Figure 1: TEQSA's organisational structure
TEQSA currently has four Commissioners; a part-time Chief Commissioner and three part-time Commissioners. Commissioners are appointed by the Minister for Education based on their expertise in higher education, quality assurance, and regulatory practice. Commissioners are responsible for making regulatory decisions, setting strategic directions, monitoring risk in the sector, and deciding on matters relating to the development of the agency’s quality assurance and regulatory framework. The Commissioners are also collectively the accountable authority for TEQSA.
Professor Nicholas Saunders AO, Chief Commissioner
Professor Saunders joined the agency as Acting Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer in September 2014. He was appointed by the then Minister responsible for higher education as TEQSA Chief Commissioner in March 2015 and this appointment was renewed in March 2018.
Professor Saunders was previously Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bond University and prior to that Vice‑Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Australia. During his career, Professor Saunders has been Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council and Chair of the Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools. He was also a member of: the Higher Education Council; the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council; the Australian Research Council; and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council. Professor Saunders was also a member of the Board of Universities Australia and Lead Vice‑Chancellor for research and international activities.
Professor Joan Cooper, Commissioner
Professor Cooper was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in April 2019.
Professor Cooper’s most recent work involved delivering a variety of higher education consultancy services to higher education private providers in Australia. Her roles and services included chairing governance committees; reviews of operational areas; and reviews and preparation for TEQSA registration, renewal of registration, and course accreditation. She has chaired a number of Governing Councils and Academic Boards for private providers, including TAFE NSW.
She also has wide-ranging experience both nationally and internationally in tertiary education accreditation and quality audits. She was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor (Students) of the University of New South Wales. Her other senior academic executive positions include Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Flinders University, and Dean of Informatics at the University of Wollongong where she served as Chair of the University Senate (Academic Board).
Dr Linley Martin, Commissioner
Dr Martin was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in February 2015. Her appointment was renewed in February 2018.
Previously, Dr Martin was the Head of University Services and Vice-Principal (Major Projects) at the University of Melbourne, where she had also held the position of Vice Principal and Academic Registrar. She has held a number of senior positions at universities including as the Vice-President and Council Secretary at Deakin University.
Dr Martin was also a senior adviser to the Review of Australian Higher Education (the Bradley Review) which was pivotal to the establishment of TEQSA.
Professor Cliff Walsh, Commissioner
Professor Walsh was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in February 2014 and this appointment was renewed in February 2018.
He has held professorial appointments at the University of Adelaide and the Australian National University, and visiting appointments at universities in Canada, the US and the UK. His teaching, research, publications and advisory specialities have included: public sector economics and public policy; regulatory theory and its application to economic, social and environmental issues; and economic and social evaluation of public sector programs and regulatory regimes.
Professor Walsh has also been a member of the quasi-judicial Australian Competition Tribunal, which reviews, on appeal, decisions of Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
He is currently Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide, and a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Economics.
Mr Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a full-time position, appointed by the Minister and with responsibility for the management and administration of TEQSA. Mr McClaran commenced at the agency in October 2015.
Before joining TEQSA, Mr McClaran was the Chief Executive of the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education for six years, and prior to that the Chief Executive of the UK’s national agency for higher education admissions, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
Mr McClaran has held several leadership positions in the higher education sector, including as Academic Registrar, and Acting Registrar and Secretary at the University of Hull. He was Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire from 2007 to 2009.
Mr McClaran has served on the boards of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), and has served on the Advisory Council of the US Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group since 2016. He is a member of the Audit Committee of the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB).
Ms Prue Monument, Executive Director, Regulatory Operations
Ms Monument commenced at the agency in June 2019 as the Executive Director, Regulatory Operations. This role oversees all of TEQSA’s assessment activities such as provider registrations, course accreditations, CRICOS assessments, compliance and investigations.
Prior to joining TEQSA, Ms Monument was the Director of Compliance at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) where she was responsible for the ACNC’s Compliance directorate, focused on identifying and investigating abuse and mismanagement in Australia’s charity sector.
Ms Monument holds an Executive Master of Public Administration and has over 18 years of public sector experience, including with the Australian Border Force and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia, China and Lebanon, with a focus on program integrity, compliance and caseload fraud prevention.
SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM
The Senior Management Team (SMT) comprises the CEO, TEQSA senior managers, and the Executive Director, Regulatory Operations. The role of the SMT is to support the CEO in discharging his statutory role and provide collective operational leadership for the agency in relation to TEQSA’s operational priorities, including business planning and the management of resources. The SMT reports to the accountable authority through the CEO.
TEQSA’s highly skilled staff possess a range of knowledge and expertise in higher education, quality assurance, regulation, risk management and the public sector. Staff members build on their knowledge and experience through regular interactions with providers, professional accreditation bodies, TEQSA experts and overseas quality assurance bodies.
TEQSA’s staff come from diverse backgrounds, including in higher education delivery, data collection, data analysis, risk management, financial analysis, regulation and government. They apply their specialised skills in assessing complex qualitative and quantitative information, with a focus on protecting the interests of students and the reputation of the higher education sector, by:
- ensuring that higher education providers meet the HES Framework
- promoting good practice
- improving the quality of the Australian higher education sector.
The functional groups that make up the agency, as at 30 June 2019, are summarised in the following section.
Assessment and Investigations Group and Assurance Group
The Assurance Group and the Assessment and Investigations Group are responsible for delivering TEQSA’s core business of undertaking regulatory assessment under the TEQSA Act (using the HES Framework) and the ESOS Act (using the National Code, ELICOS Standards and Foundation Program Standards). This work is critical to ensuring higher education providers meet the HES Framework, and monitoring and improving the quality of the Australian higher education sector.
The Assessment and Investigations Group is responsible for assessing applications for initial provider registration; assessing applications made under the ESOS Act; managing complaints about providers; and compliance and investigations.
The Assurance Group is responsible for material changes and assessing applications for: re-registration; accreditation and re-accreditation of courses; authority to self-accredit one or more courses; and provider category change.
TEQSA’s Legal Group, led by the General Counsel, is responsible for legal services required by TEQSA as a Commonwealth regulatory agency, including providing TEQSA staff with strategic legal advice and training on legal issues, managing claims by or against TEQSA, and managing Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) matters.
Policy and Analysis Group
The Policy and Analysis Group is responsible for the enhancement of TEQSA’s regulatory outcomes and future direction through ongoing improvements to regulatory policy, business improvement, strategic projects, and quantitative and qualitative analysis.
The Policy and Analysis Group also coordinates strategic projects, provider risk analysis, financial assessment of providers, and the collection, storage and integration of sector data. Working closely with the Commissioners, CEO and Senior Management Team, the Policy and Analysis Group provides information and analysis relevant for reporting against the Corporate Plan, Regulator Performance Framework (RPF), and to support the quality, consistency and robustness of regulatory decisions.
The Corporate Group provides strategic management of TEQSA’s resources, which include: finance, human resources, information and communications technology, and accommodation.
The Engagement Group is responsible for maintaining and growing relationships with the sector and other higher education stakeholders. TEQSA stakeholders include peak bodies, regulatory beneficiaries (students, employers and the Australian public), other regulators, professional accreditation bodies, international agencies (including quality assurance agencies of other countries), and the media. The Engagement Group delivers TEQSA’s Annual Conference, and manages all internal and external communications, sector assessments, the TEQSA Experts database, and expert engagement activity.
The Executive Office has primary responsibility for coordinating overall agency activities, including liaising with government and public service stakeholders, including the Minister’s Office, the Department of Education and the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP).
The Executive Office is responsible for: managing the development of, and reporting against, the Corporate Plan, the Annual Report and the RPF; preparing for Senate Estimates appearances; coordinating enterprise risk management; and providing executive and administrative support to the Commissioners, CEO, accountable authority, the SMT and other internal committees.