National Code Part D: ESOS standards

Part D: Standards for registered providers

Please note this explanatory guide applies to the National Code 2017 and will not apply after 1 January 2018. Factsheets on the National Code 2018 are available here.

The standards for registered providers set out the obligations on registered providers in delivering education and training to overseas students[1]

These standards detail the specific requirements registered providers must meet to comply with their obligations. These obligations need to be met at the point of CRICOS registration and throughout the CRICOS registration period. Obligations and requirements that relate specifically to the registration process for CRICOS purposes are covered under Part C.

Compliance with the standards for registered providers

Compliance with the National Code by registered providers is assessed at the point of registration. Compliance of registered providers, other than registered self-accrediting providers, is assessed during the period of registration by either the designated authority or DIISRTE – see Part B for a description of the respective roles of the state and territory governments (through the designated authority) and the Australian Government (through DIISRTE).

Compliance with the National Code by registered providers which are self-accrediting, is assessed through an annual declaration of conformity with the National Code and, once every five years, an independent external audit report. The designated authority or DIISRTE may still undertake compliance visits to registered self-accrediting providers in the event that the designated authority or DIISRTE deem this necessary.

Requirements for registered self-accrediting providers

Registered self-accrediting providers must undertake an independent external audit once every five years which must assess its compliance with the National Code and include a full inspection of the premises. The results of this audit are to be provided to the designated authority. Registered self-accrediting providers are also required to provide a declaration of conformity to the designated authority annually that contains the following:

·          unique identification of the declaration of conformity

·          the name and contact address of the registered provider

·          the CRICOS number of the registered provider

·          a statement that the registered provider conforms with the National Code

·          the date of the declaration of conformity

·          the signature of the principal executive officer

·          reference to the existence of any associated supporting documentation, and

·          a report on the implementation of any corrective and preventative actions identified as being necessary.

Fifteen Standards to ensure quality

CRICOS-registered providers must comply with 15 standards that ensure their quality of education and professionalism is of a sufficiently high standard to enrol international students.

These education providers must demonstrate their compliance with the standards at the point of CRICOS registration and throughout their CRICOS registration period.

The 15 standards cover the following aspects of delivery of education to international students:

Standard 1 

Marketing information and practices

Standard 2 

Student engagement before enrolment

Standard 3

Formalisation of enrolment

Standard 4

Education agents

Standard 5

Younger overseas students

Standard 6

Student support services

Standard 7

Transfer between registered providers

Standard 8

Complaints and appeals

Standard 9

Completion within expected duration

Standard 10

Monitoring course progress

Standard 11

Monitoring attendance

Standard 12

Course credit

Standard 13

Deferment, suspension or cancellation of study during enrolment

Standard 14

Staff capability, educational resources and premises

Standard 15

Changes to registered providers’ ownership or management



Structure of each standard


Name and purpose

States the National Code requirement and explains the intent of the standard

Key requirements for all sectors

A dot point summary of obligations

What does this standard involve?

Clarifies the meaning and illustrates the standard through examples

Compliance tips

Suggests evidence that would demonstrate compliance to authorities


A lengthy list of scenarios both sector-specific and general that illustrate the standard’s  practical application


Links the standard to related requirements in the National Code and the ESOS Act


[1] Overseas students are henceforth referred to as students, except where otherwise explicitly stated. Refer to the appendix for a definition of an overseas student.