Benefits of CRICOS to Education Agents or Consultants

Aug 14, 2018

Cricos or cricos code can become an engaging topic now and then in overseas study conversations. If you encounter it for the first time, it definitely will keep you gawking. But it is not as complicated as it sounds. You can find out about its basics in just less than an hour of research.

The plan for studying in Australia or working as the abroad study agent requires the knowledge about cricos. As education agents, you might be quite aware of it, how well you know cricos matters in this business. Thus, your little knowledge can put your business at risk.

Sometimes we experience situation where an education agent starts off the business with the wrong concept about cricos. Likewise, a plenty of consultancies who are quite aware are less concerned about it. Besides, many don’t understand that it is not an option, but it is the criteria that you need to comply.

 This article will definitely clear out every doubt you have about Cricos.

Let’s take you on a cricos tour then.

Study abroad agency, let us start with the meaning of Cricos. It stands for Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. It registers education institutions that enroll international students in Australia.

Cricos is an Australian government registry of Australian educational institutes that provide education services to international students. All the institutes and courses offered to overseas students are registered under Cricos. For an institute to provide services to the international students on student visa, they must register in cricos. Only cricos registered institutions can offer courses to international students in Australia legally.

Moreover, it is managed by the Australian Government Department of Education. It is publicly available and you can search courses by provider name or code.  

As it is the legal pass for the institutes to enroll and teach international students, your education agent must carefully check the details and authorization of the universities. You should go through the university background and registration for partnering since there is a risk of associating with the illegal institutes.

By now you must be questioning about the reasons behind cricos for abroad education. Cricos is definitely there for a reason and has several benefits. It has changed the standard of Australian education and has provided security to the international students. We can find many policies and rules behind cricos that make it an essential part of Australian education.

Let’s move on to the importance of cricos.

Purpose of Cricos

When talking about the purpose there are many things we can discuss. The objective of cricos is to secure the services of the institution offered to international students. Likewise, it helps in guarding the interest and rights of international students. Cricos is like a regulator that controls registered institutes. The education providers have to maintain different standards and go through the specific process. So, this assures the required education standard that the international students are expecting. The institutions registered in cricos have the best education and teaching style as set according to the Australian government. Moreover, cricos has also made Australian study systematic through course search with the cricos codes.

You must have figured out some pieces of cricos puzzle till here but there are still more. We have been reminding that it is crucial for Australian education agents not just because of the above reasons. Firstly,  it guides the education agents to make wise and best association with the institution they work with. As we have said before, it contributes to the better education system in Australia that directly relates to your quality and service. The institutes get recognition for standard maintenance through cricos that help the consultancy agencies to make the right decisions effortlessly.

In a  way, it builds up a close and trusted relationship between the institution, education agents, and students. Cricos focuses on improving the transparency and quality of education providers.

There are cases of students returning to their home without completing their studies. This is because of unregistered colleges they were guided to by their education agents. Unregistered institution violates the Australian government regulation and will shut down sooner or later.  The students and consultancies going for unauthorised institutes are beyond absurd. Well, they are digging their own grave with this decision.

It clearly shows that you cannot partner with any random universities or else it leads to your downfall. Moreover, your educational consultancy’s vision of providing best and secured services can dissolve in just the snap of a finger. Consulting students and partnering with the universities irresponsibly can ruin your years of built goodwill. The fact is you cannot succeed in giving proper guidance to your clients without associating with the trusted universities and institutes.

Moreover, through cricos, you can assist your clients to the best universities. When your clients are enrolled in authorized legal institutes of their choice, there is nothing much to worry about. So, you must carefully handpick the universities that you are associating with. A slight slip in choosing the university can forever leave you with a dent in your image.

Cricos registration doesn’t happen right away.  There is a list of steps the institutes have to go through. The process itself prepares the institutes in providing the required services to the international students.

We have explained the registration process in detail below for you. The requirements for cricos reflects the necessity and shows how it safeguards the education system.

Cricos Registration

Institutes cannot apply for cricos without meeting the requisites of it. Firstly, the registered training organisation (RTO) offering vocational education and training courses is eligible for cricos registration. Also, the providers providing English language intensive courses for overseas students (ELICOS) courses can apply for cricos. But, ELICOS course delivered as a school, as a higher education provider or for entry arrangement with one education provider at least are not considered.

Again, for the courses to be registered there are specific criteria as well. It must be registered as a Registered Training Organization that delivers vocational education and training courses. Similarly, it has to meet the ELICOS standard to fulfil the cricos course code requirement.

Besides, ESOS act and national code are also the requirements for the institutions.


The Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) protects the international students in Australia. The act lays out the legal framework with certain standards for quality assurance.

The legal framework is the provision for overseas students for their welfare. It includes the registration requirements and the ongoing standards for education providers offering courses to foreign students.

The framework maintains the quality of the training and increases the care of students.

The objectives of the ESOS Act is to provide tuition assurance, and refunds, to overseas students for their paid courses. It is there to uplift Australia’s education and training services quality.

It supports Australia’s migration laws too as it ensures the collection and reporting of relevant information relating to student visas.

National Code

Another requirement National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students(National Code) is standards made under the ESOS framework.

The motive of the National Code is to support the ESOS framework. Moreover, it establishes  Australia’s reliability and high standard in education and training courses. The registered providers are helped in supervising student compliance with regards to student visa conditions. It supports providers in reporting the Australian Government about any student breaches.

Besides, the National Code regulates the delivery of courses to overseas students for their protection.

The National Code is a legislative instrument under the ESOS Act. As such, under the ESOS Act, violation of the National Code by education providers can result in legal action against them. This action can result in imposing certain conditions on registration or suspension and sometimes even cancellation of registration.

Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)

As Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) register providers, there is certain international students’ information that they must submit to the Australian Government.

They have to submit the information electronically through the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

Some Australian Government agencies have the advantage of  monitoring student compliance and provider compliance through PRISMS.

PRISMS has a secure system for providers as it lets them issue ‘Confirmations of Enrolment’ for overseas students, i.e. required to get a student visa and to report changes in any course enrolment.

Department of Education authorises prism in association with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

After approval of CRICOS registration, the Department of Education provides access to PRISMS.

Preparation for application

The providers need to prepare for starting an application for cricos registration.

The understanding of requirements is necessary. The requirements given below are essential:

  • ESOS Act
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001 (ESOS Regulations)
  • English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Standards 2018.
  • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code)

Local council approval

Providers’ planned location for providing services may require approvals from local councils. Beginners or newcomer in education and training industry must visit local council for the planning process and to know the need of approval. The committee provides them with all the information regarding the approval if required.

Providers without council approval have difficulty in operating and claiming the insurance coverage.

Demonstrate financial viability

Providers need to prove their financial viability while applying for CRICOS registration. Some registration requires detailed financial record and calculation using tools. The organization should submit evidence about their members being up to the requirements.

Providers can submit the initial applications through the online registration portal that lets the organization’s process the applications online.

An initial application invoice is sent after submitting the application for cricos, 

Cricos registration fees

The registration for cricos is not cost-free. Application fee is required for CRICOS registration. Extra fees are charged for adding items in registration and additional delivery sites. There are annual registration charges as well.

 The assessment of the application doesn’t begin without the invoice payment.

Cricos is designed wisely to regulate universities and to prevent any gap between students and institution. If we see the application assessment, it is uncompromising. The requirements for application must meet while assessing at every stage for it to progress. Detail evaluation of the application takes place. The missing documents found while evaluation requires quick submission. The documents that are not submitted before the deadline have a high chance of being rejected.

However, providers applying for Cricos registration have to keep a few things in mind.

Providers with an agreement with other registered providers to provide training and courses can promote their service to students but have to mention their registered codes and courses.

The registration process and requirements are quite difficult and it ensures the high education standards in institutes.

So, the institutes processing for the registration are the finest education providers as they have the responsibility to maintain the excellent quality. The governments and cricos authorize the legally registered institutes that not only secure the students but also upgrade the education system. It has helped to create the better reputation of Australian education.

After reading the cricos standards, we know that it is not merely a rule to follow.  You can make sure through cricos that your clients get the best education in the authorised institution. This will also boost client relationship management of your company. However, you can contribute to CRM only if you provide the clients with excellent service.

Never forget to look for cricos registration while partnering with Australian institutes.