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1.Purpose

The purpose of the Academic Staff Qualifications and Experience Policy (“policy”) is to ensure that academic staff appointed to teach and assess students enrolled at the Institution are qualified to an appropriate level in the relevant discipline and professional experience as required by legislation.

 2. Scope

All current and prospective academic staff at the Institution, including casual staff and staff employed by an accredited third-party provider.

This policy does not apply to partner supervisors of students undertaking industry placements, as the Institution assures itself that such individuals are appropriately qualified to teach or supervise students through the provision of the Employability Policy (and associated procedures).

3. Definitions

See Glossary of Terms.

4 Policy statements

4.1 Academic staff must:

a. hold at least one qualification standard level higher than the course of study being taught (AQF+1); or

b. have equivalent professional experience as outlined in Tables 1 and 2.

4.2 All academic staff must have knowledge of contemporary developments in their specific discipline or field, be actively engaged in continuing professional development, scholarship, research or knowledge of contemporary teaching, learning and assessment relevant to their discipline, role, modes of delivery and the specific needs of student cohorts.

4.3 Professional experience must be current, documented and directly relevant to the subject area being taught.

4.4 The need to demonstrate equivalence through professional experience is an exception rather than regular practice. In exceptional cases, academic staff who are assessed on a combination of formal qualifications and professional experience must as a minimum, possess formal qualifications to at least the same level as the course being taught.

4.5 Academic staff must demonstrate knowledge of contemporary developments in the field they teach, informed by continuing scholarly activity and skills in teaching, learning and assessment relevant to the needs of student cohorts.

4.6 Academic staff who do not meet these requirements are supervised and supported by those in leadership positions using a development plan that addresses their specific needs. 

4.7 Through the Institution’s human resources and recruitment process, academic staff are supported with advice on how to meet and evidence the legislative requirements, and are given the opportunity to demonstrate their suitability to teach a given course or subject for consideration as part of the equivalence assessment.

4.8 All approved equivalences must be logged by the relevant Program Manager in the Scholarly Output & Activity Repository (SOAR).

4.9 The criteria outlined in Tables 1 and 2 are considered the minimum qualifications or professional experience for academic staff teaching and assessing the Institution’s courses.

4.10 Occasional guest lecturers are exempt from the requirement to hold AQF+1 but must bring a level of knowledge and experience which will add value to the teaching of the relevant discipline area.

4.11 Teachers, tutors and instructors not responsible for the coordination of the subject and who deliver less than 40% of the teaching load, require qualifications at least at the same level as the course being taught as well as the relevant professional experience.

4.12 Partner supervisors of students undertaking industry placements need to be appropriately qualified, however, they are deemed an exception as they are covered through the provision of the Employability Policy and Employability Procedures – Work Integrated Learning.

4.13     The Institution recognises that the engagement in scholarly activities is a significant aspect of academic staff experience and it is committed to fostering a culture of scholarship by supporting all academic staff to undertake regular scholarly activities as per the Scholarship in Learning and Teaching Framework.

Table 1: Assessing equivalence table for staff in the field. Staff and potential staff should use the Assessing Equivalence for Academic Staff – IN FIELD OF STUDY form provided.

AQF Level being taught Required AQF Level for Staff Professional experience equivalence
AQF Level 5 Diploma

(only as a stand-alone qualification)

AQF Level 6 AQF Level 5

PLUS EITHER

A minimum 5 years relevant professional fulltime experience in a relevant field and/or discipline area, together with a sound understanding of current scholarship in the discipline and demonstrated ability to engage students in intellectual inquiry

OR

Enrolment in a relevant AQF Level 6 course plus relevant professional experience, together totalling 3 years.

AQF Level 6

Associate Degree

(only as a stand-alone qualification)

AQF Level 7 AQF Level 6

PLUS EITHER

A minimum 5 years relevant professional fulltime experience in a relevant field and/or discipline area, together with a sound understanding of current scholarship in the discipline and demonstrated ability to engage students in intellectual inquiry

OR

Enrolment in a relevant AQF Level 7 program plus relevant professional experience, together totalling 3 years.

AQF Level 7

Bachelor Degree

AQF Level 8 A Level 7 qualification or above and current registration to practice within the relevant discipline (e.g. CPA Membership)

PLUS

5 years relevant professional experience

OR

Enrolment in a Level 8 or above course plus some relevant teaching and/or professional experience totalling 5 years.

Evidence logged in the Scholarly Output & Activity Repository (SOAR) by the relevant academic:

  • Applied research and/scholarly or creative outputs and activities such as scholarship award applications
  • Peer reviewed publications, presentations and conference participation
  • Experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations

A Fellow of a relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management) may be considered to satisfy the equivalence guidelines for teaching at Level 8 when such appointments are made on the basis of exceptional achievement and/or service to the profession.

Staff who hold minimum qualifications for teaching at Level 8 and also hold part-time or formal Adjunct appointments with an Australian university are deemed to have equivalency for teaching in Level 8 courses.

AQF Level 8

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

Bachelor Honours Degree

AQF Level 9 A Level 8 qualification or above and current registration to practice within the relevant profession (for example, CPA membership).

PLUS

5 years relevant professional experience

OR

Enrolment in a Level 9 or above course plus some relevant teaching and/or professional experience together totalling 5 years.

Evidence logged in the Scholarly Output & Activity Repository (SOAR) by the relevant academic:

  • Applied research and/scholarly outputs and activities such as scholarship award applications
  • Peer reviewed publications, presentations and conference participation
  • Experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations

A Fellow of a relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management) may be considered to satisfy the equivalence guidelines for teaching at Level 8 when such appointments are made on the basis of exceptional achievement and/or service to the profession.

Staff who hold minimum qualifications for teaching at Level 8 and also hold part-time or formal Adjunct appointments with an Australian university are deemed to have equivalency for teaching in Level 8 courses.

AQF Level 9

Masters Degree by Coursework

AQF Level 10 A Level 9 qualification or above and current registration to practice within the relevant profession (for example, CPA membership)

PLUS

5 years relevant professional experience

OR

Enrolment in a doctoral program (Level 10) plus some relevant teaching and/or professional experience totalling 5 years.

Evidence logged in the Scholarly Output & Activity Repository (SOAR) by the relevant academic in assessing equivalency:

  • Applied research and scholarly outputs and activities such as scholarship award applications
  • Peer reviewed publications, presentations and conference participation
  • Experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations

A Fellow of a relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management) may be considered to satisfy the equivalence guidelines for teaching at Level 9 when such appointments are made based on evidence of exceptional achievement and/or service to the profession.

Staff who hold minimum qualifications for teaching at Level 9 and also hold part-time or formal Adjunct appointments with an Australian higher education provider are deemed to have equivalence for teaching in Level 9 courses.

 Table 2. Assessing equivalence table for staff not in the field of study. Staff and potential staff should use the Assessing Equivalence for Academic Staff – NOT IN FIELD OF STUDY form provided.

AQF Level being taught Required AQF Level for staff Professional experience equivalence
AQF Level 5 Diploma

(only as a stand-alone qualification)

AQF Level 6 Where staff have a Level 6 qualification but it is NOT IN THE FIELD of STUDY, other in-field experience may be taken into account and professional equivalency applied.

Equivalence

5 years relevant professional experience

Other evidence: consider the following in assessing equivalency:

  • Qualification lower than Level 6 that is in field
  • Experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations
  • A Fellow of relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management).
AQF Level 6 Diploma

(only as a stand-alone qualification)

AQF Level 7 Where staff have a Level 7 qualification, but it is NOT IN THE FIELD of STUDY, other in-field experience may be taken into account and professional equivalency applied.

Other evidence: consider the following in assessing equivalency:

  • Qualification lower than Level 7 that is in field
  • Experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations
  • A Fellow of relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management).
AQF Level 7

Bachelor Degree

AQF Level 8 Where staff do have a Level 8 qualification, but it is NOT IN THE FIELD of STUDY, other in-field experience may be taken into account and professional equivalency applied.

Equivalence

5 years relevant professional experience

Other evidence: consider the following in assessing equivalency:

  • Qualification lower than Level 8 that is in field
  • Experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations
  • A Fellow of relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management).
AQF Level 8

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

Bachelor Honours Degree

AQF Level 9 Where staff do have a Level 9 qualification, but it is NOT IN THE FIELD of STUDY, other in-field experience may be taken into account and professional equivalency applied.

Equivalence

5 years relevant professional experience

Other evidence to consider the following in assessing equivalency:

  • Qualifications lower than Level 9 that is in field.
  • Relevant experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations
  • A Fellow of a relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australia Institute of Management)
AQF Level 9

Masters Degree by Coursework

AQF Level 10 Where staff do have a Level 10 qualification, but it is NOT IN THE FIELD of STUDY, other in-field experience may be taken into account and professional equivalency applied.

Equivalence

5 years relevant professional experience

Evidence to consider the following in assessing equivalency:

  • A qualification lower than Level 10 that is in field
  • Relevant experience outside tertiary education in industry, business or government employment
  • Leadership in local, state or national advisory bodies and/or community organisations
  • A Fellow or member of relevant Learned or Professional Society (for example, CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management)

5. Roles and responsibilities 

5.1 Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness and implementation of the policy and its impact on student learning.

5.2 The Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) is responsible for monitoring academic staff member qualifications and their equivalent professional experience.

5.3 The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) is the responsible officer of this policy, monitors its effectiveness, is responsible for approving academic staff member qualifications, their equivalent professional experience and reporting to the LTC at the next available meeting.

5.4 The Deans, in consultation with the DVC (Learning and Teaching), are responsible for assessing academic staff member qualifications and their equivalent professional experience.

5.5 The Vice President (Quality Assurance and Accreditation) is responsible for monitoring all academic staff qualifications for regulatory purposes.

5.6 The Vice President (People and Training), in collaboration with the Deans, is responsible for supporting academic staff on how to meet and evidence the legislative standards and shall maintain appropriate academic records.

5.7 Academic staff are responsible for ensuring that their qualifications meet the equivalence requirements of the Institution. If they do not meet these standards, a professional development plan is put in place with their relevant academic supervisor to support them to achieve professional equivalence in their teaching practice.

6. Related documents

 Ethics of Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Policy

Recruitment Guidelines

Scholarship in Learning and Teaching Framework

Scholarship in Learning and Teaching Policy

Scholarship in Learning and Teaching Procedures

Staff Recruitment, Induction and Performance Policy

 

Approved by Academic Board 19 November 2021