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.

The Australian Government has released the revised National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018), which commenced on 1 January 2018.



Policy and Legislation

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.


Provider Registration

The Department of Education and Training 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.



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.


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 their 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.
For more information about studying in Australia visit Study in Australia.

Schools Compliance

The ESOS agency for Schools*
Under the ESOS legislation, the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training, 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 Department has a developed performance Performance Metrics for ESOS Regulator (for Schools). The ESOS Agency for Schools RPF Report 2016-17 contains the assessment results. The 2015-16 Report is available here.
*Including a small number of dual sector (school and higher education or school and VET) and multi sector (school, higher education and VET) providers.\

Further information

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