Leaders Institute Pty Ltd: Registration and accreditation 17 July 2018
Report on registration of Leaders Institute Pty Ltd
TEQSA has agreed to orders made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) under which Leaders Institute Pty Ltd (Leaders Institute) is registered pursuant to section 21 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act) for a period of five years until 13 January 2023 in the provider category of Higher Education Provider.
The AAT orders also provide for the accreditation of the Bachelor of Accounting and the Bachelor of Agribusiness courses to be offered by Leaders Institute, pursuant to section 49 of the TEQSA Act, and for two conditions to be imposed on Leaders Institute's registration pursuant to section 32 of the TEQSA Act. A copy of the conditions is available at Attachment 1.
Leaders Institute applied to TEQSA for registration in the category of Higher Education Provider under Part 3 of the TEQSA Act.
TEQSA considered Leaders Institute's application and provided two draft assessment reports with details of the assessment of Leaders Institute's applications by the responsible assessment team. TEQSA's Commission considered Leaders Institute's response to the draft reports and made a decision to reject Leaders Institute's application for registration on 13 October 2017 on the basis that it was not satisfied that Leaders Institute met the Threshold Standards.
Leaders Institute applied for review of TEQSA's decision in the AAT. In the course of the proceedings, Leaders Institute 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 Leaders Institute's applications.
Main reasons for the decision
After reviewing the further material submitted by Leaders Institute, TEQSA was satisfied that Leaders Institute meets the Threshold Standards. However, TEQSA considered that there remained a number of risks related to Leaders Institute'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 applications with decisions to register Leaders Institute for a period until 13 January 2023, to accredit Leaders Institute's Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Agribusiness courses for the same period, and to impose a number of conditions on Leaders Institute's registration.
The conditions are designed to address the need for Leaders Institute to:
- Develop a proposed framework for supporting, and collating and reporting on information about the scholarly activities of its academic staff (Standard 3.2.3)
- Report on the steps it takes to ensure that its academic staff are active in scholarship, which informs their teaching (Standard 3.2.3)
- Provide annual staff scholarship profiles, which document the activities and/or memberships that have scholarly or professional relevance to the individual staff members' roles at Leaders (Standard 3.2.3).
TEQSA is satisfied that these conditions will provide an appropriate framework for TEQSA to oversee Leaders Institute's approach to dealing with these issues.
Pursuant to subsection 42C(2) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, the Tribunal:
2. substitutes a decision, pursuant to section 43(1)(c) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, that:
(e) imposes the following conditions on the registration of the applicant, pursuant to subsection 32(1) of the TEQSA Act:
(i) until 31 August 2020, Leaders must provide TEQSA with a report, not later than 2 weeks prior to the commencement of each teaching period for its higher education courses which, in relation to each staff member at each location proposed to teach one or more units in a Leaders higher education course, describes;
- the staff member's full name;
- the staff member's highest qualification in the discipline of the course(s) that they will teach or assess;
- the unit(s) that the staff member is proposed to teach or assess;
- if the staff member does not hold a qualification that is at least one AQF level higher than that of the course that they will teach or assess, the basis on which Leaders has exercised professional judgement about whether the staff member has sufficient professional experience;
(ii) Leaders must
- by 31 August 2018, provide TEQSA with a proposed framework for supporting, and collating and reporting on information about, the scholarly activities of its academic staff. The framework must take account of TEQSA's Guidance Note: Scholarship and include a description of the steps taken by Leaders to ensure that its academic staff are active in scholarship which informs their teaching;
- by 31 August 2019, and by 31 August 2020, submit a complete set of staff scholarship profiles for the preceding twelve months that:
- have been completed by each individual academic staff member who is required to be active in scholarship;
- describe each staff member's scholarly activities;
- include only activities or memberships which have scholarly or professional relevance to the individual's role with Leaders.