Last month, representatives from the Australian Dental Council (ADC), the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), and dental education providers came together for a landmark workshop to discuss the perceived extent of overlap and duplication within the higher education sector.
Instigated by the ADC following the signing of a second Memorandum of Understanding with TEQSA in 2019, the workshop provided a forum for both organisations to develop a better understanding of each other’s responsibilities, processes and principles in regards to decision-making within the accreditation space.
Participants discussed how accreditation standards are applied in practice based on a mapping of the Higher Education Standards Framework applied by TEQSA against the ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) Accreditation Standards for dental practitioner programs.
Participants found that although the wording may appear similar, the approach taken by each organisation and the processes by which the standards are used differ markedly. Furthermore, external factors, such as legislative requirements, including the different foci of these frameworks, made addressing the perceived instances of overlap and duplication a challenge for participants.
“The Australian education sector is a complicated environment which is constantly evolving,” ADC chief executive officer Narelle Mills said.
“It is important for us to work collectively with all groups within the sector, especially TEQSA, to ensure we are enabling these changes, rather than inhibiting them.”
Further information on the work of the ADC in relation to program accreditation can be found at adc.org.au/Program-Accreditation