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National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes

The National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes (the ‘National Protocols’) are a key element of the national quality assurance framework for Australian higher education. They protect the standing of Australian higher education nationally and internationally by assuring students and the community that higher education institutions in Australia have met identified criteria and are subject to appropriate government regulation.

The National Protocols were to be reviewed no later than 2012 but in March 2011 a bill was introduced into Commonwealth Parliament establishing a national framework for the regulation of Australian higher education providers and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). TEQSA regulates higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards). The Threshold Standards were based in part on the National Protocols.

MCEETYA first agreed to the adoption of the National Protocols on 31 March 2000, and these Protocols remain in force until  the revised Protocols referred to below come into effect.  The 2000 National Protocols can be downloaded here.

During 2004 to 2006, an extensive process of consultation led to the further development of the National Protocols.  Details of this process and submissions received are available here.

2007 Revised National Protocols

Revised National Protocols were approved by MCEETYA in July 2006 with some clarifications approved in October 2007. This edition of the National Protocols will commence operation from the end of December 2007 as legislation enacting the new protocols in each of the nine jurisdictions is drafted and passed by parliaments. The revised Protocols can be downloaded here.

In July 2006 MCEETYA also approved the development of National Guidelines to accompany the revised protocols to promote greater national consistency in their application. Draft National Guidelines were developed through a consultation process and approved by MCEETYA in October 2007:

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