This chapter describes and discusses the design and intent of the Australian national Higher Education Standards Framework (HES Framework), against which all higher education delivered in or from Australia is regulated by the national regulator (the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency). A brief summary of the educational and regulatory context in which the HES Framework operates is given by way of background for international readers, particularly those who may be contemplating standards-based quality assurance of higher education. The iterative action-research type methodology used for development of the Framework is described, together with the goals that were expected to be achieved by the standards contained in the Framework, including an acceptance of the standards by providers for internal quality assurance purposes as well as for external regulation. Aspects of the conceptual basis of the Framework are described, such as the underlying organisational model for the Framework (based on the business processes of delivering higher education), the hierarchy of the standards in the Framework (ranging from technically detailed standards, such as learning outcomes and teaching, to more overarching standards concerning institutional governance and quality assurance processes), the deliberate emphasis on outcomes wherever practicable (vs inputs and processes) and choices of form and style for the standards. The influences of contemporary developments in regulatory practice (particularly the risk-based principles of necessity, reflecting risk and proportionate regulation) that are intended to reduce regulatory burden are also discussed, along with the challenges of determining the preferred level of aggregation of higher education activity that should be the focus of standards (such as institutional and program level vs the work of individual teachers in particular disciplines). Some critical lessons learned from successful approaches are summarised to assist others who may be considering a similar journey.