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Accredited classifiers

The accredited classifier program is another way for industry to classify films and computer games for release in Australia.

What is an accredited classifier?

An accredited classifier is a person who has been approved by the Secretary of the department under section 22M of the Classification Act to make classification decisions.

You can use an accredited classifier to classify films and computer games (games) rated G to R18+ instead of:

An accredited classifier may work in-house for a publisher or distributor, or provide their services to clients.

Becoming accredited

To become an accredited classifier, you must:

  • complete the relevant training module(s)
  • complete the relevant exam(s) and score 90% or more
  • apply to be accredited via the Classification Portal within 12 months of the date you complete the training module(s)
  • be approved by the Secretary of the department.

Training modules and exams

Anyone aged 18 years and older can enrol in the online training modules and exams.

The training modules and exams are free of charge. The government will consider a fee structure in the future.

Please contact us to enrol in training, and let us know if you would like to complete training for:

  • films only
  • games only, or
  • both films and games.

Films

To become accredited to classify films, you must complete the:

  • Film Classification Training modules
  • Film Classification – Exam (Accredited Classifier), and score 90% or more.

If you score a mark of 80% or more in the exam(s), you will get the option of becoming a content assessor under the Additional Content Assessor (ACA) scheme.

Games

To become accredited to classify computer games, you must complete the:

  • Game Classification Training modules
  • Game Classification – Exam (Accredited Classifier) and score 90% or more.

If you score a mark of 80% or more in the exam(s), you will get the option of becoming a content assessor under the Authorised Assessor – Computer Games (AACG) scheme.

Application form and the Secretary’s approval

Once you have completed the relevant training module(s) and exam(s), you must submit an accreditation request in the Classification Portal. You can learn how to do this on our Frequently Asked Questions and Guides webpage.

There is no fee to apply to become an accredited classifier. The government will consider a fee structure in the future.

Matters the Secretary will consider

In assessing your application, the Secretary will consider these matters under section 22M of the Classification Act:

  • your declaration that you have not been convicted of an offence or penalty relating to fraud or dishonesty
  • if you have previously been barred as an authorised assessor or an accredited classifier
  • any reason why you would not be a suitable person to classify films and computer games.

If your application is approved

If your application is approved, the Secretary will accredit you for 2 years and notify you in writing.

You will then get access to the accredited classifier functions in the Classification Portal. You must also be:

  • approved by your organisation/client(s) to make decisions on their behalf
  • given the ‘accredited classifier’ role for the organisation/client(s).

Under section 22P of the Classification Act, your accreditation is subject to conditions. The Secretary may revoke your accreditation if you meet any of these conditions:

  • the Classification Board revokes 3 or more of your decisions in the previous 12 months
  • the Classification Board revokes one or more of your decisions and replaces it with a X 18+ or Refused Classification (RC) decision
  • the Secretary directs you to complete further training within a specified period and you do not complete it
  • you provide false or misleading information as part of your application
  • you have been convicted of an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, or a law of a State or Territory, involving fraud or dishonesty
  • you have been ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty for the contravention of a civil penalty provision of a law of the Commonwealth, or a law of a State or Territory, involving fraud or dishonesty
  • the Secretary becomes aware of any other reason why you are unsuitable to classify films and computer games.

If the Secretary revokes your accreditation, you will be notified in writing.

If your application is not approved

If your application is not approved, the Secretary will notify you in writing.

The reason may be:

  • you have not completed the relevant training in the last 12 months
  • you did not score an exam mark of 90% or higher
  • you have not met the suitability requirements
  • the Secretary has requested you undertake further training
  • the Secretary revoked your previous accreditation less than 28 days ago
  • the Secretary issued a barring notice to you and it is still in force.

If you are not satisfied with the Secretary’s decision, you may apply for review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within 28 days.

Renewing your accreditation

To renew your accreditation before it expires, you must:

  • complete the relevant training module(s) and exam(s)
  • submit an accreditation request in the Classification Portal, and
  • receive approval from the Secretary.

You can use the Profile Management menu in the Classification Portal to check when your accreditation expires.

Making classification decisions

How to submit a decision

Accredited classifiers must use the Classification Portal to submit their classification decisions for films and games prior to release in Australia.

This is because under section 22K of the Classification Act, an accredited classifier decision comes into effect when it is published on the National Classification Database (NCD). You can search the NCD in the search bar at the top of this page.

There is no fee to submit a decision.

When you submit a decision, you must provide:

  • an overall classification (rating) for the film or game
  • a rating for each classifiable element that is present in the film or game
  • the relevant consumer advice as per the approved list issued under section 12A of the Classification Act
  • a reason for the rating and consumer advice, and
  • any sensitive content in the film or game.

You can learn more on our Frequently Asked Questions and Guides webpage.

How the rating and consumer advice works

In the Classification Portal, the rating and consumer advice fields align with Australian legislation and practices of the Classification Board.

The rating field will auto-populate for the highest rated classifiable element(s), based on the impact level you have selected.

The consumer advice field will be limited to advisories that align with:

  • the impact level of the highest rated classifiable element(s)
  • any issues of community concern at the overall rating or one rating below
  • any interactive elements present (computer games only).

How the decision applies

Under the classify once principle, the decision applies to all formats of the film or game, provided they are identical or have modifications exempt from classification.

Anyone who publishes the classified film or game in Australia must use the decision, and display classification markings.

Monitoring decisions

Classification Board powers

Under section 22L of the Classification Act, the Classification Board may revoke and replace a decision made by an accredited classifier if:

  • they determine they would have given the film or game a different rating
  • the decision includes consumer advice not on the approved list issued under section 12A of the Classification Act
  • the consumer advice is misleading, incorrect or grossly inadequate (i.e. it is missing a classifiable element that is present in the content at the highest rating, or contains advisories that are not present in the content).

You can learn more about these powers on our Legislation webpage.

Application to revoke a decision

An application to revoke a decision made by an accredited classifier:

  • must be made within 3 months after the day the classification takes effect 
  • can be made by the publisher of the film or game /or a participating Minister.

An application to revoke must be made using: Application to revoke a decision made by an accredited person 
You can complete this form digitally in some Internet browsers or in a PDF reader.

Send the completed form to: accreditedclassifier@infrastructure.gov.au

The decision check process

If the Classification Board checks an accredited classifier decision, they will:

  • notify the classifier and publisher in writing, and request access to the film or game if the classifier did not upload the content when they submitted the decision
  • view the content and form a preliminary view, and
  • notify the classifier and publisher of the check outcome in writing.

Any delay in providing access to the content will delay the Classification Board’s preliminary view.

There is no fee for the check.

Preliminary view is the same as the classifier’s decision

If the Classification Board check the content and agree with the accredited classifier’s decision, the decision remains in effect.

Preliminary view is different to the classifier’s decision

If the Classification Board checks the content and do not agree with the classifier’s decision, they will:

  • issue the classifier and the publisher a Notice of Possible Revocation
  • state the reason(s) as to why they came to the preliminary view
  • invite the classifier to make a submission within 7 days as to why they should not revoke the classifier’s decision
  • consider the submission (if any), and
  • finalise the decision.

Following the 7-day period in which to make a submission, the Classification Board can either:

  • finalise their preliminary view and revoke the classifier’s decision
  • determine the classifier’s decision remains in effect.

The Classification Board will notify the classifier and the publisher in writing.

If the classifier’s decision is revoked

If the Classification Board revokes the classifier’s decision, the Classification Board’s decision will replace it. The classifier’s decision will be removed from the NCD and be replaced with the Classification Board decision.

The classifier and publisher will receive a classification certificate with the details of the decision.

Publishers must update the classification marking to the Classification Board’s decision, including on digital and printed products.

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about the accredited classifier program.