Crown Institute of Higher Education Pty Ltd: Registration and accreditation 21 August 2018
Report on the initial registration of Crown Institute of Higher Education Pty Ltd
TEQSA has agreed to orders made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal under which Crown Institute of Higher Education Pty Ltd (Crown Institute) is registered pursuant to section 21 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act) for a period of four years until 30 August 2022 in the provider category of Higher Education Provider. The orders also provide for the accreditation of the Bachelor of Accounting and the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to be offered by Crown Institute, pursuant to section 49 of the TEQSA Act, and for six conditions to be imposed on Crown Institute's registration pursuant to section 32 of the TEQSA Act. A copy of the conditions is available at Attachment 1.
Crown Institute applied to TEQSA for registration in the category of Higher Education Provider under Part 3 of the TEQSA Act.
TEQSA considered Crown Institute's application and provided a draft summary of findings with details of the assessment of Crown Institute's application by the responsible case management team. TEQSA's Commission considered Crown Institute's response to the draft summary of findings and made a decision to reject Crown Institute's application for registration on 27 April 2017 on the basis that it was not satisfied that Crown Institute met the Threshold Standards.
Crown Institute applied for review of TEQSA's decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). In the course of the proceedings, Crown 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 Crown Institute's application.
Main reasons for decision
After reviewing the further material submitted by Crown Institute, TEQSA was satisfied that Crown Institute meets the Threshold Standards. However, TEQSA considered that there remained a number of risks related to Crown 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 Crown Institute for a period until 30 August 2022, to accredit Crown Institute's Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation courses for the same period, and to impose a number of conditions on Crown Institute's registration.
The conditions are designed to address the following issues:
- The need for Crown Institute's corporate governing body to ensure that it exercises competent governance oversight of all it higher education operations by regularly reviewing its CEO's performance (Standard 6.1.1);
- The need for Crown Institute to demonstrate informed and competent decision making through effective mechanisms which have been implemented according to its governance policy framework (Standards 6.1.3 and 6.2.1);
- The need for Crown Institute to demonstrate that its Board of Directors will be able to assure itself that its governance bodies are operating effectively and sustainably by developing a policy and procedure to manage the risk of conflicts of interest of members of its boards and committees (Standard 6.2.1);
- The need for Crown Institute to have sufficient appropriately qualified and experienced staff to achieve its higher education objectives, (Standard 3.2.1); and
- The need for Crown Institute to demonstrate that its academic staff with teaching roles are equipped with knowledge of contemporary developments in the discipline or field which is informed by continuing scholarship or research or advances in practice , and skills in contemporary teaching, learning and assessment principles (Standard 3.2.2 and 3.2.3, Provider Category Standards B1.1.3 and B1.1.4)
TEQSA is satisfied that the conditions will provide an appropriate framework for TEQSA to oversee Crown Institute's approach to dealing with these issues.
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. Accordingly, TEQSA will have the capacity to vary or revoke the conditions as Crown Institute addresses the risks identified above.
- By 30 September 2018, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide TEQSA with a methodology for reviewing its CEO's performance. The methodology must be approved by its Corporate Board (in the absence of the CEO) before being provided to TEQSA and must provide for a review to take place at least twice a year;
- By 30 September of each year in which Crown Institute of Higher Education is registered as a higher education provider, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide TEQSA with a copy of the Corporate Board's reviews of the CEO's performance which are conducted in accordance with the performance review methodology in Condition 1A.
- By 30 September of each year in which it is registered as a higher education provider, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide to TEQSA copies of the following for the previous 12-month period:
- minutes and papers of meetings of the Board of Directors
- minutes and papers of meetings of the Academic Board:
- minutes and papers of meetings of the Course Advisory Committee, Executive Management Committee and Teaching and Learning Committee.
- The minutes provided in accordance with Condition 2A must:
- demonstrate a process consistent with the TEQSA Guidance Notes for the relevant bodies on the matters the subject of discussion; and
- specify the extent to which the discussion took account of external advice or input.
By 30 September 2018, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide TEQSA with a policy and procedure to manage the risk of conflict of interest of members of its boards and committees. The policy and procedure must be approved by the Crown Institute of Higher Education Board of Directors before being provided to TEQSA.
By 31 December of each year in which it is registered as a higher education provider, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide TEQSA with a report which, for every unit which it plans to offer in one of its higher education courses in the following year, sets out:
- the title of the unit;
- the staff member(s) proposed to teach the unit and, for each staff member:
- the highest qualification in the discipline of the course being taught;
- the professional experience held;
- to the extent that the staff member does not have a qualification in a relevant discipline at least one Australian Qualifications Framework level above the course in which they are proposed to teach, a summary of the basis on which Crown Institute of Higher Education assessed that individual as having knowledge, skills and the capacity to apply knowledge and skills equivalent to such a qualification;
- whether the staff member is employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis and (if the staff member is employed on a part-time or casual basis) the staff member's expected fraction of full-time employment;
- the number of students expected to be enrolled in each unit.
By 31 December of each year in which it is registered as a higher education provider, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide TEQSA with a Staff Professional Development and Scholarly Activity Report. The report must:
- specify the professional development and scholarly activities undertaken, and the scholarly outputs produced, by each staff member in the preceding 12 months;
- specify the steps taken by Crown Institute of Higher Education to support professional development and scholarly activity among its staff, including details of in-house seminars and the amount of funding provided to staff for these purposes;
- be reviewed by the Crown Institute of Higher Education Academic Board before being provided to TEQSA.
At least three months prior to the commencement of delivery of its higher education Courses, Crown Institute of Higher Education must provide TEQSA with evidence of the appointment of a suitably qualified person to the position of Associate Dean. The appointment must be made:
- in accordance with the minimum qualifications and employment type specified in the Crown Institute of Higher Education Workforce Plan dated 29 June 2018;
- with the agreement of TEQSA as to the identity of the appointee (which agreement is not to be unreasonably withheld).