details of seed funding and/or contingency funding available to the applicant, not disclosed in the audited financial statements attached; this may include a formal loan agreement, capital agreement, deed of guarantee or funding agreement from a related party or other form of financial support

6. 2. audited financial statements for the parent entity for the three most recent financial years (or for all years available if operating for less than three financial years)

6.3. marketing plan and evidence of approval of the plans by the governing body

6.4. processes to ensure maintenance of prudent financial control, and detection and prevention of any fraud and mismanagement within its higher education operations

6.5. projected income and expenditure statement, projected cash flow statement and projected balance sheet for the next five years (using the TEQSA financial templates for income, cash flow and balance sheets)

6.6. an example of the financial report as presented (or format proposed to be presented) to the governing body

6.7. projected student numbers (EFTSL and headcount), and projected staff numbers (FTE and headcount) for the next five years (using the TEQSA templates for projected student and staff numbers), and

6.8. evidence of Tuition Assurance Safeguard arrangements (i.e. TAS membership details)

7. For each proposed course of study, description of any specific teach-out or transition contingency arrangements in the event that the course of study were discontinued, including availability and accessibility of similar courses

7. REPRESENTATION, INFORMATION AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

7.1-7.3 (7.1.2, 7.1.4, 7.2.2g and 7.2.3 if applicable)

1. Proposed marketing material (including web pages, social media sites and brochures) and general information about the provider including:

1.1. legal status

1.2. governance

1.3. organisational structure

1.4. financial standing, including provision of a copy of the draft statement of financial standing (see Guidance Note on Financial Standing)

1.5. delivery locations and their facilities and resources

1.6. indicative student enrolments

1.7. proposed courses

1.8. fees and charges

1.9. credit and recognition of prior learning policies and procedures

1.10. access to transition support

1.11. course delivery, including delivery by third parties

1.12. learning support and other student services

1.13. student obligations to the provider

1.14. policies and procedures relating to students

1.15. complaints and grievances processes

1.16. studying in Australia, for international students

2. Policies and procedures for ensuring compliance with the provider’s obligations to international students under the ESOS Framework (if intending to apply for ESOS registration)

3. Framework for engagement and monitoring of agents, including draft contract

4.  Framework to ensure secure and confidential maintenance of records and information systems

 

Notes:

  1. Evidence requirements are described using generic terms - naming conventions may differ between providers. Refer to the HES Framework (Domains 1-7) for the actual Standards.
  2. The specific evidence required will be documented by TEQSA in the form of the Confirmed Evidence Table for Registration.
  3. All TEQSA application templates are available on the TEQSA website with the corresponding application guides.

 

 

Table 4. Course accreditation – indicative evidence requirements (Part A Domains 1-7)

STANDARDS

                    INDICATIVE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

1. STUDENT PARTICIPATION AND ATTAINMENT

1.1, 1.3.3, 1.4 (1.4.5-1.4.7 if applicable), 1.5

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Contractual arrangements with students including pro forma standard offers of admission to and acceptances by students for each course, including fee change and refund policies and any documents or conditions incorporated by reference in student contracts, and showing any special conditions of enrolment and participation for any course (if applicable)
  2. Course rules for progression including any prerequisites and compulsory requirements
  3. Samples of all certification documentation (including testamurs and statements of results)

Note: Evidence relating to admission criteria (Standard 1.1.1) and the specification, alignment and assessment of learning outcomes (Standards 1.3.3 and 1.5.3 and Section 1.4) in particular is covered in the evidence for course design (Section 3.1)

2. LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

2.1.1 (if applicable)

1. Description of any specialist facilities (i.e. beyond standard classrooms) and equipment required for each proposed course, including any arrangements for delivery by third parties

3. TEACHING

3.1, 3.2 (3.2.4 if applicable), 3.3.1

1. Proposal for each course (approved by the academic approving body) which must include the following:

1.1. statement describing the design for the course, including the required elements listed in Appendix C using the TEQSA template for course admission information

1.2. rationale relating learning outcomes, AQF level specifications, unit learning outcomes and unit assessment using the TEQSA template for constructive alignment, and

1.3. unit outlines for each unit in the proposed course using the TEQSA template for unit outlines

1.4. copy of teaching materials for at least one core unit of study to be offered in the first year of the proposed course.

1.5. copy of assessment tasks and related rubrics for at least one core unit of study to be offered in the first year of the proposed course

2. Table showing numbers, qualifications and experience of academic leaders and staff for each proposed course (including scholarship and teaching) plus position descriptions for those not yet appointed, as well as projected student numbers, using the TEQSA templates for abbreviated CVs and for projected student and staff numbers.

3. Note: abbreviated CVs are required for all academic staff (teaching and/or research, employed full time, part time and on a casual basis)

4. Arrangements for accessibility of teaching staff

5. Description of learning resources available (or proposed to be made available if the course is approved) for each course, including any arrangements for delivery by third parties

 

4. RESEARCH AND RESEARCH TRAINING

(if applicable)

4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.5

1. Table showing qualifications and experience of research supervisors for any proposed Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) using the TEQSA template for research management and supervision arrangements plus position descriptions for those not yet appointed

2. Description of the policy framework for the appointment of supervisors

3. Description of the applicant’s processes for examination of HDR candidates in the course(s) of study

4. Description of research environment in each narrow field of study for any proposed HDRs, including evidence that students are admitted to research training only where the training can be provided in a supervisory and study environment of research activity or other creative endeavour, inquiry and scholarship, and that the supervision and resources required for their project are available

5. INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY ASSURANCE

5.1.2, 5.1.3

5.4 (if applicable)

1. For each proposed course of study:

1.1. extract of minutes from meeting(s) of committee or board that gave final internal approval to the course as submitted to TEQSA

1.2. minutes of course advisory committee meeting or similar that provided input into course design

1.3. reports of external experts (if any) engaged by provider to provide input into course design

2. Description of arrangements for supervision of work-integrated learning, community-based learning or collaborative research training (if any)

3. Contract for delivery of a proposed course in whole or in part by each third party (if any), showing quality assurance controls

6. GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

6.2.1i

1. For each proposed course of study, description of any specific teach-out or transition contingency arrangements in the event that the course of study is discontinued, including availability and accessibility of similar courses

7. REPRESENTATION, INFORMATION AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

7.1.1, 7.1.5, 7.2.1, 7.2.2a-f

7.1.2, 7.2.2g (if applicable)

1. Draft course-specific marketing material and information (including web pages and brochures) for each proposed course made available prior to and after acceptance of an offer, including any materials developed by third parties

 

Notes:

  1. Evidence requirements are described using generic terms - naming conventions may differ between providers. Refer to the HES Framework (Domains 1-7) for the actual Standards.
  2. The specific evidence required will be documented by TEQSA in the form of the Confirmed Evidence Table for Initial Course Accreditation.
  3. All TEQSA application templates are available on the TEQSA website with the corresponding application guides.

 

Appendix B

Overviews

Overviews are designed to orient TEQSA staff and external experts to the evidence being presented, how it fits together, and how it ensures that a provider will meet the requirements in one or more sections of the HES Framework. Each overview should be no more than two A4 pages long, except in the case of Domain 6 - Governance and Accountability, which can have up to two pages per section.

Each overview should be structured with the following headings:

  1. Objective: what are these arrangements designed to achieve?
  2. Framework: describe the framework of policies and procedures that are being put in place, pointing out the key features.
  3. Resources (if applicable): what resources are being put in place to support achievement of the objective? Note any capital allocations and timelines of development.
  4. Rationale: explain how the framework and the resources will ensure that the objective is achieved and the relevant Standards are met.

Appendix C

Course proposal – required elements

Course proposals should include:

  • rationale (including expected graduate employment opportunities)
  • qualifications to be awarded on completion
  • admissions criteria
  • course learning outcomes, methods of assessment and indicative student workload, and national/international comparators (consistent with Standards 1.4.1-3 and 1.4.5-7 [if applicable])
    • rationale for relationship between learning outcomes, AQF level specifications, unit learning outcomes and unit assessment and summary table mapping this alignment
  • structure, duration and modes of delivery (in particular identifying any subjects delivered 100% online or by distance learning, i.e. not fully onsite or blended)
  • list of units of study (indicate whether compulsory or elective)
  • compulsory requirements for completion
  • exit pathways, articulation arrangements, pathways to further learning
  • requirements for the course to be professionally accredited/registered in order for graduates to gain work in the profession in Australia, and details of arrangements with professional bodies for such professional accreditation/registration
  • research content (for Bachelor Honours, Masters or Doctoral qualifications)
  • planned staffing complement, showing qualifications and experience of course coordinator and for all teaching positions as required by Standard 3.2.3, and:
    • resumes for any staff already engaged
    • position descriptions for positions not yet filled
    • evidence of equivalent academic or professional experience relevant to policy criteria, and
    • arrangements for oversight of staff who do not fully meet Standard 3.2.3.

Appendix D

Additional information required for a registration application

In the online form for the initial registration application, you will also be asked to provide the following information:

  • legal entity details (including: ACN [if relevant], ABN and ASX codes [for listed companies]) and certified copies of supporting documents, based on the TEQSA template for evidence requirements by type of legal entity
  • registered business details (including registered business and trading name details along with certified copies or extracts of supporting certificates)
  • details of the provider’s (or any related entity’s) registrations with other authorities (existing or planned, for example as a Registered Training Organisation or CRICOS registered provider), and a URL for the list of courses currently delivered under these registration(s) as displayed on the relevant provider’s website, or a list of courses planned to be delivered
  • details of the head office and principal place of business
  • proposed delivery sites and any third party, agent or partner arrangements, using the TEQSA registration template for proposed delivery sites and third party/partner arrangement details, and accompanied by supporting documentation
  • contact officer details for this application
  • details of compliance with relevant Commonwealth, state, territory laws, and compliance with regulatory requirements, including any required supporting documents
  • details of the corporate structure and trustee arrangements (if applicable)
  • details of the ownership of the entity for any person or entity that owns 25% or more of the legal entity applying for registration (based on the TEQSA templates for evidence requirements by type of legal entity and for applicant ownership details), and accompanied by the completed TEQSA template for fit and proper person declarations
  • details of applicant history, including the history of related entities (as defined in Appendix F) using the TEQSA templates for applicant history responses
  • details of the legally constituted governing body, including the body which will confer higher education awards
  • details of key personnel, using the TEQSA templates for key personnel details, fit and proper person declarations and abbreviated CVs (with the abbreviated CV required for the CEO and Academic Director only)
  • details of any external advisers, using the TEQSA templates for external advisors
  • details relating to financial viability and sustainability, including details of:
    • financial resources and financial relationships
    • student marketing and recruitment strategies
    • continuity planning and safeguards, and
    • arrangements for the detection and prevention of fraud and mismanagement,  
  • the completed Confirmed Evidence Table for Registration (updated with the document titles/URL details for the specific evidence provided in the online application), and
  • the completed TEQSA application declaration template.

Appendix E

Additional information required for an initial course accreditation application

In the online form for the course accreditation application for a new provider, you will also be asked to provide the following information:

  • the contact officer details for each application (if different to the contact officer details for the registration application)
  • the registered business name(s) under which the applicant intends to deliver the course(s) of study for which accreditation is sought
  • the details of the course(s) covered by this application (including course name, AQF level, language of delivery if other than English [LOTE], as well as the broad, narrow and detailed fields of education). If the application covers a nested course of study, each course that makes up a component of the overall nested course of study must be added and paid for as part of the one application, including the highest level course itself with the nested structure. Note that each of these courses of study will be treated as separate qualifications for the purpose of accreditation by TEQSA
  • whether the applicant intends to enrol overseas students in the course of study for which accreditation is sought (in which case you will need to contact your case manager once your applications have been submitted, as described in stage 1.3 of this guide)
  • details of the ownership of the intellectual content of the course(s) covered by the application
  • other information about course delivery,  including whether any of the courses included in this application will:
    • be delivered in a language other than English (with additional information required for such courses using the TEQSA initial course accreditation template for delivery details for course(s) delivered in LOTE)
    • be delivered in a country other than Australia
    • include any work integrated learning
    • be delivered by a third party or partner arrangement, or
    • have a major research component        
  • the proposed commencement date of the course(s) covered by this application
  • study patterns using the TEQSA initial course accreditation template for study patterns
  • details of the delivery mode(s) for each course covered by this application (including site name, address, website [if applicable], and list of subjects/units to be delivered at the site)
  • the completed Confirmed Evidence Table for Course Accreditation (new provider) (updated with the document titles/URL details for the specific evidence provided in the online application), and
  • the completed TEQSA application declaration template.

Appendix F

Definition of a related entity

Whether or not an entity is a related entity of an applicant will depend on the specific circumstances. As a guide, an entity will be considered to be a ‘related entity’ if it is:

  1. connected to the applicant by being:

1.1. able to control, or materially influence, the applicant’s activities or internal affairs

1.2. able to determine, or materially influence, the outcome of the applicant’s financial and operating policies

1.3. a member of the applicant

1.4. financially interested in the applicant’s success or failure or apparent success or failure, or

  1. a body corporate (within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001[2]) that is related to the applicant by:

2.1. being a holding company of the applicant

2.2. being a subsidiary of the applicant

2.3. being a subsidiary of a holding company of the applicant

2.4. having one or more directors who are also directors of the applicant, or

2.5. controlling the applicant.

 

 

 

[1] The complete TEQSA Act is available from: https://www.legislation.gov.au

[2] The Australian Government Corporations Act 2001 is available from: http://www.legislation.gov.au