Go to top of page

Organisational structure

Figure 1: TEQSA's organisational structure, as at 30 June 2020

Flow chart detailing TEQSA's organisational structure, as at 30 June 2020


TEQSA currently has four Commissioners: a part-time Chief Commissioner and three part-time Commissioners. TEQSA's Commissioners are appointed by the Minister for Education based on their expertise in higher education, quality assurance, and regulatory practice. The 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.

Emeritus Professor Nicholas Saunders AO, Chief Commissioner and Acting CEO

Professor Saunders joined the agency as Acting Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in September 2014. He was appointed by the then Minister responsible for higher education as TEQSA Chief Commissioner in March 2015 and his appointment was renewed in March 2018.

Professor Saunders was previously Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bond University and prior to that Vice‑Chancellor and President 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 Saunders has been the Acting CEO of TEQSA since March 2020, when the previous CEO, Mr Anthony McClaran, left the agency to take up the position of Vice-Chancellor at St Mary's University, UK.

Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake AO, Commissioner

Professor Peter Coaldrake was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in May 2020.

Professor Coaldrake was Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Queensland University of Technology for nearly fifteen years until 2017, and is a former Chair of both Universities Australia and the governing board of the Organisation for Economic Development – Institutional Management in Higher Education.

In 2018, Professor Coaldrake was appointed by the Minister for Education to conduct a review into the Higher Education Provider Category Standards. In 2018, he also undertook two separate reviews for the Queensland government: one dealing with the present and future Queensland public sector workforce, and the other of the future of vocational education, training and skilling in central-western Queensland, focusing on the performance of the Agricultural Colleges.

Professor Coaldrake is currently the Chair of the Board of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust and a Board Member of the Queensland Community Foundation.

Emeritus Professor Joan Cooper, Commissioner

Professor Cooper was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in April 2019.

Professor Cooper’s most recent work prior to joining TEQSA 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.

Professor Cooper 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 AO, Commissioner

Dr Linley (Lin) Martin was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in February 2015. Her appointment was renewed in February 2018 and her term ended in January 2020.

Prior to her role at TEQSA, 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.

Emeritus Professor Cliff Walsh, Commissioner

Professor Walsh was appointed as a TEQSA Commissioner in February 2014 and his 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 was the CEO of TEQSA from October 2015 until March 2020, when he left to take up the position of Vice-Chancellor at St Mary's University, UK.

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 he was 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 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 was 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 including provider registrations, course accreditations, CRICOS assessments, and 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.


The Senior Management Team (SMT) is comprised of: the CEO; the Executive Director, Regulatory Operations; and TEQSA senior managers. The SMT supports the CEO in discharging their statutory role and provides 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 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 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 made up the agency as at 30 June 2020 are outlined below.

Regulatory Operations

The Regulatory Operations Group is a new team focused on coordinating and delivering strategic projects to improve TEQSA's operational activities. This includes strategies to: streamline assessment activities, improve TEQSA's partnership approach, and build the capabilities of assessment staff. The group also coordinates operational reporting.

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 requirements of the TEQSA and ESOS frameworks, 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; managing provider notifications of material changes; conducting compliance assessments and investigations; and conducting reviews of conditions imposed on registration and course accreditation.

The Assurance Group is responsible for assessing applications for: renewal of registration (re-registration); accreditation and renewal of accreditation (re-accreditation) of courses; authority to self-accredit one or more courses; and change of provider category.

Legal Group

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. The group is also responsible for internal quality assurance of TEQSA's assessment processes and policies, with a particular focus on maintaining TEQSA's Case Management Handbook.

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; sector assessments; provider risk analysis; financial assessment of providers; and the collection, storage and integration of sector data.

Corporate Group

The Corporate Group provides strategic management of TEQSA’s resources, including: finance, human resources, information and communications technology, records management, security, and accommodation.

Engagement Group

The Engagement Group is responsible for maintaining and enhancing 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, the TEQSA Experts database, and expert engagement activity.

Executive Office

The Executive Office has primary responsibility for coordinating overall agency activities, such as liaising with government and public service stakeholders, including: the Minister’s Office; the Department of Education, Skills and Employment; and the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP).

The Executive Office is responsible for: managing the development of, and reporting against, the Corporate Plan; preparing the Annual Report; preparing for Senate Estimates appearances; coordinating enterprise risk management; and providing executive and administrative support to the Commissioners, CEO, accountable authority, Audit and Risk Committee, the Senior Management Team and other internal committees.