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The Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC) Governance

Transition

From the date of Royal Assent of the Office of Tasmanian, Assessment, Standards and Certification Act 2015, documents and policy decisions of the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority (TQA) become documents and policiy positions of TASC until such time as there is an opportunity to review them.

Background

The Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification exists to fulfil the objectives specified in the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification Act 2003 (the Act), to ensure that:
  1. relevant national standards and State standards for senior secondary education, vocational education and training and higher education are monitored and met; and

  2. links between qualifications for senior secondary education, vocational education and training, higher education and other education are developed or improved; and

  3. throughout a person's life as wide a range of qualifications as practicable can be obtained and recognised in senior secondary education, vocational education and training, higher education and other education.

The Office is constituted by legislation to be sufficiently independent from government that its decisions about standards, students' results and qualifications matters can be, and can be seen to be, made without direction or inappropriate influence.

Accountability

The Minister:

  • is responsible for approving the framework for determining standards, assessment processes and qualifications in senior secondary education (to be known as the Accreditation Framework)
  • may provide policy expectations to the Office
  • may provide written directions with respect to the compliance by the Office with those policy expectations in performing and exercising its functions and powers

The Executive Officer:

The Executive Officer - TASC will be a state service employee appointed to the role of independent 'statutory officer'.
As such the Officer will be subject to the State Service Principles and the Code of Conduct.

The Executive Officer will manage the operations and resources of TASC within the legislative framework, by ensuring the development of appropriate standards, the accreditation of courses, and the assessment and certification of student achievement in the senior secondary years across all educational sectors.

An Accreditation Framework will be developed and the Executive Officer is required to exercise the functions and powers of the Office in a way that is consistent with the framework. This framework will be comprehensive and public and will, at a minimum, include:
  • priorities for the accreditation of senior secondary courses;
  • the processes for determining whether or not to accredit any senior secondary course;
  • the standards which must be met by a senior secondary course for it to be accredited as a senior secondary course; and
  • any other matters the Minister thinks are appropriate.
The Office is not subject to the control or directions of the Head of Agency (Secretary, Department of Education) or the Department in respect to its functions (Section 14 of the Act). The occupant will receive broad direction, as required, from the Secretary regarding employment and matters covered by the State Service Act 2000 and related provisions.

Framework Advisory Council:

The role of the Framework Advisory Council is to advise and assist TASC and the Minister with the development, review and implementation of the framework. This governance arrangement will draw on the expertise of educational experts and provide a sufficient level of oversight to ensure the accreditation framework is comprehensive and rigorous.

In developing the framework, TASC will consult with the Framework Advisory Council and must seek a report from the Council about its recommendations for the framework.

Key members of the Framework Advisory Council are the three education sectors, TasTAFE and the University of Tasmania.

Committees:

Through legislation the Office may establish one or more committees to advise and assist the Office in the performance and exercise of its functions and powers.

Committees may be established to:
  • undertake designated regulatory functions of the Office.
  • prepare advice on policy, which could involve preparing policy alternatives and advice on their implications.
  • monitor the operations of the Office.
Groups of various types may also be established from time to time by the Executive Officer, for example, as part of a grievance procedure or to assist in policy development or regulatory matters. Groups and committees do not have policy-making powers but may provide advice to the Executive Officer.

Current Committees:

* Principals Reference Group

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