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TEQSA Guidance Note: Benchmarking

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 
19 May 2014

NOTE: This Guidance Note is related to the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 which are no longer in force. 


Benchmarking can be defined as a structured, collaborative, learning process for comparing practices, processes or performance outcomes. Its purpose is to identify comparative strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for developing improvements in academic quality. Benchmarking can also be defined as a quality process used to evaluate performance by comparing institutional practices to sector good practice.

Benchmarking needs to accommodate the significant contextual variations that exist in the Australian higher education sector between providers with different missions, educational and student profiles, and scale of operations. It is important for higher education institutions at the outset to identify the purpose of benchmarking. The purpose of benchmarking is not to standardise all courses and all assessment outcomes, but to reveal variations, and establish whether those variations arise from the individual nature of the courses or the student cohorts, or from variations in quality or academic standards.