The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is an independent statutory authority. ASQA has two Commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor-General for up to five years. The Department of Education and Training will undertake a recruitment process for a third Commissioner.
ASQA employees support the Commissioners in their regulatory function, and together the Commissioners and employees form the Authority.
For the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the Chief Commissioner is also ASQA's Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for ASQA's management and administration.
Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer—Mr Mark Paterson AO
Mr Mark Paterson AO has extensive experience across government and industry, including experience leading government departments at both the state and federal levels. Mr Paterson is a former Secretary of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services; the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; and the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources.
Mr Paterson commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 30 May 2016, and commenced as Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer from 1 January 2017.
Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner, Risk, Intelligence and Regulatory Support—The Hon Michael Lavarch AO
The Hon Michael Lavarch AO has extensive experience in Higher Education and the public policy process. He is a former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Queensland University of Technology and Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia. From 1987 to 1996, Mr Lavarch was a Member of the Australian Parliament, and he served as Attorney-General from 1993 to 1996. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his contribution to the law, education and human rights.
Michael Lavarch commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 16 April 2012.