Determining equivalence of professional experience to academic qualifications - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Determining equivalence of professional experience to academic qualifications - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Designated officer
Heads of School
First approved
26 October 2017
Last amended
17 December 2018
Review date
26 October 2022
Status
Active
Related documents
Related legislation / standards
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act 2011 (Cth)
  • Australian Qualifications Framework
  • Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Cth)

1. Purpose of policy

To ensure that academic staff appointed to teach and assess students enrolled in coursework programs at USC are qualified to an appropriate level in the relevant discipline, as required by legislation.

2. Policy scope and application

This policy applies to all current and prospective academic staff, including casual academic staff, who are teaching and assessing students enrolled in USC coursework programs and courses, including coursework programs and courses delivered by a third-party provider.

This policy does not apply to guest lecturers or staff involved in professional placement courses. Academic staff supervising HDR students are subject to the Higher Degree by Research – Academic Policy and Procedures.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy:

Professional experience means experience obtained through the practice of a profession, including teaching experience, scholarship and professional practice and from which the professional competency, knowledge, skills and learning outcomes achieved can be assessed.

4. Policy Statement

Academic staff teaching students enrolled in coursework programs will normally have a qualification at least one Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) qualification level higher than the program of study being taught.

A Bachelor degree is generally the minimum requirement to teach coursework programs at USC.

Heads of School are responsible for assessing and approving academic staff member qualifications and their equivalent professional experience.

In assessing professional equivalence to teach in coursework programs, the following should be considered:

  • teaching experience, scholarship activity and range of professional experience
  • minimum requirement for academic qualifications
  • any specific criteria for assessing equivalence at each AQF level

In making decisions on the determination of equivalence of experience, the University acknowledges that in some areas that are professionally focussed, developing academic disciplines, or highly specialist programs, that some flexibility with regard to the application of the policy may be required. However, circumstances requiring flexible application of the policy, must not curb the intent and general application of the policy.

All decisions on determining the equivalence of professional experience to academic qualifications will be made in accordance with the associated Guidelines (Appendix A).

All decisions made based on equivalence require a record of assessment and records are to be maintained by the Schools in accordance with the Information Management Framework – Governing Policy.

END of Policy

Appendix A - Guidelines for the Assessment of equivalence of professional experience to academic qualifications

Although academic staff will normally have the requisite level of qualification, without the need to rely on professional experience to demonstrate equivalence, it is recognised that some disciplines require a combination of registration, experience and qualifications to achieve expert‐level professional standards.

Academic staff who are assessed on a combination of formal qualifications and professional experience should have formal qualifications to at least the same level as that being taught. Professional experience will only be used to assess one Qualification Standards level above that being taught and the experience must be current and relevant to the area being taught.

The criteria below are considered minimum guidelines and Schools may require additional evidence or standards, as appropriate for different disciplines of study. Assessment outcomes should also be used for professional development plans for example supervision for teaching at appropriate levels.

Course AQF Qualification Level being taught/assessed

Minimum AQF Qualifications of Staff

Professional Experience Equivalence Criteria

Level 6 – Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma

Level 7 - Bachelor Degree in relevant area

No equivalence recognised. Except for special circumstance, the minimum qualification level to teach any USC student is a Bachelor Degree.

Level 7 – Bachelor Degree

Level 8 - Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma

AQF Level 7 qualification (Bachelor degree) and current registration or equivalent to practice within the relevant profession (if relevant)

PLUS

EITHER:

3 years relevant professional experience in the last 5 years

OR

enrolment in a AQF Level 8 or above program plus some relevant professional experience, together totalling 3 years

Level 8 – Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma

Level 9 - Masters degree

AQF Level 8 qualification and current registration or equivalent to practice within the relevant profession (if relevant)

PLUS

EITHER:

5 years relevant professional experience in the last 10 years

OR

enrolment in a relevant AQF Level 9 (Masters) or above program plus some relevant professional experience, together totalling 5 years.

Level 9 – Masters by coursework

Level 10 - Doctorate

AQF Level 9 qualification and current registration or equivalent to practice within the relevant profession (if relevant)

PLUS

EITHER:

5 years relevant professional experience in the last 10 years

OR

enrolment in a relevant AQF level 10 (doctoral) or above program plus some relevant professional experience together totalling 5 years

END of Guidelines