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Shortening or cancelling a period of accreditation

1 September 2013

This information sheet should be read with reference to the relevant legislation:

  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act)
  • Provider Course Accreditation Standards within the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011

TEQSA accredits courses offered by a registered higher education provider where the provider does not have the authority to accredit its own courses.

All courses of study need to meet the national minimum standards (Threshold Standards) for course accreditation. 

This information sheet explains the circumstances in which TEQSA may consider shortening or cancelling accreditation for a course of study, and what this may mean for providers and students.

When TEQSA will consider shortening or cancelling accreditation

TEQSA may shorten or cancel a course accreditation after considering other options for addressing a provider’s non-compliance with the standards. TEQSA may take this action where the accredited course of study does not meet the Provider Course Accreditation Standards or a condition imposed on the accreditation of the course of study.

Applying the regulatory principles

When making a decision to shorten or cancel course accreditation TEQSA considers the relevant evidence about a provider. In doing so, TEQSA complies with the basic regulatory principles of reflecting risk, proportionate regulation, and regulatory necessity.

  • Reflecting risk: TEQSA takes into account the provider’s scholarship, teaching and research, internal quality assurance, its students’ experiences, financial status and capability, its previous compliance with the Threshold Standards and likely future compliance with these.
  • Proportionate regulation: TEQSA considers whether shortening or cancelling a course accreditation is proportionate to any non-compliance or risk of future non-compliance with the standards.
  • Regulatory necessity: TEQSA considers whether shortening or cancelling a course accreditation would burden the provider any more than necessary.

How a provider will be affected

If a course accreditation has been cancelled or shortened, the provider must stop delivering the course to students from the date of effect of the cancellation.

If accreditation is shortened, the provider must apply to renew the accreditation of the course at an earlier time (either 180 days before the new date set by TEQSA or a shorter time period that TEQSA allows) or stop delivering the course from the new date. If accreditation is cancelled, the provider can submit a new application for accreditation. A higher education provider must not:

  • falsely represent that it provides a course of study leading to a higher education award
  • falsely represent that a course of study is accredited
  • offer a course of study, which leads to a regulated higher education award, where the course of study is not accredited.

How to seek a review

A provider may seek a review of TEQSA’s decision to shorten or cancel accreditation of a course of study. For more information, visit the review of TEQSA decisions page.

Public reporting

All decisions made by TEQSA on or after 1 July 2013, including a decision to shorten or cancel accreditation of a course of study, are noted on the National Register after the provider has been notified of the decision and has had the opportunity to comment on the information to be published. TEQSA will not, except where there are exceptional circumstances, note a decision on the register, or publish a public report on the National Register until the period for applying for review of the decision has expired, or in cases where a review application is made, until the review is completed.