National Standards



The Australian Boarding Standard was published on 23 July, 2015, and is published through the affiliate of Standards Australia, SAI Global.

Download the Summary Document from Standards Australia

Information regarding the Standard can be found at the link below:


You will need to register with SAI Global to purchase the Standard.

You can read more about the work Standards Australia does at:


For assessment to have a positive impact on the boarding standards of a school, it must employ both internal and external assessment. The use of internal people to do an assessment means the review is undertaken by those with a thorough knowledge of the character, purpose and idiosyncrasies of a boarding school. However, assessment by people external to the boarding school is also needed. Familiarity can dull the eye to much-needed reform. Assessment by people external to a boarding school can also increase accountability to a level that helps motivate boarding schools to adopt the highest standards possible. Therefore, the ABSA, Intelligent Outcomes Group and Southern Cross Certified (SXC) Certification scheme is designed for use internally and for use by an approved external assessor.


Together, ABSA and Intelligent Outcomes Group (IOG) have developed scenarios within Scuta, IOG’s risk management software tool, to allow boarding schools to undertake accreditation risk assessments for boarding schools and residences as they implement the Australian Boarding Standard. The six sections identified in AS5725: 2015 have been entered into Scuta and reviewed by ABSA and IOG and have been tested in schools with excellent results.

The process is:

Stage 1- Scuta Self-Assessment (1), where the baseline of implementation against the boarding standard is established, and a series of reports are prepared by IOG and delivered.

Stage 2 - Scuta Self-Assessment (2), identifies progress made by the school against the Stage 1 assessment baseline, and produces a report which details the progress made since the first self-assessment, and details work still to be done.

Stage 3 - Scuta Self-Assessment (3) where the Head of Boarding confirms the school’s readiness to undertake the external audit. This self-assessment should be completed at the time of applying for Certification.

These three self-assessments will then be analysed by an approved Southern Cross Certified (SXC Assessor who will then conduct their own independent assessment. This will take place through two major steps - firstly an analysis of all policies and procedures to ensure they meet the requirements of the Standard, and then through an on-site audit to ensure these policies and procedures are actually being followed.


Prior to the SXC Assessment being scheduled, the boarding school must have completed the level one and level two self-assessments. A copy of these assessment must be included with the application for certification. • SXC will advise the school of the appointed Assessor. The Assessor will liaise with the school to determine a mutually convenient date to visit. The visit will generally be scheduled within six months of the initial application being made by the school. • A full day (or more likely two half days) will need to be set aside for the school visit by the Assessor. • Within thirty school days of the visit, the school will receive a report from the Assessor and a notification of the Assessor’s recommendation, or otherwise, for a Certificate of Compliance. • If successful, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued, and the ABSA and SXC websites will be amended to show that the school has received the Certificate of Compliance. The public notification of this compliance will last three years, at which time a re-assessment will be required.



Example Certificates for Self-Assessment

With every recognised Australian boarding schools as a member, ABSA was uniquely well positioned to draw upon the expertise necessary to determine appropriate boarding standards for Australian schools. Over a three year period working in conjunction with Standards Australia, the Australian Standard for Boarding Schools and Residences was written.

What the Australian Standard offers is an evaluative instrument that brings together the best state and territory school boarding standards found throughout Australia and from boarding schools overseas. Most importantly, the Australian Standard represents the collective wisdom from a large number of experienced boarding staff and administrators.

In an industry wearied by regulation and reporting requirements, the visiting of yet more standards on a school is unlikely to be welcomed. The concept of standards can be unsettling. The very word reeks of stern governance, intrusive measurement and punitive measures. However, ABSA does not resile from mandating the Australian Boarding Standard. The professionalism of the Australian school boarding industry rests on uniformly high standards of residential care.

The Australian Boarding Standard is also relevant to boarding hostels that service school-aged children. Boarding hostels cater for about one out of 13 boarders of school age within Australia.