Quality Regulatory Compliance Policy

Quality Regulatory Compliance Policy

Policy Code: CG1664

Purpose

The Quality Regulatory Compliance Policy outlines the University’s commitment to quality and compliance, through the adherence to regulatory compliance requirements.

This Policy identifies all Regulators and relevant legislation and frameworks the University must observe to ensure risk is minimised.  It also allows comprehensive planned monitoring, reviewing and continuous improvement of the University’s Quality Framework.

Scope

This Policy applies to all members of the University community including professional and academic staff and partner providers. This Policy applies to all University activities, which directly or indirectly support or impact on University tertiary and vocational education services.

Legislative Context

  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) - Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) 2015
  • Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS)
  • Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  • Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – Standards for RTO’s 2015
  • Higher Education & Skills Group (HESG)
  • Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority (VRQA)

Definitions

AQF The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. It incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.
ASQA

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector.

ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met.

CRICOS CRICOS is the official Australian Government website that lists all Australian education providers that offer courses to people studying in Australia on student visas and the courses offered.
ESOS The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, or ESOS Act, establishes legislative requirements and standards for the quality assurance of education and training institutions offering courses to international students who are in Australia on a student visa.  ESOS also provides tuition fee protection for international students.
HESF The HES Framework consists of two parts: Part A – Standards for Higher Education (which represent the minimum acceptable requirements for the provision of higher education in or from Australia).  Part B – Criteria for Higher Education Providers (which enable categorisation of different types of providers and whether a provider is responsible for self-accreditation of a course(s) of study it delivers.
HESG Publicly funded Vocational Education and Training in Victoria is managed by the Higher Education Skills Group (HESG), which is part of the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET).
Quality Framework The system in which activities used to carry out Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement are completed at the University.
TEQSA The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is an Australian government agency that regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s higher education sector.
University Governance and Management Committees

Relevant committees that support the academic, operational and quality governance of the University's Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education programs.

These include, but not limited to, the following committees or their replacements: Academic Board, Curriculum Committee, Learning and Teaching Committee and VET Compliance Management Group.

VRQA The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) is Victoria's education and training regulator.

Policy Statement

Quality Statement

Through consultation and working proactively with all stakeholders, the University will build a strategy for strong quality based learning and teaching.

As a result of adherence to the relevant standards and legislation to assure compliance and the maintaining of registration as a dual sector provider, the University will minimise all risks related to academic compliance.

This Policy affirms and documents the University’s commitment to ensuring a quality student-centred learning experience for all students, regardless of the mode in which they are studying, in both Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education (HE).

This will be done by ensuring:

  • Related documentation complies with University policy / procedure
  • University policy / procedure reflects and complies with legislative requirements
  • Stakeholders are kept informed of regulatory bodies requirements
  • Strict adherence to University policy / procedure
  • Internal audits are undertaken to determine compliance and report on risk

Quality Principles

The Quality Framework at the University is based upon the following principles:

  • Quality Commitment
  • Quality Responsibility
  • Quality Staff and Resources
  • Quality Data and Information
  • Quality Practices
  • Quality Improvement

These principles are described as follows:

1. Quality Commitment - The University actively endorses and demonstrates support for the Quality Policy.

2. Quality Responsibility - Quality is accepted as the responsibility of all staff.

3. Quality Staff and Resources - Staff are trained, supported and resourced appropriately in order to deliver services and products consistent with University requirements.

4. Quality Data and Information - Processes are in place to ensure the consistent collection and analysis of data and information.

5. Quality Practices - Consistent and effective practices will be identified and communicated to the University Community through Policy, Procedures, Guidelines and Forms.

6. Quality Improvement - Critical, honest and timely self review and evaluation linked with reflection. Planned internal and external review promotes the constant evolution of practices and processes to ensure their ongoing suitability and adequacy.

Federation University Quality Framework

The University Quality Framework in conjunction with regulatory and legislative requirements at the University has two objectives:

  1. To comply with the Federation University Australia Act 2010 and the decision making powers of the University that lie with Council as its governing body, Academic Board and the Vice-Chancellor complying with the statutory requirements as listed under Legislative Context
  2. To maintain University compliance with regulatory and legislative requirements to ensure continuing registration and certification as a Self-Accrediting Institution and as a Registered Training Organisation

The University Quality Framework is whole-of-institution framework linking strategic principles and strategic directions with planning and best practice in quality management.

Federation University Australia has adopted the Continuous Improvement Cycle of Plan, Do, Review and Improve to drive the process for self-review, reflection and improvement.

University's Regulatory Bodies

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) is an independent statutory authority established in 2011. It sits within the Commonwealth Government’s Education portfolio. TEQSA regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s large, diverse and complex higher education sector. TEQSA registers and evaluates the performance of higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards Framework – specifically, the Threshold Standards, which all providers must meet in order to enter and remain within Australia’s Higher Education system.

TEQSA administers two pieces of legislation:

  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act) https://www.teqsa.gov.au/teqsa-act
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act)

https://www.teqsa.gov.au/esos-act

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

The Standards for Higher Education: Part A are made up of the following components:

  1. Student Participation and Attainment
  2. Learning Environment
  3. Teaching
  4. Research and Research Training
  5. Institutional Quality Assurance
  6. Governance and Accountability
  7. Representation, Information and Information Management

Part B: contains the Criteria for Higher Education Providers: these criteria enable categorisation of different types of higher education providers according to certain characteristics; and whether a provider is responsible for self-accreditation of a program(s) of study it delivers.

For further information please read the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015. https://www.teqsa.gov.au/higher-education-standards-framework-2015

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is not a statutory authority but a policy that establishes the basis for the quality of Australian qualifications.

The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system. It incorporates the quality assured qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework. The AQF encompasses higher education, vocational education and training and secondary schools.

The AQF provides the standards for Australian qualifications. It is an integrated policy that comprises:

  • The learning outcomes for each AQF level and qualification type
  • The specifications for the application of the AQF in the accreditation and development of qualifications
  • The policy requirements for issuing AQF qualifications
  • The policy requirements for qualification linkages and student pathways
  • The policy requirements for the registers of: - organisations authorised to accredit AQF qualifications - organisations authorised to issue AQF qualifications - AQF qualifications and qualification pathways
  • The policy requirements for the addition or removal of qualification types in the AQF, and
  • The definitions of the terminology used in the policy.

Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act

The Australian Government wants overseas students in Australia to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia's laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws are known as the ESOS framework and they include the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code 2007.

ESOS specifies the minimum standards that Australian educational institutions must adhere to when delivering education to international students.

The University has developed an extensive set of ESOS support documentation which is located in the University Policy site. The University has developed an ESOS Compliance Framework Manual which sits within the University’s Policy Statement on ESOS Compliance. For further information click https://federation.edu.au/staff/governance/quality/student-life-cycle/esos or contact the Centre for University Partnership staff - the Manager, Compliance.

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)

The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) is a register of Australian education providers that recruit, enrol and teach overseas students. Federation University is a registered CRICOS provider which allows courses to be offered to overseas students studying in Australia on student visas.

The University’s CRICOS provider number is 00103D.

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

ASQA is the national regulator for vocational education and training (VET), all communication with ASQA must be done through Quality Services in accordance with the Point of Contact Policy.

ASQA maintains the VET Quality Framework which comprises the:

The University undergoes re-registration with ASQA every seven years. The re-registration process involves a VET-wide audit of the University’s compliance with the National Vocational Registered Training Organisation Standards.

Higher Education and Skills Group

The Higher Education and Skills Group (HESG) facilitates participation and achievement in senior secondary and tertiary education and training by supporting partnerships between providers, employers and the community and advising on public funding and regulation.

It manages the Government-funded training market, public provider governance and accountability, and the apprenticeship system.

The University undergoes regular audits by HESG which are done to demonstrate compliance with the VET Funding Contract.

As the funding body, HESG determines the funded hours for qualifications, and has stipulated the following:

  • An individual is only eligible to commence a maximum of two government subsidised qualifications in a calendar year.
  • An individual is only eligible to undertake a maximum of two government subsidised qualifications at any one time.
  • An individual is only eligible to commence a maximum of two government subsidised qualifications at the same level within the AQF in their lifetime.
  • HESG provides a Quality Charter that is intended to help Training Providers understand the Departments expectations. The Charter sets out what the Training Provider must do to satisfy the Departments expectations.

Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), a statutory authority, is responsible for the registration of RTOs in senior secondary education in Victoria.

This includes non-school senior secondary education providers, such as Federation University Australia, who are registered to deliver Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

The requirements for registration as a senior secondary education provider are based on the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and on the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2007, Schedule 7.

All senior secondary education providers must comply with each of the Minimum Standards as provided in the Regulations, Schedule 7.

The University undergoes re-registration with the VRQA every five years.

Quality Assurance and Review

The University’s practical application of this Policy’s processes are supported by the Quality Assurance and review Process Procedure which measures, monitors and reports through the reporting and analysis requirements of the Quality Framework.

The University’s quality assurance process functions over multiple levels of audits which are designed to complement each other and ensure an overarching, consistent and independent audit approach, which aligns with regulatory and legislative bodies requirements.

Supporting Documents

The University’s practical application of this Policy’s processes are supported by the Quality Assurance and review Process Procedure which measures, monitors and reports through the reporting and analysis requirements of the Quality Framework.

The University’s quality assurance process functions over multiple levels of audits which are designed to complement each other and ensure an overarching, consistent and independent audit approach, which aligns with regulatory and legislative bodies requirements.

Responsibility

  • Chief Operating Officer is responsible for monitoring the implementation and outcomes and its accompanying procedure/s.
  • The Director, Corporate Governance is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy and scheduling its review as delegated by the Chief Operating Officer

Promulgation

The Quality Policy will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. An Announcement through FedNews on the University website;
  2. Inclusion on the University's online Policy Library;

Implementation

The Quality Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. Staff induction and training sessions
  3. Application of the Quality Framework through School Boards, Administrative Portfolios and Planning processes; and
  4. Monitoring and Review by the University Governance and Management Committees;