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Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd: Re-registration 1 May 2014 updated 30 Jan 2015

Renewal of registration

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

 

On 1 May 2014, TEQSA determined, under subsection 36(1) of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), that the registration of the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd be renewed for a period of seven years to 1 May 2021 in the provider category of 'Higher Education Provider'.

On 1 May 2014, TEQSA imposed one condition on the registration of the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd, under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act, as outlined below.

Condition 1:

To demonstrate ongoing maintenance of academic standards, quality assurance, and appropriateness of student outcomes, the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd 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 part (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.

On 19 June 2014 and 13 November 2014, TEQSA made subsequent decisions to vary and revoke parts (i) (ii) and (iii) of Condition 1. On 30 January 2015, part (iv) was varied to include a different reporting date. These decisions are outlined in the Addendum of this report.

Background to Decision

The Australian College of Natural Medicine 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 the Australian College of Natural Medicine 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's registration is consistent with the basic principles for regulation in Part 2 of the TEQSA Act, as the Australian College of Natural Medicine is at risk of not complying with a number of the Threshold Standards.

TEQSA imposed the condition on the registration of the Australian College of Natural Medicine on the basis that attrition and completion rates gave 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 condition on the registration of the Australian College of Natural Medicine in order to ensure that the provider:

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

Addendum to Public Report: Variation to Condition

On 19 June 2014, TEQSA varied the deadlines outlined in parts (i) and (ii) of the condition from 31 July 2014 to 30 September 2014, under subsection 32(2) of TEQSA Act.

On 30 January 2015, TEQSA varied the deadline outlined in part (iv) of the condition from an annual report in January each year to an annual report due by 31 May each year, for the period of registration, under subsection 32(2) of TEQSA Act.

TEQSA's decisions on 19 June 2014 and 30 January 2015 to vary the deadlines set out in the condition were made on the basis that by allowing additional time for the provider to prepare a thorough and accurate analysis, this could better achieve the outcomes intended.

On 13 November 2014, TEQSA made a decision under subsection 53(2) of the TEQSA Act to revoke parts (i), (ii) and (iii) of the condition on the basis that these parts had been met.

The condition currently imposed under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act is as outlined below:

Condition 1: To demonstrate ongoing maintenance of academic standards, quality assurance, and appropriateness of student outcomes, the Australian College of Natural Medicine Pty Ltd is required to:

(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, on 31 May each year for the period of registration.