Inter-agency collaboration to create efficiencies – a pilot between ANMAC and the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA)

Domain 5. Processes for accreditation of programs of study and education providers

Domain 8. Stakeholder collaboration

Organisation

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) 

Relevance

Accreditation standards; processes for accreditation of programs of study and education providers; stakeholder collaboration

Issue addressed

The project was the first and currently only formal inter-agency arrangement conducted to identify: similarities in organisational requirements/processes, areas for collaboration; opportunities for sharing resources and the feasibility of a mutual recognition system in the assessment and accreditation of Australian higher education providers.

Practice introduced or changed

The joint project was finalised in late 2014 and involved the following activities:

  • Mapping of the ANMAC Registered Nurse Accreditation Standards 2012 to the TEQSA Higher Education Standards (Threshold Standards) 2011
  • Alignment of membership within the ANMAC accreditation assessment team and TEQSA expert assessors
  • Collaboration between the ANMAC and TEQSA employees in the coordination of the accreditation process
  • Sharing of information between the 2 agencies to facilitate a responsive and timely accreditation of the education provider
  • A single site visit conducted by representatives from both agencies and report, prepared by ANMAC and accepted as evidence for accreditation by TEQSA
  • Joint meetings between the agencies and education provider to seek information/evidence, provide progress and outcomes of the accreditation process

Impact

The joint project identified the following areas and opportunities for improvement:

  • Alignment of standards to reduce the duplication of evidence and regulatory burden for higher education providers through the submission of a single submission for accreditation. A philosophy of “one piece of evidence, once” for applications being considered at the same time may be
  • Reduction in the time, cost and burden on each agencies and the education provider’s resources, though the sharing of industry specific accreditation information.
  • Potential in the alignment of accreditation expiry dates to enable the agency processes to occur concurrently
  • Greater education provider engagement in and satisfaction with the accreditation processes undertaken by both agencies
  • Development of Memorandum of Understanding to assist each agency in exercising its accreditation/regulatory functions and improving outcomes within the higher education sector

ANMAC is currently developing a new accreditation governance structure, including a risk framework and extended monitoring systems. This project is being referenced in the design of the new governance framework for release in late 2016.

Where to go for more information

Please contact Executive Director Accreditation Services at ANMAC anmac.org.au