The Department of Education and Training commissioned PhillipsKPA to survey and characterise the extent and scope of professional course accreditation practices in Australian higher education. Professional accreditation was defined as either legal or professional association requirements for the accreditation of courses in higher education by a professional association to enable graduates to practice or be registered to practice in Australia. It also encompassed situations where a professional association seeks to influence the design or delivery of higher education courses without strict or enforceable impacts on the ability of graduates to practice in Australia. The focus of the brief was on higher education so the role of ASQA and professional accreditation in the Vocational Education and Training sector are not covered in this report.
It is important to emphasise that, consistent with the terms of reference, the project is NOT an evaluation of the practices of individual accreditation agencies or any other body. The report also does not make recommendations for action. These were not part of the brief for this review but it was expected that options for improvement would be identified.
Work undertaken by Universities Australia and Professions Australia to develop a joint statement of principles for professional accreditation and any relevant policy work by other stakeholders was included in the investigation.
This report is intended to inform work being undertaken by the Higher Education Standards Panel to provide advice to the Minister for Education and Training on the impact of professional accreditation on Australian higher education and opportunities that may exist to reduce regulatory burden for higher education providers.