Across the Australian Higher Education sector a focus on quality is driving a new paradigm for learning and teaching: quality standards. One challenge is to engage all academics with this progress towards systematic quality enhancement and assurance. Sessional staff, who provide most of the face-to-face teaching in Australian universities, remain at the periphery of learning and teaching. Any development of standards must therefore proactively address the role of sessional staff in attaining and achieving quality learning and teaching.

Building on seminal research on sessional staff, this paper argues the need for standards as a potential strategy for quality learning and teaching with sessional staff. The rationale for, and process of, developing national standards is outlined and the learning and teaching standards are introduced.