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Assessment—renewal of CRICOS registration

After your application is received, ASQA will assess your application and the supporting evidence you have provided.

There are four main stages in the assessment process:

Applications to renew Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registration undergo the rigorous assessment process outlined below to ensure that your organisation is able to comply with—and remain compliant with—the complex requirements and responsibilities outlined in the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework.

On average, an application to renew registration takes between seven and eight months to pass through all of the stages in the assessment process. If your registration expires while ASQA is assessing your application, your registration will remain active on CRICOS. During this period you will be able to create Confirmations of Enrolment in the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS). 

Stage 1—Completeness check

ASQA will acknowledge receipt of your application by email.

ASQA will then conduct an initial completeness check of your application.

Your application may be considered incomplete if:

  • you have not answered all required questions on the application form
  • you have not included all the required evidence
  • you have not paid the application lodgement fee and the application assessment fee

If your application is incomplete, ASQA will contact you. You will have ten working days to return all required information or supporting evidence, or to pay any outstanding fees.

ASQA will reject your application if, at the end of the ten-day period, the application is still considered incomplete.

ASQA will notify you when your application progresses to Stage 2—Risk assessment. 

Stage 2—Risk assessment

What is a risk assessment?

ASQA assesses risks to quality vocational and international education by gathering data about the operations of providers.

ASQA looks at a range of factors to assign each provider with a risk rating. Each application also undergoes a risk assessment.

A risk rating considers:

  • how likely is that your organisation will not deliver quality training and assessment, and
  • what the impact (e.g. on students, industry, or the sector) would be of your organisation not delivering quality training and assessment.

Learn more about ASQA's risk-based approach to regulation of vocational and international education.

How does risk assessment work for renewal applications?

ASQA will consider factors including your organisation's performance and your financial and governance arrangements.

Some of the factors ASQA will considers when assessing your application are shown in the table below.

Factors that might be considered in assessing the risks posed by your organisation
Performance factors
  • history of audit compliance and complaints
  • data from quality indicators
Financial factors
  • financial viability risk assessment
  • financial projections
Governance factors
  • Fit and Proper Person requirements
  • quality of your business planning
  • the transparency of your ownership/management structure
Supplementary risk indicators
  • intention to deliver training leading to a licensed or regulated outcome
  • multiple delivery sites or offshore delivery sites
  • partnership or subcontracting arrangements
  • accepting fees in advance from students.

Applications approved at risk assessment

A small percentage of applications to renew CRICOS registration may be approved following a risk assessment (e.g. without audit).

Applications approved at risk assessment are typically:

  • from providers with a strong history of compliance with all requirements, and
  • from low-risk providers.

Applications rejected at risk assessment

An application may be rejected at this stage if it does not satisfy all:

  • evidence requirements
  • fit and proper person requirements, and
  • financial viability risk assessment requirements.

Learn more about your options if you disagree with ASQA's decision about your application.

ASQA reviews the suitability of your nominated senior and/or influential personnel to confirm that the applicant meets all fit and proper person requirements. ASQA may also investigate your organisation’s business status through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASQA will notify you by email if your application progresses through to the Stage 3—Audit. 

Stage 3—Audit

If your application progresses past the risk assessment stage, in most cases, ASQA will schedule a registration audit. The lead auditor will contact you to set an audit date. In most cases, your audit will be scheduled for between one and four months from the date the lead auditor contacts you.

At the audit

The audit aims to confirm that your organisation meets its obligations and is delivering quality training to overseas students studying in Australia.

The auditor (or audit team) will examine your ongoing compliance with the National Code and, where relevant, the ELICOS National Standards.

The auditor will consider:

  • the integrity of your marketing material and information provided to students, including information on transfers between providers and complaints and appeals
  • how you monitor course progress and attendance to ensure students complete their course within the expected duration
  • how you manage the activities of your education agents, and
  • the suitability of facilities and equipment.

ASQA will conduct the audit at one or more of your organisation’s venues.

Stage 4—The audit report

ASQA will review the evidence from the audit and prepare an audit report. You will receive a copy of the audit report, which will explain any non-compliance identified at the audit.

If ASQA has identified any non-compliance, you have one opportunity to provide evidence that you have rectified this non-compliance. You must provide this evidence within 20 working days of the date you receive the audit report.