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Commissioner Opportunities: ​Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency - Chief Commissioner and Commissioners

​Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
Chief Commissioner and Commissioners

About the Agency

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education.

TEQSA’s role is to ensure that quality standards are being met by all higher education providers so that the interests of students and the reputation of Australia’s higher education sector are promoted and protected.

All providers of higher education – universities and non-universities alike – that offer higher education qualifications in or from Australia, must be registered by TEQSA. Those providers that do not have self-accrediting authority must also have their courses of study accredited by TEQSA.

TEQSA’s purpose is to safeguard student interests and the reputation of the higher education sector by assuring the quality of Australian higher education through a proportionate, risk-reflective approach to regulation which allows higher education providers to pursue their individual missions and encourages diversity, innovation and excellence.

Established under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), the agency is responsible for:

  • ensuring national consistency in the regulation of higher education using a standards-based quality framework and applying the regulatory principles of necessity, proportionality and consideration of risk

  • protecting and enhancing Australia’s reputation for quality higher education and excellence, innovation and diversity

  • protecting students undertaking higher education.

TEQSA also has responsibility for the regulation of the sector under theEducation Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) and associated instruments (ESOS Framework). TEQSA regulates the sector through:

  • assessing risks to the sector via data collection and analyses

  • registering and re-registering providers

  • accrediting courses (where a provider does not have authority to self-accredit)

  • sharing information with the sector about how to improve and maintain compliance monitoring, compliance

  • working with providers to return to compliance and taking action to enforce compliance if necessary.

TEQSA is committed to continually improving its assessment processes to reduce the regulatory burden on all higher education providers, while ensuring processes remain effective in managing risk and maintaining quality in the sector.

Further information on TEQSA can be obtained at

The operating environment for TEQSA is increasingly complex and subject to a range of challenges and opportunities for the higher education sector and TEQSA.

The Role

TEQSA is looking to fill both the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners roles within the Agency.

TEQSA Commissioners are the Accountable Authority of TEQSA, responsible for the regulatory functions, governance and reporting of the agency in accordance with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The Chief Commissioner will bring to the role a high level of leadership and vision, with knowledge and experience in organisational change management; experience and knowledge in building a collaborative and cohesive ecosystem across multiple organisations to enable better delivery and experiences for stakeholders and capacity to facilitate strong regulatory and / or organisational performance in a shared or matrix leadership model.

The Chief Commissioner and Commissioners will bring appropriate expertise in regulatory practice and quality assurance as well as knowledge and understanding of the contribution that the higher education sector makes to Australia’s economic growth and national income, during a climate of significate reform in the tertiary education sector.

Both the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners are responsible for meeting legislative and governance obligations and making regulatory decisions, contributing to setting strategic directions, and monitoring risk in the sector. Working with TEQSA, you will undertake comprehensive analysis of providers’ applications, including the quality of the educational environment and education outcomes in the higher education sector as well as financial analysis of resources and financial viability of providers to successfully delivery quality higher education services.

These significant leadership appointments require individuals who are highly regarded for their sectoral and regulatory knowledge; who possesses a respected professional profile, political nous and gravitas; and who demonstrate sound leadership, management, interpersonal and communication skills. It is expected that candidates will have the skills and capabilities to shape strategic thinking; deliver results; cultivate productive working relationships; and communicate with influence and impact.

To be a strong contender for these nationally important roles you will need to demonstrate sound knowledge of, or experience with, the tertiary education sector (higher education and vocational education and training) at a senior level; have experience in administrative decision making where a high level of judgement and reasoning is required; an understanding of and commitment to, contemporary governance expectations and practice; a commitment and capacity to work respectfully and collaboratively with diverse teams, to achieve objectives; and high standards of professional and personal integrity and capacity to promote these in an organisation.

The key duties of the position include:

Key duties and responsibilities of the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners may include:

  • Decision-maker on regulatory matters at Commission meetings (including single Commissioner meetings), including on the registration/renewal of registration of higher education providers and on the accreditation/renewal of accreditation of their courses under both the TEQSA Act and the ESOS Act.

  • Understand and apply the relevant statutory and regulatory provisions for higher education, including the TEQSA Act and the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 and the ESOS Act and the National Code; and take responsibility for the integrity of TEQSA’s interpretation of these frameworks.

  • Provide direction and oversight on information gathering and risk assessment, and on the design and implementation of the regulatory framework and compliance/enforcement programs.

  • Provide guidance on, and make judgements about new areas of policy related to regulation and quality assurance in higher education as defined by TEQSA’s remit.

  • Assist in shaping long term organisational strategies to deliver on agency outcomes.

  • Speak and represent the Commission and TEQSA in public forums, conferences, consultations and meetings with stakeholders (Chief Commissioner or delegate).

Basis of Appointment and Remuneration

The Chief Commissioner and Commissioners are appointed by the Australian Government Minister for Education under the TEQSA Act. The successful applicant will be appointed on a part-time, non-ongoing basis for a period of five years. You will be required to travel to Melbourne for regular meetings.

Remuneration and allowances for the statutory appointment are determined in line with the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973. Further information on remuneration and allowances is available from the Remuneration Tribunal website at

How to Apply

The Department of Education has partnered with Watermark Search International for this process.

Should you be interested in a confidential discussion about the opportunity please contact Jen D’Arcy-Smith (Partner, Executive Search and Board) on 0449 967 781 or Bronwen Kerr (Engagement Manager) on 0439 489 428.

To lodge an application please email quoting Ref No A005570 to Watermark Search International. Applications close: 11.59pm AEST, 7 July 2024.

Please note, to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interests, consideration may be given to any potential conflict and its impact on the capacity of the candidate to undertake the role effectively. If successful, you will be required to submit a statement of any private interests, including any share ownership held by yourself or any immediate family members or other roles or affiliations that are relevant to the Portfolio. You may be required to divest yourself of any interest where it may give rise to a real or apparent conflict of interest.


Citizenship: Please note, under section 22(8) of the Public Service Act 1999, employees must be Australian citizens to be employed in the APS unless the Agency delegate has agreed, in writing.

Security Clearance: This is a designated security assessed position. The successful candidate will have the ability to obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting Level 1 security clearance.