National standards for ELICOS providers and courses

The National standards for ELICOS providers and courses (ELICOS Standards) are guidelines for regulatory authorities to make recommendations for acceptance of providers to be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) under the ESOS legislative framework.

ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) applies to students studying in Australia on student visas. ‘Intensive’ denotes full-time study comprising a minimum of 20 scheduled course contact hours per week of face-to-face classes of English language instruction. 

ELICOS forms a significant part of Australia’s international education sector. Students come from overseas to study the English language for a variety of reasons. Some need to improve their English for work or career purposes, some have a personal interest in becoming fluent in English, and some intend to travel. Others may want to continue their education in English, either in Australia or elsewhere, and need to develop the language skills to undertake further study. Consequently, the ELICOS Standards enhance Australia’s reputation as a provider of quality education to international education markets and assist in attracting high quality international students to Australia.

The National standards for ELICOS providers and courses were developed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments in consultation with the ELICOS sector.   

In July 2011 the ELICOS Standards were made legislative instruments under ESOS. All ELICOS providers are now required to meet the Standards to be registered on CRICOS.

The department undertook public consultation on proposed revisions to the ELICOS Standards from 14 July 2017 to 11 August 2017.
Submissions received can be found on the departmental website.

On 11 October 2017, the Education and Training Minister's delegate approved the ELICOS Standards 2018.

The ELICOS Standards 2018 will apply to new and existing providers from 1 January 2018, and to transitioning providers from 1 March 2018.

The ELICOS Standards 2018 are now available on the Federal Register of Legislation.