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Course accreditation and re-accreditation policy

(Registered providers)
21 May 2018

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish and describe TEQSA’s approach to scoping and assessment of course accreditation and renewal of accreditation.

Scope

This policy applies to applications for course accreditation and renewal of accreditation. It does not apply to course-related applications that have been submitted as part of an initial registration application.

Principles

General

  1. All course assessments will be considered in relation to any relevant contextual factors—so that, for all principles listed below, adherence to those principles is subject to the judgement of case teams as to whether a principle ought to be applied in a particular case, given the best information available at the time.
  2. The extent of the scope of a course assessment, and the extent of the use of external experts in relation to an assessment, will be determined by case teams on the basis of contextual factors.
  3. Typically, contextual factors an assessment team will consider in determining the scope of a course assessment, and the extent of the use of external experts, include:
  • the provider’s history of regulatory outcomes
  • the provider’s current risk ratings
  • any available data on the provider’s student performance indicators in the relevant broad field of education (BFOE)
  • interactions with professional body accreditation
  • the history of complaints relating to the provider
  • for renewals of accreditation, the extent to which the content of the course has changed since it was last reviewed by TEQSA
  • for renewals of accreditation, the impact of any changes to the AQF that may have occurred since the course was last considered by TEQSA
  • for new accreditations, whether or not the course is at a new AQF level for the provider
  • for new accreditations, whether or not the course is in a new broad field of education (BFOE) for the provider
  • any other relevant intelligence.

Initial course accreditation

  1. For providers identified as low risk to students:
  • new courses will usually be assessed by a single external expert against the set of core standards only
  • where an expert report is favourable, this will be sufficient evidence to accredit the course, without further consideration by case teams
  • where a report is unfavourable, case teams will determine, on the basis of contextual factors, the scope of any further analysis and/or evidence that might be required to inform a final assessment
  • in all cases, the expert report will be sent to the provider to inform internal quality assurance.
  1. For moderate risk providers, new courses will usually be assessed by at least one external expert, in relation to at least the core standards. Case teams will determine, on the basis of contextual factors, whether or not an extension will be made to the set of core standards and whether more than one external expert will make an assessment.
  2. For high risk providers, new course assessments will usually be assessed in accordance with TEQSA’s high risk provider policy which, in general, requires that applications from high risk providers are assessed against all applicable standards.

Renewal of course accreditation

  1. For providers identified as low risk to students:
  • where a course has been previously assessed by TEQSA, with no issues identified[1], re-accreditation of that course will usually be limited to assessment of the provider’s internal course review process, and its application to the course under assessment (unless changes have been made to the course that need assessment)
  • where a course has been previously assessed by TEQSA, and issues were identified, increases to the scope of assessment of that course will be considered according to context on a case-by-case basis.
  1. Moderate risk providers will have courses assessed by at least one external expert, in relation to at least the core standards. Case teams will determine, on the basis of contextual factors, whether an extension will be made to the core set of standards and whether more than one external expert will make an assessment.
  2. Renewals of course accreditations of high risk providers will be conducted in accordance with TEQSA’s high risk provider policy which, in general, requires that applications from high risk providers are assessed against all applicable standards.

Contact

Any enquiries about TEQSA's course accreditation and re-accreditation policy can be directed to: enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au

[1] ‘Issues identified’ may include, but are not limited to, matters leading to decisions to impose conditions, approve an accreditation or renewal of accreditation for fewer than seven years, or request further information.

 

Document information

Title

TEQSA course accreditation and re-accreditation policy

Category

Regulatory policy

Audience

Staff

Policy owner

Director, Assurance

Version

1

Effective date

18 May 2018

Review date

18 May 2021

Approval

Approved by the TEQSA Commission on 26 April 2018