In Victoria, schools are reviewed to make sure they are meeting the minimum standards and other requirements for registration.
Schools are either reviewed periodically as part of a review program, or under a specific review if:
- there are matters concerning the safety of a student which require urgent action to be taken by the school, or;
- exceptional circumstance exist at the school which justify a specific a review of the school's operations.
We can only review schools against the minimum standards for registration. For information about the minimum standards, see:
Who reviews schools
We review independent schools. These reviews are generally undertaken on a 5 year cyclical basis, but may occur at any time.
We also appoint review bodies which have direct responsibility for regularly reviewing their schools' compliance with the minimum standards. This responsibility is formalised in a memorandum of understanding between us and each of these bodies.
The review bodies are:
- the Department of Education's Regional Services Group
- the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria.
Review bodies can only review their respective schools and must report annually to us on their schools' compliance with the minimum standards for registration. We may also request they investigate an individual school's compliance with minimum standards should the need arise.
For more information about school review bodies, see:
To view the memoranda of understanding between the VRQA and the review bodies, see:
How a review works
We review schools against:
- the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
- the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017
- the Guidelines to the Minimum Standards and other requirements for registration of schools including those offering senior secondary courses.
When your school is selected for review, a risk-based assessment is conducted to determine the focus of the review. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, your school may be subject to a desk audit where we review school documentation, or a site audit where we or one of our contracted reviewers visit your school.
We may also conduct a financial capability assessment or assessment of your school's bushfire preparedness and emergency management procedures.
We will notify you in writing about the review focus and give you appropriate time to prepare.
Schools compliance framework
To help schools understand our approach to monitoring compliance, we have published our Schools Compliance Framework. It explains the strategies we use, determined by the risk of harm that a school’s attitude to compliance indicates during a specific or general review.
To access the framework, see:
Provider risk framework
Our provider risk framework identifies risks we consider when registering and reviewing education and training providers. You can use the framework to consider your own circumstances against each risk.
To access the framework, see:
School intervention framework
Our school intervention framework sets out how we make decisions about what action to take to ensure the safety of children in Victorian schools. You can use the framework to understand what action we may take if child safety risks are identified at your school.
To access the framework, see:
To contact us, email:
Preparing for a review
Each year, we run review information sessions for schools selected for review. Event details are published on our website news section and on our events page.
For more information, see:
Evidence tool: Independent school review
Our evidence tool will guide you through the requirements for each minimum standard. It will assist you to either:
- self-assess your readiness for review and identify areas for improvement
- submit requested documents during a review.
- link to relevant guidelines and publications
To download the tool, see:
For information to help with your school review, see:
If we identify non-compliances with the minimum standards during a school review we provide the school with a non-compliance report. The school will then be accountable for rectifying non-compliances in a timely manner.
Our aim is to work collaboratively with schools so they meet their obligations to provide safe and effective learning environments for Victorian children. When this approach is unsuccessful, we have certain powers which we can apply to ensure that schools meet the minimum standards for registration.
If a school does not comply with a minimum standard, we may take any of the following actions:
- impose conditions on a school for the whole or any part of the period of registration
- impose interim conditions on a school prior to a review being completed
- prohibit the school from enrolling any new students
- require the school to report its non-compliance to parents
- accept an enforceable undertaking from a school that is the subject of a review
- suspend or cancel the school's registration.
A notice of proposed action is generally provided to the school, allowing 28 days to show why the proposed action should not take place.
If a school would like to formalise their non-compliance rectification process, they may offer us an enforceable undertaking.
An enforceable undertaking is a written agreement between us and a registered school that is under review. It will usually include:
- an admission that the school has not complied or is not currently fully compliant with one or more prescribed minimum standards for registration
- steps that it will take to reach compliance, such as rectification work such as updating or redeveloping a policy or procedure
- an acknowledgement that the school has had an opportunity to seek legal, commercial or financial advice as may be relevant
- an admission that the school has contravened another part of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 under which the VRQA has a power or function
- an acknowledgement by the school that failure to take the steps set out in the enforceable undertaking may lead to further action by the VRQA.
Once a school has entered into an enforceable undertaking, it may only be withdrawn or varied with our consent. It's important to note that an undertaking will not automatically be withdrawn just because a school has complied with it.
For more information about enforceable undertakings, see: