National Code Part B: Government roles and responsibilities

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.

This part documents the respective roles and responsibilities of the Australian Government and the state and territory government authorities which administer the National Code. The Australian Government has the overarching responsibility to protect the reputation of Australia’s education and training industry. It supports the industry’s capacity to provide quality education and training services and maintains the integrity of the Student visa program. State and territory governments are responsible for regulating education for international students studying in schools in their jurisdictions.

The Shared Responsibility Framework outlining the roles and responsibilities of the Australian Government and the state and territory government authorities under the National Code 2007 has been superseded by amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2007 passed in December 2015. The framework no longer applies.

 

 

Introduction

 

1.  

The ESOS framework is based on a co-operative regulatory model between the Australian Government and state and territory governments. Part B is included in the National Code to facilitate a better understanding of government respective roles and responsibilities in administering the ESOS framework.

2.

The Australian Government is responsible for protecting the reputation of Australia’s international education and training industry and its capacity to provide quality education and training services while maintaining the integrity of the Student visa program. State and territory governments have responsibility for the regulation of education in their jurisdictions.

 

 

Australian Government

 

 

3.

The Department of Education is responsible for administering the ESOS Act and its associated instruments. This includes managing CRICOS and supporting national consistency and policy development to assist the consistent interpretation and application of the ESOS framework, and the National Code in particular.

4.

The Department of Education also monitors compliance with the ESOS Act and the standards in the National Code, particularly focussing on student visa integrity and consumer protection. The Departmetn of Education is responsible for investigating and instigating enforcement action for breaches of both the ESOS Act and the National Code. The Department of Education will publish information about its compliance and enforcement activities on a regular basis.

5.

The ESOS framework recognises the role registered providers have in ensuring the integrity of Australia’s Student visa program through their ongoing contact with students during their stay in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is responsible for regulating students by administering the Student visa program.

 

 

State and territory governments

 

6.

Each state or territory government regulates the delivery of education services to domestic students. The ESOS framework recognises this pivotal role of state and territory governments and minimises the regulatory burden on registered providers by applying existing registration, accreditation and compliance systems to underpin regulation of the education and training for overseas students studying in Australia.

7.

Under the ESOS framework, the designated authority in each state or territory assesses the registration and re-registration of courses on CRICOS and monitors compliance with the National Code. Some state or territory governments also have legislation that specifically relates to providing education services to overseas students.

8.

While the Departmetn of Education is primarily responsible for investigating and instigating enforcement action for breaches of both the ESOS Act and the National Code, state and territory governments often have enforcement mechanisms available through their legislation. Pursuing enforcement action through these mechanisms may be more appropriate given the nature of the breach, particularly if the state or territory government has specific legislation related to ESOS matters.

 

 

Efficient and effective administration of the ESOS framework

 

9.

To support the efficient and effective administration of the ESOS regulatory framework, the Australian Government and state and territory governments will:

a.   co-ordinate and maximise communication and collaboration

b.   minimise the regulatory cost to governments and providers

c.   ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined

d.   support a nationally consistent approach; and

e.   be transparent to the Australian international education and training community.