The Governance Document Library is a list of terms and their standard definitions for policies, procedures, manuals and guidelines. Unless separately defined or the context of the policy requires otherwise then the following definitions apply to each document. 

It is expected that the glossary will be built up over time and documents will gradually be converted to incorporate standard definitions as part of the normal review process.

Click on a letter from A to Z below to view Glossary items that begin with the selected letter, or use the scroll bar located on the right hand side of this page to browse the entire list.

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  • Academic Board

    The principal academic advisory body to University Council, established under the Charles Darwin University Act 2003. It is the primary forum in the University for the discussion and resolution of academic matters relating to and affecting the University's teaching, research and educational programs. Its membership includes wide representation from management, staff and students.

  • Academic calendar

    The official dates for the semesters/terms that comprise the teaching periods of an academic year, the dates of examination periods and vacations, and other significant events like census dates.

  • Academic governance

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as a subset of the overall governance of a higher education provider. Academic governance deals with the framework that regulates providers’ academic decisions and quality assurance. Academic governance includes the policies, processes, definitions of roles, relationships, systems, strategies and resources that ensure academic standards and continuous improvement in academic activities. It is concerned with the integrity and quality of the core higher education activities of teaching, research and scholarship.

  • Academic integrity

    Is the demonstration of the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in achieving academic outcomes, resulting in a growing sense of ethical and professional behaviour.

  • Academic misconduct

    When a student seeks to gain, for themselves or any other person, an academic advantage to which they are not entitled or seeks to disadvantage any other student. This includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, tampering with exam scripts or class records, impersonating another student in an exam, falsifying clinical or laboratory reports, and any unauthorised distribution of exam material.

  • Academic progress

    The expectation to maintain satisfactory academic results.

  • Academic staff

    A member of staff of a higher education provider who is appointed wholly or principally to undertake a teaching and/or research function.

  • Academic staff

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as a member of staff of a higher education provider who is appointed wholly or principally to undertake a teaching and/or research function.

  • Academic standards

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as an agreed specification (such as a defined benchmark or indicator) that is used as a definition of a level of performance or achievement, rule or guideline. Standards may apply to academic outcomes, such as student or graduate achievement of core discipline knowledge and core discipline skills (known as learning outcomes), or to academic processes such as student selection, teaching, research supervision, and assessment.

  • Academic standing

    A student's academic progress in a qualification and the outcomes of the formal review of progress undertaken as part of the University's academic review process.

  • Academic transcript

    The record of results of a student's academic studies at a tertiary institution, which is issued once it has been determined that the student is eligible to graduate with an award.

  • Access and equity

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as the  policies and approaches aimed at ensuring that VET is responsive to the individual needs of clients whose age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disability, sexuality, language skills, literacy or numeracy level, unemployment, imprisonment or remote location may present a barrier to access, participation and the achievement of suitable outcomes.

  • Accredited short course

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as a a course accredited by the VET Regulator in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses that leads to an AQF statement of attainment.

  • Admission

    The act of admitting an applicant into a course of the University, following submission and assessment of an application.

  • Advance standing

    A form of credit for any previous learning, for example credit transfer based upon previous formal study, articulation arrangements or recognition of other prior learning.

  • Agent

    A person within or outside Australia who represents or acts on behalf of a provider, or purports to do so, in dealing with international students or prospective international students.

  • Appeal

    A request by a student for a decision or determination made by the University to be overturned in accordance with the relevant policy.

  • AQF certification documentation

    The set of official documents that confirms that an AQF qualification or statement of attainment has been issued to an individual.

  • AQF qualification

    An AQF qualification type endorsed in a training package or accredited in a VET accredited course.

  • Articulation

    The arrangements that facilitate and maximise opportunities for credit transfer and/or for students to proceed from form one qualification to another, or from one education and training sector to another (eg specifically designed pathway from an offshore diploma qualification to a CDU degree qualification).

  • Articulation arrangements

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as creating a defined pathway that enables a student to progress from a completed course of study to another course of study with admission and/or credit. 

  • Artistic works

    Refers to paintings, sculptures, graphics, cartoons, etchings, lithographs, photos, images, drawings, plans, maps, diagrams, charts, models of buildings and illustrations.

  • Assessment (HE)

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as a process to determine a student’s achievement of identified learning outcomes and may include a range of written and oral methods and practice or demonstration.

  • Assessment (VET)

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as means the process of collecting evidence and making judgments on whether competency has been achieved, to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard required in the workplace, as specified in a training package or VET accredited course.

  • Assessment system

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a coordinated set of documented policies and procedures (including assessment materials and tools) that ensure assessments are consistent and are based on the Principles of Assessment.

  • Audition

    A structured test for the purpose of admission to performing or creative arts qualification.

  • Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as a supplementary statement to a testamur and record of results that provides additional information to enhance understanding of the qualification by students, employers, industry and professional associations both locally and internationally.

  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as Australia‘s national policy for regulated qualifications. The AQF encompasses higher education, vocational education and training and school education. It provides for national recognition and a consistent understanding of what defines each qualification type.

  • Australian Research Council (ARC)

    The independent body funded by the Commonwealth Government to distribute research funding.

  • Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

    The national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector. ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met.

  • Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

    An indicator of how well a student has performed relative to other students who have qualified for a university aggregate.

  • Authenticated VET transcript

    Defined by the Student Identifier Act 2014 as a document prepared by the Registrar that sets out information:

    1. That relates to the VET undertaken by the individual; and
    2. That is prescribed by the regulations.
  • Authorised officer

    A staff member of the University (or member of a law enforcement agency) who has responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of others in their care for example, lecturers, supervisors, managers, executives, security personnel, campus administrators, residences managers, coordinators of fieldwork or off-campus learning activities or staff responsible for a relevant area.

  • Authorised visitor

    Bona fide visitors that the University may, from time to time, provide with access to facilities to enhance their ability to complete tasks for the University or to liaise with the University. Such visitors may include, but are not limited to: emeritus, adjunct or honorary academic staff; alumni; external auditors or consultants; potential clients or business partners; contractors or vendors; conference delegates; and students and staff of other universities with reciprocal arrangements.

  • Award

    The title of a qualification conferred upon a student following the successful completion of a course of study.

  • Award course

    A formally approved/accredited program of study and which leads to an academic award granted by the higher education provider or which qualifies a student to enter a qualification at a level higher than a bachelor's degree. It includes qualifications of an equivalent nature undertaken overseas.

  • Award requirements

    Academic attainments which, when fulfilled by a student, qualify that student to receive the award for which the student has been enrolled.

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  • Benchmarking

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as a means by which an entity can:

    1. demonstrate accountability to stakeholders
    2. improve networking and collaborative relationships
    3. generate management information
    4. develop an increased understanding of practice, process or performance
    5. garner insights into how improvements might be made.

    For example, in the context of course accreditation, benchmarking involves comparing performance outcomes and/or processes of similar courses of study delivered by other providers. ‘Internal benchmarking’ against other relevant courses offered by the provider may also be undertaken.

  • Block credit

    Credit granted towards whole stages or components of a qualification or course of study.

  • Bullying

    The persistent or ongoing behaviours directed towards an individual or group that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, would find offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening and that potentially or actually affects health and wellbeing.

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  • Campus

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as the physical location from where a course of study is being delivered. This location may or may not be owned by the higher education provider which enrols the student. For e-learning (online) or other distance education courses this would be the location at where the electronic course material is maintained.

  • Candidature

    The period of time a higher degree by research student is enrolled and undertaking their research project, including examination.

  • Capstone

    A unit that provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they can integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the major or qualification.  The learning outcomes of the capstone will normally map into the learning outcomes for the major or qualification.

  • Census Date

    The last date for students to withdraw from enrolled units without academic or financial penalty, apply for a leave of absence, or change their citizenship status or contribution payment option.

  • Certification Document

    These documents include Testamur, Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement, Certificate of Completion, Statement of Attainment and Academic Transcript.

    Defined in the AQF as the set of official documents that confirms that a qualification has been completed and awarded to an individual.

  • Chancellor

    The person who presides at meetings of the Council and at graduation ceremonies. The role of the Chancellor is similar to that of the chair of a board of company directors with responsibilities outlined in the  Charles Darwin University Act 2003.

  • Child

    A person less than eighteen (18) years of age or a person apparently less than eighteen (18) years of age if the person’s age cannot be proved.

  • Client

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a learner, enterprise or organisation that uses or purchases the services provided by an RTO.

  • Code

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the unique identifier for units of competency, skill sets, VET accredited courses, modules, AQF qualifications or training packages as required by the Standards for Training Packages and Standards for VET Accredited Courses.

  • Commencing student HE

    The Department of Education, Skills and Employment states that A student is classified as a commencing student in relation to a particular course of study. Aa student is a commencing student for a year if they  have started studying in a course of study for the first time at the higher education provider or an antecedent higher education provider in that year. An antecedent higher education provider means a higher education provider which has merged with the higher education provider at which the student's enrolment continues.

  • Commencing student VET

    The Department of Education, Skills and Employment states that Aa student who is classified as a commencing student in relation to a particular course of study. A student is a commencing student if she/he has enrolled in the course for the first time at the VSL provider or antecedent VSL provider between 1 January of the Reporting Year and 31 December of the Reporting Year. An antecedent VSL provider means a VSL provider which has merged with the VSL provider at which the student's enrolment continues.

  • Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)

    The notice students receive containing information about their enrolment and usage of Commonwealth assistance.

  • Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)

    A searchable database, run by the Australian Government, which lists all Australian education providers (and their courses) for people studying in Australia on student visas. The CRICOS database operates under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework.

    NOTE: TEQSA is responsible for assessing applications for inclusion on CRICOS.

  • Commonwealth Scholarships

    A Commonwealth program that aims to facilitate choice in higher education and to increase participation by students from low socio-economic backgrounds, particularly indigenous students and students from rural and regional areas.

  • Communication

    In copyright context refers to making third-party copyright content online for CDU educational purposes.

  • Competency

    The consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

  • Complaint

    Expression of dissatisfaction with any part of the education provider or its operations. Lodging of a complaint may be either written or verbal to initiate a process, whether formal or informal, to address the grievance.

  • Completed

    A student who has met all the requirements of their enrolled course.

  • conferral

    The act of granting your award; it means that you have been recognised as a graduate of the University for this award.

  • Confidentiality

    The principle of protecting information and preventing its disclosure to anybody other than those who have a right to access it and need to know.

  • Confirmation of Candidature

    The approval process for all higher degree by research students when moving from provisional to confirmed candidature and proceeding with their research project.

  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

    A document which is issued electronically by the University to intending international students upon receipt of tuition fees and which must accompany their application for a student visa.

  • Conflict of interest

    A conflict between a person’s official duties and their private interests, which could improperly influence the performance of their official duties and responsibilities. Conflicts of interest may be real, potential or reasonably perceived.

  • Consultant

    A person or organisation engaged by the University to provide goods or services.

  • Copyright

    Copyright refers to the exclusive rights of reproduction, communication and performance granted by the Copyright Act, 1968 to the copyright holders of literary, dramatic works, musical, artistic works and other subject matter such as films, videos, sound recordings and broadcasts.

  • Copyright Holder

    The person, group or organization that holds the copyright for the material.

  • Course

    A formally approved and accredited program of learning that leads to an award qualification or non-award study.

  • Course completion

    The successful completion of all the academic requirements of a course of study. This includes any required attendance, assignments, examinations, assessments, dissertations, practical experience and work experience in industry. Where a combined course automatically leads to two separate awards, a course completion will only occur when the requirements of both awards have been satisfied.

  • Course Coordinator

    An academic staff member who is responsible for the academic management of a course.

  • Course of study

    A coherent sequence of units of study leading to an award of a qualification(s).

  • Course with a major research component

    A course of study where the student load is comprised of two-thirds or more research leading to a thesis/dissertation. Examples include:

    • Bachelor Honours Degree
    • Masters Degree (Research)
    • Masters Degree (Extended)
    • Doctoral Degree.
  • Creative Commons

    Refers to a world-wide scheme that provides copyright owners with a free mechanism to licence their materials so others can share, reuse and remix their material legally.

  • Credit arrangements

    Formal negotiated agreements within and between issuing organisations or accrediting authorities regarding student entitlement to credit. They may also be formal arrangements made between issuing organisations and students. Credit can be given in the form of block, specified or unspecified credit (as provided by Qualification Standard 3.3).

  • Credit for prior learning

    Credit that is interpreted broadly to include specified and unspecified credit, exemptions, advanced standing, credit transfers and other similar outcomes, in which exemptions are granted for components of a course on the basis of having achieved equivalent learning outcomes in a course previously.

  • Credit transfer HE

    A process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for completed components of a course of study based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched courses of study. 

  • Critical incident

    A traumatic event, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia) which causes extreme stress, fear or injury.

  • Cross-institutional enrolment

    Where a student is enrolled in an award qualification at one higher education provider and is permitted by that provider to enrol into courses with another, recognised provider for credit towards the substantive award.

  • Current industry skills

    The knowledge, skills and experience required by VET trainers and assessors and those who provide training and assessment under supervision to ensure that their training and assessment is based on current industry practices and meets the needs of industry.

    Current industry skills may be informed by consultations with industry and may include, but is not limited to:

    1. having knowledge of and/or experience using the latest techniques and processes;
    2. possessing a high level of product knowledge;
    3. understanding and knowledge of legislation relevant to the industry and to employment and workplaces;
    4. being customer/client-oriented;
    5. possessing formal industry and training qualifications; and
    6. training content that reflects current industry practice.

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  • Data Provision Requirements

    The requirements for data provision as agreed by the Industry and Skills Council and implemented by the VET Regulator as required by its governing legislation.

  • Deferment

    The postponement of the commencement of a higher education qualification, usually for no more than one year.

  • Delegate

    A person invested with the authority to carry out functions, powers and duties

  • Department of Education, Skills and Employment

    The Australian Government department with responsibility for developing and administering higher education policy and programs and administering funding under the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

  • Disability support person

    A person that a student can nominate to provide them with emotional support and advocacy. This may include a parent, spouse, relative, carer or assistant.

  • Discontinued course

    A course previously offered by the University but no longer offered.

  • Discrimination

    Treating a person or group of people unfairly in certain areas of life, such as work and accessing goods, services and facilities, on the grounds of attributes like race; sex or sexuality; age; pregnancy, breastfeeding or parenthood; impairment; religious belief or activity; irrelevant criminal or medical record; marital status; trade union or employer association activity; political opinion, affiliation or activity; or association with a person who has, or is believed to have one of these attributes.

  • Domestic student

    A student who is an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident of Australia or holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

  • donation

    A financial payment or a non-financial payment (such as property or other goods) made to the University that has the following characteristics: it is made voluntarily; it does not provide any material benefit to the donor, and it essentially arises from benefaction and proceeds from detached and disinterested generosity.

  • donor

    In the context of the Scholarships and Prizes Policy, a donor means individuals, private businesses, industry, Federal and Territory Government departments, agencies or professional accreditation bodies that provide funds for the purpose of a scholarship and/or prize.

  • Donor

    A benefactor or one who bequeaths an award or gift, or their executor.

  • Dual Degree

    Courses offered through collaborative or cooperative arrangements between two or more higher education providers.

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  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act

    The legal framework which governs the delivery of education to overseas students studying in Australia on a student visa. The framework sets out clear roles and responsibilities for providers of education and training to international students and complements Australia’s student visa laws. For more information visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s website

  • Educational and support services

    may include, but are not limited to:

    1. pre-enrolment materials;
    2. study support and study skills programs;
    3. language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) programs or referrals to these programs;
    4. equipment, resources and/or programs to increase access for learners with disabilities and other learners in accordance with access and equity;
    5. learning resource centres;
    6. mediation services or referrals to these services;
    7. flexible scheduling and delivery of training and assessment;
    8. counselling services or referrals to these services;
    9. information and communications technology (ICT) support;
    10. learning materials in alternative formats, for example, in large print;
    11. learning and assessment programs contextualised to the workplace; and
    12.  any other services that the RTO considers necessary to support learners to achieve competency.
  • eLearning

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA) as the use of any digital technology or resources to deliver and support specific teaching and learning aims/outcomes. Also referred to as ‘online learning’ or 'technology enhanced learning'.


  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

    Courses offered to students studying in Australia on student visas. ‘Intensive’ denotes full-time study load (20 scheduled course contact hours per week).


  • English language proficiency

    The ability of students to use the English language to make and communicate meaning in spoken and written contexts while completing their course of study.

  • Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL)

    One Equivalent Full-Time Student Load. This is a measure of the study load, for a year, of a single student undertaking a course of study on a full time basis.

  • Executive officer
    1. a person, by whatever name called and whether or not a director of the organisation, who is concerned in or takes part in the management of the RTO; or
    2. an administrator, receiver and manager, or liquidator of the organisation (other than a receiver and manager, or liquidator, appointed by a court); or
    3. if the RTO is a body corporate:
      1.  a person who, at any time during a period for which the organisation is registered, owns 15% or more of the organisation; or
      2. a person who, at any time during a period for which the organisation is registered, is entitled to receive 15% or more of dividends paid by the organisation; or
      3. the administrator of a deed of company arrangement executed by an organisation; or
      4. a trustee or other person administering a compromise or arrangement made between the organisation and another person or other persons.
  • External Digital Platform and services

    digital services not managed by the University e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, social media sites

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  • Fair dealing

    The provisions in the Copyright Act, which cover copying for (personal) research or study, criticism or review, reporting the news, parody and satire, and purposes related to judicial proceedings.

  • Fee Off-Set

    A circumstance in which the university partially or fully pay the fee of a student

  • Fee waiver

    A circumstance in which the university charges no fee or a discounted fee on a student to complete a degree

  • Field of education / study

    The classification system (split in to three levels) used by higher education providers to classify courses of study, specialisations and units of study. Field of education groupings of courses and specialisations are on the basis of similarity of potential professions, rather than similarity of content, while units of study are coded on the basis of a likeness in terms of their subject matter.


  • Financial viability

    Financial resources and financial management capacity to sustain higher education provision consistent with the requirements of the Provider Registration Standards outlined in the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

  • Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements

    The requirements made under section 158 of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 or equivalent requirements made or adopted by the VET Regulator of a non-referring State as the case requires.

  • Formal complaint

    The term used to distinguish complaints that use a formal complaints-resolution process from complaints about matters that are resolved readily without entering into a formal process.

  • Formal learning

    Learning that takes place through a structured program of learning that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification

  • Formative assessment

    A frequent, interactive form of assessment of student academic progress that aims to identify learning needs in an ongoing and dialogic cycle, and fine-tune teaching in line with identified learning and teaching needs.

  • Full-time equivalence

    As defined in the Department of Education, Skills and Employment's HEIMS-HELP glossary.

Return to TopG

  • Generic learning outcomes

    The transferable, non-discipline specific skills that a graduate may achieve through learning that can be applied in study, work and life contexts. The four broad categories in the AQF are: fundamental skills; people skills; thinking skills and personal skills.

  • Governance Documents

    Formally approved documents that outline non-discretionary governing principles and intentions, in order to guide University practice. Governance documents are a formal statement of intent that mandate principles or standards that apply to the University’s governance or operations or to the practice and conduct of its staff and students. They include the CDU Act, by-laws, policies, procedures, rules, codes and the Enterprise Agreement.

  • Governing body

    The body with ultimate decision-making authority over the higher education provider and its operations.

  • Government Accreditation Authority (GAA)

    State and territory government accrediting authorities who were previously responsible for accrediting higher education qualifications and authorising non-self-accrediting higher education providers.

    NOTE: these functions are now conducted by TEQSA.

  • Government entity
    1. a Department of State of the Commonwealth; or
    2. a Department of the Parliament established under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 of the Commonwealth;
    3. an Executive Agency, or Statutory Agency, within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999 of the Commonwealth;
    4. a Department of State of a State or Territory; or
    5. an organisation that:
      1. is not an entity; and
      2. is either established by the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory (whether under a law or not) to carry on an enterprise or established for a public purpose by an Australian law; and
      3. can be separately identified by reference to the nature of the activities carried on through the organisation or the location of the organisation whether or not the organisation is part of a department or branch described in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) or of another organisation of the kind described in this paragraph.
  • Grade distributions

    Set by each higher education provider, they involve analysing the aggregation of final grades using data by subject, course of study, student cohort or other grouping. Grade distributions may be determined using norm-referencing methods, criterion-referencing methods, or a combination of both. Criterion-referencing requires a focus on identified learning outcomes and provides transparency for students.

  • Grade point average

    Grade point average means the average of the grades a student has achieved, weighed by the credit points or hour value of the units.

  • Graduand

    A student who is deemed to have completed requirements for an award of the University but has not yet had the award conferred.

  • Graduate

    A student who has had an award conferred.

  • Graduate attributes

    Generic learning outcomes that refer to transferable, non-discipline specific skills that a graduate may achieve through learning that have application in study, work and life contexts.

  • Grievance

    An issue or concern that is raised for resolution through a complaint. Grievance is used generically, whether the grievance is considered minor or more serious in nature.

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  • Harassment

    Behaviour that is unwelcome, for example, making a person feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated. Harassment is often unsolicited and repeated, and usually unreciprocated. Sexual harassment is included in this definition and is a particularly serious form of harassment. It involves conduct, including the use of work and remarks, of a sexual nature.

  • Health Professional

    Refers to a person who is registered as a health professional with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency.

  • High managerial agent

    An employee or agent of the organisation with duties of such responsibility that his or her conduct may fairly be assumed to represent the organisation in relation to the business of providing courses.

  • Higher Education Award
    • a diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor degree, graduate certificate graduate diploma, masters degree or doctoral degree
    • a qualification covered by level 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework
    • an award of a similar kind, or represented as being of a similar kind, to any of the above awards 
    • other than an award offered or conferred for the completion of a vocational education and training course.
  • Higher education provider (HEP)

    defined in the TEQSA Act as:

    • a constitutional corporation that offers or confers a regulated higher education award
    • a corporation that:
      • offers or confers a regulated higher education award
      • is established by or under a law of the Commonwealth or a Territory

    a person who offers or confers a regulated higher education award for the completion of a course of study provided wholly or partly in a Territory.

  • Higher education services

    Includes functions such as: 

    1. delivery of teaching and learning services (including student assessment)
    2.  student learning support (such as access to library materials, academic learning support, and English language support)
    3. personal student support services (such as career services, advocacy, counselling, accommodation services, health and welfare services)
    4. marketing, advertising and promotion of course(s) of study
    5. student recruitment
    6. maintenance of and/or access to electronic resources and/or websites to support higher education operations
    7. maintaining student records and data
    8. student admission services
    9. provision of teaching and learning or research facilities
    10. student complaint management; and research supervision.
  • Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (HES Framework)

    Set by the Minister for Education and Training on the advice of a panel with expertise in the delivery of higher education, the HES Framework is the minimum level of achievement that a provider must meet and maintain to registered to deliver higher education courses of study.

  • Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP)

    A legislative advisory body, established under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), with responsibility related to the standards for delivery of higher education in Australia.

    More information is available on the Department of Education and Training’s HESP page.

  • Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA Act)

    The HESA Act provides for the Commonwealth to give financial support for higher education and certain vocational education and training through:

    1. grants and other payments made largely to higher education providers

    financial assistance to students (usually in the form of loans).

  • Home college

    The College or School in which the Higher Degree by Research candidate is enrolled

Return to TopI

  • In absentia

    In the absence of and is used to refer to a conferral that happens without a student attending a graduation ceremony or council meeting.

  • Independent validation

    For the purposes of Clause 1.25, that the validation is carried out by a validator or validators who:

    1. are not employed or subcontracted by the RTO to provide training and assessment; and
    2. have no other involvement or interest in the operations of the RTO.
  • Industry

    The bodies that have a stake in the services provided by RTOs. These can include, but are not limited to:

    1. enterprise/industry clients, e.g. employers;
    2. group training organisations;
    3. industry organisations;
    4. industry regulators;
    5. industry skills councils or similar bodies;
    6. industry training advisory bodies; and
    7. unions.
  • Industry and Skills Council

    The Commonwealth, State and Territory ministerial council established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), or its successor.

  • Industry engagement

    May include, but is not limited to, strategies such as:

    1. partnering with local employers, regional/national businesses, relevant industry bodies and/or enterprise RTOs;
    2. involving employer nominees in industry advisory committees and/or reference groups;
    3. embedding staff within enterprises;
    4. networking in an ongoing way with industry networks, peak bodies and/or employers;
    5. developing networks of relevant employers and industry representatives to participate in assessment validation; and

    exchanging knowledge, staff, and/or resources with employers, networks and industry bodies.

  • Industry organisation

    refers to an organisation representing an industry, including peak business and employer organisations and industry advisory bodies, such as industry skills councils.

  • Industry Reference Committees (IRCs)

    Committees made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge of particular industry sectors which will ensure that training packages meet the needs of employers.

  • Industry regulator

    A body or organisation responsible for the regulation and/or licensing arrangements within a specific industry or occupation.

  • Informal learning

    Learning gained through work, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Unlike Formal or Non-Formal Learning, Informal Learning is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.

  • Inherent Requirements

    The abilities, knowledge, and standards of conduct and performance that are essential for a student to achieve the learning outcomes of a course or unit. These may include compulsory standards set by professional registration, or accreditation bodies. 

  • Insubstantial portion

    refers to the Copyright Act and allows the University to make multiple copies of and to communicate an 'insubstantial' portion of a literary or dramatic work for educational purposes. The amount of a work that is deemed insubstantial is not explicitly defined in the Copyright Act. The general test for what would be deemed insubstantial is that the intended use of the amount copied would not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the copyright owner.

  • Intellectual property

    The various rights which the law gives for the protection of creative effort of a person or group of people. Intellectual property is customarily divided into copyright and rights related to copyright subject to the Copyright Act 1968, and technical or industrial intellectual property that may be protected as registered intellectual property or by common law.

  • International student

    A student studying in Australia who is not an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen.        and is required to hold a visa to study in Australia and liable for international student fees (ISF) payable to the University either by the student or a sponsor.

  • Ipsative assessment

    Comparing an existing performance of a student with his/her own previous performance.

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  • Joint awards or Dual awards

    Courses offered through collaborative or cooperative arrangements between two or more higher education providers.

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  • Key Personnel

    Includes senior executive officers such as:

    • the Principal/Chief Executive Officer
    • Academic Director (or other senior executive officer with primary responsibility for academic operations)
    • and others who will:
      • make decisions about the governance, management or direction of the academic and corporate operations of a higher education provider
      • exercise a notable degree of control or influence over the decision making about the governance, management or direction of the academic and corporate operations of a higher education provider.

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  • Learner

    A person being trained and/or assessed by the provider for the purpose of issuing AQF certification documentation.

  • Learning management system

    The university systems provided to support online classrooms and associated activity.

  • Learning objectives

    The teacher-orientated statements, which specify what activities the teacher intends to complete with the students to achieve the listed learning outcomes. They detail what teaching activities are going to be conducted.

  • Learning outcomes

    The expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of learning.

  • Leave of absence

    A period of absence from studies at the University.

  • Licensed or regulated outcome

    Compliance with an eligibility requirement for an occupational licence or a legislative requirement to hold a particular training product in order to carry out an activity

  • Live Streaming

    Sending video and audio signals in real time over the internet.

Return to TopM

  • Major

    A set of related courses which are constructed for students to achieve specified learning outcomes and require the completed of 48 units.

  • Material Change

    Under section 29(1) of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011, a registered higher education provider is required to notify TEQSA if any of the following events occur or are likely to occur:

    1. an event that will significantly affect the provider’s ability to meet the Threshold Standards
    2. an event that will require the National Register to be updated in respect to the provider.

    Material changes to an accredited course of study or to the operations of a higher education provider may lead TEQSA to take regulatory action. Any action we take will be mindful of not discouraging change, innovation and continuous improvement.

  • Mode of delivery

    The method adopted to deliver training and assessment, including online, distance, or blended methods.

  • Mode of delivery / study

    The range of options for study available to students. Examples include: 

    1. attendance face-to-face in a classroom
    2. supervised study on a higher education provider’s campus
    3. eLearning (online learning)
    4. distance or independent learning
    5. work-integrated learning
    6. fast track
    7. intensive delivery
    8. block release
    9. and mixed (or blended) delivery.
  • Moderation

    A quality control process aimed at bringing assessment judgements into alignment. Moderation is generally conducted before the finalisation of student results as it ensures the same decisions are applied to all assessment results within the same unit of competency.

  • Moderation of assessment

    Quality assurance, control processes and activities such as peer review that aim to assure:

    1. consistency or comparability, appropriateness, and fairness of assessment judgments
    2. the validity and reliability of assessment tasks, criteria and standards.

    Moderation of assessment processes establish comparability of standards of student performance across, for example, different markers, locations, subjects, providers and/or courses of study.

  • Module

    A group of learning outcomes in a VET accredited course where it can be established that it is not possible to develop an appropriate unit of competency.

  • My eQuals

    Australia and New Zealand’s official tertiary credentials digital platform for universities, TAFE and tertiary education providers. It provides students and graduates with secure access to certified, official qualification records and enables them to share their records with third parties (i.e. employers) online.   

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  • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code)

    Provides nationally consistent standards for the conduct of registered providers and the registration of their courses. These standards set out specifications and procedures to ensure that registered providers of education and training courses can clearly understand and comply with their obligations.


  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

    The statutory body of the Australian Government responsible for research funding directed towards the maintenance and promotion of public and individual health.

  • National Protocols for higher Education Approval Processes

    Developed in 2000 and revised in 2007, these protocols were a key element of the national quality assurance framework for Australian higher education. The National Protocols were drafted as guidelines rather than standards and did not contain measures of performance. Aspects of the National Protocols were incorporated into the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

  • National Register

    The register maintained by the Commonwealth Department responsible for VET and referred to in section 216 of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011.

  • National Register of Higher Education Providers (National Register)

    The authoritative source of information on the status of registered higher education providers in Australia. The National Register was established and maintained under section 198 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011.

  • National VET Regulator

    The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the national body responsible for registering training providers and accrediting courses in Australia.

  • Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) Logo

    The logo used nationally to signify training packages and VET accredited courses.

  • Nested courses

    Course of study leading to higher education awards that include articulation arrangements from a lower level higher education award into a higher level higher education award. Nested courses also enable multiple entry and exit points.

  • No Known Copyright Restrictions

    may indicate that:

    1. the copyright of the content has expired;
    2. the content has been placed in the public domain;
    3. the Copyright holder is not interested in exercising control over the content; or
    4. the Copyright holder has authorised others to use the work without restrictions.


  • Nominal/supervised hours

    Hours representing the supervised structured learning and assessment activity required to sufficiently address the content of each unit (acknowledging that progress can vary between learners).

  • Non-AQF award

    A course leading to a qualification or an award not covered by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Registered higher education providers can apply to TEQSA for accreditation of a non-AQF course where the award or qualification is similar to a qualification covered by level 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 of the AQF (other than an award offered or conferred for the completion of a vocational education and training course).  

    In line with this, non-award short courses, for example, do not fall within our regulatory functions under the TEQSA Act as they would not be regarded as similar. Non-AQF qualifications or awards must not use AQF terminology.

  • Non-compliance

    The occurrence when the requirements of the VET Quality Framework or other relevant standards or registration conditions have not been met.

  • Non-formal learning

    Learning that takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.

Return to TopO

  • Operations

    Operations of an RTO include training, assessment and administration and support services related to its registration, including those delivered across jurisdictions and offshore.


    A loan available to eligible undergraduate domestic students who undertake some of their program overseas.

  • Other jurisdictions

    Refers to the copyright laws of other countries where the University delivers educational programs.

  • Over-assessment

    Being represented by an oversized number or hours of assessments, the repeated assessment of the same learning outcomes, an excessive use of the same type of assessment or an exclusive focus on summative assessments.

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  • Partner Organisations

     An organisation, in conjunction with whom the University offers a program of study or a component of a program of study.

  • Pathways

    Allow students to move through Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification levels with full or partial recognition for the completed course of study and/or learning outcomes they already have.

  • Peer-assessment

    A form of assessment in which students use assessment criteria and a sound academic judgement to assess each other’s performance or academic work, without reference to other professionals or teaching staff.

  • Performance assessment (audit)

    A performance assessment (audit) or compliance audit undertaken by the VET Regulator.

  • Performance criteria

    Refers to being represented by a number of benchmarks that are used to assess the achievement of standards. As capabilities, attributes and specific information of a standard for student performance, criteria indicate the degree in which students meet expectations related to what they should know and be able to do, as expressed by intended learning outcomes and the varying gradients of grades.

  • Person

    Includes a body politic or corporate as well as an individual.

  • Plagiarism

    The presentation of the thoughts or works of another as one's own. This includes: Copying or paraphrasing material from any source without due acknowledgment Using another's ideas without due acknowledgment Working with others without permission and presenting the resulting work as though it was completed independently. Self-plagiarism (reusing your own work that has been submitted previously as an assessed item for another course).

  • Prize

    In the context of the Scholarships and Prizes Policy, a prize means an amount of money and/or other benefit donated to or given by the University to reward a specified student achievement. A Prize can also encapsulate an Award or Bursary.

  • Professional development

    Activities that develop and/or maintain an individual’s skills, knowledge, expertise and other characteristics as a trainer or assessor. This includes both formal and informal activities that encompass vocational competencies, currency of industry skills and knowledge and practice of vocational training, learning and assessment, including competency based training and assessment. Examples of professional development activities include:

    1. participation in courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, or formal learning programs;
    2. participation in mentoring, professional associations or other learning networks;
    3. personal development through individual research or reading of publications or other relevant information;
    4. participation in moderation or validation activities; and

    participation in industry release schemes.

  • Provider
    1. a registered training organisation (RTO), or
    2. an RTO that is also registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) to deliver to overseas students, or
    3. an organisation that is registered on CRICOS and delivers English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).


  • Provider Case Manager

    Managers employed in the provider assessment and evaluation area of TEQSA who manage activities relating to a higher education provider.

  • Provider Category

    Relates to a category of provider outlined in the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

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  • Qualification

    An accredited complete course comprising structured units of learning leading to the certification of an AQF award.

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  • Reasonable Adjustments

    Adjustments that can be made to enable a student with disability to participate in education on the same basis as students without a disability. An adjustment is reasonable if it successfully balances the interests of all parties affected and does not compromise the academic standards or inherent requirements of a subject or course.

  • Record

    A written, printed, or electronic document providing evidence that activities have been performed.

  • Record of results

    A record of all learning leading to an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification or an accredited unit in which a student is enrolled. This may be called a

    1. transcript of results
    2. academic transcript
    3. record of achievement
    4.  or statement of results.
  • Recruitment agent or education agent

    A person or agency authorised and managed by the University to recruit students on its behalf in accordance with Standard 4 of the National Code.

  • Registered training organisation (RTO)

    A training organisation that is listed as a Registered Training Organisation on the National Register referred to in section 216 of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011.

  • Registrar

    has the meaning given in the Student Identifiers Act 2014.

  • Registration

    Registration as an RTO by the VET Regulator, where that registration is then entered on the National Register.

  • Regulated higher education award
    1. A regulated higher education award is:
      1. an Australian higher education award offered or conferred for the completion of an Australian course of study; or
      2. an overseas higher education award offered or conferred for the completion of an overseas course of study provided wholly or mainly from Australian premises related to the award.
    2. The course of study does not need to be provided by the person that offers or confers the award.
    3. Paragraph 1a does not apply to an Australian higher education award to the extent that it is offered or conferred by:
      1. a foreign corporation; or
      2. a person (other than an individual) established outside of Australia who conducts activities in a Territory; or
      3. an individual, who is not an Australian resident, who conducts activities in a Territory.
  • Regulatory risk

    Actual or potential risk events (regarding providers’ operations and performance) which indicate that they may not meet the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 – either currently or in the future.

    NOTE: this definition is in the context of our regulatory operations

  • Reproduction

    refers to making copies of third-party copyright content.

  • Reproduction

    refers to making copies of third-party copyright content.

  • Research

    The creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions or understandings. This can include the combination and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

    This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and development ('R and D') as comprising ‘creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of human-kind, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications’.

  • Research Training Scheme (RTS)

    The scheme which provides block grants, on a calendar year basis, to eligible higher education providers to support research training for domestic students undertaking degrees by research.

  • Reviewable decision

    A decision covered by section 183 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011.

  • Risk assessment

    The overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation.

  • Risk assessment framework

    Previously Regulatory Risk Framework describes our regulatory risk management policy and processes. It enables us to give effect to the principle of reflecting risk in our regulatory activities, as required under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011.

    For more information visit our Risk Assessment Framework page.

  • RTO

    A Registered Training Organisation.

  • RTO Code

    The registration identifier given to the RTO on the National Register.

  • RTP stipend

     A scholarship, provided by the Commonwealth Government, as part of the Research Training Program, to support the living expenses of Higher Degree by Research candidates.

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  • Safeguards to mitigate disadvantage to students

    Financial and tuition safeguards including sufficiently resourced contingency plans for teaching out a course of study, or transitioning affected students to an equivalent course of study. Also included in this definition is the refunding of tuition fees and other charges paid in advance for services not delivered - whether directly by a provider or through a tuition protection scheme.

  • scholarship

    In the context of the Scholarships and Prizes Policy, a scholarship means an award to support students, usually financially, on the basis of specified criteria and conditions, for a minimum of one (1) semester, up to a maximum duration of a full course of study.

  • Scholarship

    Those activities concerned with gaining new or improved understanding, appreciation and insights into a field of knowledge, and engaging with and keeping up to date with advances in the field. This includes advances in ways of teaching and learning in the field and advances in professional practice, as well as advances in disciplinary knowledge through original research.

  • Scholarship Selection Panel

    In the context of the Scholarships and Prizes Policy, means a panel created to assess scholarship applicants, generally comprising at least three (3) members. The scholarship selection panel members may individually assess the applicants, and/or meet to discuss the selection and ranking.

  • Scope of registration

    the training products for which an RTO is registered to issue AQF certification documentation. It allows the RTO to:

    1. both provide training delivery and assessment resulting in the issuance of AQF certification documentation by the RTO; or
    2. provide assessment resulting in the issuance of AQF certification documentation by the RTO.
  • Self-assessment

    The process where students are using criteria, methods, techniques and tools to measure their own learning performance and evaluate the outcomes of their work.

  • Senior Executive

    A staff member of the University holding the position of Vice-Chancellor, Assistant Vice- Chancellor, University Secretary, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor or Chief Financial Officer or equivalent.

  • Senior Manager

    A staff member of the University holding the position of Director, College Dean or equivalent.

  • Services

    Training, assessment, related educational and support services and/or any activities related to the recruitment of prospective learners. It does not include services such as student counselling, mediation or ICT support.

  • Skill set

    A single unit of competency or a combination of units of competency from a training package which link to a licensing or regulatory requirement, or a defined industry need.

  • Skills Service Organisations

    Organisations that support IRCs to develop the training packages that industry needs.

  • Staff member

    Anyone employed by the University and includes all continuing, fixed-term, casual, adjunct or honorary staff or those holding University offices or who are a member of a University committee.

  • Standards for VET Accredited Courses

    The standards made under subsection 188(1) of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 or the equivalent requirements adopted by a non-referring State.

  • Statement of attainment

    Recognition that one or more accredited subjects have been achieved.

  • Statistically valid

    For the purposes of these Standards, a random sample of appropriate size is selected to enable confidence that the result is sufficiently accurate to be accepted as representative of the total population of assessments being validated.

  • Statutory licences

    Section 113P in the Copyright Act allows the copying and communication of copyright material by educational institutions. This section replaces the previous Part VA and VB provisions and came into effect 1st January 2019.

  • Student

    A person prescribed as a student of the University under the Charles Darwin University (Student of the University) By-laws .

  • Student attrition rates

    The proportion of students commencing a course of study in a given year who neither complete nor return in the following year. It does not identify those students who defer their study or transfer to another institution. The ‘drop out’ rate from providers represents one dimension of the effectiveness of the delivery of educational services.

    NOTE: The Risk Assessment Framework is a key reference explaining measures such as attrition rates. Appendices 1 and 2 provide detailed descriptions of key measures and elements used and their calculations.

  • Student cohort

    All students commencing a course of study in a particular year. Student cohorts may be classified by:

    1. entry pathway
    2. mode of study
    3. place of study
    4. other groupings.
  • Student completion rates

    The rate of completion for a cohort of students completing in minimum time. The Risk Assessment Framework does not currently measure completion rates due to limitations in trend data across the sector.

    A guide for completion rates is provided below. Some approaches to completion rates allow for a longer period for completion beyond the minimum timeframe, for example taking into account no more than one consecutive year of deferment.

    Completion rates are defined as the number of completions of students in a course as a proportion of the total number of students who commenced in a course in a given year. The rate may be defined as completing in minimum time or minimum time plus one year.  For a three year bachelor degree for students undertaking the course full-time the calculation would be:

    1. number of completing students in year N+3 (2010)/Base students in Year N (2008)
    2. where based students are the number of students commencing a course in 2008
  • Student Contact hours

    Time spent by students in timetabled teaching and learning activities, such as: 

    1. face-to-face lectures
    2. tutorials
    3. supervised study
    4. field trips
    5. work-integrated learning activities
    6. clinical and other placements.
  • Student Identifier

    has the meaning given in the Student Identifiers Act 2014.

  • Student progress rates

    A measure of educational achievement and the effectiveness of educational delivery. The student progress rate measures successful student subject load.

    NOTE: The Risk Assessment Framework is a key reference explaining measures such as student progress rates. Appendices 1 and 2 provide detailed descriptions of key measures and elements used and their calculations.

  • Student Services and Amenities Fee

    The fee that higher education providers can charge for student services and amenities on a non-academic nature such as; sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, child care, financial advice, and food services.

  • Student-centred audit approach

    An approach to audit that focuses on the practices and behaviours of providers, as well as checking on the compliance of providers’ systems and processes.

  • Subject

    A separate unit of study and a combination of subjects make up a course of study.

  • Summative assessment

    A measure of students’ knowledge, skills and abilities through testing and examinations that lead to a mark, which is a summarised form that indicates the level of student performance, achievements and capabilities. Summative assessments are determining student readiness for promotion from one level to the next.

  • Support staff

    A member of staff of a higher education provider without an academic staff classification who provides support functions for teaching and/ or research activities. Examples of support functions include:

    1. management
    2. academic learning support
    3. English language support
    4. student counselling
    5. librarian
    6. IT support
    7. laboratory assistance
    8. technical assistance
    9. general administrative functions

    student administration functions such as provision of student advice, student admissions, student enrolments and student graduations

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  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

    The Australian Government agency that regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s higher education sector.

  • Testamur

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as an official certification document that confirms a qualification has been awarded to an individual. In Australia this may be called an award, parchment, laureate or certificate.

  • Text works

    Includes textbooks, eBooks, worksheets, newspapers, magazines, novels, journals and material from online/websites.

  • Thesis

    Body of work submitted as part of a research unit that presents the research and findings of the student.

  • Third party

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as any party that provides services on behalf of the RTO but does not include a contract of employment between an RTO and its employee.

  • Third party copyright content

    Refers to copyright content not owned by the University.

  • Third party, agent or partner arrangements

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as where a higher education provider has, or intends to have, aspect of its course(s) of study carried out by a partner, agent or third-party arrangement. These arrangements may include:

    1. partnerships with other institutions, higher education providers, or entities
    2. the formation of joint ventures or special purpose companies
    3. sub-contracting of services
    4. franchising arrangements.


  • Threshold Standards

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)  Threshold Standards are:

    (a) the Provider Standards, which are:

    1. the Provider Registration Standards; and
    2. the Provider Category Standards; and
    3. the Provider Course Accreditation Standards;


    (b) the Qualification Standards.


  • Trainers

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as persons who provide training.

  • Training

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the process used by an RTO or a third party delivering services on its behalf, to facilitate learning and the acquisition of competencies in relation to the training product on the RTO’s scope of registration.

  • Training and assessment Credential

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as those qualifications, skill sets and units of competency, or relevant combination of those qualifications, skill sets and units of competency, specified in the table at Schedule 1.

  • Training and assessment strategies and practices

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the approach of, and method adopted by, an RTO with respect to training and assessment designed to enable learners to meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course.

  • Training package

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the components of a training package endorsed by the Industry and Skills Council or its delegate in accordance with the Standards for Training Packages. The endorsed components of a Training Package are: units of competency; assessment requirements (associated with each unit of competency); qualifications; and credit arrangements. The endorsed components form part of the requirements that an RTO must meet under these Standards. A training package also consists of a non-endorsed, quality assured companion volume/s which contains industry advice to RTOs on different aspects of implementation.

  • Training Product

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as an AQF qualification, skill set, unit of competency, accredited short course and module.

  • Types of assessment

    An inclusion of a large variety of summative and formative solutions that can measure students’ achievement of intended learning outcomes.

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  • Undergraduate

    A student enrolled in and not yet completed or graduated from a bachelor degree, diploma or associate degree.

  • Unit

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency as a separate unit of study and a combination of subjects make up a course of study. Same definition as subject.

  • Unit of competency

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the specification of the standards of performance required in the workplace as defined in a training package.

  • Universal design

    Tthe design of products and environments to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or of specialised design. In education, this means developing course content, teaching materials and delivery methods to be accessible to and usable by students across the broadest diversity ranges.

    Unjustifiable hardship is an exception outlined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 that allows an organisation to refuse to make an adjustment. In determining what constitutes unjustifiable hardship, all relevant circumstances of the particular case are to be taken into account, including:

      1. the benefits and disadvantages that would be caused by making the reasonable adjustment; and
      2. the effect of the disability of the student concerned; and
      3. the financial cost of making the reasonable adjustment in the context of the organisation’s financial circumstances.
  • University community

    Officials and individuals carrying out University business. This includes, but is not limited to, all staff members, researchers, peer reviewers, students, volunteers, consultants, agents and contractors.

  • University facilities

    Any premises, physical, online or virtual environment, for the time being used for the purposes, or under the auspices of the University.

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  • Validation

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the quality review of the assessment process. Validation involves checking that the assessment tool/s produce/s valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the training package or VET accredited courses are met. It includes reviewing a statistically valid sample of the assessments and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes and acting upon such recommendations.

  • VET accredited course

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a course accredited by the VET regulator in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses .

  • VET qualification

    A testamur given to a person confirming that the person has achieved learning outcomes and competencies that satisfy the requirements of a qualification recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

  • VET Quality Framework

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a framework comprising:

    1. the Standards for Registered Training Organisations
    2. the Australian Qualifications Framework
    3. the Fit and Proper Person Requirements
    4. the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements
    5. the Data Provision Requirements


  • VET Regulator

    Defined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as:

    1. the National VET Regulator; and
    2. a body of a non-referring State that is responsible for the kinds of matters dealt with under the VET legislation for that State
  • Vocational competencies

    Broad industry knowledge and experience usually combined with a relevant industry qualification. Vocational competency is determined on an industry-by-industry basis and with reference to the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

  • Volume of Learning

    The notional duration of all activities required for achieving learning outcomes. Volume of learning includes nominal (supervised) hours and unsupervised hours.

  • Volunteer

    A person not receiving remuneration as a staff or Council member, who is engaged in a professional capacity to perform an activity for, or on behalf of the University.

  • Volunteer community service activity


    1. a voluntary emergency management activity (e.g., State Emergency Service);
    2. Defence Force training;
    3. jury service that is required by or under relevant legislation;
    4. a witness in a civil, criminal or industrial matter;
    5. a significant cultural or ceremonial event; or
    6. a national or international sporting event where the student is a participant or appointed as a recognised national or international official.

Return to TopW

  • Work integrated learning

    Defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency where structured and purposefully designed learning and assessment activities integrate theory with the practice of work.

    Work-integrated learning includes service learning, and activities normally involve students interacting with industry and community within a work context or similar situation. This may be simulated and generally allows students to learn, and apply/demonstrate skills and knowledge applicable to the course of study being undertaken (Adapted from ALTC, The WIL (Work Integrated Learning) Report, Patrick, et al, 2009).