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Academic Staff Qualifications

The University of Adelaide has a responsibility to ensure that all students receive a quality learning experience across all its teaching locations and delivery modes.

Students are entitled to expect that they are being taught by a staff member who is knowledgeable and skilled in the particular field of study at a more advanced level than the level of the course being taught, and that the expertise of the teaching staff has been clearly established through an assessment of formal academic qualifications, equivalent professional experience or a combination of both.

In order to achieve this we must ensure that that our academic staff are appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline, have a sound understanding of current scholarship and/or professional practice in the discipline that they teach, and have an understanding of the pedagogical and/or adult learning principles relevant to the students being taught, and:

  • Are qualified to at least the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Qualification Standards level higher than the program in which they are teaching a course of study; or
  • Are deemed to have obtained the “equivalent professional experience” in lieu of the formal qualifications.
  • What qualifications are academic teaching staff expected to hold?

    The University requires teaching staff to hold qualifications as set out in Table 1:

    TABLE 1
    Academic Program Directors Discipline Leaders Major Coordinators lecturers
    • A qualification in a relevant discipline at least one AQF level higher than the program in which the course is being taught; or
    • A qualification in a relevant discipline at the same AQF level and/or have been assessed as having relevant professional or practice-based experience equivalent to the one qualification level above the program in which the course is being taught.
    Casual staff not covered above As above; or

    with approval of delegated authority, be at the same AQF qualification level, without the relevant experience equivalent to the one qualification level above the program in which the course(s) are being taught, BUT receiving supervision for teaching at that level.

    Guest Lecturers Honorary clinicians No specified qualification requirement; candidates are selected for the distinctive and necessary expertise and experience they bring to the particular activity.

    The above requirement applies to all academic staff teaching and assessing students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate award programs and courses, whether they are employed by the University or by any of its teaching partners (including onshore and offshore partners).

    If a course is being taught in programs at different AQF levels, the qualifications and experience requirements will relate to the highest of the program levels.

    Where professional accreditation bodies set more stringent requirements for staff qualifications and professional engagement, these must be satisfied in addition to the requirements in Table 1.

    Decisions about the relevance of qualifications and equivalence of staff are made by the Head of School acting on advice from senior members of academic staff with expertise in the relevant discipline as appropriate.

  • What if the prospective staff member does not hold qualifications at an appropriate level?

    If a qualification is not held as per the table above then the prospective staff member will need to provide evidence that shows their experience is equivalent to the required qualification level.

  • What is the criteria for assessing equivalence?

    The appropriateness of the qualifications and experience of teaching staff should be assessed with reference to the criteria set out in Table 2.

    TABLE 2
    AQF Level (of program(s) in which the course(s) are being taught) AQF Level of teaching staff Demonstration of a sufficent combination of the following equivalence factors to meet the learning outcomes of the AQF*
    Level 7 – Bachelors (Pass)

    Level 8: Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma OR

    Level 7: Bachelors (Pass) plus a sufficient combination of criteria outlined in column 3 OR

    An sufficient combination of the criteria outlined in column 3

    A sufficient combination of the following to demonstrate AQF level 8 learning outcomes
    • Enrolled in honours or higher degree
    • Strong academic record in a relevant discipline area (eg. Distinction average)
    • Relevant professional experience
    • Relevant industry training or non-formal course(s)
    • Teaching, mentoring experience (eg. PASS leader)
    • Leadership experience
    • Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice
    • Professional registration and participation in professional networks
    • Participation on advisory boards
    • Peer reviewed publications in the field of study
    • Other publications (eg. books, reports, presentations)
    • Undertaking a professional development program in University teaching
    Level 8 – Bachelors (Honours) Graduate Certificate Graduate Diploma

    Level 9: Masters OR

    Level 8: Bachelors (Honours), Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma plus a sufficient combination of the criteria in column 3 OR

    An sufficient combination of the criteria outlined in column 3

    A sufficient combination of the following to demonstrate AQF level 9 learning outcomes:
    • Enrolled in Masters or higher degree
    • Strong academic record in a relevant discipline area (eg. Honours 1st Class or 2(1)
    • Relevant professional experience
    • Teaching, mentoring experience
    • Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice
    • Leadership in the development of professional standards
    • Professional registration and participation in professional networks
    • Participation on advisory boards
    • Peer reviewed publications in the field of study
    • Other publications (eg. books, reports, presentations)
    Level 9 – Masters

    Level 10: Doctoral OR

    Level 9: Masters plus a sufficient combination of the criteria in column 3

    An sufficient combination of the criteria outlined in column 3

    A sufficient combination of the following to demonstrate AQF level 10 learning outcomes:
    • Enrolled in PhD/Doctorate
    • Strong academic record in a relevant discipline area
    • Relevant professional or research experience
    • Teaching, mentoring experience
    • Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice
    • Leadership in the development of professional standards
    • Participation in advisory boards and professional networks
    • Peer reviewed publications in the field of study
    • Other publications (eg. books, reports, presentations)
    Level 10 – Doctoral

    Level 10: Doctoral OR

    10+ years relevant professional experience with a sufficient combination of the criteria in column 3

    Relevant professional experience (10+ years) and a sufficient combination of the following to demonstrate AQF level 10 learning outcomes:
    • Teaching, mentoring experience
    • Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice
    • Leadership in the development of professional standards
    • Participation in advisory boards and professional networks
    • Peer reviewed publications in the field of study
    • Independent research carried out
    • Other publications (eg. books, reports, presentations)

    *The basis for judging equivalent experience is the documented professional and practice-based experience of teaching staff, including previous experience teaching at the required AQF level. Any teaching and professional experience must be current and relevant to the course being taught.

  • How does this affect recruitment for fixed term and continuing academic roles?

    For all academic roles, as part of the usual due diligence prior to a formal offer being made, Hiring Managers are required to sight an original copy of a qualification at the appropriate level.

    A copy of this should be then supplied to the local Hiring Co-ordinator who can populate the necessary information in the request for an offer of employment.

    If the staff member does not hold a qualification at the appropriate level then equivalence needs to be demonstrated prior to an offer of employment being made. An Academic Staff Qualifications Assessment form must be completed by the Hiring Manager and signed by the Head of School. This should be supplied to the local Hiring Co-ordinator or HR Faculty Hub who will ensure that the Human Resources Branch receive a copy as part of the offer of employment process.

  • What about appointment of casual academics?

    The current system (CASPA) for managing casual appointments will be changed during 2018 and the new system will have capability for ensuring casual academics update their information on accepting a casual contract. However this will not be enforced by Human Resources until the new system (CAPS) is introduced.

  • What about existing staff?

    The staff census (run between 5th February and 16th February 2018) has asked all staff members to update their profile information including all information on qualifications held or equivalence. Existing staff will not be asked to provide evidence but to ensure their profile is kept up to date via Staff Services Online.

  • What are my responsibilities?
    Hiring Manager
    • In consultation with the preferred candidate, obtain any supporting information and/or documentation to demonstrate the candidate’s qualification(s) (including copies of relevant qualifications) and evidence of equivalence as described in Table 2. This applies to direct appointments as defined in the Recruitment Procedure and merit- based recruitment and must be completed prior to an offer of employment being made to the preferred candidate.
    • Where the qualification requirement is not met and therefore must be demonstrated, provide a detailed recommendation to the Head of School, using the Academic Staff Equivalence Assessment Form. Assessed experience will be of at least commensurate standing to the required qualification level and of at least three years’ duration within the last five years.
    • Provide a copy of relevant qualifications or Academic Staff Equivalence Assessment Form, approved by the Head of School, to the local Hiring Co-ordinator or HR Hub.
    Hiring Co-ordinator

    Ensure required information and documentation is uploaded into Recruitment System for easy reference by Human Resources. Please refer to the AQF - Offer Card QRG for instructions on how to complete this.

    Head School

    Review the recommendation to recognise equivalence made by the Hiring Manager. Each case must be assessed on its merits and approved by the Head of School on the Academic Staff Equivalence Assessment form prior to an appointment being made.

    Executive Dean

    May determine that other evidence may be considered in determining equivalence of qualifications.

  • Where can I go to for guidance or advice on Academic Staff Qualifications?

    If you have any questions regarding either Academic staff qualifications or determining equivalence please contact the Recruitment and Appointments team or on 8313 1111.

Useful Resources

Recruitment Policy and Procedures

 
 

Contact HR Service Centre

For all enquiries please contact the Human Resources Service Centre.

 
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