The Higher Education Standards Panel’s advice on the impacts of professional accreditation in higher education

In 2016 the Minister for Education and Training requested the Higher Education Standards Panel’s (the Panel) advice on the impact of professional accreditation in Australian higher education and opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on higher education providers.

The Panel has given substantial consideration to this matter over the course of 2016 and 2017. The Panel’s advice has been informed in part by a report commissioned from PhillipsKPA consultants, Professional Accreditation – Mapping the territory.

Throughout its deliberations, the Panel’s vision has been for a system of professional accreditation that adds value to higher education delivery and outcomes, that is delivered effectively and efficiently without duplication of, or overlap with, the regulatory oversight responsibilities of TEQSA.

The Panel’s advice to the Minister was provided in December 2017. The Panel has recommended that:

  • the Government consider a legislated code of practice that limits professional accreditation bodies to matters that are profession-specific, rather than issues already assured by TEQSA;
  • TEQSA work with accrediting bodies to build their capacity to work more effectively and efficiently – by establishing formal guidance, participating in workshops, encouraging a focus on outcomes-based quality assurance, and promoting best practice regulation;
  • a stakeholder forum is held to discuss the future of professional work and ways to further streamline accreditation.

The Government has accepted the Panel’s advice in principle.

The department is seeking stakeholder views on the advice and its implementation.

Please forward any comments to HigherEd@education.gov.au by 30 April 2018.