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Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

18 December 2020

What is CRICOS?

CRICOS is the official register of all Australian education providers that are permitted to offer courses to students studying in Australia on student visas. For more information visit the CRICOS website, which lists registered providers and registered courses.

What are TEQSA’s responsibilities in regards to CRICOS? 

Under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), TEQSA is the ESOS agency for: 

  • higher education providers registered under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act)
  • English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) delivered by, or in entry arrangement with, registered higher education providers
  • providers of Foundation Programs (except in schools).

For these providers, TEQSA is responsible for:

For more information on the ESOS Act and associated legal framework visit our ESOS Act page.

How do I apply to register my organisation on CRICOS?

Only registered higher education providers can apply to TEQSA for registration on CRICOS. 

Applicants will need to contact cricos [at] teqsa.gov.au to gain access to the TEQSA Provider Portal. 

The CRICOS Registration application form and a Confirmed Evidence Table for Initial CRICOS Registration, which contains detailed information regarding the evidence required to support your application, will then be made available via the Portal.  

TEQSA will assess the application and if granted, a CRICOS registration period can be granted for a period of up to seven years. 

Important note: Due to the high volume of documents and evidence associated with CRICOS registration applications, TEQSA does not undertake pre-submission checks. Once an application is received and allocated to an assessment manager, you will be contacted if any additional information is required. 

Who can submit CRICOS applications via the TEQSA Provider Portal?    

Your organisation’s Principal Executive Officer can make a request for access to the Portal on behalf of other staff within the organisation. All requests for Portal access should be sent to cricos [at] teqsa.gov.au and include the names and email addresses of the users to be added. Once the request has been actioned by TEQSA, the new users will receive instructions on how to access the Portal. 

Providers can nominate more than one ESOS Application Contact to have access to the Portal but it is important that these contacts are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain current. Please notify cricos [at] teqsa.gov.au as soon as possible if Portal access needs to be cancelled, for example if the contact has left the organisation or access is no longer required.  

For further information on using the Portal see our Provider Portal – Frequently Asked Questions.  

What should I do if I receive an error message or I am unable to upload documents to the TEQSA Provider Portal due to the file size exceeding the limit?     

Check that the documents you are trying to upload do not:

  • include a file name that exceeds 128 characters in length
  • include a file name that contains any special characters 
  • exceed the size limit for each file of 10MB.  

For further information on using the Portal see our Provider Portal – Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unable to upload documentation via the TEQSA Provider Portal please contact cricos [at] teqsa.gov.au or your assessment manager for assistance. Please do not provide links to drop boxes or other document sharing platforms. 

Where can I get help in using PRISMS?      

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has published a Provider User Guide for using the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) which provides step by step instructions for performing various functions.  

Is an application required to add or remove a course from an existing location? 

Yes, if both the course and the location are already registered on CRICOS, you can submit an Add Course to CRICOS application via the TEQSA Provider Portal or a Withdraw course/s on CRICOS form to remove the course from an existing location. 

Alternatively, if you have been granted access to PRISMS by the Registered Signatory Delegate of your organisation, you can request to link (add) or unlink (remove) any TEQSA-approved course to a location by using the Linking Courses to Locations Function. (Instructions are available in the PRISMS Provider User Guide, page 51, section 4.22.3).

Is an application required to add a new delivery site?  

Yes, if a course is to be delivered at an additional new site an Add New Delivery Site application should be submitted via the TEQSA Provider Portal. If you are planning to relocate a current site to new premises, an Intention to Relocate application should be submitted. 

The following evidence should be submitted to support the application: 

  • An Occupancy Certificate or Occupancy Permit detailing the maximum capacity of people allowed on the floor/s at any one time. If an Occupancy certificate or permit is not available, a copy of the floor plan which clearly identifies the dimensions of the teaching and learning spaces, student recreation areas, amenities and any specialist learning areas (if required).
  • A copy of the complete lease documentation. 
  • A draft timetable that shows how all students and courses will be accommodated.
  • The number of domestic students expected to be enrolled/attend the campus.
  • Details of other provider(s) that also use the premises/building for educational purposes.
  • A copy of the floor plan for the site which clearly identifies all the teaching and learning spaces, student recreation areas, amenities and any specialist learning areas (if required).  
  • Details of learning resources that will be available to students. 
  • Details of teaching and learning support staff, including position titles and appointments (full-time/part-time).
  • Details of welfare support services that will be available to students and how these can be accessed.  
  • Details of public transport that will be available to students. 
  • Details of security systems and arrangements for evening or night shifts.
  • Any photos that would assist in the assessment of the application, noting that TEQSA may ask for additional photos or request a site visit as part of the assessment process.   

Important note: The application should also take into consideration current student capacity. If a provider wishes to add a new delivery site and transfer some of its existing capacity to the new campus (thus reducing it at another campus) only the Intention to Relocate or Add New Delivery Site application and supporting evidence is required to be submitted.   

If a provider wishes to add a site and increase its capacity to allocate it to the new campus, both the Intention to Relocate or Add New Delivery Site and the Change Student Capacity on CRICOS applications, and supporting evidence, are required to be submitted. 

Intention to Relocate or an Add New Delivery Site application should be submitted as soon as practicable and at least 30 days prior to the intended commencement date of the new location to ensure sufficient time for assessment. 

How do I withdraw a course on CRICOS?

To withdraw a course a Withdraw course/s on CRICOS form should be submitted via the TEQSA Provider Portal. In completing the form you will need to indicate if the course is to be cancelled or suspended. 

  • Cancel: This will cancel the course CRICOS code which cannot be reinstated. This option is effectively deleting the course from CRICOS.
  • Suspend: This allows the course to continue with the current students/CoEs but will not allow the provider to issue any new CoEs. A suspended course is able to be reset to ‘Registered’ again in the future. 

Important note: Providers should ensure there are no CoEs with an Approved, Saved, Pending or Visa Granted status against a course before choosing to cancel or suspend a course as it may have implications on the student’s visa and may result in a cancellation.  

There are no fees associated with these changes.

Is an application required to increase or reduce student capacity?

Yes, any changes to capacity allocated to a specific campus needs to be assessed via a Change Student Capacity on CRICOS application, submitted via the TEQSA Provider Portal. This application must be submitted separately, in addition to any concurrent applications (if applicable). 

The following evidence should be submitted to support the application: 

  • A rationale for the change in CRICOS capacity.
  • An Occupancy Certificate or Occupancy permit detailing the maximum capacity of people allowed on the floor/s at any one time. 
  • A copy of the complete lease documentation. 
  • A draft timetable that demonstrates that all students and courses will be accommodated.
  • The number of domestic students expected to be enrolled/attend the campus.
  • Details of other provider(s) that also use the premises/building for educational purposes.
  • A copy of the floor plan for the site which clearly identifies all the teaching and learning spaces, student recreation areas, amenities and any specialist learning areas (if required).  
  • Details of learning resources that will be available to students. 
  • Details of teaching and learning support staff, including position titles and appointments (full-time/part-time).
  • Details of welfare support services that will be available to students and how these can be accessed.  
  • Details of public transport that will be available to students. 
  • Details of security systems and arrangements for evening or night shifts.
  • Any photos that would assist in the assessment of the application, noting that TEQSA may ask for additional photos or request a site visit as part of the assessment process.   
  • Depending on the application, TEQSA may request a copy of the provider’s strategic plan; workforce plan and evidence of the provider’s financial viability to support an increase to places and/or a new site. 
  • Evidence that due diligence has been undertaken to decide on a new location (which might be with another provider/individual location). 

Important note: Change Student Capacity on CRICOS applications should be submitted as soon as practicable and at least 30 days prior to the intended commencement date of the changed capacity to ensure sufficient time for assessment. 

Please note that an application to change student capacity on CRICOS no longer incurs fees.

How do I change a registered business/trading name? 

To make a change to the registered business/trading name, providers should notify TEQSA via a Material Change notification procedure.

For more information view our Material changes page.

How do I change course fees on CRICOS? 

To make a change to course fees providers should:

  • Upload the revised cost information in the Department of Education’s Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)
  • Email the CRICOS team at cricos [at] teqsa.gov.au to advise that a request has been made.

NOTE: There are no fees associated with these changes.

When should a CRICOS Other application be used? 

A CRICOS Other application should be submitted to TEQSA via the Provider Portal in the following circumstances:

  • Changes to the duration of a course. You should provide evidence to support your application including rationale for the change and minutes of the decision taken by the governing body, evidence that students have been advised of the proposed change and evidence that students have been advised to contact the Department of Home Affairs if this change will require an extension of their student visa. 
  • Changes to the title of a course, where the course duration and its learning outcomes remain the same. You should provide evidence to support your application including minutes of the decision taken to update the course title and evidence that current and accepted students have been informed.   
  • Changes to work integrated learning components of a course. You should provide evidence to support your application including the rationale for the change and minutes of the decision taken.   
  • To report administrative changes such as change of provider address. 
  • To request a correction of a course’s Field of Education.

Changes to the title or duration of accredited courses of study from providers without self-accrediting authority require a Material Change notification, as this change requires an update to the National Register. More information is available on our Material changes page.

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2017 also have notification and approval requirements for CRICOS registered providers.

Find out more about on our Notifications and approvals required of CRICOS registered providers page.

How do I register an ELICOS course on CRICOS?

In order to deliver an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course, your organisation must be a registered higher education provider, or a provider that has an entry arrangement with at least one registered higher education provider. To add an ELICOS course to CRICOS, providers should submit an Add ELICOS on CRICOS application via the TEQSA Provider Portal. The application will be assessed against the requirements of the ESOS Act, the National Code and the ELICOS National Standards.

When is a renewal of CRICOS registration application required to be submitted? 

An application for CRICOS Renewal of Registration must be submitted via the TEQSA Provider Portal at least 90 days prior to the provider’s CRICOS registration expiry date. However, TEQSA may allow a shorter period for the submission of the application. For more information, contact the CRICOS team at cricos [at] teqsa.gov.au.

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) indicates that the provider’s registration continues until TEQSA’s decision on the application takes effect.  

For international students 

How do I find out about course availability, admission requirements and fees?

To find out about course availability, admission requirements, associated fees or any other course details or requirements, you should contact your higher education provider directly. TEQSA is not able to provide this information.   

Can TEQSA provide advice about my student visa?

No, TEQSA is not able to give advice on any visa queries nor comment on the impact that individual circumstances may have on particular visas. For all visa enquiries, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs, or seek assistance from a student advisor at your higher education provider.