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Review of TEQSA decisions

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As the regulator of Australian higher education, TEQSA makes decisions that may affect current and prospective providers. When making a decision, we consider all relevant evidence about a current or prospective provider.

If your organisation is affected by a negative decision we have made, you can seek a review of the decision.

TEQSA complies with the basic regulatory principles of:

  • reflecting risk
  • proportionate regulation
  • regulatory necessity.  

Providers are given an opportunity to comment on a proposed decision that may adversely affect them, including a decision to impose a condition on registration or accreditation. Providers can present any relevant information to TEQSA before a final decision is made.

Reviewable decisions

Reviewable decisions made under the TEQSA Act include decisions about:

  • applications for registration in a particular provider category
  • applications for course accreditation
  • conditions on a registration or course accreditation
  • renewing a registration or course accreditation
  • removing the authority of a provider to self-accredit one or more courses of study
  • shortening the period of a registration or course accreditation
  • cancelling a registration or course accreditation.

Reviewable decisions under the ESOS Act include decisions:

  • that an approved provider should not be registered
  • to impose a condition on a provider’s registration
  • that a course at a location should not be added to a provider’s registration.

Options for review

There are three possible options for review:

  1. an internal review of decisions
  2. a merits review of decisions made by TEQSA in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)  
  3. a judicial review of administrative decisions.

Internal review

If a provider is dissatisfied with a decision made by a delegate of TEQSA, they can apply for an internal review of the decision. The application must be:

  • made in the approved form. Application documents are available at our Application guides and support page
  • accompanied by the fee for an internal review application. See more information on our fees page
  • made within 30 days of the applicant being informed of the decision (or longer if agreed by TEQSA).

Where an application is made to TEQSA for an internal review, the person reconsidering the decision has the authority to affirm, change or revoke the decision. The decision will be considered by:

  • a more senior member of staff than the delegate who made the original decision
  • a TEQSA Commissioner who was not involved in making the original decision
  • the whole Commission.

When undertaking an internal review, we will review the evidence that led to the original decision and consider any additional information in the context of the provider’s circumstances and the basic regulatory principles.

TEQSA must make a decision within 90 days after receiving the application for review.

AAT review

A provider can apply to the AAT for merits review of:

  • a reviewable decision if it was not made by a delegate of the TEQSA Commission
  • an internal review decision.

Merits review means the AAT considers the available evidence and determines whether TEQSA’s decision was the correct and preferable decision. For more information visit the AAT’s website.

Judicial review

In certain circumstances, providers can apply to a court for a judicial review of an administrative decision made by TEQSA. A judicial review considers whether we correctly applied the law in making our decision but will not consider the merits of our decision. A court can consider whether TEQSA:

  • followed proper legal procedures in making the decision, including the rules of natural justice
  • took an irrelevant consideration into account or failed to take a relevant consideration into account
  • applied a rule or policy without proper regard to the merits of the case
  • did not have evidence to justify its decision. 

Publishing decisions on the National Register

Public reports of regulatory decisions about providers are published on the National Register of higher education providers. Providers are given 28 days to comment on a draft public report before we make a decision on publication. We will not, except in exceptional circumstances, note a decision or publish a public report on the National Register until the period for applying for review of the decision has expired or until a review is completed (if applicable).