Much anticipated 2019 NQF Review terms of reference released
The Sector > Policy > Much anticipated 2019 NQF Review terms of reference released

Much anticipated 2019 NQF Review terms of reference released

by Jason Roberts

April 18, 2019

The 2019 National Quality Framework Review terms of reference and issue paper has been released by the Education Council and provides insight into the areas that this period’s review will cover and what issues will be covered during the consultation process.


With respect to the scope of reference, this year’s review is somewhat abbreviated compared to the 2014 National Quality Framework (NQF) Review*.  


The scope includes an assessment of whether the objectives of the NQF are being met in the current operating environment and consideration as to possible improvements in the system, in particular around appropriate governance arrangements and funding of the cost of regulatory services.


In addition, the review will also consider any changes required to the NQF from recommendations generated from third party reviews or work programs such as the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Improving Quality in Family Day Care program and the review of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) commissioned by Education Council that are relevent to the NQF Review.


The Quality Areas, Standards and Elements of the National Quality Framework as well as the Approved Learning Frameworks are out of scope in this period’s review.  


It also confirms that the 2019 review will be progressed by the Education Council Policy Group which is a departure from the 2014 NQF Review processes which saw an external consultant manage the process.


The key issues for consultation this year have been categorised into four areas:


  • Approvals – This section will focus on the scope of services regulated by the NQF and the systems and processes around providers obtaining their approvals
  • Operation – This section considers how the operation of providers and services should be regulated and the ongoing approach to regulation under the NQF
  • Public Awareness of Service Quality –  This section will focus on considerations to improve public awareness and understanding of the quality ratings
  • Compliance and Enforcement – This section will focus on how compliance with the NQF can best be achieved including responses to non-compliance that poses a risk to the safety, health and wellbeing of children.


A more detailed description of the issues, discussions and questions for each of the four areas can be found in the body of the Issues Paper.


The document is designed to outline the scope of this years review, provide some background and context and also signal precisely what issues will be pursued during their consultation processes and is available along with additional information on the review at the dedicated


Publication of the Issues Paper is the first step of the 2019 NQF Review process and will be followed by a consultation period which is expected to be completed by July 2019.


After the consultation period is completed responses will be processed and then converted into policy options. This step will also include the creation of a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS) which will assess the likely impact of policy options on sector stakeholders and will form the basis for the next round of consultations in 2020.


The CRIS is expected to be completed by December 2019.


For more information on the 2019 NQF Review please visit


*The 2014 NQF Review Issues Paper is no longer available online. Should copies be required, please contact The Sector via email to [email protected].


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