English-language courses (ELICOS)
An ELICOS course is:
- solely or mostly English language instruction
- provided to an overseas student.
‘Overseas students’ hold a student visa to study in Australia, issued by the Australian Government.
There are other types of English language courses offered in Australia. If these are not provided to overseas students, they are not classified as ELICOS courses.
Do I need to be an ESOS provider to deliver ELICOS courses?
To deliver an ELICOS course to overseas students in Australia on a student visa, you need to:
- be an ESOS provider listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
- have the ELICOS course on your registration and the delivery location approved.
You don’t need to apply for ESOS registration if:
- you want to deliver English language programs overseas. These are not ‘ELICOS courses’, as they are not delivered to overseas students studying in Australia on a student visa
- you want to deliver English language courses in Australia to students who are not here on a student visa. For example, recent migrants or those here on a work visa.
Do I need to be an RTO to deliver ELICOS courses?
You do not need to be a registered training organisation (RTO) to deliver ELICOS courses.
Some RTOs provide VET English language courses. These are not classified as an ELICOS course.
How ELICOS courses are regulated
ASQA regulates some providers who deliver ELICOS courses.
We do not regulate ELICOS courses that are delivered:
- by an ESOS provider operating as a school
- by an ESOS provider operating as a higher education provider
- as part of a pathway program for entry into a higher education institution.
ASQA has no jurisdiction over non-award courses delivered overseas.
Become registered to deliver ELICOS courses
If you are already an ESOS provider:
- add an ELICOS course to your registration.
If you are not an ESOS provider:
- apply for ESOS registration
- in your application, include the ELICOS course(s) you want to deliver.
Do not apply to ASQA if you intend to deliver ELICOS:
- as a higher education provider or as part of a pathway program for entry into a higher education institution - in this case, you should apply to the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA)
- as a school—in this case, you should apply to 'the relevant state regulatory body'.
Do I need to hold NEAS accreditation?
ELICOS providers are not required to hold National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) accreditation. However, we recognise NEAS accreditation as one potential indicator of quality for ELICOS providers.
For help or more information contact us.