It’s time to cut red -tape in the tertiary education sector through appropriate alignment of regulatory
standards of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Australian Skills
Quality Authority (ASQA), the regulators for the highe r education sector and the vocational education and
training sector respectively. The call was made by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia
(ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, vocational educa tion.
training and skills sectors.
“There are sixty one independent providers that are dual sector; operating across both the higher
education sector and the vocational education and training sector. They are drowning in red tape as they
deal with two dif ferent sets of regulatory standards enforced by TEQSA and ASQA. It’s time we act to
relieve that burden in a way that preserves quality in the sector,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief
ITECA has proposed a process of regulatory convergence where regulatory standards overseen by TEQSA
and ASQA would be aligned where this is possible. This approach recognises that the two sectors have
very different personalities, particularly concerning the student experience and learning outcome s.
However, it also recognises that the re are some areas where TEQSA and ASQA review governance.
administrative and financial arrangements of training providers and convergence would be possible.
“This is all about improving outcomes for students. We want tertiary education providers focussed on
supporting students rather than filling in two sets of forms from two different regulators for the same
purpose. Regulators can preserve the integrity of the system and cut red tape at the same time,” Mr
ITECA believes that alig nment of the Higher Education Standards Framework 2015 (Cth) and th e
Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 (Cth) is an essential first step towards a more
coherent tertiary education sector.
“We have different regulatory standards, different student funding mechanisms, and different regulatory
systems. These hamper student outcomes and serv e independent tertiary education providers very
poorly. It’s time for reform,” Mr Williams said.
ITECA has writt en to both TEQSA and ASQA with formal request s to commence a scoping study into
aligning and converging regulatory standards. ITECA has also raised the matter with the Minister for
Education and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Busine ss.
Independent providers support around 10% of the 1.5 million students in higher education and more than
80% of the 4.1 million students in vocational educat ion and training.