Universities Australia and Professions Australia will today sign a Joint Statement of Principles for Professional Accreditation.
The formal signing will take place at Universities Australia’s flagship annual conference, which brings together more than 800 senior leaders from the university sector, business, policy and politics.
The joint principles will streamline and improve consistency in the professional accreditation of university courses, which is essential to ensuring that graduates from professional degrees are ready for entry into the workforce.
The agreement clearly defines the role of professional accreditation and the respective responsibilities of universities and professional accreditation bodies.
It is a joint undertaking by Universities Australia, representing 39 Australian universities with 1.3 million students, and Professions Australia, representing 21 peak professional organisations including CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Engineers Australia, Australian Computer Society and the Australian Dental Association which in turn represent over 400,000 professionals in Australia.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said that the agreement between the two peak bodies would benefit both students and professionals.
“Enhancing national consistency in accreditation standards and processes at the discipline level will help to improve graduate mobility between States,” she said.
“Professional employers around the country will be able to be even more confident that all graduates meet their standards.”
Professions Australia Chief Executive Officer Liz Lang said that the agreement should further improve the competencies and job-readiness of graduates for entry into professional practice.
“Universities and professional accreditation bodies will contribute to graduate quality according to their strengths. For the professional accreditation bodies, it is a focus on the capabilities, knowledge, ethics and professional standards needed for entry to the profession – while universities will focus on providing the best, cutting-edge educational design and course delivery,”
“The statement is also an excellent example of how universities and the professions can work together to successfully self-regulate,” Ms Lang said.
The principles will be reviewed every five years.
Universities Australia and Professions Australia intend to expand the agreement to other professional accreditation bodies.
“The principles are designed to be widely applicable across all professions. Ultimately, our goal is to have these principles adopted by every professional accreditation body around Australia,” Ms Robinson said.
A copy of the document is available at www.professions.com.au.