ESOS / CRICOS / ELICOS

Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS).

This page provides general information about ESOS and the National Code, CRICOS and the ELICOS Standards as well as legislative updates, and other useful information and resources to assist areas of the University to understand and implement these important legal requirements.

ESOS training course

The ESOS Training Course has been developed for all staff. While this course is compulsory for all new staff, existing staff can retake the course at any time to refresh their knowledge of ESOS. See below for additional information.

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth) (ESOS Act) regulates education services for overseas students.

The principal objectives of this Act are:

  • to provide financial and tuition assurance to overseas students for courses for which they have paid; and
  • to protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for quality education and training services; and
  • to complement Australia’s migration laws by ensuring providers collect and report information relevant to the administration of the law relating to student visas.

The University regards the ESOS Act as a Tier 1 piece of legislation.

All staff who have interactions with overseas students or programs delivered to overseas students are required to have an understanding of the University's obligations under the ESOS framework and potential implications for students arising from exercising of these obligations.

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  • ESOS audit 2021

    To maintain compliance with the ESOS Act, 18 months prior to the expiry of the University's CRICOS registration, the University must undertake an independent external audit including a full inspection of the premises.

    The next ESOS audit will commence in June 2021. A steering group comprising the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning), Deputy Dean, Learning and Teaching, ECMS and Manager, Educational Compliance has been established.

    Learning and Quality Support (LQS) submitted the ESOS audit of evidence demonstrating how the University complies with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018  to the Auditor on 16 April 2021.

    For additional information, please view:

  • ESOS guide (Audit of Evidence)

    The University ESOS guide has been prepared by Learning and Quality Support in order to provide staff with a detailed summary that addresses how the University meets the requirements of each of the eleven standards of the National Code 2018. Supporting evidence is contained within each standard including embedded links and operational and strategic documents.

    The ESOS guide is a working document that may require regular updating and advice from multiple areas across the University.

    Please contact Learning and Quality Support directly for general information about ESOS, or with proposed updates or amendments to the information contained in the ESOS guide.

    ESOS Guide

  • ESOS training

    The University must comply with the obligations under ESOS and the National Code in order to remain registered to deliver programs to overseas students in Australia, which includes staff knowledge of the ESOS Framework.

    An ESOS Training Course has been developed for all staff. Staff are required to complete the course as part of the induction program. 

    The ESOS course:

    • provides staff with the essential introductory knowledge of the ESOS Framework and highlights our responsibilities in delivering education and services to overseas students;
    • takes around 20 - 30 minutes to complete;
    • includes a short 10 question quiz, with a pass mark of 80%.

    Any questions about this course can be directed to Learning and Quality Support.

    ESOS training course

    In addition, the ISANA International Education Association is pleased to announce the release of the National Code Tutorial (NCT) instructional tool. The NCT is a certified course designed for professionals working in the international education sector to gain knowledge and understanding of the ESOS Act 2000 and the National Code 2018. *Please note that fees apply for this course.

    National Code Tutorial

  • ESOS Latest News

    Consultation on Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) course exemption instrument 2021

    The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is seeking comments to inform the drafting of a new ESOS legislative instrument that will exempt certain courses from the ESOS Act, removing the need for them to registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

    This consultation has now closed.

  • COVID-19 resources

    A range of informative resources have been made available from various sources to assist the higher education sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The Overseas Students Ombudsman has published a fact sheet regarding international student complaints related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • International students may be affected by travel restrictions and exclusion periods due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) have released regulatory information relating to obligations to students impacted by travel restrictions, exclusion periods and on-line learning.
  • National Code (2018)

    The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018) is the legislative instrument that supports ESOS.

    • Changes to the National Code commenced on 1 January 2018.
    • The National Code is now comprised of 2 parts:
      1. Part A outlines the purpose of the National Code, and
      2. Part B contains the 11 Standards that providers must meet in their interactions with overseas students.
    • The Department of Education and Training (DET) has worked with the sector to develop system changes and explanatory materials.
    • Strengthening Australia’s Protections for International Students
    • National Code 2018 Factsheets
  • University Designated Specialist Officers (DSO)

    Designated Specialist Officers (DSO’s) have specialist knowledge and experience, and an operational understanding of the requirements of an Act as it applies to both general and specific University activities.

    A DSO is best placed to provide advice about legislation, or know where to go for further assistance. 

    Find out more about the University DSO’s for the ESOS Act.

  • University Principal Executive Officer (PEO)

    The Executive Director, Student Operations, Division of Academic and Student Engagement, as the PEO, is responsible for ensuring compliance with the ESOS Act and the National Code including:

    • Ensuring the University’s Annual Registration Charge is paid;
    • Ensuring the University’s TPS levy is paid
    • Maintaining user access for staff members using PRISMS
  • Concerns about ESOS Compliance?

    If you have a concern regarding the University’s compliance with ESOS you should raise the issue with your line manager. In the event that the issue is unresolved you can raise the issue with any of the University DSO’S or alternatively email legalcompliance@adelaide.edu.au.

    If you receive a notice from any regulatory body notifying the University that it is in breach of ESOS legislation you should immediately inform Legal and Risk by completing an on-line report. If you have any questions please email legalcompliance@adelaide.edu.au.

  • Additional information and resources

TEQSA is responsible for assessing applications for inclusion on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and may approve that a provider be registered on CRICOS. Only CRICOS-registered providers can offer programs to overseas students in Australia on student visas.

On 31 August 2020, TEQSA extended the University’s registration from 19 August 2022 to 19 August 2025 pursuant to section 37A of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act).

All programs that meet the requirements of the ESOS Act 2000 and National Code of Practice 2018 can be registered on CRICOS and offered to overseas students. The Educational Compliance team facilitate all program CRICOS registrations.

All new programs must first be approved by the University's Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee (APEAC) before being considered for registration on CRICOS.

      For any questions regarding CRICOS registration please contact lqscompliance@adelaide.edu.au

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      • Changes to CRICOS registered programs

        For any approved changes to CRICOS registered programs (including change to duration, mode of study, work based training and /or arrangements with other providers), TEQSA require at least 30 days’ notice before the changes can take effect: Standard 11.3 of the ESOS National Code 2018

        TEQSA will process minor changes to a program that is already registered on CRICOS for the following scenarios:

        • Any corrections (eg typo in the initial data entry, corrections to name, level or duration etc)
        • Slight change to program name but no change to the outcomes of the program (eg Diploma in X to Diploma of X)
        • Change to the cost of the program
        • Update to the field of study to better align with the ASCED classification system
      • Compulsory information for CRICOS registration

        Compulsory Information required for CRICOS registration includes:

        • Program Duration in weeks (including holiday breaks)
        • Is the program a dual qualification?
        • AQF level (qualification type)
        • Delivery location (campus)
        • Modes of study including the maximum percentage of a total course that a student may undertake by distance and/or online learning
        • Mandatory work based training (hours per week, number of weeks)
        • Field of education codes (Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) 2001)
        • Projected number of international students
        • Projected number of domestic students
        • Estimated total program cost
        • Estimated non-tuition fees
        • External collaboration: Do arrangements with other providers exist?
          • If yes, have these arrangements previously been approved by TEQSA? View the approved list of arrangements/locations
          • If no, a TPA (Third Party Arrangement) application will need to be lodged with TEQSA. TEQSA currently charges faculties a $2,500 fee to assess these arrangements.
        • Documentary evidence of any professional accreditation required for the program
      • CRICOS deletions

        Programs that have been approved for deletion through APEAC will be removed from CRICOS.

      The revised English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students Standards 2018 were approved by the Minister’s delegate on 11 October 2017 and took effect on 1 January 2018.

      The ELICOS Standards 2018 provide a basis on which regulatory authorities may register a provider on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), under the ESOS Act, to deliver an ELICOS course.

      The ELICOS Standards apply to providers who deliver courses which are solely or predominantly of English language instruction to student visa holders in Australia.

      The main change amends the definition of an ELICOS course to bring all intensive English language courses registered on CRICOS within the scope of the ELICOS Standards.