TEQSA's Regulatory Authority Under the ESOS Act

Under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), TEQSA is the designated and delegated authority for higher education providers registered under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act), for providers of Foundation Programs and for providers of ELICOS courses of study in a pathway arrangement with a registered higher education provider. 

TEQSA assesses 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.

To become registered to deliver courses to overseas students a provider needs to apply for CRICOS registration, and have the courses and locations at which it wishes to deliver to overseas students in its scope of CRICOS registration.

CRICOS-registered providers can only offer courses to overseas students who have an Australian student visa.

Registered higher education providers and those seeking registration as a higher education provider can apply to TEQSA for CRICOS registration at the same time as making an application to seek registration as a higher education provider.


CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.

The CRICOS website is a searchable database managed by the Department of Education (DoE) under the ESOS legislative framework. CRICOS provides details of those education institutions approved to recruit, enroll and deliver education and training services to overseas students, and details of their courses.

National CRICOS registration

Changes to the ESOS Act which came into effect on 1 July 2012 have introduced national registration on CRICOS for education providers operating in more than one location, state or territory.

Previously, a provider seeking to deliver courses in another state or territory was required to apply for a new CRICOS registration. Since 1 July 2012, CRICOS registration is by course/by location and providers may now simply apply to add a new location with at least one course to an existing CRICOS registration number.

TEQSA will assess each new location against all registration criteria under the ESOS Act, and each course must be approved for delivery at each location before registration on CRICOS.

TEQSA is also working with providers that have multiple registrations to consolidate them under one national CRICOS registration number. 

TEQSA Provider Case Managers are in contact with providers to discuss specific plans for amalgamating CRICOS registrations before the next registration comes up for renewal to support a streamlined application process. It will be the provider’s responsibility to ensure all course information at all locations in PRISMS is accurate or corrected at this time. PRISMS will retain all historical information and automatically redirect prospective students searching by retired CRICOS numbers. 

Additional information

About the ESOS legislative framework

The ESOS Act and the associated legislation form the legal framework for the provision of education services to overseas students.

The ESOS legislative framework (available on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments) sets out roles and responsibilities for education providers who wish to deliver courses to overseas students:

  • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Act 1997
  • National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007
  • National Standards for Foundation Programs
  • ELICOS National Standards