default logo


The Batchelor Institute Governance Framework outlines how Batchelor Institute is governed and managed. As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and Higher Education Provider (HEP), Batchelor Institute is obligated to operate within specified funding, quality and reporting parameters. The Governance Framework clarifies how the structures, policies and practices of the Institute function to achieve outcomes and the respective roles of Council and management.  The Framework also provides the foundation for the effective delegation of responsibilities and demonstrates the Batchelor Institute commitment to good governance. In addition, the Framework provides guidance on how to perform at an efficient level, achieve strategic objectives and enhance public confidence in Institute decisions, while conforming to external obligations and responsibilities. It also identifies that decisions are being made at appropriate levels within the organisation.


    Individuals whose roles are encompassed within the Batchelor Institute Governance Framework are expected to:

    • act with probity
    • practice the principles of honesty, integrity and fairness
    • model the values of the Institute
    • forge collaborative relationships with students, staff and stakeholders
    • create work environments that support the ‘Both-ways’ vision of the Institute
    • maintain confidentiality
    • disclose relationships or interests that have the potential for a conflict of interest.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people centred
    Institute financial, non-financial and academic decisions are made with primacy given to their impact on student learning outcomes and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ language, culture and self-determination aspirations.

    Batchelor institute ensures that individuals whose roles are encompassed within the Batchelor Institute Governance Framework and who engage in Institute decision making bodies acknowledge and assume responsibility for financial, non-financial and academic decisions and actions made within the scope of their roles. They have the obligation to report, explain and be answerable to the Institute Council through the Director.

    Individuals whose roles are encompassed within the Batchelor Institute Governance Framework and who engage in decision making bodies in the Institute will conduct themselves with the maximum transparency consistent with the necessary confidentiality as is genuinely necessary. The Institute ensures transparency about:

    • where and how financial, non-financial and academic decisions are made
    • where responsibility lies
    • procedures for how decisions may be questioned or challenged.

    Those charged with decision-making must have access to all necessary and relevant information.

    The Institute recognises and respects the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across Australia and values the diverse skills, knowledge and cultural knowledge that students and all staff bring to the Institute.

    Mechanisms are supported which actively seek to represent diversity including views and feedback from stakeholders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, staff,  including support staff and part-time staff, and students. The Institute maintains policies and procedures which are socially inclusive, responsible and are non-exploitative and non-discriminatory.


    Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Act 2012

    The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Act 2012 is an Act to establish an educational institution for the tertiary education of Indigenous people of Australia and the provision of other educational and training programs and courses, and facilities and resources for research and study, and for related purposes.

    The Act incorporates a series of by-laws which include:

    • Batchelor Institute (Common Seal) by-laws
    • Batchelor Institute (Powers and Functions of Director) by-laws
    • Batchelor Institute (Rules) by-laws
    • Batchelor Institute (Staff) by-laws
    • Batchelor Institute (Codes of Conduct) by-laws.

    Structure and composition
    The structure, composition and membership of Council accord with government requirements.

    The key features of the structure of Council under the Act are:

    • Ten (10) members
    • Institute Advisory Board.

    The Council membership includes:

    • A Chairperson who is Indigenous with appropriate expertise
    • Four appointed members to include the following:
      • One Indigenous member with advisory experience in Indigenous matters
      • One member with specialist professional or vocational knowledge or expertise in delivering education and training, preferably to Indigenous people in remote areas of Australia
      • One member with demonstrated commercial and financial expertise and experience
      • One member residing in Top End
      • One member residing in Central Australia
      • One full-time staff member elected by full-time staff
        • One student from the Northern Territory who has been elected by students
        • One person nominated by the CDU Council
        • The Director
        • Chief Executive of the Education agency (or their nominee).

    Batchelor Institute Council is the governing body of the Institute, ultimately responsible to:

    • Approve the mission and strategic direction of the Institute
    • Oversee and monitor the academic activities of the Institute
    • Establish policy and procedure principles consistent with legal requirements and community expectations
    • Oversee the management of the Institute:
      • Review management practices and performance
      • Review and monitor performance of the Director
      • Approve the budget and business plan
      • Approve significant commercial activities and assess risk
    • Monitor systems of accountability implemented by the Institute
    • Oversee and monitor the assessment and management of risk across the Institute
    • Establish a system for dealing with grievances of students and staff and publish details of the system and procedures to be followed
    • Regularly review delegations.

    Three key legal documents that are established and approved by Council are the Staff Code of Conduct, Student Code of Conduct and the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

    Staff Code of Conduct
    The Staff Code of Conduct is designed to assist each member of the Institute community, including members of Council, in discharging the obligation to act ethically and to observe the highest standards of behaviour. The Code of Conduct is based on the Fair Work Australia Act 2009 and underpins the Institute values. It is ratified by Council and reviewed annually.

    Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) 2012-2014
    The Enterprise Bargaining Agreement provides an industrial relations framework within which the Institute works towards the achievement of its strategic plan and to further consolidate and develop its position as a specialist provider of Tertiary Education, Training and Research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  The EBA is ratified by Council and reviewed every two years through a rigorous staff and stakeholder consultation process.


    Structure and composition
    The Board consists of:

    • the member of Council who is Indigenous and with advisory experience in Indigenous matters
    • five Indigenous members appointed by the Minister
    • a membership which resides in the Northern Territory and which is representative of both the Top End and Central Australia.

    The appointed Board members:

    • represent a broad range of Indigenous community interests
    • have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of cultural and social issues affecting Indigenous people.

    Through its membership, the Board demonstrates:

    • experience in Indigenous vocational education and training, research or technology
    • expertise in advising government or other service providers on matters affecting Indigenous people
    • Their usual place of residence must be in the Territory and as far as possible they must reside in different regions, one in the northern region and one in the southern region.

    The functions of the Board are to:

    • Advise and make recommendations to the Council about Indigenous cultural and social issues that are likely to affect the Institute
    • Consult with Indigenous people, communities and organisations to promote constructive dialogue and engagement between the Institute and Indigenous people
    • Advise the Institute on systemic and structural changes aimed at improving outcomes for Indigenous students and clients of the Institute, with particular focus on vocational education and training and higher education
    • Carry out other activities as requested by the Council.

    Education provider legislation
    As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) the Institute focuses on delivering quality training and assessment for individual students, industry and community partners, and the vocational education and training (VET) sector. The Institute conducts its Registered Training Organisation operations under the Australian Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 which encompasses the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) National VET Standards.

    As a Higher Education Provider (HEP), the Institute is accountable to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) for registration and performance evaluation.  The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act (2011) creates obligations for HEPs to meet the requirements of the TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework, specifically the threshold standards.

    The Higher Education Support Act 2003 provides for the Commonwealth to give financial support for higher education and certain vocational education and training to providers and students.

    The monitoring and control of the Institute is subject to continuous independent external audit through Australian Standards Quality Authority (ASQA), Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). These functions are managed through the Institute committee structure, in turn reporting to Council through Executive Management Group.

    Other legislation
    Batchelor Institute observes all relevant Northern Territory and Commonwealth of Australia legislation including obligations arising from Work, Health and Safety; Australian Taxation Office and Fair Work Legislation.


    Council is assisted and advised in its role by Committees of Council and the Director’s Advisory Committees. All Institute committees have their role, terms of reference, delegated powers, membership and reporting arrangements available on the intranet site.

    Guidelines for Committees of Council
    Council has a set of responsibilities under the Batchelor Institute Act to effectively govern Batchelor Institute for Indigenous tertiary education. Many of its functions are delegated to committees and Council needs to ensure that these operate proficiently to achieve the identified outcomes.

    The following guidelines have been developed to assist in establishing and maintaining effective operations of Council committees.

    Formal Charter
    Each subcommittee has a formal charter. The charter is a 2-3 page document which contains the following information:

    • overall role and responsibility – in 2 or 3 sentences this actually a statement of strategic intent for the subcommittee
    • terms of reference – clearly stating the responsibilities and expectations of the Board for the subcommittee and reviewed annually
    • membership – list of all members including those required to be in attendance
    • standing arrangements including quorum, terms of office, number and frequency of meetings
    • meetings – minimum requirements for the number of frequency of meetings are specified
    • committee support – a specific officer is identified as providing executive officer support to the Chair of the subcommittee
    • accountability –reporting requirements for the subcommittee and the frequency of required reporting
    • delegations.

    The formal charters are widely communicated and updated


    Planning and review

    Each subcommittee has an annual work plan that identifies specific outcomes to be achieved as well as the expected flow of regular business and reports

    The planning is informed by members of the subcommittee undertaking an annual self review which includes:

    • consideration of the terms of reference
    • how the business covered in that period relates to each term of reference
    • reporting on the attendance record of members.

    Annual review reports are submitted to Council.

    All committee and subcommittee processes also include circulation to members of agendas, minutes, conflict of interest notification and standing items.



    Batchelor Institute is managed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO leads the Senior Management Group (SMG), which meets fortnightly and engages in a responsive and energetic management approach. This group shapes and implements the strategic direction for the Institute, reviews results, updates forecasts and plans and discusses strategic issues.

    The primary responsibility for financial and other reporting; internal controls; compliance with laws and regulations; and ethics rests with Council through the Institute SMG.


    Council and SMG are guided by the Batchelor Institute values and the Strategic Plan. Strategic planning is undertaken, reviewed and monitored in a three yearly cycle to direct the attainment of the identified vision and goals of the Institute, and respond to external driving factors.  It identifies key outcome areas which are founded on the Institute shared values and ongoing commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; the ‘Both-ways’ philosophy; student, staff and stakeholder satisfaction; quality service delivery; and the building of solid collaborative partnerships.

    Divisional operational plans are developed annually and mapped to the strategic outcomes identified in the Institute Strategic Plan.  Business and operational outcomes are identified by the divisional heads as members of EMG. Each division sets operational targets, strategies and responsibilities across key performance areas identified in the operational plan.


    The Policy Framework constitutes the overarching Policy document for all Batchelor Institute policies and supporting documents under legislation– governance, strategic and operational.

    Batchelor Institute strategic and operational practice is guided and framed by policy, that both ensures compliance with external legislative requirements, and guides best practice in governance, strategic development, and all operations and practice, according to the Batchelor Institute strategic values.  The guiding principles of Batchelor Institute policy and its process are relevance, sustainability, and simplicity.  There is a hierarchy of policy that the Batchelor Institute Policy Framework is aligned to:



    The components of the Batchelor Institute Policy Framework follow the structure of the guiding suite of policy documents:

    • Governance documents: BIITE Act 2012, By-Laws, Rules and Codes, and the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA). The creation of these is not covered in this policy
    • Policy: A written statement that documents and explains Batchelor Institute’s official position on an issue and prescribes the approved way of operating in relation to that issue
    • Procedure:  A statement providing step-by-step instructions for implementing a policy
    • Guideline: A supporting document that gives explanatory detail about the context, history or application of a policy
    • Tool: Any documents necessary for users to complete the Procedure; for example, templates, checklists, forms, calculators, etc.


    Batchelor Institute policies are not required to be supported by procedures, guidelines or tools.

    Any Institute procedures, guidelines and tools must support an Institute policy.

    Who can develop a policy?
    Any Batchelor Institute staff member or committee can identify a policy gap or need area and suggest the creation of a new policy.

    All policy must be developed and approved through the approved policy development and management process.

    Any proposal for a new policy must be approved by the relevant approved committee before the policy development process can begin:

    Council Acts, By-Laws, Codes, Strategic Plan
    Academic Board Academic policies
    EMG Strategic & Operational policies



    Governance documents: Batchelor Institute Act 2012, By-laws, Rules and Codes, and the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).


    Risk management is integrated into Institute governance structures.  Batchelor Institute Council has the overall responsibility for risk management of the Institute.  It achieves this through robust Institute planning, reporting and monitoring systems including its committees.  Council is committed to establishing, monitoring and reviewing a cost effective internal Institute control structure.  Under the Batchelor Institute Act the Executive Director Strategic and Shared Services is responsible for the establishment of this control structure.  This is a management responsibility and an integral component of the overall Institute management process.

    The Institute follows a Risk Management Strategy which incorporates the following elements:

    • Council
    • Committees
    • Risk Policy
    • Risk Register
    • Risk Management Plan and guidelines
    • Accounting and Property Manual
    • Formal contingency plans for disaster recovery and business continuity
    • Effective tools for business and project development and management through the Institute Business Sustainability toolkit
    • Annual cycles of business planning, review, monitoring and reporting overseen by EMG
    • Delegation of decision making.

    The establishment of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee, while not expressly required by the National Governance Protocols for Higher Education Providers, is implicitly required to assist the Institute in satisfactory compliance with those protocols.  The role of the committee is to review the financial management process to determine whether acceptable policies and procedures are being followed; legislative requirements and established standards are met; resources are used efficiently and economically; planned missions are accomplished effectively; and the objectives of Batchelor Institute are being achieved.

    The risk register forms a fundamental document for the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee and for the Director’s Advisory Continuous Improvement Group. The Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee also monitors Institute compliance through its Internal Audit and Risk Management Plan.


    Batchelor Institute governance and management systems and processes are guided, supported, evaluated and continuously enhanced through a series of planning documents, including the Risk Register.

    Quality Management Strategy
    The Quality Management Strategy sets out the philosophy, framework and methodology for the quality framework that allows the creation of internal processes and sets of tools that develop into a full quality management system.

    Systems Deployment Strategy
    The Systems Deployment Strategy assists in the implementation of management systems and controls to determine business direction, systems, client needs,training and assessment strategies; and to provide client support; deliver training; conduct assessment; record participation, progress and results; review and develop processes.

    Approach to Continuous Improvement Strategy
    The Continuous Improvement Strategy sets out the philosophy, framework and methodology for the quality framework that allows Batchelor Institute to create its own processes and sets of tools that will develop into a full quality management system. The Batchelor Institute philosophy that underpins this approach to quality is captured by these principles:

    • The organisation is a system
    • Continuous improvement is a cycle
    • The Institute has a unique business process
    • Management systems provide support for operational processes
    • SNR standards provide the criteria for measuring quality.

    VET Quality Management Plan
    The VET Quality Management Plan (QMP) describes the Institute’s quality system. The QMP is a requirement of the current National VET Standards Policy Framework and the Australian Vocational Qualification System Quality Framework.  It identifies the organisational structure, policy and procedures, functional responsibilities of management and staff, lines of authority, and its processes for planning, implementing, documenting, and assessing all activities conducted under the organisation’s quality system.

    Training, Teaching and Learning Plan
    The Training, Teaching and Learning Plan provides a medium term plan for training, teaching and learning at the Institute.  It guides the Institute in general and it’s training and teaching staff specifically in their practice.  It is a public document which is available to Institute students, partners and government agencies to highlight the strategic directions of Batchelor institute training, teaching and learning.  It is developed, managed, monitored and reviewed by the Institute Teaching and Learning Committee.

    Research Plan
    The Research Plan is a three yearly plan to outline the research oriented objectives articulated in the mission based compact between the Commonwealth of Australia and Batchelor Institute and to guide the Institute in the achievement of these objectives.  It is a public document which is also available to Institute students, partners and government agencies.  It is developed managed, monitored and reviewed by the Research Committee.

    Financial Delegations Manual
    The Financial Delegations Manual delegates financial authority in a tiered manner to Council, Director, executive and other employees to achieve the functions of Institute operations that have a financial element.  The tiered approach relies on hierarchical levels and monetary values to align the delegations with levels of responsibility.

    Accounting and Property Manual
    The Accounting and Property Manual sets out in detail, particulars of the financial systems of Batchelor Institute and the forms, practices and procedures to be used or followed by accounting officers and other employees in the financial administration of the Institute.

    These documents are further supported by the Procurement Policy and Procedure to detail the process to achieve procurement which satisfies the principles of achieving best value for money, withstanding public scrutiny, providing the opportunity for suppliers to participate, and purchasing goods and services that meet workplace health and safety standards.


    Reporting requirements delegated by Council to officers of the Institute and committees of Council are articulated in the Batchelor Institute Act.  The Director supports the flow of information in presenting to each meeting of Council a report on the performance of the Institute and also identifies impending issues and risks facing the Institute. For Director’s Advisory committees these are articulated in the terms of reference of each committee.  To safeguard integrity and accountability of the monitoring function of committees, Council has established a Register of Disclosed Interests which members of Council and Institute committees are required to keep up-to-date with their current active, perceived or potential conflicts of interest, in addition to declaring conflicts of interest at meetings.

    Annual reporting and control takes place with an external financial audit and the Annual Report, incorporating the audited financial statements and a report on governance matters, to Northern Territory Government as required under the Batchelor Institute Act.

    The Institute registers, monitors and annually reviews all agreements, contracts and Memoranda of Understanding through an Institute wide records management and version control system.

    The three year Strategic Plan cycle integrates a reporting and monitoring process through the provision of a quarterly report to EMG and Council to identify progress towards achievement of the strategic outcomes according to quantitative and qualitative measures.  The outcome of the review mechanism also identifies changes in external and internal environments; and the recommended action to adapt strategies accordingly.

    The annual Operational Plans are reported quarterly between divisional Heads and the Director. The outcomes are reported to Council through the Director on a quarterly basis toward a process of continuous improvement and reviewed in response to strategic reviews and its impact of the implementation of operations.

    Policies and Procedures
    Policies and procedures are subject to a process of periodic review to ensure that the information contained in the document is still correct, accurately reflects the practices of Batchelor Institute and ensures they remain compliant with Commonwealth and Northern Territory Government legislation.

    Scheduled reviews are usually every two years for Procedures and Guidelines, and every three years for policy documents. By-laws and Rules are reviewed as necessary.

    Reviews of documents can also be carried out at any time if it becomes evident that the document requires amendment. Where a review is required that is not a scheduled review or there are minor amendments to be made, these can be requested through and made by the policy officers at any time.