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Australian College of Theology Limited: Re-registration 16 Jul 2015

Renewal of registration

Report on renewal of registration of the Australian College of Theology Limited

 

TEQSA has renewed the registration as a higher education provider, under Section 36(1) of the TEQSA Act, of the Australian College of Theology Limited for a period of seven years to 16 July 2022 in the provider category of Higher Education Provider.

TEQSA has, under subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act, imposed three conditions on the registration of the Australian College of Theology Limited as a higher education provider.

Condition 1:

Within three months of the date of notification of the decision, the ACT is required to:

a) amend its standard affiliation agreement and all related policy such that:

  1. a student may lodge a complaint 'about any aspect of the higher education provider's higher education operations, including operations provided by other entities on behalf of the provider, without fear of reprisal';
  2. it clearly sets obligations on an affiliated college to comply with the requirements of PRS 6.4 and sets out the potential consequences available to the ACT in circumstances where an affiliated college fails to meet those requirements; and
  3. it establishes and demonstrates evidence of an arrangement with an appropriate independent third party to whom grievances may be referred if they are unable to be resolved internally.

b) amend the Dispute Resolution Policy for Domestic Students and the Dispute Resolution Policy for Overseas Students to ensure that affiliate colleges keep records of and report on all grievances and the resolution of all grievances.

Condition 2:

Within three months of the date of notification of the decision, the ACT is required to:

a) develop and implement a specific Human Resources strategy and policy that ensures that academic staff either have an AQF qualification at the level specified in PCAS 4.2 or have professional experience equivalent to such a qualification, and specifies the criteria against which such professional experience is measured.

b) provide evidence that the Academic Board considered the ACT Human Resources strategy and policy in respect of each and every staff member involved in delivery of its higher education programs. The evidence must include a schedule identifying all higher education academic staff, what courses they teach, their highest relevant qualification and where that qualification is not at least one AQF qualification level higher than the course of study they teach, how compliance with the Threshold Standards, including Provider Registration Standard 5.1 and 5.2 and Provider Course Accreditation Standard 4.1 and 4.2 has been achieved.

c) provide evidence of the Academic Board's consideration of the schedule and its decision as to what action the ACT will take where no assessment of equivalent professional experience has been made or that assessment shows non-compliance with the Threshold Standards, in each case to ensure compliance with the Threshold Standards.

Condition 3:

Within 28 days of the date of notification of the decision, the ACT is required to identify any Head of Program or equivalent where relevant, who does not have a relevant qualification at least one AQF level above the level of the course taught and for whom no assessment of equivalent professional experience has been made and provide advice to TEQSA as to what action will be taken by the ACT to address the matter.

Main Reasons for Decision

As part of the renewal of registration process, TEQSA has assessed the application submitted by the Australian College of Theology Limited against the Threshold Standards. The scope of the assessment included all its Australian sites and site in New Zealand.

TEQSA considers that the decision to apply conditions to the Australian College of Theology Limited registration is consistent with the basic principles for regulation in Part 2 of the TEQSA Act, as the Australian College of Theology Limited is at risk of not complying with a number of the Threshold Standards.

  • The broad issues which relate to the Australian College of Theology Limited registration include:

    a) The provider is at risk of not complying with the requirements of Provider Registration Standard 5.2 in relation to the qualifications of the academic staff teaching its Master of Divinity and its Master of Arts (Theology), Master of Arts (Ministry) and Master of Arts (Christian Studies).

    b) There is a risk that the provider may not provide its students with access to effective grievance processes to enable them to make complaints about any aspect of the providers operations without fear of reprisal as required by Provider Registration Standard 6.4.