ELICOS for the International Students (Part 3 of Part 3)

August 14, 2019

In the last newsletters we discussed the following: 

  • What is ELICOS and what it stands for 

  • Who ELICOS applies to? 

  • What is the definition of ELICOS?

  • What is included in the ELICOS? 

  • What are the benefits of having ELICOS programs on scope 

  • Guidelines for regulatory authorities 

  • What are ELICOS providers and their types?

  • The status of English Language Teaching in Australia 

  • Can ELICOS and VET Co-exist?

  • English language requirements to enrol in the course and length of the course

  • What resources usually ELICOS students require? 

In this article, we will discuss the following: 

  • Understanding the ELICOS Standards


ELICOS Standards in a nutshell


New standards for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) have been developed by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training (DET).


The ELICOS Standards 2018 came into effect from 1 January 2018, for existing and new providers (and comes into effect from 1 March 2018 for transitioning providers – i.e. providers to which the ELICOS Standards did not apply prior to 1 January 2018 but are assessed by a ESOS Agency, such as ASQA, to be delivering an ELICOS course). 


The ELICOS Standards seek to enhance Australia’s reputation as a source of quality education to international education markets and assist in attracting high-quality international students to Australia.


The National Standards for ELICOS providers and courses (ELICOS Standards) are guidelines for regulatory authorities to make recommendations for acceptance of providers to be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) under the ESOS legislative framework.


Standard C1: Mandatory requirements for course applications 


This standard talks about the mandatory requirements on ELICOS applications. All course applications must be fit for purpose and must include the following information: 

  • Course name

  • Course component

  • Copyright information 

  • Course duration (expressed in weeks)

  • Course purpose

  • Relationship with other course(s)

  • Details of any articulation arrangements 

  • Profile of target learner group, including arrangements to meet the learning needs of students of different age groups and learning capabilities

  • Course outcomes expressed in learner-oriented terms

  • Course entry requirements

  • Strategy for monitoring student learning progress

  • Strategy for assessing achievement of learning outcomes including policies and procedures, materials and resources

  • Samples of certification of completion and partial completion that set out the CRICOS course name, levels of achievement or proficiency, course duration, date of completion, name and contact details of the registered ELICOS provider, and name and title of the signatory

  • Modes and methods of course delivery

  • Course structure demonstrating that it meets the minimum requirement of 20 hours face-to-face scheduled course contact per week, as well as any other study requirements and any scheduled breaks

  • Course syllabus that provides a statement of the purpose and objectives of the course, expected learning outcomes, subjects, structure and assessment of learning and progress

  • Strategy for ongoing course evaluation and review

  • Experience and qualifications of course teachers

  • Key and supplementary teaching resources

  • Maximum course fee


Standard P1: Scheduled course contact hours


Written agreements between registered ELICOS providers and students must provide accurate information to students on scheduled course contact hours (minimum of 20 hours of face-to-face contact per week plus any other scheduled course contact hours as a requirement of the course) for the ELICOS course.


Standard P2: Needs of younger ELICOS students


This standard is applicable if you enrol students under the age of 18. The operations of the provider should be appropriate for the age, maturity and English language proficiency of the students. The facilities, operations, equipment, course materials and tutoring must meet the needs of students of different ages, maturity and levels of English language proficiency. 


Standard P3: Teaching ELICOS and Standard P4: Assessment of ELICOS students


Your training organisation must have appropriate policies and procedures to provide students with optimal opportunities for achieving successful outcomes. The policies and procedures required under this standard are: 

  • English language testing and class placement 

  • Special needs and requirements 

  • Teacher to student ratio

  • Learning outcomes - access and documentation

  • Resources and equipment available

  • Student support

  • Research course content and developments in English language 

  • Retention and accessibility of records

  • Review, revision and delivery of course outcomes

  • Formative and summative assessments 

  • Regular reporting on course outcomes 

  • Course completion (partial and full) 

  • Continuous improvement 


Standard P5: ELICOS Educational Resources


This standard discusses the requirements to have sufficient educational facilities, equipment and support resources. This can include a range of multimedia tools, using varied learning activities and teaching methodologies, addressing the needs of learners