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Classification tool ratings

What is a classification tool?

A classification tool is a questionnaire, computer program or other interface that allows a person or artificial intelligence to classify content. Industry can use approved classification tools to classify films or computer games in Australia, instead of applying to the Classification Board for a rating.

Tools use algorithms and logic rules that reflect the criteria in the National Classification Scheme. This ensures tool decisions are consistent with Australian legislation and decisions of the Classification Board.

What is a tool rating?

A tool rating includes the classification category and consumer advice for a film or computer game. When a tool has classified the content, it sends the classification category and consumer advice to us and it is published on the National Classification Database (NCD). You can search the NCD in the search bar at the top of this page.

Approved classification tools

The Minister must approve a classification tool for use in Australia. There are three approved tools:

  1. IARC Global Rating Tool for mobile/online computer games
  2. Netflix Classification Tool for online films and TV series
  3. Spherex Classification Tool for online films and TV series.

The Minister considers matters in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Approval of Classification Tools) Guidelines 2014 when deciding whether to approve a tool.

IARC Global Rating Tool

The International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) is a partnership of leading computer game ratings authorities from around the world including the United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, South Korea and Australia.

IARC developed its Global Rating Tool in partnership with these ratings authorities to classify mobile and online computer games available on participating storefronts. The Minister approved it for use in Australia in 2014, and made variations in 2016 and 2017.

IARC Global Rating Tool decisions appear on the NCD under the category 'IARC'.

You can learn more on the external link: IARC website.


Netflix Classification Tool

Netflix developed the Netflix Classification Tool to classify films and series streamed on its Australian service. The Minister approved it in 2016.

Netflix Tool decisions appear on the NCD as 'External API'.

You can learn more on the external link: Netflix website.


Spherex Classification Tool

Spherex Inc. is a United States based media company that handles the global rating and distribution of content on behalf of its industry clients. The Spherex Classification Tool builds on the self-classification system Spherex Inc. uses to rate content for over 100 countries.

The Spherex Classification Tool classifies films and series streamed on its clients' Australian services. The Minister approved it in 2022.

Spherex Tool decisions appear on the NCD as 'External API'.

You can learn more on the external link: Spherex website.


Making a complaint about a tool rating

Anyone can make a complaint about a tool rating or consumer advice. This includes if you think:

  • the rating is too low
  • the rating is too high
  • the consumer advice does not reflect the content
  • there is a problem with the display of the rating or consumer advice where the content is available.

When you write to us, please include:

  • the full name of the film or game
  • the service where you accessed it
  • a description of the issue
  • a timestamp if it relates to the content.