Le Cordon Bleu Australia Pty Limited: Re-registration 8 May 2019
Renewal of registration
Report on renewal of registration of Le Cordon Bleu Australia Pty Limited
On 8 May 2019, TEQSA agreed to orders made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) under which:
- the registration of Le Cordon Bleu Australia Pty Limited (LCBA) as a higher education provider is renewed, under section 36 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act), for a period until 30 June 2025 in the provider category of 'Higher Education Provider'.
- five conditions have been imposed, under section 32 of the TEQSA Act, on the registration of LCBA. A copy of the conditions is available at attachment A.
LCBA applied to TEQSA for renewal of its registration under Part 3 of the TEQSA Act.
TEQSA considered LCBA's application and provided a draft assessment report with details of the assessment of LCBA's application by the responsible assessment team. TEQSA's Commission considered LCBA's response to the draft report and made decisions to reject LCBA's application for renewal of registration and impose conditions on its registration on 7 September 2017, on the basis that it was not satisfied that LCBA met the Threshold Standards.
LCBA applied for review of TEQSA's decisions in the AAT. In the course of the proceedings, LCBA made submissions and provided further information and evidence about the matters raised in TEQSA's decisions.
It is well established that absent a specific legislative provision to the contrary, the AAT is generally required to make a decision on review based on the evidence available at the time of the AAT's decision on review, and that the AAT is not confined to the evidence available at the time of the primary decision. Accordingly, TEQSA accepted that the AAT was required to take account of the further material submitted to TEQSA after TEQSA had rejected LCBA's application.
Main reasons for the decision
After reviewing the further material submitted by LCBA, TEQSA was prepared to agree to the renewal of LCBA's registration. However, TEQSA considered that there remained a number of risks related to LCBA's capacity to meet the Threshold Standards in the future.
On this basis, TEQSA agreed that it was appropriate to substitute TEQSA's initial rejection of the application with decisions to register LCBA until 30 June 2025 and to impose five conditions on LCBA's registration.
The conditions are designed to address the need for LCBA to:
- Ensure the staffing complement for each course of study is sufficient to meet the educational, academic support and administrative needs of student cohorts undertaking the course across LCBA's Delivery Partners.
- Undertake a comprehensive review of its Bachelor of Business (International Hotel Management), Bachelor of Business (International Restaurant Management), Master of International Hospitality Management and Bachelor of Business (Food Entrepreneurship) courses.
- Arrange for an external audit of LCBA's arrangements for the delivery of its accredited higher education courses by its Delivery Partners, and develop a plan for periodic audits of compliance with LCBA's agreements with its Delivery Partners.
- Identify and address risks and trends in student performance by conducting internal and external moderation exercises and a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the probable causes for observed rates and trends for each accredited higher education course LCBA offers.
- Arrange for a suitably qualified and independent expert to review the effectiveness of LCBA's governing body and academic governance processes.
TEQSA is satisfied that these conditions will provide an appropriate framework for TEQSA to oversee LCBA's approach to dealing with these issues.
Pursuant to subsection 42C(2) of the of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act), the Tribunal set aside TEQSA's decisions made on 7 September 2017 to reject the LCBA's application for renewal of its registration and impose conditions on its registration.
Under paragraph 43(1)(c) of the AAT Act, the Tribunal imposed the following conditions on the registration of LCBA, pursuant to subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act:
By 30 November 2019, LCBA must:
- Develop in cooperation with the third parties contracted by it to deliver its accredited higher education courses (Delivery Partners), review and adopt a workforce plan (Workforce Plan) direct to (but not limited to) ensuring compliance by it with section 3.2 of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (Standards).
- Provide TEQSA with a copy of the Workforce Plan together with evidence of its endorsement by the Academic Board and adoption by the Corporate Board of LCBA.
By 30 November 2019, LCBA must:
- Undertake, and provide to TEQSA, a comprehensive review of each of the following higher education courses, in accordance with section 5.3 of Part A of the Standards:
- Bachelor of Business (International Hotel Management);
- Bachelor of Business (International Restaurant Management);
- Master of International Hospitality Management; and
- Bachelor of Business (Food Entrepreneurship).
- Provide TEQSA with a plan, approved by LCBA's Academic Board, describing the steps LCBA will take to respond to any issues identified by the reviews at condition 2A.
- Provide TEQSA with a schedule for further comprehensive reviews of its courses, together with evidence that the schedule has been approved by LCBA's Academic Board.
- By 30 June 2019, provide TEQSA with:
- evidence of an external audit (Audit) of its arrangements for the delivery of its accredited higher education courses by its Delivery Partners undertaken within the last 12 months, including but not limited to compliance by Delivery Partners with their obligations under the contracts pursuant to which they deliver LCBA's courses (Delivery and Licence Agreements), adherence by the Delivery Partners with the policies and procedures of LCBA and satisfaction of the requirements of the Standards (Compliance); and
- evidence of LCBA's response to the Audit including details of any actions to be taken in response to the Audit (and any noncompliance identified in that process) and the endorsement and approval of those actions by the Academic Board and the Corporate Board of LCBA.
- By 30 November 2019, provide TEQSA with LCBA's plan for further periodic internal and external audit of Compliance (or any aspect of compliance) on the part of Delivery Partners with their obligations under the Delivery and Licence Agreements, approved by the Corporate Board.
- Within 4 years of the date of orders made by the Tribunal, provide TEQSA with evidence:
- that it has (within the immediately preceding 12 months) conducted an independent review of its arrangements for the delivery of its accredited higher education courses by its Delivery Partners and of their Compliance; and
- of LCBA's response to the external review including details of any actions to be taken in response (and any non-compliance identified in that process) and the endorsement and approval of those actions by the Academic Board and the Corporate Board of LCBA.
By 30 November of each year in which it is registered as a higher education provider, LCBA must provide TEQSA with evidence that, in the previous 12 months:
- LCBA has conducted internal assessment moderation for all units in each accredited course that have been delivered in the preceding 12 months with that internal moderation to be conducted in respect of a sample of completed assessments in each unit in each of the accredited higher education courses by more than one person;
- the outcomes of and recommendations from such internal moderation (including without limitation recommendations for improvements to assessment design or practice) have been considered by either or both of LCBA's Academic Board or Corporate Board and identified, addressed, resolved or otherwise acted upon by LCBA;
- LCBA has engaged independent external moderators to conduct a moderation of a statistically representative sample of assessments (satisfactory to the external moderators) in at least 8 units selected from accredited courses so as to ensure that all units in all courses have been externally moderated at least once in the three years cycle of which each course is delivered;
- the outcomes of and recommendations from such external moderation (including without limitation recommendations for improvements to assessment design or practice) have been considered by either or both of LCBA's Academic Board or Corporate Board and identified, addressed, resolved or otherwise acted upon by LCBA;
- LCBA has conducted a comprehensive diagnostic analysis of the probable causes for observed rates and trends for grade distributions and student attrition, progression and minimum time completion rates, for each accredited higher education course it offers. The analysis must be undertaken by reference to:
- entry path (comparing students admitted under each entry pathway);
- recognition of credit (comparing students admitted without recognition of prior credit to students admitted with credit for up to a third of the course and up to half of the course);
- equivalent full time study mode (comparing students who take less than equivalent full time study load, exactly an equivalent full time study load or greater than an equivalent full time study load);
- place of study; and
- whether students are domestic or international students;
- LCBA's Academic Board or Corporate Board has reviewed and developed a response to the diagnostic analysis referred to in Condition 4E that has been approved by LCBA's Corporate Board.
Note: Notwithstanding the requirements of conditions 4A to F, after the provision by LCBA of the second of the reports required by this condition, TEQSA may determine that it is not necessary for LCBA to provide some or all of the information or evidence that would otherwise be required by this condition.
Within 4 years of the date of orders made by the Tribunal, LCBA must provide evidence that a suitably qualified and independent expert has conducted an independent review of the effectiveness of its governing body and academic governance processes in accordance with paragraph 6.1.3(d) of the Standards.