Extensions to the period of provider registration or course accreditation policy
The purpose of this policy is to describe TEQSA’s approach to considering extensions to the period of provider registration or course accreditation under sections 37A and 57A of the
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act).
Section 37A of the TEQSA Act provides that TEQSA may extend the period of a registered higher education provider’s registration, so long as the period has not been previously extended by TEQSA. The extended period may exceed seven years.
Section 57A of the TEQSA Act provides that TEQSA may extend the period of the accreditation of a course of study, so long as the period has not been previously extended by TEQSA. The extended period may exceed seven years.
- TEQSA may consider extending the period of a provider’s registration or the period of accreditation of a course of study for a range of reasons. These include:
- to reflect an established track record of low-risk, high quality delivery of higher education, either across a provider’s operations or with respect to one or more courses
- to harmonise periods of registration and accreditation, or harmonise periods of registration under the TEQSA Act and another act (such as the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000)
- to provide for efficient management of TEQSA’s workload.
- Relevant matters when considering a possible extension under section 37A or 57A include, but are not limited to, the following:
- the provider’s history, including the history of its scholarship, teaching, research, students’ experiences, financial status and capacity, and compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework, TEQSA Act and other laws regulating higher education
- matters relevant to the risk of the provider not complying with the Higher Education Standards Framework or the TEQSA Act in the future, including its internal quality assurance mechanisms and its financial status and capacity
- any material risks to students or quality identified in the risk assessments for the provider
- the quality of data submitted by the provider as part of TEQSA or other Australian Government information collection processes
- TEQSA’s anticipated workload during the period when the provider’s registration or course accreditation is due to expire
- the period of any other registration or accreditation of the provider (including registration under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 or the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011), and the extent to which harmonisation of the expiry dates of registration or accreditation would benefit the provider
- any relevant comments or evidence from the provider
- any relevant comments or evidence from other agencies, including (but not limited to) the Department of Education and Training and the Australian Skills Quality Authority
- the need for any decision, and the process leading to any decision, to be appropriate, fair, objective, and defensible.
- As a provider’s registration or course accreditation may only be extended once during the registration or accreditation period, an extension for a relatively short period may deny the provider an opportunity to have its registration or accreditation extended for a longer period. Accordingly, the inability to make a further extension decision will also be a relevant consideration when deciding whether to make an extension decision and (if applicable) the period for which the extension is granted. In circumstances where a short extension is being considered, it may be more appropriate to first consider allowing a provider to submit its application for renewal at a date later than the usual 180 days prior to expiry – this would allow an extension to be considered closer to the expiry date if it becomes necessary.
- The TEQSA Act does not limit the period for which a provider’s registration or course accreditation may be extended. With this in mind, TEQSA will usually extend registration or accreditation for a period no longer than seven years, to provide an appropriate opportunity for a scheduled review of the provider or a particular course.