by: Claire Holmes
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”- Benjamin Franklin
Yes, I’m sure we have all seen this quote or similar on various forms of media, but preparation is essential to the success of your registration or re-registration with TEQSA. Perhaps you are thinking of becoming a registered higher education provider or you have realised that your re-registration date is quickly approaching. Both can be a lengthy process, and depending upon individual scenarios, may necessitate a considerable amount of resources to accomplish.
DVE is experienced in helping institutions navigate this process and we know firsthand that timing and preparation are key to success. Compiling evidence for initial registration is a 2-3 year (minimum) process whilst the preparation of evidence for re-registration can take 12-18 months. Both processes will depend on individual scenarios and the outcomes from previous submissions.
Whether you are looking to register or turning your attention to your re-registration, it’s important to know that the process does not have to be daunting and you do not need to do it alone. In fact, TEQSA itself has recognized the value of independent advice and external review in the registration and re-registration process. The TEQSA Application guide for registered higher education providers: Renewal of registration for existing providers states: “TEQSA will generally seek examples of reporting and review outputs that are part of your regular governance and quality assurance cycle, rather than ones specifically commissioned for a TEQSA re-registration application”. It is therefore advantageous to seek independent advice from the get-go.
We’re registered… what happens when we’re due for Re-Registration?
In the last few months, we have been working with, and discussing re-registration processes with a lot of providers, both large Universities, and also smaller providers. Many of these have a re-registration submission looming; and either a) have not undertaken this process since the 2015 TEQSA HESF, OR it’s their first ever re-registration since they were approved for registration.
How is Re-Registration different to the Initial Registration process?
Would you like the good news, or the goods news? Firstly, (if you’re new) congratulations on completing your registration application with TEQSA. Once you have gained registration, re-registration is often a pared-down process (Hooray!).
Re-registration should be straightforward, as long as you have . An effort of ‘re-creating’ evidence and gap-filling at the last minute is a recipe for disaster (an expensive, stressful disaster!). Early checks, and support from an experienced third party Higher Education will assist you in ensuring that you are tracking correctly.
“Think of it as having a safety net. After all, even the best acrobatics will have one!”
What will TEQSA ask to see during re-registration?
Depending upon the success of your initial registration, you may not be asked to cover some of the same standards you have done previously for your re-registration submission. You will receive a ‘Confirmed Evidence Table’ (CET) 6 months prior to your submission date – but, you must prepare before then. Your CET will be customised to reflect the level of risk that your institution presents, and not all CET’s are the same.
How soon should we start…and why so early?
The timeline for re-registration preparation is typically shorter than for initial registration, but DVE recommends it is wise to start working on it 12-18 months before it is due. TEQSA will still ask to see samples of 12 months of evidence – so the earlier, the better.
This may seem like ‘over-cooking the chook’, but you may find that following a health check, a few gaps in policies, governance practices other identified non-compliances against the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 can help flesh out potential gaps in your submission and may bring to light some practices or material that may require re-visiting by your Board and Committees or require extensive stakeholder engagement.
It is important to remember that this is an opportunity to identify areas for improvement and to demonstrate commitment to excellence in your governance and higher education.
DVE is experienced in helping institutions create a comprehensive plan for their registration and re-registration, and if you need, help execute it, ensuring that all requirements are met on time. Our team of experts can assist with everything from policy development and data analysis to Board inductions and training. DVE will ensure that evidence is accurate, comprehensive, and presented in the most effective way possible.
If you would like to chat to our team about where your re-registration (or, initial registration effort is up to, and ask any questions – contact us and we will be happy to arrange an advisory session.