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Industry classifications

Learn more about classification decisions made by industry. Like Classification Board decisions, industry decisions help you to make informed choices about the content you watch and play.

Types of industry self-classifications

Under classification law, industry can self-classify films and computer games they make available in Australia instead of applying to the Classification Board.

Industry can self-classify content using either:

  • a classification tool,
  • an accredited classifier, or
  • a TV broadcaster’s decision.

Industry decisions are published on the National Classification Database (NCD). You can search the NCD in the search bar at the top of this page.

Please go to our Legislation webpage to learn more about classification laws.

Classification tools

A classification tool is a questionnaire, computer program or other interface that allows a person or artificial intelligence to classify content.

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

When a tool has classified the content, it sends us the decision using an Application Processing Interface (API) and it is published on the NCD.

If you search the NCD, tool decisions display as ‘External API’.

There are 3 tools approved for use in Australia:

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

You can go to our classification tools webpage to learn more.

Accredited classifiers

An accredited classifier is a person who has been approved by the Secretary of the department to make classification decisions.

Accredited classifiers must complete training and use the same criteria as the Classification Board.

When an accredited classifier has classified a film or a game, they send us the decision and it is published on the NCD.

If you search the NCD, accredited classifier decisions display as ‘Accredited Classifier Decision’.

TV broadcasters

TV broadcasters can make their own decisions under other Australian laws. These decisions are not published on the NCD. You can contact the broadcaster if you have any questions about their decisions.

If another service is releasing content classified by a TV broadcaster, they let us know they are using the broadcaster’s decision and it is published to the NCD.

If you search the NCD, broadcaster decisions display as ‘Decision made by Broadcaster’.

Who can make a complaint?

Anyone can make a complaint about an industry decision. This includes:

  • if the rating is too low
  • if the rating is too high
  • if the consumer advice does not reflect the content
  • if there is an issue with the classification information on a service.

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 specific content.

What happens next?

How we handle your complaint depends on who made the decision.


Decision type

Complaints handling

Classification tools and accredited classifiers

We will handle your complaint, and respond to you in writing.

TV broadcaster

We will refer your complaint to the broadcaster that made the decision, and let you know how to contact them.

You can also contact Free TV Australia or the broadcaster directly.