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Adding courses of study to CRICOS registration

Students sitting outside studying

Providers can add courses to their Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registration.

However, the courses added must meet the requirements of the:

and if applicable, the:

  • National Standards for Foundation Programs
  • ELICOS National Standards.

Providers without self-accrediting authority must have their higher education courses accredited by TEQSA (or the relevant authority for providers with self-accrediting authority) before they can be included on a CRICOS registration application.

Applications for adding higher education courses may be made at the same time as an application for course accreditation, as long as the applicant is a higher education provider registered under the TEQSA Act.

Application process

Application documents are available on the forms and guides page. The application must be submitted in the approved form, include all information requested by TEQSA.

There are separate application forms for:

  • Foundation Programs
  • ELICOS courses of study

Changing details of a course that is already registered on CRICOS

Providers should take note of the following principles when changing course details:

A new course must be registered where:

  • there are changes to the title of a course which reflect significant changes to the outcome of the course
  • any change to the content or delivery mode of the course, especially where it results in a change to duration
  • any significant change to the course field of study
  • any change to the course level. 

An existing course can be updated where:

  • there was a typo in the initial data entry, e.g. corrections to name, level or duration etc.
  • there is a name change but no change to the outcomes of the course, e.g. Diploma in X to Diploma of X
  • changes to course costs
  • the field of study is being updated to better align with the ASCED classification system.

CRICOS registration of courses with specialisations

Accurate and transparent information on CRICOS supports key objectives of the ESOS Act relating to the protection of consumer interests, the reputation of Australia’s education sector, and student visa integrity.

TEQSA has worked with higher education providers with a view to allowing greater flexibility in the way these courses are registered on CRICOS while still meeting ESOS objectives.

Providers must continue to separately register specialist courses which have a distinct course structure and concentration of study, and where the specialisation leads to specific professional or accreditation outcomes.

We have now determined that specialisations can be registered as a single course of study on CRICOS, if all pathways through the course lead to the same award and share all of the characteristics required under the ESOS act. These characteristics are:

  • qualification level
  • broad field of education
  • course duration
  • course location
  • any work-based components
  • an estimate of course costs (this may be an average of a cost range).

The specialisation in this case is not included in the award title but may or may not be included on the testamur, for example, a Bachelor of Arts with specialisation options.

When applying to add a single course with more than one specialisation to CRICOS, providers must demonstrate these characteristics (as part of course accreditation or by confirmation of internal processes for providers with self-accrediting authority).

It is important to note that CRICOS registration is a separate process to course accreditation under the TEQSA Act. For the purposes of accrediting awards with multiple specialisations, each specialisation will be assessed separately to ensure that each is a coherent course of study. 

This is consistent with our regulatory approach to course accreditation and renewal of accreditation.