ESOS legislative framework

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, or ESOS Act, establishes legislative requirements and standards for the quality assurance of education and training institutions offering courses to international students who are in Australia on a student visa.  ESOS also provides tuition fee protection for international students.




Australia provides rigorous protection for international students through the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) and related legislation, which protects and enhances Australia’s reputation for quality education, provides tuition protection and supports the integrity of the student visa program.


ESOS Standards for Education Providers

 The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018) sets nationally consistent standards for the delivery of courses to overseas students.

The National Code 2018 commenced on 1 January 2018.

Education institutions must comply with the National Code to maintain their registration to provide education services to international students.



An online training tutorial on the National Code 2018, has been developed by the ISANA International Education Association. The development of this project was supported by the Australian International Education: Enabling Growth and Innovation project fund, Department of Education, Skills and Employment.


The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Standards outline specific quality requirements for registered providers delivering English language courses to overseas students and are in addition to the National Code requirements.


The Foundation Program Standards are designed to equip international students with the skills and capabilities to seek entry into higher education programs in Australia.


Provider Registration

The Department of Education is responsible for the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Only education institutions registered under the ESOS Act and listed on CRICOS can enrol overseas students to study in Australia on a student visa.


Tuition Protection Service

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is a placement and refund service for international students.


International Education Agents Data Project

This Government initiative aims to provide data to institutions on the outcomes achieved by their agents, and to see the majority of agents recognised for their high standards and levels of service.


Schools Compliance

The ESOS agency for Schools*

Under the ESOS legislation, the Secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, is the ESOS agency for schools. The department endeavours to perform the duties in a fair, transparent, efficient and effective way, consistent with the Regulator Performance Framework (see


The ESOS Agency for Schools RPF Report 2018-19 contains the agency's self  assessment results against the Performance Metrics for ESOS Regulator (for schools), developed by the department.


Previous reports are available below:

*Including a small number of dual sector (school and higher education or school and VET) and multi sector (school, higher education and VET) providers.


Vet in schools

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed Guiding Principles for VET in schools delivered to overseas students​.

The department expects that when a school offers a VET component which is an integral element of the school’s secondary school certificate, the VET component should be included in the scope of the school provider’s CRICOS registration for the school course. If, however, the course is not contributing to the secondary school qualification, the provider (whether it is the school or another registered training organisation), would need to register the VET component on CRICOS as a VET course, and the course must comply with the ESOS legislation, such as the requirement to be delivered on a full-time basis.

Schools are encouraged to contact the DSA in their jurisdiction to answer questions on the guiding principles.


The Australian Government is committed to ensuring you have an excellent education experience in Australia.
Our new fact sheet​​ for international students contains important information about your rights and responsibilities while studying in Australia.
This fact sheet gives you information on:
  • choosing and enrolling in a course of study
  • support services available in Australia
  • the rights and responsibilities of students on a student visa
  • working in Australia
  • making complaints and getting help.
UPDATE: Information for international students enrolled with Brighton Pacific Pty Ltd
This fact sheet​ provides information for international students who are enrolled with Brighton Pacific Pty Ltd (Brighton Pacific). It brings together advice from a number of Australian Government agencies and other sources.
For more information about studying in Australia visit Study in Australia.

Further information

Further information, including links and resources related to the ESOS legislative framework can be found here.