Australia: Summary: Internal Audit Directors' Luncheon Series - TEQSA

Last Updated: 20 August 2012

Key points from the discussion

  1. Risk Management in the Higher Education space is not about meeting TEQSA's standards; it is about organisational wide risk management practices that ensure the long term viability and reputation of the sector as a whole.
  2. The most significant challenge now facing Universities is engaging Academics in the process to ensure consistent quality and management.
  3. TEQSA is taking a very pragmatic, sensible and engaged approach to the sector. One which appears to be very welcome based on the engagement from representatives in the room.
  4. Read the Act. Ensure you and your academics understand it in its entirety, as University licences are no longer open ended.
  5. Safeguarding the future of the industry.The intention for the establishment of TEQSA and the new Standards is to provide a strong and sustainable future through:
  • Providing confidence to the global market in the quality, fairness and safety of Australia's tertiary education system.
  • Ensuring Tertiary education providers are adhering to and following sound business principles.
  1. Bringing together risk and assurance. Risk and assurance need to be linked together to ensure all assurance, actions and process are aligned to the Universities identified risks and those identified by TEQSA. Risk now needs to be firmly at the top of the agenda.
  2. Continuous communication. Where a University does not meet one of the standards or criteria, TEQSA will want to enter a dialogue to understand what your University is doing, and what plans and processes are (or will be) in place to address this.

Monash - The Monash approach to implementing TEQSA requirements

Please click here to view the presentation slides from Judy Duffy - Director, Monash Quality Unit.

Monash is the first University to go through the TEQSA framework, with their licence due for renewal in December 2012. The key elements of the Monash approach is:

  • A thorough understanding of the Act across all key people and faculties within Monash.
  • A small, defined review panel to provide oversight, make decisions in the overall context of Monash, provide clear direction and communication.
  • Controlled single contact points within each of the faculties and academic departments to enable swift action and communication of material risk.
  • Monash is using the TEQSA requirements and framework to become part of what they do as a business and provider of education.
  • Communicating with TEQSA on material issues, and risks that may end up in the public domain.
  • CRICOS and ESOS compliance. Whilst the National Code and ESOS requirements have not changed, the University is developing and refining processes to address the new TEQSA standards.
  • Following the presentation and the discussion, Monash feels confident in its approach to date.

'Universities should sit back and look at the control and governance measures to ensure required information is reportable.' - Judy Duffy, Director, Monash Quality Unit.

TEQSA - Michael Beaton-Wells, TEQSA full time Commissioner

Following Judy's presentation, participants discussed:

  • The significance of changes affecting the Australian and international higher education sector.
  • The role of regulation in helping assure quality and protect reputation of the Australian sector here and overseas in this dynamic context.
  • The role of organisation-wide risk management, taking into account academic risks and other assurance processes. The logic to align internal audit and risk management processes.
  • The importance to TEQSA of a university's risk management capability as a pre-requisite for self-regulation.
  • The challenge of broader engagement within the university community in relation to the new regulatory framework, especially engagement with academics, and including reading the TEQSA legislation (Act and Standards)
  • TEQSA's approach is constrained by three regulatory principles: reflecting risk, proportionate regulation and only acting out of necessity.
  • TEQSA wants dialogue with providers, to ensure two-way understanding. If a flag goes up for TEQSA, in most instances its approach will be to make inquiries, have a discussion first, and act later on fuller information. TEQSA has discretion and its use of that discretion will be informed by the level of dialogue with a provider and the application of the three regulatory principles.

This publication is issued by Moore Stephens Australia Pty Limited ACN 062 181 846 (Moore Stephens Australia) exclusively for the general information of clients and staff of Moore Stephens Australia and the clients and staff of all affiliated independent accounting firms (and their related service entities) licensed to operate under the name Moore Stephens within Australia (Australian Member). The material contained in this publication is in the nature of general comment and information only and is not advice. The material should not be relied upon. Moore Stephens Australia, any Australian Member, any related entity of those persons, or any of their officers employees or representatives, will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the material contained in this publication. Copyright © 2011 Moore Stephens Australia Pty Limited. All rights reserved.

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