Sector update: Experts undertaking independent reviews must be fully independent

TEQSA reminds providers it is best practice to ensure any experts used for an independent review are fully and genuinely independent. If an expert is not independent, their judgement and the quality of their review may be influenced by other interests.

Key points

Independent reviews are a valuable way for a provider to:

  • leverage specialist knowledge from outside the organisation
  • check the effectiveness of its quality assurance
  • continuously improve itself
  • ensure and demonstrate good academic governance.

It is in the interests of the provider to use independent reviews to support the self-assurance and continuous improvement of the organisation, rather than just to meet TEQSA or other requirements.

TEQSA’s view of best practice is that an independent expert is an expert who does not have (or intend to have) any significant interest:

  • in the provider
  • in an associated entity of the provider
  • in reaching outcomes that may benefit another entity at the cost of the provider being reviewed.

If an expert had any of these significant interests, it would likely interfere with their independent judgement and the quality of their review. This type of expert would be reasonably perceived as not independent.

In its regulatory processes, TEQSA will give greater weight to reviews completed by fully independent experts than by experts reasonably perceived as not independent.

Good practice

TEQSA has developed resources to support providers in identifying and benefitting from the use of independent experts for reviews:

Last Updated:

14 Nov 2022