How to apply for an excellent rating

Eligibility requirements for the Excellent rating

Education and care services rated Exceeding National Quality Standard in all seven quality areas are eligible to apply for the Excellent rating.

There is no fee to apply for the Excellent rating.

Applying for the Excellent rating

When a service is eligible to apply for the Excellent rating, approved providers should consider the Application Criteria and Guidelines before deciding to apply. 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 use the postal address on application form.

    Important reminders

    • The assessment of your application commences once the application is  determined to be complete and all requested supporting documents submitted.
    • ACECQA will assess the service against the published criteria, using the information provided in the application and any further information obtained or provided as part of the assessment process.
    • 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 contact you to confirm we have received your application. In most cases, we will assess and make a determination on an Excellent rating application within 60 days of receiving a complete application. This timeframe may be extended if ACECQA requests further supporting evidence, or if the approved provider and ACECQA agree to the extension.

After an assessment

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

If a service is awarded the Excellent rating, that becomes the overall rating for the service. The rating applies for three years, unless revoked. After the three years services, if still eligible, need to reapply for the Excellent rating. For more information, read the Reapplying for the Excellent rating Information sheet.

Services awarded the Excellent rating will receive an Excellent rated pack, including 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).