CRICOS For Higher Education In Australia – What You Need To Know

Posted: 07/07/2023

One  vital element of higher education in Australia is CRICOS, which governs the registration of all courses offered to international students. In this article, we explore CRICOS, how it works, and why it is so important for both overseas students seeking higher education opportunities in Australia and the organisations teaching them.

Key Takeaways:

  • CRICOS is an Australian government regulatory body responsible for ensuring that educational institutions offering courses to overseas students meet specific standards.
  • All educational institutions offering courses to onshore overseas students in Australia must register with CRICOS.
  • To be compliant with CRICOS, educational institutions must adhere to the legislative obligations of ESOS and The National Code, including providing a quality learning experience and preserving a protected amount of funds.
  • Private consultancies such as DVE Solutions, offer services to help educational institutions comply with government regulations and legislation such as CRICOS.

What Is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students?

The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, known as CRICOS, is a registration system of courses and providers in Australia that regulates the provision of education and training services to international students on student visas.

CRICOS was introduced to ensure education providers and courses offered to international students meet certain quality standards.

How Does CRICOS Work for Overseas Students?

Australia is renowned for its quality education system and world-class universities, making it a popular destination for international students. However, navigating the Australian higher education system can be confusing for students from other countries.

All Australian education providers offering courses to international students must be registered with CRICOS. They also have to register all courses that are available for international students.. The registration process involves meeting strict criteria and demonstrating the ability to deliver high-quality instruction and support services to students from other countries.

By enrolling in a CRICOS-registered course, international students can be assured of a quality education when they pursue an opportunity to live or study in Australia.

CRICOS for Australian Education Providers

CRICOS registration is essential for those who want to offer courses to international students for several reasons:

Legal Requirements Set by the Australian Government

Firstly, it is a legal requirement for any institution wishing to offer courses to international students on a student visa. Without CRICOS registration, colleges and universities cannot enrol international students in their courses, which would significantly limit their potential student base.

An Assurance of Quality Education

CRICOS registration provides assurance to international students that the courses they are enrolling in meet high-quality standards. Their accreditation process evaluates and approves education providers based on strict guidelines and regulations. This ensures that students can trust in the credibility and excellence of the educational institutions and the programs they offer.

Financial Reassurance

Additionally, courses registered with CRICOS  ensure that international students are protected under The ESOS Act and are provided with  a safety net for if their education provider cannot deliver a course or closes down unexpectedly.

This protection gives international students confidence in the education system and may encourage more students to choose Australian institutions for their studies.

Registration Requirements for CRICOS Providers

The CRICOS registration process involves a rigorous assessment of an education provider’s ability to deliver quality education and support services to international students.

Education organisations offering courses for overseas students must meet the CRICOS, ESOS and National Code criteria, including:

  • Educational institutions in Australia must adhere to relevant legislative frameworks under CRICOS, including the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.
  • Institutions must already be registered as higher education providers under the TEQSA Act.
  • Providers must meet any provided standards at all stages of the learning experience, including marketing and recruitment, enrolment, support and progression, training and assessment and completion.
  • Institutions must meet reporting and default obligations and education agent regulations while maintaining a tuition reassurance policy that safeguards students.
  • Providers must regularly assess their practices and policies to ensure compliance with guidelines related to the student experience and quality of training.

By adhering to guidelines closely and seeking compliance, Australian education institutions can expand their reach and provide students with a safe and high-quality educational experience.

Educational institutions can seek guidance and support from the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), which is responsible for regulating and assessing CRICOS providers.

Educational institutions can seek guidance and support from the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), which is responsible for regulating and assessing CRICOS providers.

FAQs About CRICOS for Organisations

CRICOS registration may seem complicated to institutions that simply want to become registered providers of education services for overseas students. To make things clearer, we answer a few frequently asked questions below.

Do my  ELICOS Courses Need to be Registered with CRICOS?

ELICOS stands for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students. It is a sector of Australian education specifically designed for international students who want to learn English language skills. ELICOS courses are offered at all proficiency levels, from beginner to advanced, and may be taken for general language proficiency or to prepare for further studies in Australia.

In Australia, all ELICOS courses must be registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This registration ensures that the course provider meets specific standards and requirements, including teacher qualifications, course content, facilities and student support services.

ELICOS courses can be taken at various institutions, including universities, TAFEs, private colleges and language schools. The courses vary in length, from a few weeks to several months or even years, depending on the student’s needs and goals.

Which Students Qualify as Overseas Students?

In the Australian education system, international students who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled or planning to enrol in a course of study in Australia may qualify as overseas students. This includes students who are studying onshore in Australia with a student visa and those studying offshore in a program that an Australian institution delivers.

Overseas students are typically subject to a range of regulations and requirements under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework, including requirements for institutions to be registered with CRICOS and to comply with the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students.

What If Our Organisation Needs Help Complying with CRICOS Requirements to Teach Overseas Students?

Several resources are available if your organisation needs assistance complying with the regulations to teach overseas students. First of all, the Australian government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment gives information and support on complying with the legislative frameworks and guidelines mentioned earlier.

Additionally, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) can offer guidance on how to meet quality standards and improve the overall experience for students. ASQA also assesses training and assessment strategies to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Finally, private consultancies also offer services to help organisations comply with CRICOS requirements and other laws and regulations.

At DVE Solutions, we are experts at helping administrators comply with government regulations. Our team of experienced consultants provides tailored advice and support to ensure your institution satisfies government regulations and helps solve other higher education management issues.

Educate International Students with CRICOS Registration

We understand that navigating complex government regulations and guidelines, like those involved with CRICOS, can be challenging, which is why we work closely with each higher education provider to develop a comprehensive plan that meets their unique needs and circumstances.

Contact us to learn how we can assist your institution in complying with government requirements and give your students the most positive experience possible.