Quality Framework

Quality Framework

Policy code: CG1700
Policy owner: Manager, Policy and Quality Services
Approval authority: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Approval date: 26 March 2013
Next review date: 01 February 2027

Purpose

Federation University Australia is committed to quality assurance and continuous improvement across its federated network of campuses and partner-provider institutions. The Quality Framework describes the approach to quality assurance by embedding principles of good practice in quality management in accordance with the statutory quality standards of its regulatory bodies through a system of mature quality assurance processes, compliance auditing and the capture and implementation of continuous improvement.

The Commonwealth legislative regulatory framework which establishes the minimum requirements for education programs delivered to onshore international students, consists of the ESOS Act 2000, the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018), the ESOS Regulations 2019, the ESOS (Registration Charges) Act 1997, and the ESOS (TPS Levies) Act 2012. The Quality Framework outlines the University’s approach to compliance with the requirements stipulated within these legislative requirements for all University programs delivered onshore to international students holding a student visa.

The University will provide a quality tertiary education experience that inspires its students to succeed, serves its regions and communities, and is international in its outlook and impact.

Scope

This policy applies to all organisational units, campuses, staff and functions of the University, inclusive of the entire university community including students and partners of the University located locally, interstate or overseas, and is supported by the University's Strategic Plan.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS)
  • ESOS Regulations 2019
  • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (The National Code)
  • ESOS (Registration Charges) Act 1997
  • ESOS (TPS Levies) Act 2012

The statutory requirements of the following regulatory bodies are adhered to:

  • Australia Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
  • Victorian Registration Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
  • Department of Education; VET Funding Contract

Definitions

Term Definition
Academic Board

The principal academic body of the University whose purpose is twofold: firstly, to provide academic oversight of prescribed academic programs and courses of study of higher education and VET in the University; and secondly to provide advice to Council on the conduct and content of those programs and courses.

Specific responsibilities in the context of this Quality Framework are:

  • creating awareness of and providing leadership in relation to contemporary educational issues;
  • establishing a quality assurance framework for learning, teaching and research;
  • recommending and reporting to the Vice-Chancellor on matters relating to learning, teaching and research;
  • regularly reviewing and evaluating the performance of the Academic Board and reporting outcomes to Council.

Academic Board is supported in these duties by its Standing Committees.  Please refer to http://federation.edu.au/staff/governance/academic-board/standing-committees for further detail on these committees.

Act Federation University Australia Act 2010 provides the legislative framework that the University is required to operate under.
Benchmarking The process of measuring and monitoring outcomes against predetermined (usually best practice) standards.
Continuous improvement The ongoing process of change for the purpose of improvement to practices and processes.
Council The Council is the governing authority of the University and is responsible for the direction and superintendence of the University.
School Federation University Australia has a number of Academic Organisational Units - click here for details.
Governance The processes by which the University is controlled and held to account. It encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direct and control exercised in the organisation (Standards Australia AS 8000-2003/Amdt 1-2004).
Onshore Students A person holding an Australian student visa and is defined as an 'Overseas Student' in the ESOS Act.
Partner-provider organisation Educational institution providing programs and courses of the University through an approved Education Agreement.
Policy A formal statement of principle that regulates University operations
Procedure Describes the operational processes/steps to be adhered to in order to maintain effective adherence to the prescribed principles outlined in the associated policy.
Quality assurance The program of activities to ensure products and services are of the desired quality.
Quality framework The system in which activities used to carry out Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement are completed at the University.
Quality cycle The cyclic process of planning, quality improvement, quality control, quality and data reporting and quality improvement, including but not limited to benchmarking, audits, reviews and program or course review.
Regulation Made by Council under a University Statute to regulate interpretation and implementation of the Statute.
Regulator Standards The Higher Education Standards Framework (TEQSA) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011.
Standing Committees Permanent committees established under and reporting to Council -refer http://federation.edu.au/staff/governance/academic-board/standing-committees.
Statute The subordinate legislations related to the governance of the internal affairs of the University under the Federation University Australia Act 2010 (as listed in Part 5 Section 29 of the Act). Statutes can only be made, amended or revoked by Council and must be approved by the relevant State Minister with responsibility for tertiary education. A University Statute comes into operation on the day on which the Minister approves it (unless otherwise specified in the Statute).

Policy Context

Federation University Australia is established under the Federation University Australia Act 2010. Under the Act, the decision making powers of the University lie with Council as its governing body, Academic Board and the Vice-Chancellor. The University is responsible to comply with the statutory requirements as listed under Legislative Context.

University Governance Structure

UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE

Council and Standing Committees of Council

 

MANAGEMENT/OPERATIONS

Vice-Chancellor

Vice-Chancellor Senior Team (VCST) 

Operational Leadership (Deans, Heads of Operational Areas, Directors)

All employees

Students and other members

ACADEMIC GOVERNANCE

Academic Board and Standing Committees of Academic Board

This tripartite governance structure in which management and academic board contribute to academic decision-making, within the context of Council's overall responsibility and decisions ensures a clear distinction between governance and management responsibilities and clear separation between corporate and academic governance.

Policy Statement

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

University Principle Demonstrated through the Quality Framework by:
Excellence
  • Implementing quality control processes to ensure the minimum standards required by the Regulators are achieved.
  • Adopting agreed methodologies to capture, record and evaluate key outcomes to enable appropriate management responses. 
  • Providing clear and consistent leadership in the implementation and maintenance of quality systems.
  • Establishing quality assurance processes to ensure that university activities are being completed or delivered in a consistent and timely manner. This includes the reporting of the results of all reviews, audits, feedback, and complaints to the relevant standing committee.
Relevance
  • Utilising a planned approach with measurable controls and processes.
  • Ensuring a consistent institutional approach across all operational areas in measured areas of quality control.
  • All employees are responsible and accountable to their supervisor, for implementing the University's quality system, quality assurance and improvement processes, and for compliance with relevant standards as they pertain to each employee's work and area of operation.
  • Students and other members of the University community also have a responsibility to contribute to quality assurance and improvement at the University.
Inclusive
  • Ensuring each phase of the academic experience is underpinned by current relevant University policy, procedure and relevant legislation.
  • Aligning all functional, organisational unit and individual staff member plans with the current Strategic Plan, in particular its goals and priorities.
  • Ensuring employee operations are well managed and human resources are appropriate.
  • Implementing appropriate professional development and scholarship to ensure academic quality and integrity is maintained.
  • Providing a safe and well maintained environment across all organisational units which are sufficiently and equitably resourced (physical and electronic resources).
Empowering
  • Providing opportunities for appropriate internal and external involvement in the maintenance of quality and standards, including through the use of feedback from students, graduates, employers, staff and other stakeholders.
Innovative and agile
  • Offer creative solutions that enable quality and compliance through structure, stability and a growth mindset.
  • Support the process of turning ideas into actions by assisting the university community to determine the impact of Quality Assurance and regulatory requirements on projects.
  • Implement established business processes while proactively enabling change.

Quality Cycle - Continuous Improvement

The Office of Governance and Strategy with the support of Policy and Quality Assurance Services actively plans for quality assurance of the University as well as seeking opportunities to enhance best practice through continuous improvement.

Federation University Australia has adopted the Continuous Improvement Cycle of Plan, Do, Review and Improve to drive the process for self-review, reflection, continuous improvement and accountability to assure internal and external accreditation, registration and relevant audits.

Federation University's quality approach is aligned to the relevant regulatory standards, the student lifecycle, and the University's Strategic objectives and outcomes. The University has documented policies and procedures that provide clear instruction on how the Quality Framework is implemented across the University and its Partner Provider teaching locations. Compliance with all regulatory frameworks, is a university-wide effort, commitment and responsibility.

Responsibility

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (as the Approval Authority) is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure/s.

The Manager, Policy and Quality Assurance Services (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by the Approval Authority.

Promulgation

The Quality Framework will be communicated 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.

Implementation

The Quality Framework will be implemented throughout the University through the following mechanism:

  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.