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Our approach to quality assurance and regulation

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TEQSA’s role is to safeguard the interests of current and future students studying within Australia’s higher education system. We do this by quality assuring and regulating Australian higher education providers.

We are responsible for the registration and re-registration of higher education providers, and the accreditation and re-accreditation of courses.

Our regulatory approach is standards and risk-based, and guided by the following three regulatory principles:

  1. regulatory necessity
  2. reflecting risk
  3. proportionate regulation.

Standards based regulation

Our standards based regulation means that:

  • Provider entry to, and continued operations within Australia’s higher education sector are determined by demonstrated compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework).
  • The HES Framework is developed and published independently of TEQSA by the Higher Education Standards Panel.
  • The HES Framework applies to all providers offering courses which lead to a regulated higher education award, regardless of where and how a course is delivered.
  • While all providers must comply with the HES Framework , we assess these in the context of each provider’s circumstances.
  • The HES Framework is applied flexibly and with regard to the diversity of teaching methods and delivery modes that exist and are emerging within the sector. The standards contained in the HES Framework are not intended to limit higher achievement.

Risk based regulation

TEQSA's risk based approach ensures resources are directed to areas of higher risk based on validated, quality intelligence about higher education providers.

We also have authority, under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, for providers of Foundation Programs and for providers of English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) of study in a pathway arrangement with a registered higher education provider.   

Key aspects of this approach include the HES Framework,  the Case manager model, our Regulatory Risk Framework, the use of experts, and engagement with professional organisations.