Australian Government - Australian Education International

National standards for Foundation Programs with Explanatory Guide

Foundation Programs (FPs) are courses designed for international students to equip them with the skills and capabilities to seek entry into higher education programs in Australia. Generally, FPs provide an academic entry pathway to first year undergraduate study or its equivalent.

The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) regulatory framework requires providers to register on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The National Standards for Foundation Programs (Foundation Program Standards) are guidelines for designated authorities to make recommendations for acceptance of providers to be registered on CRICOS.

The FP Standards were developed in consultation with the states and territories, peak industry bodies and relevant Australian Government agencies for the purposes of ensuring national consistency in the registration of Foundation Programs. The Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) approved the National Foundation Program standards on 21 December 2009.

In July 2011 the Foundation Program Standards were made legislative instruments under ESOS. All Foundation Program providers are now required to meet the Standards to be registered on CRICOS.

The Foundation Program Standards include requirements in key areas such as: curriculum; minimum entry requirements for students; level of English language proficiency; pedagogies and learning opportunities for students; assessment procedures; minimum scheduled contact hours; and teaching qualifications.

The Standards are accompanied by an Explanatory Guide, which is intended to assist providers understand the requirements they need to meet. Providers should also consult with their relevant designated authorities for further information on implementation arrangements for the FP Standards.

The National Foundation Program Standards and Explanatory Guide are available for downloading:
pdf (49 kb)  
rtf (259 kb)