The Taxonomy for Credentialing Australasian University Educators (TCAUE)
To permit educator and institutional flexibility, the taxonomy assures a variety of recognition pathways. It provides articulation into a , recognition of prior learning (RPL), and an evidence-base for:
- Fellowship applications
- Professional certificates (internal to institutions)
- Workforce planning
- Recruitment and promotion processes, and
- Learning and teaching awards at both institutional and national levels.
As an example, the taxonomy’s Six Essential Focus Areas support the criteria (part three of the educator portfolio), and the teaching portfolio required for New Zealand’s National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards.
The TCAUE comprises individual micro-credentials (known as micro-units in some institutions), which educators may combine to make up the full TCAUE credential. Each micro-credential is developed using the same institutional quality assurance procedures required for Award courses. In this way, educators and institutions can be confident of the quality of each micro-credential and it can, therefore, contribute to direct academic credit, or credit in the form of RPL. This approach has particular value for sessional teaching staff and non-academic educators who may ordinarily miss out on opportunities for professional recognition.
The inclusion of all educators in the taxonomy recognises the need for casual/sessional staff career development. Paid training and recognised career development pathways for this cohort were identified as areas for institutional improvement in the research conducted to inform the TCAUE (CAULLT survey 2019; Dinan-Thompson et al., 2021).
The educator recognition process brings the TCAUE into line with pathways outlined in New Zealand and European frameworks, for example the European MOOC Consortium’s (EMC) Common Microcredential Framework. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is the body that regulates micro-credentials in New Zealand, and once the NZQA approves a micro-credential it is published on the register/database, which also shows the equivalent qualification level. New Zealand and Australia recognise each other’s qualifications and levels, as outlined in the following chapter.
In Australia, a Graduate Certificate is a short (four subject/unit) postgraduate qualification (AQF level 8).
The HERDSA Fellowship Scheme is for HERDSA members who are academics or leaders and have made a significant personal commitment to the improvement of teaching and learning in a tertiary education context. Fellows may come from a range of positions including: discipline-focused academic, educational developer, student support, or leadership roles.