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Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd: Re-registration 01 May 2014

Renewal of registration

Report on renewal of registration of Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd

 

TEQSA has determined, under section 36(1) of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), that registration of Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd as a higher education provider be renewed for a period of seven years to 1 May 2021 in the provider category of 'Higher Education Provider'.

TEQSA has, under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act, imposed a condition on the registration of Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd as a higher education provider.

On 1 May 2014, TEQSA imposed, under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act, a condition on registration. On 19 June 2014 this condition was varied as set out immediately below. Refer to the Addendum for information relating to the variation of the conditions.

Condition 1:

To demonstrate ongoing maintenance of academic standards, quality assurance, and appropriateness of student outcomes, ACNM is required to:

i) provide to TEQSA a report detailing the results of ACNM's planned comprehensive diagnostic analysis of probable causes for student attrition and completion rates for the period 2008 to 2013, accompanied by a detailed explanation regarding method of calculation. This analysis and report will address attrition and completion rates for each course of study; and will compare attrition and minimum time completion rates according to entry pathway (including diversion to and performance in the Learner's Discovery Quiz and enabling courses; and recognition of credit); and mode (part-time and fulltime; and online and on-campus) and place of study. This data and analysis must be provided to TEQSA by 30 September 2014

ii) effectively address poor student attrition and completion rates and trends by establishing specific and appropriate annual targets for improvement of student attrition and completion rates for each year of its registration; overall and for each course of study; and strategies to achieve these targets; and provide these targets and strategies to TEQSA by 30 September 2014

iii) revise the targets in (ii) in accordance with any direction from TEQSA

iv) demonstrate appropriate improvement in attrition and completion rates, overall and for each course of study, by meeting the annual targets agreed by TEQSA, through annually reporting to TEQSA on these rates, including comparative analysis according to admission approach and mode and place of study, in January each year for the period of registration.

Background to Decision

Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd submitted an application for renewal of registration in the category of 'Higher Education Provider' under section 35 of the TEQSA Act.

Subsection 36(4) of the TEQSA Act enables TEQSA to renew a provider's registration for a period not exceeding seven years.

Main Reasons for Decision

As part of the renewal of registration process, TEQSA has assessed the application submitted by Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd against the Threshold Standards. The scope of the assessment included all its Australian sites. TEQSA considers that the decision to apply a condition to the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd's registration is consistent with the basic principles for regulation in Part 2 of the TEQSA Act, as the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd is at risk of not complying with a number of the Threshold Standards.

A condition has been imposed on the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd's registration in response to the student attrition and completion rates it reported. These rates give rise to concerns regarding the ongoing ability of the provider to demonstrate compliance with Provider Registration Standards 1.5, 3.8 and 6.5 and Provider Course Accreditation Standards 3.1, 4.4 5.4, 5.6.

TEQSA imposed the conditions on the registration to ensure that Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd:

  • systematically monitors student performance data, and
  • takes strategic and sustained action to effectively address student attrition and completion rates.

Addendum to Public Report on 19 June 2014: Condition Varied

In accordance with subsections 32(2) and 32(3) of the TEQSA Act, TEQSA may vary or revoke a condition imposed on the registration of a higher education provider, either on its own initiative, or upon application by the provider for variation or revocation.

On 1 May 2014 TEQSA imposed a condition on the registration of Australian College of Natural Medicine. Subsequently, TEQSA made a decision under subsection 32(2) of the TEQSA Act on 19 June 2014 to vary the condition. The condition as originally imposed was as follows:

Condition 1: To demonstrate ongoing maintenance of academic standards, quality assurance, and appropriateness of student outcomes, ACNM is required to:

i) provide to TEQSA a report detailing the results of ACNM's planned comprehensive diagnostic analysis of probable causes for student attrition and completion rates for the period 2008 to 2013, accompanied by a detailed explanation regarding method of calculation. This analysis and report will address attrition and completion rates for each course of study; and will compare attrition and minimum time completion rates according to entry pathway (including diversion to and performance in the Learner's Discovery Quiz and enabling courses; and recognition of credit); and mode (part-time and fulltime; and online and on-campus) and place of study. This data and analysis must be provided to TEQSA by 31 July 2014

ii) effectively address poor student attrition and completion rates and trends by establishing specific and appropriate annual targets for improvement of student attrition and completion rates for each year of its registration; overall and for each course of study; and strategies to achieve these targets; and provide these targets and strategies to TEQSA by 31 July 2014

iii) revise the targets in (ii) in accordance with any direction from TEQSA

iv) demonstrate appropriate improvement in attrition and completion rates, overall and for each course of study, by meeting the annual targets agreed by TEQSA, through annually reporting to TEQSA on these rates, including comparative analysis according to admission approach and mode and place of study, in January each year for the period of registration.

TEQSA's decision to vary the above conditions imposed on the registration of Australian College of Natural Medicine was on the basis that the provider had requested the variation to effect and extension of time to meet parts (i) and (ii) of the condition; and that by allowing the additional time for the provider to prepare thorough and accurate analysis, the condition will better achieve the outcomes intended.