Good Compliance - Is Good Business
For reasons unknown, many find the term ‘compliance’ either off-putting or unnecessarily tedious. Not so. Fundamental to success is knowing the rules and regulations within any endeavour and higher education is no exception. As a business school – attracting quality staff and students from all over the world – the need to be compliant and have in place the necessary measures and processes to ensure adherence is essential.
The Yellow Line and the Giraffe - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/the-yellow-line-and-the-giraffe-a-cautionary-tale-of-compliance/
Australian Higher Education is governed and directed by way of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021. As the name would suggest there are standards that must be met – even exceeded – but nevertheless, they form the basis of best practice with regard to both corporate and academic behaviour. My own institution conducts three audits each year – the most recent being September/October 2023.
Threshold Standards Audit (September 2023) - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4944/threshold-standards-audit-september-2023.pdf
The value of understanding and adhering to the standards was discussed in a recent blog –
It is a matter of standards - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/it-is-a-matter-of-standards/
Corporate Governance provides the necessary framework to ensure that a provider understands the corporate requirements of operating within the Sector and at the same time has a clear, articulated structure that ensures compliance.
Corporate Governance relates to specific standards including 6.1 (Corporate governance), 6.2 (Corporate monitoring and accountability), 7.1 (Representation of the entity) and 7.3 (Information management). The framework in place needs to ensure these standards are met and are comprehensive – 33 components at present – and that each is addressed and accounted for.
My own institution regularly reviews the domain and recently published (July 2023) a comprehensive paper on the subject –
Corporate Governance at GCA - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/2401/gca-corporate-governance.pdf
Academic Governance in turn explores the essential elements of good (preferably excellent) learning and teaching. Again, an understanding of what is required and how this can be achieved is essential. Academic performance is fundamental to the success of any provider – business schools are no exception.
Academic Governance relates to specific standards including 5.1 (Internal approval), 5.2 (Policies), 5.3 (Periodic reviews), 5.4 (WIL and supervision), 6.3 (Processes and structures), 6.3.1 (Academic oversight), 6.3.2 (Quality of teaching and learning), 7.2 (Accurate and timely information for students), and 7.3.3 (Information systems). There are elements of overlap with corporate issues – but the academic governance elements need to be clear and evident.
My own institution regularly reviews the domain and recently published (June 2023) a comprehensive paper on the subject –
Academic Governance at UBSS - https://www.ubss.edu.au/media/4764/academic-governance-at-ubss-2023.pdf
Regular Audit and Providing Evidence
The importance of conducting regular audits, updating documentation and maintaining awareness across an institution – in relation to compliance and quality commitment – cannot be overstated.
My own institution is active in the process and regularly (daily, weekly, fortnightly monthly, annually) communicates with all staff and stakeholders about what processes are in place and how the standards, corporate governance and academic governance are managed and adhered to.
Some useful short reads (sample only) include –
Understanding and Managing Risk - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/understanding-and-managing-risk-at-an-institute-of-higher-education/
Changes to the mode of delivery - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/changes-to-the-mode-of-delivery-the-challenges-ahead/
Taking academic integrity seriously - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/taking-academic-integrity-seriously/
The Big Five challenges - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/the-big-five-higher-ed-challenges/
Scholarship can take many forms - https://www.ubss.edu.au/article/scholarship-can-take-on-many-forms/
Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UBSS and the Chief Executive Officer at GCA