How to apply for an excellent rating

Eligibility requirements for the Excellent rating

From 1 February 2018, services in all states and territories must be rated Exceeding National Quality Standard in all seven quality areas to be eligible to apply for the Excellent rating.

There is no longer a fee to apply for the Excellent rating. 

Applying for the Excellent rating

After ensuring that a service is eligible to apply for the Excellent rating based on the eligibility criteria in the state or territory where the service is located, approved providers should read the Application Criteria and Guidelines before applying. The application criteria set by ACECQA apply to services in all states and territories. A video explaining the process is available, and includes a participant's workbook to assist you with the application process.

When ready to make an application to ACECQA, you must:

  • complete the Excellent rating application form
  • provide a statement addressing each of the Excellent rating criteria and, if needed, any supporting documents
  • email completed application forms to, alternatively, if emailing application is not possible, see postal address on application form.

Important reminders
•  Your application will not be assessed unless all sections of the application form are satisfactorily completed and all requested supporting documents are attached.
•  ACECQA will assess the service against the published criteria.
•  ACECQA must seek and take into account advice from the relevant regulatory authority and may seek any other relevant information to carry out the assessment.

Assessment process

ACECQA will email you to confirm we have received your application. In most cases we will assess complete applications and make a determination within 60 days. This timeframe may be extended if ACECQA requests further information or documents, or if the approved provider and ACECQA agree to the extension.

After an assessment

ACECQA will provide written notice to the approved provider and regulatory authority within 14 days of making its decision. Applicants will receive written feedback detailing the reasons for the decision.

If ACECQA awards a rating of ‘Excellent’, that becomes the overall rating for the service. The rating applies for three years, unless revoked.

Services awarded the Excellent rating will receive a certificate showing their Excellent rating.


If you have any general enquiries about the Excellent rating process, please contact us on 1300 422 327 or email us at

Privacy Statement

ACECQA will use the information you have provided to assess your service for the Excellent rating under section 153 of the Education and Care Services National Law. ACECQA may need to disclose personal information to some third parties, including the regulatory authority to verify the information you have provided in the application. In the case of a complaint or a challenge to the decision, ACECQA may need to disclose some information to a review body, for example, an ombudsman, court or tribunal. Personal information will be used and stored in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).