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  • Approval of superannuation education courses

    The ATO may approve courses of education relating to education directions we issue to employers about super guarantee obligations, cash flow management, or both.

    You may apply to us to have a super guarantee or cash flow management course included as an approved course of education for the purposes of the Commissioner’s direction powers under Division 384 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

    Next step:

    Once you've read the information below and you're sure that your course meets the requirements, you can send an application for approval to SGEducationDirection@ato.gov.au.

    Applications must include:

    • a link to the course
    • a copy of the course content in a Microsoft Word document.

    Find out about:

    Conditions of approval

    Courses are approved on the condition that they are designed for small businesses but suitable for any employer.

    The ATO is not liable for any cost incurred by the provider as part of developing, designing and maintaining a course.

    An approved course may be:

    • delivered online or face-to-face
    • provided free of charge or for a fee determined by the provider.

    Approved courses must be:

    • reviewed by us on an annual basis or as required
    • at a level we consider appropriate.

    Course requirements

    Our requirements are outlined below for courses on:

    Employer super guarantee obligations

    Content of the super guarantee employer obligations course must be based on the law as set out in the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 and regulations.

    The course may include information about:

    • the superannuation system in Australia
    • informing employees of your default super fund
    • the employee’s choice of fund
    • the employee’s eligibility for super guarantee
    • calculating the super guarantee contribution
    • paying super
    • late payments and penalties
    • record keeping

    Cash flow management

    Courses on cash flow management must be designed to ensure employers understand the importance of managing their cash flow:

    • to provide for future expenses, and
    • as a guide to the ongoing viability of the business.

    A cash flow management course may include information about:

    • foundational cash flow concepts, accounts receivable, accounts payable, capital expenditures and debt payments
    • identifying specific areas to strengthen the business’s cash flow management practices – for example, pricing, volume, debtors, assets, expenses, inventory and staffing
    • planning the actions the business can take to improve cash flow management
    • recognising that cash flow management is a continuous activity of tracking, analysing and adjusting so the business has the cash it needs to be profitable.

    Online courses

    Approved online courses should be:

    • split into sections, with a quiz either at the end of each section or at the end of the course
    • of a suitable duration to ensure that all required content can be sufficiently covered
    • up to date and technically correct at all times.

    Online courses should also refer to (or provide links to) relevant information on the ATO website.

    You must provide a certificate that confirms the participant’s successful completion of the course.

    IT requirements

    An online course must be compatible with programs designed to assist users with disabilities – for example, JAWS and Dragon.

    On completion of the course, a certificate must be produced with the following information:  

    • the employer’s name
    • the date the course was completed
    • the 10-digit reference number we provided to the employer in the Commissioner’s direction to undertake a course of education.

    The certificate of completion must be printable or sent by email to SGEducationDirection@ato.gov.au.

    Statistics on the number of participants that have accessed and completed the course must be sent to us annually or upon written request.

    No marketing or advertising emails are to be sent to course participants we have directed to undertake education, unless the participant allows the provider to use their details for this purpose.

    Face-to-face courses

    Courses that require face-to-face attendance must be structured to cover similar content to the online courses detailed above.

    The course provider must email SGEducationDirection@ato.gov.au to provide details of:

    • any attendees who have been directed by the Commissioner to complete the course
    • whether they successfully completed the course.

    The email must include:

    • the name and Australian business number (ABN) of any employers directed to undertake the course by the Commissioner
    • the names of all attendees of that employer
    • the date the course was completed
    • the 10-digit reference number provided to the employer in the Commissioner’s direction to undertake a course of education.
      Last modified: 08 Apr 2019QC 58508