Becoming an Authorised Officer
The Sector > Quality > Compliance > Becoming an authorised officer: working on the other side of assessment and rating

Becoming an authorised officer: working on the other side of assessment and rating

by Freya Lucas

April 28, 2023

Many of those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector have wondered about the process of becoming an authorised officer, and conducting assessment and rating visits as part of the compliance aspects of the National Quality Framework


In the piece below we explore the general process of becoming an authorised officer. Each state and territory has its own regulatory authority, and therefore its own individual recruitment processes. The information provided below can, however, serve as a broad guide to the process. 


Other names for authorised officers


Each state and territory has their own name for authorised officers. In the ACT, authorised officer is the most common term, with some referred to as senior investigators. 


In NSW, because of the size of the state, authorised officers are divided into two teams. Senior field officers, field officers and field support officers conduct assessment and rating visits, as well as undertake compliance tasks across the jurisdiction. There is also a compliance and investigation team that investigates complex or serious incidents and/or high levels of non-compliance.


In the Northern Territory, the term is ‘compliance officers and assessors’, while in Queensland the term authorised officer is more typical, with some using the term early childhood manager or early childhood officer. 


South Australia has authorised officers and senior authorised officers, while Tasmania and Victoria also have authorised officers. 


Western Australia has assessment officers or investigation officers. 


What do authorised officers do? 


Authorised officers carry out specific functions under the National Law and Regulations. This can include: assessing and rating, monitoring compliance, and investigating early childhood services in the event of serious incidents. 


Authorised officers also assess applications for approval, and provide advice and guidance to early childhood services. 


Who makes a good authorised officer? 


The role of an authorised officer is a rewarding job that suits people who enjoy working with the community, engaging with people, visiting services while balancing time in an office environment as part of a team.


Each day as an authorised officer is unique. The role typically suits people who are self-motivated, have good time management, and excellent verbal and written communication skills.  


What are the roles and responsibilities an authorised officer undertakes? 


The roles and responsibilities of an authorised officer are set out in the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law), and the relevant regulations for the state and territory in which they are employed. 


In a broad sense, an authorised officer’s job would typically include: 


  • Monitoring early childhood education and care services and enforce compliance
  • Conducting regulatory activities, including service visits
  • Investigating incidents and complaints
  • Providing advice and guidance.


What skills and experiences are needed to be an authorised officer? 


Authorised officers need to have a sound understanding of the National Law and the relevant legislation for their state or territory, as they have delegated responsibilities and powers under the legislation.


They should be skilled and experienced in dealing with sensitive matters such as investigations and complaints management, have strong organisational and communication skills, be able to work independently and cohesively in a team, and be able to manage emerging issues, priorities and timelines in a responsive and risk based environment.


ACECQA has issued further information about who is suitable to become an authorised officer, and also on the national training process


To apply for authorised officer roles, please follow the recruitment process relevant for your state and territory, as shown below: 


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