1. Introduction

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law & Regulations, Sections 3(2)(c), 3(2)(e) and 133, Regulation 133 ] Services are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard (NQS) to:

  • promote continuous improvement in the provision of quality education and care
  • improve knowledge and access to information about the quality of services to help families make informed decisions about their child’s education and care.

Services are assessed and rated against the NQS by the state or territory regulatory authority.

The National Regulations outline the assessment and rating (A&R) process for education and care services including the rating levels.

See the National Quality Standard chapter for more information on the NQS.

Summary of the assessment and rating process

Approved providers of new services will receive a letter informing them that an assessment and rating process will typically occur 9-18 months after the service begins operating.

Self-assessment and quality improvement

Approved provider conducts a self-assessment of the quality of their current practices against the NQS and linked regulatory requirements.

 Approved provider identifies strengths and where improvements can be made which is documented in a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) and uploaded to the NQA ITS or any other jurisdictional specific submission process. For new services this must occur within 3 months of receiving a service approval.


Notice of visit

Regulatory authority generally provides 1-5 days’ notice that a site visit will occur. When giving notice, the regulatory authority will consider the context of the service, and whether the regulatory authority is reasonably satisfied that typical practice can be observed at the service on the visit day. For partial reassessments that do not require a visit, the regulatory authority may provide 1-5 days’ notice that a conversation will occur instead of a visit. A&R that commences in response to compliance issues may be unannounced or commence with short notice. 

Information gathering

The regulatory authority may contact you within this time for information in writing, by phone or video conference. 

Assessment and rating visit takes place at the service, if deemed necessary by the relevant regulatory authority.



Draft report

Regulatory authority provides the approved provider with a draft assessment and rating report.

Feedback on draft report

Provider can give feedback on any factual inaccuracies in the report and evidence to support feedback.


Final report and notice of final ratings is issued to the provider

Feedback considered before final report is finalised and issued.

Final report

Approved provider may choose to apply for a review of final ratings within the set review period.


Ratings published on national registers

Once the review period has ended, the final ratings are published on the national registers on the ACECQA website.

Notice of an assessment and rating visit 

In most cases, regulatory authorities will provide at least 1-5 days notice that an assessment and rating visit or conversation will occur. For some services, such as some rural and remote services and single-educator models, longer notice will be provided to enable appropriate access to the service and availability of educators. The regulatory authority may commence an assessment and rating reassessment in response to compliance issues identified at the service. Where there have been compliance issues at the service, the regulatory authority may choose to commence the assessment and rating process without notice.